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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #196
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Why dog the MA-300?

I need some advice and hopefully someone to clear the air. I have read a lot of posts where people speakly lowly of the Canon MA300. However, almost to a person they are people who haven't ever used one. People usually say "It looks really fragile..." To me, that doesn't seem like a solid reason. I looked at B&H and it is listed as a TOP SELLER, but none of the other adapters are. That doesn't mean most people are correct, but it makes me wonder.
My purpose in getting one would be for times I want to use a quality mic and mount it right on the camera. For these times, I don't see the advantage of having a Beachtek mounted on the bottom of the camera. I see cables getting in the way while I'm adjusting the camera. I already own the Studio1 BP Pro. I use it when the mic is far away or in multiple mic/line situations. However, it's not easily portable.
Does anyone with direct experience with the MA-300 have advice for me? If the mic is mounted on the bracket and the cable is nice and short, have others experienced any problems?
OR, can anyone help me figure out an easier way to use my studio1 in this type of situation?
This is my first post, so thanks for any replies. I enjoy reading this community!

Tim

Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Stidham
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Dyer, IN (Chicago Area, USA)
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Old March 8th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
I need some advice and hopefully someone to clear the air.
Clear the air? What are you looking for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
However, almost to a person they are people who haven't ever used one. People usually say "It looks really fragile..." To me, that doesn't seem like a solid reason.
Why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
I looked at B&H and it is listed as a TOP SELLER, but none of the other adapters are. That doesn't mean most people are correct, but it makes me wonder.
Yes, I hear you wondering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
My purpose in getting one would be for times I want to use a quality mic and mount it right on the camera.
There are alternative ways to mount a quality mic without needing to resort to the MA300.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
For these times, I don't see the advantage of having a Beachtek mounted on the bottom of the camera.
I have no experience of the Beach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
Does anyone with direct experience with the MA-300 have advice for me?
Yes, 4 years worth.

* Community Events

* Hectic weddings

* Corporate work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
If the mic is mounted on the bracket and the cable is nice and short, have others experienced any problems?
Don't understand. I've used short XLR cabling to the XLR on the MA300. I've used a Rode Video Mic with a 3.5mm to XLR adaptor. I've used Sennie 66 and Rode together too! I've used Sennie wireless RX XLR and fixed XLR. I've used long - 20 metres - XLR cabling to the MA300.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Stidham
OR, can anyone help me figure out an easier way to use my studio1 in this type of situation?
Can't answer to the Studio 1 or Beachie. Been busy using the MA300.

Cleared the air? I think I just made it foggier for you.


Grazie
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #198
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Grazie,
No you haven't fogged it up, though you may have tried. I meant that I wanted someone like you to post on their actual experience. Thank you for doing so.
It seems to me that the MA300 could work just fine for what I have in mind. The comments you pulled from context in my original post refer to problems others have "anticipated" will happen if they use the MA300. That kind of comment isn't completely useless, but not as helpful as actual experiences from others. I've not read of many MA300 owners who have actually found the unit to be fragile in a way that hampered their work. A couple of people mentioned cables getting caught on things or pulled and "nearly breaking" the MA300. It sounds like you haven't had those problems. But again, "nearly breaking" sounds a lot like "not breaking" to me.
I am trying to avoid dealing with long cables for work where I'm not clamped down on a tripod. That's why the MA300 looked attractive to me. With the Studio1 I need longer cables b/c it is a body mounted unit (belt clip). Works great for boom and multi-mic set-ups, or when I'm taking a line feed to a tripod, but gets a little rediculous when I've just got a mic mounted on my GL2 and I'm walking around with the camera (falls off my belt, cables to think about etc, cables draw a little more attention...) The MA300 looks like a very short cable would work easily with it and it could stay totally out of my way while roaming and still getting better than built-in audio for walk-up interviews, etc... Maybe I should just consider the XLR to stereo mini low to high impedence adapters. I didn't really think of that. It's probably a lot less than $165.
I was also wondering of the input quality might be a little higher through the shoe vs. the mini-plug.
Is the sound quality identical? Any inherent advantage to going through the hot shoe vs. the mini-plug?
Are there any other good reasons to get the MA300?
Thanks for the reply. Anyone else want to chime in? I'm all ears.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 01:57 AM   #199
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IMHO, the MA300 came out as a quick response to then XLRs appearing on their competitors prosumers. The XL1 had the MA200 - I think? This was a way to get someone like me up and running with XLRs. Personally I DON'T like the lightweight way it is secured to the hotshoe - I would have preferred it having a more of a Panasonic heavier XLR dock. But this WAS 4 years back.

Now I'm waiting for Mr Sony to come out with a HD successor to our SD XM2 range. If it does NOT have integrated XLRs I really hope this MA300 will still be relevant. If not, I'll sell it!

The one thing you can rely upon in playing this "sport" of accessory "Catch-Up"- is that you can't rely on anything!

You may wish to consider that maybe the next model of this XM2/3/4 will incorporate XLR. IMHO, the actual camera is no slouch when it comes to separate channel, in-camera mixing. I'm not arguing against a Beachie. All I'm saying is that the audio controls - 2-dials and MIC ATTN and visible levels in 3 places! - has got me through some miserable shooting jobs. So, another "external" box may just be overkill - considering where we are in the accessory cycle.

