Beachtek DXA5D audio tests at DVinfo.net

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Old June 11th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #1
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Beachtek DXA5D audio tests

Sorry this has taken a while to post but I wanted to make sure my results were correct and that I had to chance to query Beachtek about them.

BeachTek DXA-5D Audio Test, Part 1 on Vimeo
Beachtek DXA-5D Audio Test, Part 2 on Vimeo

and a quick real world test with Sennheiser EW112p radio mics The Barclays Premiership Trophy visits Katine on Vimeo

For the most part the disable AGC control works quite well, although it does not completely eliminate gain changes in the way a 1khz tone generator does, it is usable. There is also significant bleed between audio channels although at this point I'm still trying to determine if that is the adapter or the cameras fault.

The DXA5D does give far more flexibility to the 5DmkII than before but those hoping to get low noise by just plugging in their favourite shotgun mic are likely to be dissappointed. The lack of pre-amps means your best options are to use radio mics or a mixer to get a higher level into the DXA5D. Also, as the manual states, the headphone monitoring is not of the same quality as the output to camera, it is actually more noisy.

Here is Beachtek's response to my tests "I believe your video proves that you need to use a sensitive mic to get the best results from this camera. Remember that the adapter is a passive device and you would normally leave the trim controls at full max no attenuation for unity gain. It also shows that the AGC disable feature greatly reduces the noise during quiet moments."

"Note that you will never be able to compare the audio from this camera to a dedicated professional digital audio recorder. As I have often stated in my many emails, the audio features on this camera were added as an after thought which makes capturing professional audio a real challenge. That is why we incorporated a second output jack on the adapter to record to a digital recorder such as a Zoom H4 or Sony PCM-D50 when very high quality audio is required."

"Recording audio on this camera is fine for interviews and such or as a backup provided that you use a sensitive condenser type mic. Wireless mics and a feed from a portable mixer work best."

Dan
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Old June 11th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
and a quick real world test with Sennheiser EW112p radio mics The Barclays Premiership Trophy visits Katine on Vimeo
The sound is not great in parts of this video. There is a frequent low rumble that is presumably wind noise but also a lot of hiss on one scene starting 15 seconds in.

The other tests weren't very inspiring. I am bemused why Beachtek have omitted pre-amps. Whether the AGC is off or on the sound is better with a good strong signal from the microphone. TBH I can live with a bit of hiss in the quiet passages if that means the speech is good & clear as the hiss can be mitigated in post.

BTW Your lovely assistant is very patient & vice versa.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 11th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Many thanks for posting this test and for me that just about clinches it in favor of an off-camera solution. Anyone else got their beachtek order yet?
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Old June 11th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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Thank you tremendously for the work that you put into testing this unit. I have been curious about it since I first heard of it's existence. I am not completely thrilled with the results though and will continue to capture audio externally.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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Dan, thank you very much for testing the DXA-5D so thoroughly. I believe I will get it for my camera, despite its limitations. There are very few options for doing run and gun shots, besides going double system with a digital recorder like a zoom h4n or otherwise. The levels on the adapter, plus a headphone jack and adjustable trim pots will be very helpful.
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