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Old June 30th, 2007, 02:10 AM   #1
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XH A1 mic choices

Hello Everyone!

I am about to be a proud owner of an XH A1 and have some questions about mic choices.

I've been looking at the AT4073a shotgun mic on B&H(http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...crophone.html). However i've been advised that the best general choice for a good mic is the AT4053 hypercardioid mic which is 48 bucks cheeper. My problem is that I may be doing some run and gun filming and will need an on camera mic. I will also be shooting docs which will require a boom pole. For these two reasons i've chosen the AT4073a mainly because i've never seen a hypercardioid mic attached to the mic mount on any camera. I'm no pro by any means and have no clue why I can't use a hypercardioid mic as an on camera mic. I've also never seen a hypercardioid mic used on a boom pole but of corse this is because i've simply not seen many film crews and am not familiar with the equipment.

If someone could help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your time.
-Terry.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
However i've been advised that the best general choice for a good mic is the AT4053 hypercardioid mic which is 48 bucks cheaper.
Actually the AT4053 is currently US$150 cheaper than the 4073.
Try clicking the "Add to cart for lower price" link for the AT4053..
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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at4073a is a very nice mic and would probably serve you as well as any mic on-camera.

the reason a hyper isn't used on-camera often, if ever, is because of the hyper's characteristic pick-up pattern -- it needs to be close and pointed right at the sound source. a cardioid (or even a shotgun) would be better -- far more forgiving and closer to the pick-up pattern of the built-in mics of most cams.

the at4053a (hyper), at4049a (omni) and at4051a (cardioid) are all actually part of the same excellent mic system -- all interchangeable caps on the at4900 handle/body.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #4
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ok so I suppose what I am looking for is a mic that can be used for both on camera audio and for a boom pole. Would the at4073a be a good choice or something else?

Is there a kit that has a boom pole, shock mount, wind guard etc...?

-Terry.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 12:01 AM   #5
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Are you sure?

I haven't had any experience with the XH-A1's. I WAS looking at them and contemplating whether or not to get them. I went with a couple of HVR-Z1U's.
They are SHARP!!!!!!
Not only do they look good but they they take OFF THE CHART VIDEO!!!

They are amazing, not only from a consumers take but a professional's perspective. They use them in the show "JAG" on CBS.
You may see an interview on the following link. http://sundancemediagroup.com/media/...ed_HVR-Z1U.wmv

I have been researching both of them for the past 4 months and went with the Z1U. I was expecting a lot out of them, and I got a lot more than what I was expecting(and that is a LOT)! haha

I just wanted to let you know what I have found.

Was there any reason why you would want A1 over the z1u besides the price, or did you not look into the Z1U's?

I don't want to degrade you at ALL! but I was just curious what you've found out.

Maybe you could bring light to something I didn't know about the 2 cameras.


Wow, I didn't know I would write this long! ha ha

Joseph
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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Henry Cho View Post
...
the reason a hyper isn't used on-camera often, if ever, is because of the hyper's characteristic pick-up pattern -- it needs to be close and pointed right at the sound source. a cardioid (or even a shotgun) would be better -- far more forgiving and closer to the pick-up pattern of the built-in mics of most cams. ....
Shotguns also need to be close to the sound source for proper pickup and their pattern is even tighter than a hyper, while plain cardioids have the least reach of all, typically only about 12 to 18 inches. On-camera mics have their uses - ambience and atmospheric sound for example - but virtually never for dialog recording.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 06:25 AM   #7
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thanks steve.

contrary to best practices, i'm resigned to the fact that on-camera mics can sometimes be a necessary evil, particularly in one-man crew live event stuff. i see shotguns on-camera all the time, but if i'm going handheld on the xha1 (or any camera), i would probably go with a cardioid -- because of it's wider polar pattern, the strange sound field perspective shifts that occur as the camera moves around isn't nearly as pronounced as it is with hypers (and shotguns), and the cardioid gives me some control in what i pick up, as opposed to an omni. i keep a couple of cardioids, an at4051a and me64 (when i need battery power), for mostly on-camera micing. proximity is key, and any sound captured beyond 3, maybe 4, feet that isn't expressly for ambient audio is probably junk. i'd scrap the on-camera mic idea whenever possible -- if a boom isn't an option, i'd go with lavs if i could.