Grazie
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Old March 9th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #200
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i have (had, i mean) the MA-300 and the Beachtek DXA-8. i broke the MA-300 by dropping it. oopsy. to its credit, it took awhile to die, even though i broke off a piece which looked somewhat crucial....

i thought the MA-300 worked perfectly well...it gave good sound whether i used it on-camera (almost never) or off-camera with a longer cable, mounted to a mic stand. disadvantages are that it is a strange shape with more exposed, breakable parts. it doesn't pack readily unless you wrap it in some sort of protective cloth or else carve out a designated foam spot in a hard case--something along those lines.

a big advantage is that it doesn't suck batteries like the DXA-8. although, the smaller Beachtek units don't have this problem. also, it is light weight, easy to carry, and easy to install. i would not purchase another, since i bought the DXA-8 to use with an FX-1 and can use it with the GL2 in a pinch (it's also useful for VO work because i can plug it into my computer to get 48V phantom power for a VO mic, something else which you don't get with an MA-300). i don't use my GL2 much anymore since i have other cameras. mostly for home movies and when i need a very light camera for image capture. and never, when i know that i need good sound because my particular GL2 is sort of noisy in that department.

if you want a unit to record basic interviews or ambient noise, the MA-300 is easily up to the job. i guess it depends on your usage. if i'm remembering correctly (someone correct me if i'm wrong), you can't line it out to another unit, a mixer, for instance, either, so it has its limits. but i think for basic field use, it's fine. i would not recommending spending more money for features i would not use.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #201
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I have bought a Beachtek box, despite the considerable extra cost because my XM2 is always used outdoors and when I saw what the MA300 looked like fitted to the camera hot shoe I was sure that it would not be long before it took a knock and was damaged. The probability is that the force transmitted to the camera hot shoe would cause damage to that also.

Maybe I am clumsy - no, on reflection, I AM clumsy. But it still looks vulnerable up there.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #202
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I'm one of the ones who always recommends beachteks over the MA300, and true, I've never owned an MA300.

My recommendation is based upon the obvious (once you've looked) differences in functionality for the same price. No one has ever rebutted that argument. I don't believe I've ever mentioned fragility.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #203
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You can buy a beachteck with phantom power, whereas the MA300 - correct me if I'm wrong - doesn't have the ability to provide phantom power.
And it's better and more solid built.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #204
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Thanks everyone! I had to go out of town for a meeting, so I'm sorry to reply so late. All of your input is thoughtful and helpful. Phantom power is something I should consider. Does the Beachtek work well with an attached tripod plate? I use the 501 Bogen/Manfrotto head and leave the plate on my GL2 all the time. I assume the Beachtek would attach to the camera and the plate would attach to the Beachtek, right? Is the Beachtek likely to get damaged if I leave it attached when I'm attaching to the tripod? Does it start to look like a bad ice cream sandwich with two things on the bottom? :) Seriously, does the camera balance okay handheld with both attached? Anyone else with experience?
Thank you again to all.

Tim
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Old March 10th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #205
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Okay, I'm starting to lean toward the Beachtek...Is the Beachtek a lot better than the Studio1? Since I have the Studio1 (similar to the Beachtek, but doesn't mount), I was looking at the MA300 as an alternative for on-camera mic work. If you are using a camera mounted mic with the Beachtek, what kind of cabling (length, right angle or straight) do some of you use? Thanks again.

Tim
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Old January 31st, 2007, 05:26 PM   #206
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Canon MA-300 Audio Hum/Buzz!!??

Hello,
I am getting into the field of Legal Video. I recently bought everything necessary to build a legal deposition kit, using my Canon GL-2 camera. I have everything working, except for a buzz/hum in the audio. I have the buzz/hum narrowed down to the MA-300 Advanced Accessory Shoe. The buzz hum occurs when the MA-300 has both XLRs attached, and RCA video input, and BNC output. Ideally the MA-300 should be able to handle this.

I made sure to get balanced, shielded XLR cables. According to Canon, the
MA-300 is balanced. I think the hum/buzz might have something to do with electricity as well. When I have my Panasonic SVHS tape decks turned on the buzz is louder. When I turn a light on, then buzz gets louder. Also, when I open the IRIS up, or have the shutter speed low, or boost the Db gain, the buzz gets louder as well.

Here is the signal flow dealing with the camera and the MA-300:
I have a Mackie 1402 Audio Mixer. I have 4 XLR Audio Technica AT831B lavalier by phantom power. I've plugged the headphones into the Mackie board, and the audio is great, no hum at all.

I have to output video signal as BNC from the MA-300 so I can input video into a Horita Time-Date Generator. To do this, I run the 1/8 inch AV cable (which is a single plug on one end, and splits into three RCAs ...video(yellow), stereo audio (red, white). I am running the RCA audio outputs into a Panasonic AG-5700 SVHS deck. The RCA video output from the camera, plugs into the MA-300 RCA video input to convert the signal to BNC out. From the BNC out I have a 10 ft. BNC cable, which connects to the Horita. From the Horita output, I run a BNC video out into a Panasonic AG-5700 SVHS deck.

