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Old June 19th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Zoom H1 with DSLR?

Hello,
In a little less than a month I am doing a video at a 90th birthday party and I'm suppose to go around and interview/ask people about memories with the person turning 90. For this video gig I am probably going to be rocking my T3i with the Rokinon 35mm lens on my Glidecam HD2000. I do not have any audio equipment right now, but I am looking to get the following:
Zoom H1- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003QKBVYK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DERWindscreen- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042GUXQ4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=A15IB0QCYX1OQK1/4"- 20 Tripod Screw to Hot Shoe Adapter- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005005EEM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&m=A2LHASMG6DT1Z6
I was going to get one of DSLR Film Noob's Advanced Shock Mount adapter for $16 (Noob Store | DSLR Film Noob) but they are currently not being made right now and he doesn't know when he'll be able to sell them again.

My question is, if I were to just mounted the H1 to my camera via the 1/4"- 20 adapter would that result in vibration noise? Or would I have to invest another $50 into a shock mount?

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

You may get vibration noise from hard-mounting it. But the much bigger question is whether you will get decent audio from a microphone in the wrong place:
a) mounted on the camera (typically too far away by half)
b) pointed the wrong way (i.e. not pointed actually AT the subject)

My first choice would be to use a hand-held mic and a good interviewer (either on-camera, or off-) to both prompt the subject with good questions, and to hold the mic up to the subject's mouth to get excellent pickup.
My second choice would be to get one of the mini-shotgun mics designed for shoe mounting on DSLRs such as one of these:
RDE Microphones - VideoMic
RDE Microphones - VideoMic Pro
These are designed for the kind of application you are describing. They won't be as good as a proper microphone at the subject's mouth, but significantly better than a little digital recorder with cross-eyed microphones shooting out left and right at the subject's ears.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

Thanks for the quick reply and your input!
I have looked at the Rode VidMic but the only thing that's stoping me from getting that is the auto-gain that DSLRs have.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

If you are going around collecting random comments from the public, I would rather have auto-gain than not. Certainly auto-gain is death to recording music and undesirable for recording scripted dialog. But for recording random public speech, don't dismiss it before trying it.

It is true that you can control the auto-gain on most little audio recorders. But those microphones are made for stereo ambient/music recording and are NOT optimal for speech recording. As I said before, aiming two mics, one at each ear, just seems like a dumb way to try to record speech. Recording speech in stereo is almost NEVER a good idea. Unless you are on some alien planet where the creatures have two mouths.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

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Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Recording speech in stereo is almost NEVER a good idea. Unless you are on some alien planet where the creatures have two mouths.
Then why don't I see the news crews using them when the record the politicians? Or is "two-faced" different from "two mouths"?
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Old June 20th, 2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Then why don't I see the news crews using them when the record the politicians? Or is "two-faced" different from "two mouths"?
No, they are speaking out of both sides of ONE mouth. How scary it would be to hear politicians in stereo. Even monaural is one channel too many in most cases.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

If you were micing Eric Holder you would have two to cover both sides of his mouth and have one down by his A$$ as well.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

I would either buy or rent a hand held wireless microphone. This way in can be passed around without having to worry about wires. If there is lots of background noise I think that that they hand held may be nessasary. You can also use a shotgun mic as a second source of audio. Just make sure that you monitor the audio with headphone so you know exactly what your getting.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

For this type of event content will trump technical quality every time, and the problem is that as soon as you show up sporting anything resembling serious equipment you'll scare off the relations. You'll be like one of those big cats hunting zebras in the natural history films - the herd will gallop away as soon as they sense you are eyeing them up. The ones that remain may be the natural showoffs who you may not want anyway.

So you are on the right lines. Your cam looks like a stills camera to most folk so they won't react to its approach in the same scared way that they might with a fullon video rig. I might be inclined to loose the Glidecam and use a simple monopod.

You'll be recording your stories from just three or four feet away so the H1 will be acceptable. Although it has a wider pickup pattern than most handheld mics remember than sound drops of exponentially and so sound from a distance away shoundn't be too intrusive. In fact it is good ambient sound for an event of this nature.

If you're recording direct into the H1 without linking it with a cable to the camera then handling noise should be unintrusive except when you are adjusting the mic or the camera. I would set it on levels of around 80/100 for the distance (but look at the LCD to double check your levels). I would NOT use autogain. If outside you should use the lowpass filter option to cut wind noise. Use the WAV 16/48 setting to give yourself more wiggle room in post.

