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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 9th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Videomic Pro Test

We've got to shoot a series of spots in the back country next week. Traveling on snowmobiles and unpredictable conditions so I wanted the option to fly a 5DII with the option of direct audio. So along with a 77mm Fader ND for the 24-105 we tested the VMP today and it being new and all I thought you might be interested. I'll comment on the FND and 24-105 below.

First I tested it in the studio into an H4N with a Sen ME66 and ME64. I didn't bother testing it against the Neumann because that wouldn't be relevant.

The VMP at +20 required only 9 (of 100) to equal the optimum level peaking at -6db where the Sens both needed about 60, so it definitely allows for optimum s/n.

The VMP at 5' average distance was fuller and rounder than the ME64 and obviously the ME66 (if you know the ME66), off axis rejection was good but not great. Overall nice sound.

Then we took it outdoors on the 5DII and again at +20 and were able to all but close the Canon pre. Unfortunately (see below) the wind was really gusting so getting controlled audio good enough to critique back here in the audio studio wasn't really possible but overall it functioned well, it's unobtrusive, light to fly on the camera.

So, it's definitely a good investment for an on-camera solution when you need it and while Rode makes some good stuff, unfortunately they made a few bad decisions with the VMP:

1 - the mic cord is inexcusably thin and frail and there's no way it will stand up to professional use - too bad because the audio quality deserves much better.

2 - the light plastic hot shoe mount is also unfortunate for a "professional" piece.

3 - while it's nice that they give a free dead cat with the VMP, they don't "include" it. No professional is going to go out without one on this mic, and requiring an online registration and then up to 6 weeks delivery is a very poor decision. In essence, for any serious work you will get the mic and then not use it for the several weeks while you wait for the dead cat - or do what we're doing and buy the one for the standard VM and hope it fits. So again, bad marketing concept as it's hardly an accessory - it's a necessity.

Otherwise good quality mic at a good price.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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Jim, thanks for the real world review.
The brown truck delivered my VMP this afternoon.
I plan to run my own tests with it over the next four days.
I will be using it with a Canon HV-20.

All the reviews I have read so far refer to using the +20 setting with DSLRs.
It will be interesting to see the results I get using the three available setting.

Did you conduct any specific test the the high frequency and flat filter selections?
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Old February 9th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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No Ed, the outdoor conditions didn't allow for any critical use of the HPF - way too much wind for that to have helped.

Be careful of the +20 setting on your camera...it's very hot.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #4
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does the 5d have autogain like the 7d?

and is it the Røde videomic pro (compact shotgun with two step high filter and 3 step level control)
that you are talking about?

thanks for sharing your observations!!

what does it cost stateside?
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #5
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With the 5D2, you can use autogain or set a fixed gain.

You can also run Magic Lantern, which lets you set the analog and digital gain separately. This can provide lower noise than Canon's manual gain control.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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thanks, unfortunately I'm on the 7d and up in the air about what to do about sound.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #7
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For now, the best in-camera solution is the JuicedLink DT454. It can kill the autogain and has all the features and performance you would need. If Canon adds manual gain, or if Magic Lantern gets ported, you would no longer need the autogain defeater, but the sound will be even better.

The other option is external. The H4n and DR-100 are good values. For a bit more cash, I really like the Fostex FR-2 LE. It's nearly as quiet as a Sound Devices recorder (though not as sturdy) and a fraction of the price. The ergonomics are MUCH better than the lower cost recorders for the dedicated sound operator.

Of course, it all depends on one's budget and how you work. Just plugging the VMP into the recorder into the 7D wouldn't be a bad value for the one-man-band who is recording incidental audio.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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My daughter took the HV-20 to school with her today, so I had to find something else to test the VMP with. I pulled out my Olympus WS-110 digital audio recorder, plugged in the VMP to the mic jack and my pair of Sony 7506 headphones into the earphone jack. It works well. One could use this combination (less the headphones) and hide the recorder/mic to capture remote audio.

After my daughter arrived home from school, I tested the VMP on the HV-20.
[I am curious as to why the VMP shoe would not slide all the way forward into the HV-20 receiver.}
The mic is sensitive enough that it picks up the air handling system background noise. The HPF setting knocks it down to a just audible level.
+20 picks the level up too high, 0 and -10 are acceptable levels.

Four feet is all the farther I tested it a sound source. I am looking forward to taking it outside when the weather improves.

Last edited by Ed Roo; February 10th, 2011 at 09:21 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:48 PM   #9
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Ed .. on the VMP loosen its shoe with a Phillips screwdriver, turn it 180 degrees and tighten it up.

It should then easily slide into the HV20s shoe receiver and lock down .. let's know how you go.

Cheers.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Westerstrom View Post
does the 5d have autogain like the 7d?

and is it the Røde videomic pro (compact shotgun with two step high filter and 3 step level control)
that you are talking about?

thanks for sharing your observations!!

what does it cost stateside?

Hi Chris , yes that's the one...the +20 is a real plus with the 5D, yuck, yuck.

Another plus is the LED power/battery indicator on the back.

It's about $230 US.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #11
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thanks Jim, appreciate that
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Old February 11th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Ed .. on the VMP loosen its shoe with a Phillips screwdriver, turn it 180 degrees and tighten it up.
It should then easily slide into the HV20s shoe receiver and lock down .. let's know how you go.
Cheers.

Allan, rotating the shoe 180-degrees didn't resolve the situation.

I will try to take some macro stills to post or send you directly.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #13
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Hi Ed, that's a hassle apologies from Rode, looks like your VMP shoe got through QC. Over the years I've had occasional fit problems with shoes, some worked in reverse and some I trimmed the edges to fit.

Can you email me your postal address thanks. No need to post pix.

Jim .. all Rode mic shoes are made from aluminium not plastic.

Cheers.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #14
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<<All Rode mic shoes are made from aluminium not plastic.>>

My apologies for misrepresenting that. It was the impression when I fitted it on yesterday but I certainly trust your word.
Tried deleting it from the original post but I don't have the edit option.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:51 PM   #15
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No problem Jim, the Rode mic shoes certainly look and feel like they're made from plastic. I believe your post edit option only stays open till midnight of the same day.

Also .. the VMP output cable is ultra-thin and flexible multi strand, meaning it will withstand many years of multiple bends and twists without actually breaking any of the internal wires inside the cable.

Rode specifically went with this style of cable to offer significantly lower noise transference than the original Videomic cable.

And I should have added above, if anyone does trim a slightly oversize male shoe to fit a female shoe, use a fine grade file .. and trial fit after EVERY pass. It's very easy to overdo it.

Cheers.
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