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Old June 6th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #1
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is it overkill to get an oktava MC-012 for Optura 60?

After a lot of reading I have come to the revelation that both sound and light (in that order) will make my low budget (mostly personal documentaries) much better (mostly interviews inside)

Now, at what point do we go overboard buying good mikes and connectors for a low-end camera?

More specifically, would adding a Beachtek DXA-2S and an oktava MC-012 (hypercardioid) to an optura 60 be overkill? (That's more than half the price of the camera: $360)

Beachtek:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=335809&is=REG

Oktava
http://sound-room.com/customer/produ...3&cat=2&page=1



Thank you

Maximo
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Old June 6th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #2
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Certainly not overkill, for several reasons.

One is that most miniDV provide excellent video under good lighting conditions and deserve good audio.

Another is that for anything other than a noisey family gathering (for which much is forgiven by the audience), substandard audio detracts from the viewing experience more than substandard video. The human ear has astounding powers. The loudest sound we can hear without pain is a million times louder than the softest sound we can detect. So our ears are fussy, and the movies, TV and musical CD's have trained us to expect high production values in sound.

Another reason is that audio equipment is more of an investment than video. As people here are fond of saying, you'll still be using the audio equipment when your camcorder is in the trash.

I have a $2000 camcorder and I have spent about $1000 so far on audio equipment. I could easily spend another $1000 today on things I've identified as actual needs for getting better audio in various situations and still not be done.

What you might want to do is make sure that the Oktava is the right choice for most of your needs.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 11:58 AM   #3
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I'd say if it's for non-commercial purposes, it's overkill. I don't think you're going to like handholding that camcorder once all the equipment is strapped on. Not much point in spending all that money, to end up with something you'd rather not pickup and use.

Check out the Studio 1 XLR belt adapters, you might also see if a basic mini-XLR cable won't suit your needs. I have both, and they both have their uses.

For family videos, I prefer to use a stereo mini-XLR cable it's faster to setup, and easier for other people to understand how to use. I normally just use a DM50 as a shotgun, but I'll disconnect it when I find an opportunity to use my $30 Shure handheld mic or my $35 AT wired lav. The audio is much better than the built-in mic and "good enough" for family videos.

The other $1,500 worth of audio equipment which I use for my more serious endeavours sits quietly in the closet, safely tucked away for another less family oriented day.

Hope that helps.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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personally, i find extreme satisfaction with really good sounding audio even when coupled with mediocre video. bad audio always ruins my viewing experience, even if the footage is great. ever sit in a movie theater with a really bad sound system? for me, it can make the film unwatchable.

that said, i would suggest you splurge on the best mic system you can afford, regardless of which camera you own.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #5
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The Oktava needs phantom power because it can't run off battery power. I think that requires a higher-model beachtek that provides phantom.
As well, it needs a shockmount and possibly a windscreen.


It may make more sense to get something like the Rode Videomic. For about $150, it's a shotgun mic that provides everything: shockmount, uses mini-jack plug (hence no XLR adapter), and has a foam windscreen.
For indoors use, perhaps a hypercardioid microphone would sound a little better.

Apparently Ty Ford has a quickie review of it, but I don't know where it is on his website. On the VAAST site, DSE reviews it but doesn't give much comments on sound quality (which would be kind of useless anyways, because sound is so subjective and difficult to describe with words).
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Old June 6th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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thank you for the useful suggestions. Good point about mobility, so here are a few extra details about intended use.

I also have a cheap AT-25 ($35) that I plan to use on the run when I'm not indoors and not using a tripod. The beachtek would always be attached to the tripod.

For indoor conversations I read in other discussions the hypercardioid is best. Since I'm a one-man show, i'd put it on a cheap mike stand close to the speaker to capture best audio in cases when it will be crucial (for indoor family interviews). So, I'd call this the studio version.

A little extra background: I started out with the idea of buying the RODE video mic, but lately i have concluded that the rule about distance from the mike is actually very important so i thought, just use the AT-25 for outside on the go shots and make sure the audio is really clean in situations when audio will be crucial (like granpa's stories).

Anyone think I should go back to the RODE videomic option instead. It would save me $100.

Another possible combination for about the same price as the OKtava + beachtek would be to get the
RODE video mic AND
a wireless lavalier for the "studio situation"(AZDEN wireless lavalier:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ku=3656&is=REG


Thank you again for your suggestions.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #7
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Your lav plus Rode idea is the best. The Rode is a much better mic than the AT25 for running and gunning. And for dialog in average room accoustics, a decent lav will outperform any mic at any price which is not deployed within one to two feet of the person's mouth.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
The Oktava needs phantom power because it can't run off battery power. I think that requires a higher-model beachtek that provides phantom.
As well, it needs a shockmount and possibly a windscreen.

**True and it's not a camera mounted mic, it's a boom mic.


It may make more sense to get something like the Rode Videomic. For about $150, it's a shotgun mic that provides everything: shockmount, uses mini-jack plug (hence no XLR adapter), and has a foam windscreen.
For indoors use, perhaps a hypercardioid microphone would sound a little better.

Apparently Ty Ford has a quickie review of it, but I don't know where it is on his website. On the VAAST site, DSE reviews it but doesn't give much comments on sound quality (which would be kind of useless anyways, because sound is so subjective and difficult to describe with words).
No Problem. Go to TyFord.com

Click on the Online Archives art the top of column #2

Click on the Video folder. Look in the Quickies folder.

Download the VideoMic clip. It requires WMP or QT capable of playing an mp4 video file.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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