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Old July 19th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #1
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Optura 60 Audio

Does anyone have any experience using external sound with the Optra 60? In particular, I'm interested in how the levels are controlled (I'm assuming it's in the menu, not on it's own dial), how granular the control is (how many steps between silent and full gain), what XLR/Balanced input options there are (if any), etc.
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Last edited by Jason J. Gullickson; July 19th, 2005 at 12:30 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: XLR options, it's the same Beachtek/Studio One Production adapters you've probably seen before.

The audio level is controlled by the dial, in front of the hinge of the LCD. Same dial used to adjust exposure. Check some of the reviews for close up photos.

There are approximately 90 increments between -40db up to 0, but there's no number display to show you exactly what your level is, it's just a sliding green bar that shows you approx. where you are. The green manual audio bar sits below the VU meter so can visually match the level.

To enable manual audio control you have to go into the menus. After that you can toggle the display on/off using the STOP/audio button. Toggling the display off makes sure the audio level can't be changed accidentally.

Other sound stuff:
- There's also a built-in attenuator that can be turned on, I believe the attenuation level is -20db.
- the 1/8 mic input is stereo/unbalanced
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Old July 20th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info Michael, Canon should give you a commission :)

I just ordered my Optura 60 from B&H last night and I'm very anxious for it to arrive...

I have one other question reguarding manual audio; Is there a VU meter or something like that to monitor audio levels when recording, or do you just have to monitor the sound and listen for distortion?

Thanks again!
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Old July 20th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #4
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yes there is check out the screen shot in this review i wrote...

http://www.emptyloft.com/optura60/
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Old July 20th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Mann Z.
yes there is check out the screen shot in this review i wrote...
Thanks Robert, excellent review (I was considering the Raynox wide-angle as well but due to time limitations I went with a Cokin I could source locally).

Where did you buy your aftermarket charger/batteries?
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Old July 20th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #6
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bluenook.com
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Old August 25th, 2005, 05:21 AM   #7
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Optura 60 audio accessories

Hi,

I'm eyeing the Optura60 as a 2nd, light, small camcorder. After reading this review and listening to the motor noise sound file, I'm a little worried about motor noise:

http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/canon/optura60-review/
http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/canon/.../audiotest.mov

I figured that I would use a mounted external microphone anyway.
Does anyone own the Canon DM-50 or have other suggestions ?
I use a nice Audio Technica stereo microphone on a sweet shock mount
on my Sony VX2000, but that setup would be as large as the Optura60.

Thanks !

Gints
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:22 AM   #8
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Look at the Canon DM-50 and Rode Videomic.

The Canon DM-50:
- is very compact
- records in stereo
- runs off the camcorder battery
- works immediately, no on/off button
- has 3 settings to adjust the angle of rejection.
- cannot be used with a 2nd mic ... only replaces the onboard mic.
- only works on Canon camcorders with the Advanced Accessory shoe

The Rode Videomic
- is larger than DM-50
- records mono
- runs off a separate battery
- has an on/off button
- has a high pass filter switch for low bass noise
- CAN be used with a 2nd mic
- works with almost any camcorder on the market
- accessories: Rode also sells a boompole, furry wind muff, mini-XLR plug, and mini-tripod for the Videomic


Both have a basic windscreen
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Old August 25th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #9
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Thanks, Michael. I didn't know about the Rode. I'd like a microphone that can work with anything, though the Canon Mic's use of the camcorder battery is quite attractive. I'm collecting too much battery-operated gear that requires a recharge before each use.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #10
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I just bought an Optura 60 (great camera for the money). The onboard mic picks up an obnoxious amount of noise from the tape transport. I mean really bad. I put an ME64 on it, and it sounded good. I didn't hear any camera noise, but I wasn't really looking for it. The only time you would ever mount a mic on the camera is for informal shooting anyway, so it wasn't a big concern. I tried it on auto and it worked great. No clipping, even going from a very loud environment to quiet. Canon's come a long way. I tried it on manual too and had very good results. This was just a quick, informal test, but I plan to use the ME64 in a PSC shockmount on this camera from now on. The DM-50 looks pretty cool though. You can't beat the convenience.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #11
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Marco it'd be interesting to hear how you like the ME64 after you've driven it awhile. I've heard good things about it, different from a hyper, but still good.

How are you connecting it to the cam?
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Old August 26th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #12
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I've had the ME64 for quite a while and really like it. It's ideal to camera mount because of its size and internal power source and the fact that it's a very hot mic. Like all the ME series mics it has a way of picking out dialog because of the presence peak, which is why they're used so much for ENG. On a boom it does quite a bit better than the ME66 in interiors, as you might expect, but echo can still be a problem, especially if you can't get the mic really close. It doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the comparably priced AKG CK91 (Blueline) that we also have. I don't know why more people don't use the Blueline. They're really underappreciated mics.

I use either a Studio1 XLR Pro (the old, well-made ones, not their current plastic crap) or a Shure A96f XLR adapter.

I'm planning to buy this in a couple of weeks though, because the transformer adds a lot of weight and length:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #13
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Optura 40 and MKE 300

After I purchased my Optura 40 I was happy with the lack of noise from the zoom. The stereo internal mike is a good one. However, it picks up too much noise when you are with a group of people and trying to focus on one person's voice. My voice behind the camera was always the loudest in the group.

So after reading a lot of reviews, and considering my budget, I bought the Sennheiser MKE 300. It is a mono mike and I am quite happy with how it's super-cardioid/lobar pick-up pattern picks up the sound coming from the direction the camera is pointing at. It's very clear, and there is no hum if I keep the volume manually turned down to no more than necessary.

Today, after 6 months of use, I replaced the 1.5V button battery, and I am good to go again. Also the MKE 300 is as light as a feather, and does not appear at the top of the screen when zoomed all the way out. However, when I take a digital still image, I need to zoom in just a touch or I see a little black semicircle at the top of the image.

The thing that took me a few times to learn was remembering to turn it on each time. I lost a few good pieces of audio that way, but now flipping the switch is a habit.

Mark
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