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


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Old April 14th, 2003, 08:16 PM   #1
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Cheaper Shotgun (than an ME66)

After reading through this board, it seems that the Sennheiser ME66 is the king of shotgun mics.

However, being a college student on a college buget, I need to prioritize my audio spending. I will be using my camera for ENG. I have decided that a good wireless mic rig is more important than a shotgun.

I am looking for a shotgun that isn't as expensive as the ME66. Now obviously, I am going to sacrifice some audio quality...

But what shotgun mic will give me the most bang for my buck?
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Old April 14th, 2003, 08:21 PM   #2
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Take a look at the Sennheiser MKE300 as a convenient, lower-cost alternative. It plugs directly into the GL1/GL2 "Mic" hole , mounts to the camera's shoe, is relatively short and very light, easy to schlep in your bag. I use one occasionally and it fills the bill as a decent economy shotgun.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 10:33 AM   #3
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Another alternative is the Azden SGM-X. As with the MKE300, it's designed for camcorders.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #4
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Is there any sort of concensus among the users of this board on the SGM-X? I've read reviews ranging from good to terrible with much of the criticism leveled at the high-end sounding tinny.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #5
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I bought an Audio-Technica on ebay for $65. It's a short barrel shotgun with an audio zoom feature. I haven't had much call to use it, but it works ok.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 05:02 PM   #6
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The AT835b and AT815b are lower priced options that quality (and price) wise fall below the ME66 abd above the Azden models.

Some of the Azden models are not very good options for the GL1/2, especially the lower priced models. Among other issues are the impedance and max SPL for 1% distortion.

It is common to find used mics at relatively bargain prices. So watch the used gear web sites. But test if yo can to be sure any used gear was not abused to the point of material damage.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 08:22 AM   #7
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Don, what is it about the GL2 that makes Azden mics a poor choice? You mention SPL and impedance, but what's the issue?

Sennheiser's equivalent to the Azden SGM-X (in terms of target market) might be the MKE300. Its SPL is about the same but there is obviously a difference in impedance. Is this a better match to the GL2?

Thanks.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:45 PM   #8
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SGM-1X

This one is available for around $150 including a 'free' shockmount. I know some don't like Azden but for the money I'm pleased with my SGM-1X. The shockmount has both camera-mount bracket -and- is also threaded for use on a boom.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #9
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When I bought my SGM-X, I called Azden with a question about specs. I was planning to buy the -1X, but the Azden engineer with whom I spoke said it was just long enough that it appeared in the picture at wide settings on a GL1/2. He suggested the -X instead because a) it is shorter, b) it did not require an XLR connection, and c) it came with a cable.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:51 PM   #10
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SGM-1x camera mounted

That's strange, because the SGM-1X comes with a shockmount that has a camera mount (and boom threads) built-in. It is an elastic suspension shockmount, so you would think you could just slide the SGM-1X further towards the back of the GL1/2 if it got in the frame.

I've never used my SGM-1X on camera. I always use it on a boom.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 06:23 PM   #11
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I was having some early problems with my SGM-X because it was picking up zoom noise, so Azden sent me one of the mounts. It didn't solve my problem (because the noise was ambient, not transmitted), but I noticed that when I used it with the -X I could not fit the wind screen on.

I don't know how long the windscreen is for the -1X, but it could be a factor in sliding the shotgun backwards.

In any case, because I had to move the -X away from the camera body, I bought a gadget from NRG, the "Tri-Mount." This allows me to raise the shotgun about 5" higher off the camera and thus get away from the zoom noise. I have a feeling that I would have had the same problem with the -1X, but putting it on the Tri-Mount would have gotten it out of the frame.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:24 PM   #12
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At on time Canon offerd the MB-100, a mini shoe-mount mic boom that can be used to lift a shoe mount mic. Not sure if it is stillavailable.

The issue with some mics is impedance. If its internal impedqance is significantly above 600 ohms, you will see a loss of level, and may see some loss of distortion free head room.

Similarly, if it is significantly below 600 ohms, you will see some increase in record level.

SPL is sound pressure level, a measure of how loud sound is. Rock concert level is probably around 120 to 125 dB SPL. A quiet room is probably around 40 dB SPL.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 08:00 PM   #13
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Don, thanks for those explanations. I'm still fuzzy about why impedance and SPL are issues with the GL2.

The only rule of thumb of which I'm aware is that the input impedance of the camcorder should be about 10 times the output impedance of the mic. I'm not sure what the input impedance of the GL2 is. Does 5.6K ohms sound right? It's the only number I could find and I'm not sure of it.

The impedance of mics mentioned here: SGM-X, <1K; SGM-1X, 680 ohms; MKE300, 32 ohms; ME66, 200 ohms. If the rule of thumb and the 5.6Kohm number are correct, then the SGM-1X would seem to come closest to the ideal impedance match. The MKE300 must have a very high record level.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 05:43 AM   #14
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My above post with reference to 600 ohms was based on a 600 ohm input impedance at the mic jack. As you noted, this is not the case with the GL2, which has a 5.6k ohm impedance. So any of the Azdens should wortk without significant loss and thus perform better with a GL2.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 01:27 PM   #15
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Azden Specs

In a message above, I said the Azden SGM-X was <1K ohms. This was because I could not remember what Azden had told me several months ago. I checked again this morning.

All three Azden shotguns, the SGM-1X, -2X, and -X have an output impedance of 680 ohms.

Azden's Web site has incorrect information.
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