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Old June 7th, 2013, 07:39 PM   #1
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Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I am looking to buy a mic to attach to the Canon XA20 coming out next week. It has XLR inputs. The goal is to use the mic to allow wedding guests to say well-wishes to the bride and groom during the reception. I am hoping a shotgun style mic will help tone down some of the background noise. I imagine a handheld plugged straight in camera would produce higher quality, but being a one-man-show, I like the ease of the on-camera mic for this part of the job (plus I don't like handing my gear to strangers...who might have had a few too many). Funds are tight as I am already purchasing another camera. What would give me the best bang for the buck for this? Thanks!
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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: Economicaeramera Shotgun for Interviews

A camera mounted mic is about the worse place for a 'interview' mic, no matter how much you spend, furthermore.. shotgun mics are not always the best choice for interiors and in some instances can be a problem, mitigating their inherent off-axis 'noise canceling'.
A (hand held) omni direction dynamic mic would be a much better choice. which are affordable for less than $100, at most $200 for a Sennhieser MD 42 or 46. other popular 'news reporter' mics are the EV 635, RE50, Shure VP64, AT804.. amongst others.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I do believe you. I realize the closer the mic to the talent's mouth...etc. It is just a tough situation for a handheld. I will be walking around a reception hall (without an assistant) giving guests seated around a table a chance to wave and say short oneliners to the happy couple. This footage ends up as a special feature on their DVD. I have lavs for the ceremony and during the speeches. I don't want the struggle of passing a handheld around the table while Uncle Joey starts talking as soon as he sees the camera. I am afraid I'll miss too much, and not find the guests as cooperative. I am not expecting the quality to be on par with the audio from the ceremony, but speed and convienience is important at a wedding- more so when shooting alone. Any suggestions?
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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #4
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

Sorry. I realize the word "interview" in the title is a bit misleading to what I need. I will not be interviewing them. They are just saying quick "I love you two" and "Congrats" and "Treat her right" etc.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #5
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

Byron,

In your application a good mic on the camera will give you better sound. Since you don't need the normal standards of a broadcast interview you should be fine as long as you can keep the camera (and mic) within a few feet from the subject speaking.

You will want to spend some extra $$ and get a GOOD shock mount to minimize the handling noise from the camera. You don't want to hear every time your finger taps against the side of the camera or pushes a button from vibrations being conducted into the body of the mic.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 11:11 PM   #6
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

Get a hand held radio mic and feed that into one channel and a fx mic into the other.
Most radio mic brands make a plug on transmitter.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 01:43 AM   #7
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

He wants a camera mounted mic, because he does not wish to give them a handheld.

He knows the problems, so it's a genuine request for a product. The newish Sennheiser seems to be getting good reports and is not too expensive - the MKE 600. In a noisy room, then distance is the enemy, and frankly, giving the people a microphone doesn't guarantee they will use it properly. An omni used well is great, but too far away will make the room noise even worse!
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Old June 8th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I learn quick. I can tell by the hesitance to recommend a shotgun mic for this application that you really don't like on camera mics. Point taken. I will normally try to setup a stationary camera with attached handheld and let them come to me. That will also allow me to monitor and adjust the levels for each person more easily. However, when that isn't possible, I will need to go the shotgun on camera route. Thanks for the suggestion of the MKE 600. I'll look into it. In regards to the shock mount, is the mount that comes with the canon XA20 not good enough to prevent camera noise from transferring over?
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Old June 8th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

You can certainly try the on camera mount and see if it works OK. If you get handling noise spend you'll need to spend $50 to $80 for a shock mount.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #10
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I agree with others that for what is generally considered "interviews" a shotgun mic is a bad choice. However when you explained it is for short guest comments at receptions I think a shotgun mic will work just fine.

I own the Rode NTG-2, Rode Video Mic, and Rode Video Mic Pro. I strongly recommend the NTG-2 in a shock mount if your budget will allow it. It is big enough you will want to get a light & sound shoe bracket that will raise the mic high enough above the camera to not get in the shot.

if your budget is lower the Rode Videomic is amazing for the money.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I would recommend the AT875r very short shotgun-style mic, about $157 online.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

Thank you very much for the suggestions! I am reading up on them now.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:31 AM   #13
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

I use the AT 875r and is has a very good focussed sound so is ideal for grabbed on camera sound bites.

You still need to be close though with the subject within four feet of the camera.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 08:02 AM   #14
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

With a couple recommendations, good reviews, shorter length, and lower price point, the AT875r is sounding pretty good. (Sorry for the pun)
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Old June 9th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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Re: Economical On-Camera Shotgun for Interviews

Another alternative is the fairly low cost short shotguns that are available on e-bay, they are the captive lead ones and the one on my camera is branded panasonic AG-MC700P but they also do some that are sony branded. Not as good as an AT875r but it may be better to have a cam mic and an 875r that can be hand held and closer to the subject?

This is an example of the camera mic sound from a scene for a kids drama I did, the actual prod sound was the radio AT875r that she is holding but you can hear what was grabbed on the camera mic here:
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