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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old February 26th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bill Binder View Post
If you were to rent a pro audio package, it would not include an H4n, that much I'm sure of.
I agree, and even a Sony D1 (or a D50) will blow the lid off the H4n. Frankly, I'm surprised that so many are still gaga over that noisy plastic thingee.

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Hell, as far as I can tell, they don't even publish any of the important specs (e.g., Frequency Response, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, Dynamic Range, Total Harmonic Distortion, etc.).
Not to open up a new can of worms here, but that's how I mostly pick (or avoid) my poison -- I try to rely on professional specs rather than someone's "sounds good to me" opinion. Hence, when a product lacks a proper spec (like the H4n or the 5DMKII's audio for that matter) to me that's a big red flag.

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Old February 27th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
I can't agree with you here...that you can't get that kind of sound with an H4N. If you're recording with a Schoeps or Neumann through a preamp even as simple as the Sound Devices gear you can get cinema sound with an H4N including silky and crisp...
I only tested the H4n with the native XLR input and preamps. To my ears, it sounded a bit mushy compared to the JL/5D2/ML combo. I believe that I was hearing phase distortion - the low, high, and mid frequencies aren't perfectly coincident, so the impulses aren't crisp. And it wasn't just a matter of lacking high frequencies. It was also slightly noisier (about 6dB) than the JL/5D2/ML.

Keep in mind, I'm being picky here. It sounds very competent, just not excellent.

Given that the juicedLink can transform even the crummy Microtrack II into a usable recorder, I would think that you're right, Jim, that a better preamp would give the H4n a step or two up the ladder. I don't know that it would fix the phase non-linearity though. That's probably in the anti-aliasing filter.

In fact, I'd love to test the JL/5D2/ML with a sweet anti-aliasing filter between the preamp and camera, if not built into the preamp. That would almost certainly eliminate any harshness due to aliasing, and could keep it crisp with linear phase.

Anyway, I don't doubt that the H4n can really sing with an external preamp. But I haven't tested it like that.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #18
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With my experience with Magic Lantern, it is clear that you a preamp is still the best method of recording sound to camera. The CX 231 from Juiced Link is the minimum requirement, I think. I have used a more powerful field mixer and Magic Lantern with good effect.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the info guys - truly an education.

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Old February 27th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #20
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Even with a field mixer for the boom op, a juicedLink is nice. It lets you keep the unbalanced run to the camera short. At a minimum, use one or two XLR transformers right near the camera for use with a field mixer, so all long runs are balanced.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #21
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My last thought on this: I don't think terms like "gaga" are very helpful in these discussions and I don't know of a serious music producer or engineer that doesn't rely on their ears and experience over published specs - that's the reverse of the way it works in professional audio....film making too.

All that matters is what the listener hears and what the viewer sees and some of the best and most successful audio ever produced was recorded on gear far less capable than the H4N in terms of reproduction. That's not snarky or an opinion it's simply the truth, including some top, Grammy winning stuff - I've recorded in some of the studios.

Same thing with films. Real commercial successes and very profitable productions are made all time with gear that a lot of people on this board and others would demean as cheap or consumer or whatever brand people sometimes put on things. We've done a good deal of award winning work in both film and music with everything from 35mm and 48 track digital to Xl1s and the H4N.

I run one of the highest end recording studios in my part of the world and I certainly like what I've gotten out of the H4n when I've used it for broadcast and corporate. I mean seriously...nearly all radio production is delivered MP3 today - we used to have a dedicated T1 line in our room just to deliver daily production to the stations.

I like encouraging people to focus on the best gear they can afford with the confidence that the most important aspect is what they put in to it.

So it goes.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Even with a field mixer for the boom op, a juicedLink is nice. It lets you keep the unbalanced run to the camera short. At a minimum, use one or two XLR transformers right near the camera for use with a field mixer, so all long runs are balanced.
Absolutely agree, and that is what I do !
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 03:03 PM   #23
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Well, Canon came through with manual audio control. Having come from film, it's not such a deal breaker for me, but I know it's very important to some users.

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Old May 15th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #24
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Maual audio control only works pre-recording right. I looked at the display while videoing qanf there was not way to see how the video was going. No way to see or adjust during actual recording....correct? Seems like that defeats the purpose. Auto in someways seems better in cases where the levels would vary greatly during actual recording.
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