The problem with asking such a question on such a knowledgeable forum is that many members will be horrified that you are not planning to use a sound guy complete with boompole etc. But that does not take into account the nature of your event.

Pete
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Old June 20th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
The problem with asking such a question on such a knowledgeable forum is that many members will be horrified that you are not planning to use a sound guy complete with boompole etc. But that does not take into account the nature of your event.
I agree to some extent. However our advice DOES take into account the nature of the proposed equipment and IMHO a Zoom H1 is unsuitable for this application and hardly better than using the built-in mic on the DSLR.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #11
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

I'd agree with Richard.
However Peter stated, "You'll be recording your stories from just three or four feet away so the H1 will be acceptable." Not in my opinion.. If it's anywhere other than a very quiet, acoustically dead environment, from 3-4 feet away from the sound source, that would not be the case. A cheap lav plugged directly into the camera (AGC or not) would be a better option.
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Old June 21st, 2012, 01:26 AM   #12
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

Come on, no one recommend him to get magic lantern to turn off agc? I recommend you installing magic lantern to turn off the agc then input the rode videomicpro into your t3i. Now you don't have headache trying to sync in post, and trust me, it can sound as good or even better than the h1 because I notice that the h1 get too much background noise.
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Old June 21st, 2012, 05:38 AM   #13
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

Sadly, Magic Lantern doesn't work to turn the AGC off on the T3i: Unified - Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki

I use the H1 mounted on top of my GH1 ported directly into the camera and it doesn't sound very good (room noise and lack of presence). See the first :49 of
, which I recorded with the H1 on top of the camera. Lots of room noise - no "presence".

Compare with the first 1:49 of
, which I recorded with a wireless lav on the GH2 with the mic input turned down to "1" - almost no room noise. Lots of "presence" because the mic is a lot closer.

In my opinion, the VideoMic Pro is not a lot better at reducing room noise. See
. Lavs are a lot better.

But it would be a challenge to use a lav at a party - so I agree with Kevin - get an inexpensive wireless handheld like the one that comes with the http://www.amazon.com/Azden-WMS-PRO-Wireless-Microphone-System/dp/B00006JPD8 and pipe the receiver into the T3i. Have your subject hold the mic, or recruit a volunteer "interviewer" to chat with them. Getting the mic close enough to your subjects should overcome the AGC/room noise/noisy preamp problem. If you want a backup track you can route the audio from the wireless receiver via the H1's mic input and a http://www.adorama.com/SELN2ZOOMH4N.html from the H1's headphone out into the T3i.

I have a setup similar to this with a http://www.amazon.com/DR-40-4-Track-Portable-Digital-Recorder/dp/B005NACC6M and two wireless receivers instead of one - but the principle is the same. GH1/H1/Sescom cable setup on the left, GH2/wireless receiver/DR-40/Sescom cable setup on the right: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Q...7/S1010004.JPG

Hope this is helpful - please let us know how it turns out.

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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Old June 21st, 2012, 11:25 AM   #14
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
My second choice would be to get one of the mini-shotgun mics designed for shoe mounting on DSLRs such as one of these:
RDE Microphones - VideoMic
RDE Microphones - VideoMic Pro
After taking in account what people said and after researching a bit, I think I'm going to go with the Rode VideoMic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I might be inclined to loose the Glidecam and use a simple monopod.
I think I will loose my Glidecam and use a monopod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Nguyen View Post
I recommend you installing magic lantern to turn off the agc then input the rode videomicpro into your t3i..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner
Sadly, Magic Lantern doesn't work to turn the AGC off on the T3i
I have magic lantern installed on my camera, but as Bill said, you can not control the audio levels on the T3i with it.

Thank you to everyone who gave their input!
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Old June 21st, 2012, 11:30 AM   #15
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Re: Zoom H1 with DSLR?

I'd also have to agree with the Videomic Pro recommendations. There are items out there that can defeat AGC on a DSLR, but you're going to be spending a couple hundred bucks to get one. (Juicedlink, Beachtek for ex.) In an environment like that, you'd most likely want either a cardioid mic handheld, or a shotgun to focus the pickup pattern at the person speaking, and you get that in the Videomic or Videomic Pro, as well as being small, lightweight and inexpensive.
I tend to stay away from handheld recorders unless using it simply to record audio from a sound board, wireless kit, xlr mic or so on. The on board mics on it almost never see use though.
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