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Old September 8th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

I'm working alone frequently doing ENG type shooting both indoors and outdoors, often in a noisy environment. I'm looking for a new camera mounted mic. For the most part I do use a wireless lav but there are those times when that isn't possible and of course I want a backup if there are any wireless issues.

I like what I've read about both mics and the smaller size of the Sanken is appealing but mostly I'm thinking about getting the cleanest signal in circumstances which clearly aren't ideal.

Open to other suggestions as well.

Thanks
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Old September 8th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Can't speak for the Sanken other than as a brand they make outstanding mics. I've used several other Sankens back in my recording engineer days and own a COS 11 lav that is awesome.

I do own the ntg3 and have used it for the same purpose as your describe and it is very good. I shot an event last night with the mic mounted on-camera and I found its pickup pattern and coverage throw to work great at about 3 to 4 ft from the subject which made for a nicely framed image as well. Trick with any shotgun in that situation is to find the distance that works best to balance voice to background noise while giving you enough room to frame the subject.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Thanks for the input Robert. I was initially considering the Sanken's brother, the CS-3E, but find it hard to justify the 2x price tag at this point in time. No doubt its a better mic but I'm also thinking that unless you're using it on a boom as it really should be, the advantage it has is diminished anyway.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

There are a number of great shotguns available, depending on your budget. I can speak for the popular NTG-3 .. excellent, especially when you get it off the camera for closer speech work. The protective tube is a welcome addition for run and gun shooters.

Jase .. BnH are currently running various attractive NTG-3 packages .. pedal down this page ..

Page 3: Shotgun

Cheers.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

So much of audio is learning what matters in which situation.

If all you're doing is preparing web clips for typical playback on computer speakers - the differences in microphone functions are made less important.

In that situation mic technique becomes MUCH more important than mic model or brand. Put simpler, a less expensive mic used well will far outperform a better mic used poorly.

On the other hand, if you're preparing a soundtrack for use in a 5.1 surround system in a Cinema style theater, or people will be listening to your work at significant volumes while wearing headphones - the flaws that are often inherent in less expensive equipment might well become evident.

The critical skill is to undersand your own level of experience and training and to understand what you've learned to listen to and for. In audio, it's really typical for people to move from really bad to OK equipment and when they listen to the substantial improvement to suddenly think they've made it to the finish line - and they might be correct if all they ever have to deliver is acceptable quality into average listening environments.

But if they suddenly find themselves using the equipment and practices that worked fine on that level - but get the opportunity to present their work in a more critical listening environment on a superior reproduction chain, they'll baffled to suddenly hear that their sound doesn't hold up.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you only hear your mix on a TV speaker, you can't even know if the content that a theatrical sub-woofer might need for a more powerful audio experience is even present. And that voice cuts through your music just fine on that portable DVD, might turn out to be harsh or thin, or dull or even grating when it's put on the PA system at a large rally.

In audio, the variables are HUGE.

So one approach is to do everything at as high a level as possible - using only equipment that's been proven over time to produce uncompromising results. Another perfectly acceptable approach is to work with what you can afford until you develop an appreciation of the subtlties of the "better" approach.

The wisdom is simply in understanding that both modes are appropriate to their purposes.

Jase, Specifically to address your issue, any "on camera" mic is going to be in a challenging position. The physics of the inverse square principle mean that it will be presented with a relatively weak content signal due to it's necessary distance from mic/camera to subject. That means the environmental sounds will be more present. It means that anything that makes unwanted noise that 's closer to the on-camera mic than to the subject you're recording will be a challenge to control.

Typically, the FIRST thing you want to do is get your mic off the camera and closer to your subject if that's at all possible. On-camera is typically the position of LAST RESORT for most audio for video pros.

Hope that helps.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Thanks Allan, I'm on the "frequent voyeur plan" at B&H and do purchase there as well. With enough lead time I probably would get it from them but the Rode is available here for not too much more once you consider shipping and duties, not to mention supporting my local store is something I like to do.

The price range is right for me and a definite step up from what I'm using now.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

I've got a Sanken CS-1 on my EX1. Bought the proper K-Tek mount for it.
I like the shorter length of the CS-1 compared to the other shotguns when it comes to an on camera mic.
I bought the CS-1 second hand but unused for around $700 so it was a bargain. The K-Tek mount is superior to most other mounts (no droop) but is pricey, make sure you get the "short" version, it is the only mount that works properly with the CS-1.

The CS-3e would be a better mic with superior side and back LF rejection which is important in smallish rooms. Be aware the pickup angle is narrow and you can easily get people "off mic".

As others have said any on camera mic is a compromise but as you know sometimes you have no choice.
I've used the CS-1 on my camera to pull a soloist out of the orchestra in a church from quite a ways back. Worked better than I thought it would, probably more good luck.

I would say both the CS-1 and the NTG3 use much the same design and will do their job much the same. If you want anything superior you have to spend up big on the CS-3e. I've used the CSS-10 and it does perform amazingly well but it is expensive and really too big to put on anything other than a shoulder mount camera.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 07:36 PM   #8
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

I tried out the CS-1 (previous version) and CS-3e at NAB a few years ago. Both sounded great. The CS-1 (and "1e") have a wider pattern than the CS-3e. The CS-3e includes multiple condensers and does an amazing job at maintaining the frequency profile off axis. The CS-1 was a more traditional design.

The rep mentioned that the narrow pattern of the CS-3e requires expert use (though the uniform off-axis response makes it somewhat forgiving) compared to the wider pattern of the CS-1.

Regarding the CS-1e vs. the NTG-3 for on-camera use, I would probably choose the less expensive option (NTG-3). Then again, if I used COS-11D lavs (I do), or if I planned to get an CS-3e in the future (someday!), I'd want the Sanken CS-1e for the best sonic match. I really like the Sanken sound. :) If small size is important to you, that's another consideration.

The good news is that both the CS-1e and NTG-3 are great products. You can't make a bad decision with that choice.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Thanks for all the input everyone. I've gone with the NTG-3. It does sound good. Perhaps the Sanken CS3e somewhere down the road.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Jase, good choice .. out of interest did you go for any of the BnH NTG-3 packages?

Cheers.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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Re: Rode NTG-3 versus Sanken CS 1E

Hi Allan

I bought locally mostly because I wanted it right away. The packages were tempting though.
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