Hot-shoe mount shotgun for GL-2 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 12th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #1
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Hot-shoe mount shotgun for GL-2

Are there any camera-mountable shotgun mics (for under $250 US) for the GL-2 that will use the hot-shoe for the sound signal without having to run a separate mic cable to the mic jack on the side of the camera?

Oh, and the Canon DM-50 doesn't count; I've heard nothing but bad things about it.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #2
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I have the Canon mic, and haven't had any problems. I haven't seen anyone have any problems with one either. What kind of problems have you heard about?
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Old April 12th, 2004, 08:54 PM   #3
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Canon DM-50's reputation

I've not personally tested mics but I've noticed that the general consensus in this forum seems to indicate the DM-50 is a generably undesirable shotgun mic -- poor sound quality is the typical complaint.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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What I have heard about the "50" is that it just is not much (if any) of an improvement over the on-board mic, so it is hard to justify spending the cash for it. You would be better served to save a bit for a true step up in quality. I am not aware of any other mic that connects via the hot-shoe.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #5
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In the tests I've run with my onboard and shotgun, the shotgun was definately much better. However, I can't say how the Canon shotgun would compare to a higher priced model shotgun, as I haven't run any tests with those. I'm sure someone else here can chime in on that. Maybe try searching the forums as well.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 10:16 PM   #6
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Shotgun options

If there aren't any third-party shotguns available that integrate with the hot-shoe, do I need to get the MA-300 microphone adapter (since most quality shotgun mics use XLR connectors)?

I realize there has been discussion about shotgun mics before, but for the sake of review, what do you recommend for under the $250 cap?
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Old April 12th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #7
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You can get a cord that will go from XLR on one end to the mic input (I forget the size) on the GL2. There are also very competitive options to the MA-300 if you go that route. Check out the "XLR-pro" from Sign Video (nice, and cheaper), and there are others (more popular) as well. I have the XLR pro and it works great for the cost ($145). However, you still need a mic, so even that is not an option for under $250. If Travis can speak well (with his own expierience to boot) of the DM-50, that would push me towards a purchase. I am just relaying things I heard about them, but he can speak from a better perspective. The more you look into things, the more you find to look at. It can get brutal (and expensive) quickly. Good luck :)
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Old April 12th, 2004, 10:57 PM   #8
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Just FYI, I realize that -- like buying cars -- the price goes up as soon as you start to accessorize. With that in mind, I'm assuming that any purchase of a mic adapter like the XLR-Pro or the Canon MA-300 would be a separate purchase from the shotgun microphone; therefore the $250 budget applies to the mic itself, not any accessories needed to connect it.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #9
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Cool. I will simply tell you what I have. The XLR-Pro, and the AT897 shotgun mic. The AT is a little over $250 (I think I paid $279). The sound is great, compared to the on-board GL2 mic I was very impressed and have not regretted the increase in my original budget. My initial plan was also for the DM-50. Another thing to consider; I also picked up a isolated mic holder (important to get) for 20-30 bucks, and I got a tri-mount adapter to have the option of available shoe mounts, it was also around 30 bucks.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 11:17 PM   #10
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I've thought about the mic you are talking about, but am curious about cables. How do you connect the mic to the GL-2? Since you're using the XLR-pro, I assume you don't have to convert from the mic's XLR to 1/8" mini-jack ... how long of a cable do you have sticking out the back of the mic? Where'd you get it? And how do you keep it out of the way?
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Old April 12th, 2004, 11:29 PM   #11
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The XLR-Pro connects to the GL2 via a short cord (no issues with it being in the way so far) with a 1/8" jack. I use a 2' XLR cord from the mic to the XLR-Pro. Depending on how you will mount the cam could be a factor here, on a tripod you would be fine I think, other applications may require some thought. The XLR-Pro mounts to the bottom of the cam and will cause some problems if you are going hand-held. I purchased all items from Zotz Digital (a sponsor of this board, and I would heartily endorse them myself) You can look at all this gear by searching that site, look at the "sponsors" link on the dvinfo home page. They have pictures, so I'll spare you a thousand words (hehe)
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Old April 12th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #12
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I'm going to be doing a shoot where I'll be walking around hand-held getting random footage within a crowd, sort of like the crowd cameras on MTV's Beach House dance scenes. I need a shotgun mic that is light and mounted to the top of the camera, preferably with no or very short cables. It won't be a particulary noisy environment, with most sound being spontaneous dialogue, so audio quality is somewhat important (but not super critical, hence the $250 budget).

With that in mind, do you still make the same recommendations?
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Old April 13th, 2004, 12:08 AM   #13
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With that in mind, I would lean to the DM-50. The cables are not a big issue, but the XLR-Pro is going to be a pain if you are not using some type of cam mount (ie. strictly hand held) Of course you could still use the AT897 with the modified XLR cable to connect direct to the cam audio input, or spend more money on the MA-300 with the hot shoe mount , although the cables and such may be a issue here also with hand held. Any of these mics will be mounted to the top of the cam, but the adapters vary, and create the need for a few cables. The DM-50 is not crap, but there are better (man, aint that always the case) quality mics out there. Bottom line, considering Travis' comments and the practical application you have, I would say get the DM-50. It should do the trick, and nicely fit your budget.
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Old April 13th, 2004, 02:17 AM   #14
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I have the Studio 1 Productions XLR-BP Pro Belt Clip XLR Adapter which clips on my belt and an xlr shotgun mounted on the hot shoe (Azden). If the cables are the right length then it's no problem as a portable. There are several third party hotshoe mics available that have 1/8" jacks on them that can plug directly into the mic port. MKE 300 seems to pop into my head.

Also I find that if you use the on board mic with the windscreen on and the levels manually set to about 50% to 75% then you don't hear any camera noise. Thats the XM2 I'm talking about.
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Old April 13th, 2004, 03:05 PM   #15
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Follow-up:

My local video equipment store had an Azden SGM-X available (I'm in kind of a hurry) so I bought it. The diff between it and the SGM-1X is as follows:

SGM-X: small LR-44 battery, 150 hours lifespan
SGM-1X: AAA batteries, 800 hours lifespan

SGM-X: 8+ inches long
SGM-1X: 11+ inches long

SGM-X: 1/8" mini plug output
SGM-1X: XLR output

SGM-X: 1500 ohm impedence
SGM-1X: 680 ohm impedence

SGM-X: plastic mount (no shock protection)
SGM-1X: plastic shock mount

There is a bit of a difference in price, of course. The docs for the SGM-X say it is designed specifically for camcorders like the GL-2. It comes with a short 1/8"-1/8" cable.

I went this route because it saved me the hassle of converting XLR to 1/8" mini-plug AND it was available (I didn't have to mail-order it) right now from a local dealer.

I got it for $120 US, which I thought was fair.

I'll let you know how it sounds in a later post.
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