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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old February 6th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Recording quality sound to 7D - mic tests

I've been trying to find out as much information as possible about the off-camera sound recording options and the quality of sound for all the DSLRs available today.
I'm particularly examing different shotgun mics, XLR cable options, the Zoom H4n and radio mics.

So far the H4n seems like a decent option, combined with a decent radio mic set-up for distance work.

Here is a test of some of the options, (found while scrolling the net):

YouTube - Canon 7d Audio Mic test 2 with zoom h4n, Sennheiser ME66, and Azden SMG-2X

I would very much like to hear of anyone working with the 7D, 5D Mk II, D3s, D300s etc., who have found a way to record high quality sound to the DSLR without needing to capture recordings seperately and sync sound later in post.

One of the biggest bugs is controlling the 'hiss' levels', although options like the H4n tends to record quite cleanly at high levels so that you can reduce these levels later in post. At least it helps prevent the 'peak & drop' of using the horrible onboard DSLR mics.

Has anyone used a decent radio mic system such as the pro-level Sennheiser or Sony models and captured clean recordings - meaning in comparison to say, a Canon XL-H1 matched to a radio mic connected through XLR port? I use the Sony WRT/WRR radio mic system on the Canon XL camcorders and want to know if I could obtain similar quality sound using them on a DSLR.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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At this point the only way you're going to override the auto gain is to use that new JuicedLink device with the gadget that tricks the gain into not behaving so badly. Even the, in my opinion, you're better off with the Zoom H4N and doing double system sound. Syncing is easy, and there's even some software out there for $149 that does it automatically if you don't have the capability of looking at your audio waveforms on your timeline.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #3
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Yes, I've looked at the JuicedLink too, although I think it only works well with mono.

The H4n seems one of the best devices I've seen during my searches. Are you using one Bill?
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Old February 8th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Tony,

I used the H4N on several shoots with the 5D/7D to get double system sound and it is easy to sync up in Premiere with the nat sound from the camera. It is very important to keep good notes and use at least a hand clap and a voice over saying which take it is as seen on the H4N (i.e. 005.wav, 006.wav, etc.)

What I like to do is sound out the file number from the camera and the file number from the H4N while using a clapboard. Then when you are editing and you have found the right video clips, listen for you audio cue and then grap that clip and match the waveform on you timeline.

Now, with that said, and having switched to the 7D, I am waiting for Magic Latern or someone to come out with the firmware that corrects the AGC. I would rather do single system audio with a BeachTek or similar device.

Bottomline, if you want the best audio, you will not go wrong with the H4N.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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The Zoom H4N & PluralEyes software for sync make a fantastic combo. I did my first interview set up with this gear + 7D recently and found it easy to use, intuitive, fast and exceptional quality.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Only disadvantage of PluralEyes is that it's not available (yet) for Premiere.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #7
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How about in regards to shooting weddings? That could mean a lot of syncing up to do! Does anyone have experience using a 7D/5D at a wedding? I've seen the Beachtek system on a 7D once.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #8
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Does it matter if we record the audio (using H4N for e.g) either in 44.1KHz or 48KHz? As I understand it, digital video is normally recorded in 48KHz (and FCP sets this value by default too). I'm wondering if this is in effect, the audio version of 'frame rate'.

Following that, how do we determine which video frame rate the audio syncs to - 24fps, 50fps or 60fps?
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Old February 8th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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Chris, I'm rarely in a position to use clapper or voice-over etc while shooting, especially when filming solo in remote locations.
I'm quite experienced at matching seperate sound recordings in post, but want a foolproof system for solo filming and sound-recording that doesn't involve too much extra work or lip-sync headaches during the later editing stages.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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In-Camera vs Double Sound

I'm asking the same questions. For what it's worth, I found Jon's video assessment to be helpful (
). However, I'm still looking in to see what others do w/ an in-camera solution.

I agree that sound can certainly be captured and synced in post, but if there's an acceptable level of audio that can be taken in-camera, that'd be great! I think I'll have to simply take the dive and test the in camera solution knowing the H4N will likely work.

Best regards, and if anyone has additional comments, certainly interested in those!
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