i have the at4073a, and i can tell you it's a really nice shotgun. but if i were to pick up one mic, i'd probably go with a hyper, with support gear (fishpole, k-tek shock mount, rycote bbg, and quality cables), on a mic system with interchangeable caps (at, akg, etc), and pick up a cardioid cap for the times you want to put the mic on camera -- hmm, i guess that's technically two mics ;). xha1 has phantom power, so powering these mics shouldn't be an issue. in any case, that's my two cents.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #8
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Generally, a shotgun (e.g AT4073a) is for outdoor use and a HyperCardiod is for indoor (AT4053a). Using a long shotgun indoor would make you sound "tiny/hollow" due to sound reflection off the floor/ceiling.

If you must use shotgun in a small room and if its not on the frame, try padding the floors with sound blankets/towels.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #9
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...contrary to best practices, i'm resigned to the fact that on-camera mics can sometimes be a necessary evil, particularly in one-man crew live event stuff. i see shotguns on-camera all the time, ...
Very true but for the most part camera manufacturers put shotguns on the camera because a) customers expect to see cameras come with a mic on them; and b) for ENG purposes, where most DV cameras draw their inspiration, breaking news coverage says getting anything at all, even with complely crappy sound, is still better than not getting the story. But for music, dramatic dialog, speeches and presentations, etc, the compromised quality of sound you almost always get from an on-camera mic effectively negates the reasons for shooting the video in the first place, IMHO, as it simply can't transparently communicate the message that caused you to make the video. I'm not anywhere near as bothered by compromises in image quality as I am by less than perfect sound and I'm a far cry from being one of these golden-eared perfectionists one finds behind a recording studio mixing desk.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Hutson View Post
I haven't had any experience with the XH-A1's. I WAS looking at them and contemplating whether or not to get them. I went with a couple of HVR-Z1U's.
They are SHARP!!!!!!
Not only do they look good but they they take OFF THE CHART VIDEO!!!

They are amazing, not only from a consumers take but a professional's perspective. They use them in the show "JAG" on CBS.
You may see an interview on the following link. http://sundancemediagroup.com/media/...ed_HVR-Z1U.wmv

I have been researching both of them for the past 4 months and went with the Z1U. I was expecting a lot out of them, and I got a lot more than what I was expecting(and that is a LOT)! haha

I just wanted to let you know what I have found.

Was there any reason why you would want A1 over the z1u besides the price, or did you not look into the Z1U's?

I don't want to degrade you at ALL! but I was just curious what you've found out.

Maybe you could bring light to something I didn't know about the 2 cameras.


Wow, I didn't know I would write this long! ha ha

Joseph
Hey Joseph - No particular reason other than I really like Canon. I don't really know much about Digital Video or HDV for that matter. Canon has been a sponser for National Geograph for years and has always served them well. I figure the same for my needs. The camera also fits my price range, which is probably why I am sticking with it.

The video you posted was very informative. I have heard alot of good reviews for the Z1u and have considered. I may still change my mind, who know.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Hutson View Post
I haven't had any experience with the XH-A1's. I WAS looking at them and contemplating whether or not to get them. I went with a couple of HVR-Z1U's.
They are SHARP!!!!!!
Not only do they look good but they they take OFF THE CHART VIDEO!!!
Joseph
Maybe for still shots with not much moving in the background, but if you have a lot of action and/or a background of water or waving tree leaves, or are shooting a basketball game from the floor, the HDV video compression of HDV can be quite nasty.

regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; July 9th, 2007 at 03:44 PM. Reason: clarity
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