THE AUDIO HUM GOES AWAY WHEN:
When I disconnect one of the XLRs from the accessory shoe input, or from the output of the Mackie, the buzz goes away. Also when I unhook the RCA in, or the BNC out, the buzz goes away.

I just spoke with Canon technical support, and after a long signal flow
discussion, the guy suggested I send the MA-300 in for service. My one year warranty is expired, but I have used the MA-300 only a few times, and it worked fine. Twice, I used it only for audio, running an XLR feed from an audio board into the MA-300. The other time I needed to convert the video to BNC. I never have tested running audio and video at the same time. Of course I find out about the audio hum when both are in use, after I spend LOTS of money on the needed deposition gear.

This is frustrating. This audio hum is the main thing holding me back from getting started doing legal video depositions.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 05:30 PM   #207
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Canon MA-300 Audio Hum/Buzz!!??

Hello,
I am getting into the field of Legal Video. I recently bought everything necessary to build a legal deposition kit, using my Canon GL-2 camera. I have everything working, except for a buzz/hum in the audio. I have the buzz/hum narrowed down to the MA-300 Advanced Accessory Shoe. The buzz hum occurs when the MA-300 has both XLRs attached, and RCA video input, and BNC output. Ideally the MA-300 should be able to handle this.

I made sure to get balanced, shielded XLR cables. According to Canon, the
MA-300 is balanced. I think the hum/buzz might have something to do with electricity as well. When I have my Panasonic SVHS tape decks turned on the buzz is louder. When I turn a light on, then buzz gets louder. Also, when I open the IRIS up, or have the shutter speed low, or boost the Db gain, the buzz gets louder as well.

Here is the signal flow dealing with the camera and the MA-300:
I have a Mackie 1402 Audio Mixer. I have 4 XLR Audio Technica AT831B lavalier by phantom power. I've plugged the headphones into the Mackie board, and the audio is great, no hum at all.

I have to output video signal as BNC from the MA-300 so I can input video into a Horita Time-Date Generator. To do this, I run the 1/8 inch AV cable (which is a single plug on one end, and splits into three RCAs ...video(yellow), stereo audio (red, white). I am running the RCA audio outputs into a Panasonic AG-5700 SVHS deck. The RCA video output from the camera, plugs into the MA-300 RCA video input to convert the signal to BNC out. From the BNC out I have a 10 ft. BNC cable, which connects to the Horita. From the Horita output, I run a BNC video out into a Panasonic AG-5700 SVHS deck.

THE AUDIO HUM GOES AWAY WHEN:
When I disconnect one of the XLRs from the accessory shoe input, or from the output of the Mackie, the buzz goes away. Also when I unhook the RCA in, or the BNC out, the buzz goes away.

I just spoke with Canon technical support, and after a long signal flow
discussion, the guy suggested I send the MA-300 in for service. My one year warranty is expired, but I have used the MA-300 only a few times, and it worked fine. Twice, I used it only for audio, running an XLR feed from an audio board into the MA-300. The other time I needed to convert the video to BNC. I never have tested running audio and video at the same time. Of course I find out about the audio hum when both are in use, after I spend LOTS of money on the needed deposition gear.

This is frustrating. This audio hum is the main thing holding me back from
getting started doing legal video depositions.

Any suggestions? Thanks,

Caleb Hansen
HansenVideo.com
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Old February 1st, 2007, 12:49 AM   #208
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Hmm. Sounds a bit like a ground loop. Is the hum at 60Hz?

So just to confirm, the buzz goes away when you have everything connected (including both XLRs) but you unplug the RCA video?

If that's the case, to eliminate the video signal from the equation, can you try a simple RCA-BNC converter instead of plugging the RCA video out from the camera into the MA-300? these are cheap and it'll isolate the video from the MA-300 in case that is doing something weird.

Is the hum present when monitoring the audio from the camera? or is it only on the final tape?

Cheers,
Kyle
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:16 AM   #209
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Battery or AC power

Are you using a battery in the camera? Or are you using AC power? It can make a difference, with AC being the culprit--a grounding issue.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:22 PM   #210
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Yes, it is the 60 Hz hum

After doing some reading, I think I am experiencing the 60 Hz ground loop hum.

No, the buzz is there when the everything is connected to the MA-300 (2 XLRs, RCA in, RCA out). I also noticed it when just the XLRs are plugged in to the MA-300.

I think I will have to try the RCA-BNC converters.

The hum is present when monitoring the audio from the camera and on the final tape?

Both.

I am using a battery on the camera. I've tried it with AC power too, but still get the both with both.

Someone in another forum mentioned using 3 prong to 2 prong adapters. I had one on hand and attached it to the power strip/surge protector going into the wall. It cured the hum!! But from what I have read, that is not the correct way to cure the 60 Hz hum. You run the risk of damaging your equipment.

So I am looking into a ground loop eliminator. Prices vary from $30 on up from what I have seen.
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