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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old February 17th, 2003, 11:15 AM   #1
Heather Denny
 
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lavalier for documentary work

I just received my GL2 and I'm wondering what type of lavalier all of you would suggest for recording interviews for documenteries. It doesn't have to be wireless. How do these connect to the GL2?

Thanks so much.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #2
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How much are you will to spend? If just plain cheap is desired, Radio Shack makes a decent lav for about $30.

My guess is that if you are planning to shoot documentaries, you might want to look at add-on audio adapters (Don knows some good ones, he'll chime in) and a wireless mic.

My recommendation on a wireless is the EW112P by Sennheiser. At around $450 its a real deal.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #3
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Welcome Heather

You'll probably get more opinions on this than you ever imagined. Nathan's suggestions are good; it really depends on how much you want to spend.

For a wired lav, I generally use a Sony ECM-55B. Very smooth sound. For wireless, I use a Samson UHF 32 Diversity kit which featurs an Audio-Technica lav. Both of these options will require an XLR audio connection adapter (such as a BeachTek or Canon's own) for your GL2.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 12:37 PM   #4
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I have a number of consumer-grade mics with which I've done some preliminary testing. I have more to do, but I found the early results promising.

The two lavalieres I tested were the wired Audio Technica ATR35s ($35 at Best Buy) and the wireless Sony WCS-999 ($100 at B&H). In the first round of testing, the mics were connected to my Sony minidisc recorder and I read the same copy, trying to keep my voice level and intonation the same. Just to my ear, both mics produced very good results.

In a second test with the Sony, I wired myself and put the receiver and the minidisc in my bag, then walked a trade show floor. The purpose of the experiment was to gain an understanding of how the mic picked up ambient sound. I haven't yet listened to the whole 3 hours, but even with the LP4 recording mode I felt the audio quality was very good.

There is no doubt that the more expensive mics have better specs and will produce better sound. I'd like to test a $500 lav just to understand the difference. But looked at purely from specs, the improvements in the better mics seem to be on the margin. For the voice capture needed for my project, I think that cheap ATR35s is going to be fine.

The remaining tests I've planned involve using the mics with the GL2 and doing the same tests with my two other mics, an Azden SGM-X and a Sony ECM-MS907.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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Unless Sony has improved the WCS-999 I thought it was a truly awful mic. Still it has been over a year since I tried one, maybe they have fixed it.

Anyway Heather, lots of good stuff to digest here. Give us a few paragraphs and see what the second round reveals.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 09:00 AM   #6
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Nathan, what did you think was awful about it?
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Old February 18th, 2003, 09:05 AM   #7
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Based on a friend of mine who knows the GL2 better than anyone I know personally, I bought the Sony ECM-77B. Not cheap but my goal was the same as yours, doc work, and it's been great.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 09:14 AM   #8
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Are you using the Canon XLR adapter or a Beachtek or connecting it some other way?
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Old February 18th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #9
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Oops, yeah, the BeachTek adapter. It's a wonderful thing. I also have an ME-66 which I used initially but realized I needed a lav mic as well for more controlled interview settings.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 12:30 PM   #10
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On the WCS-999 I purchased one about 1 to 2 years ago. It dropped out all over the place, just like my RCA wireless headphones. I could not get the critter to work decently at 25 feet let along 50 feet. The sad thing was, I was warned about its lack luster performance before I got it.

I was able to get all but $20 of my money back.

Sony does make both good and excellent gear; but the WCS-999 is not one of them.

After that, I bit the bullet and got the Sennheiser EW112P and have been very pleased.
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