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Old January 18th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #1
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Budget external mic for Optura 60

Hi Everybody,
I am looking for a decent external mic for Optura 60, since the motor noise is just killing my ears. The suggestions I have seen so far (Rode, DM-50) are pretty expensive ($130 for DM-50 is the cheapest I found), and their sound quality seems to be an overkill for me. Can anyone give an advice about some decent but less expensive mic?
The features I am looking for (in the order of decreasing importance):

1. Does not pick up the motor noise
2. Reasonably small (at least as small as DM-50)
3. Priced closer to $50
4. Stereo, with acceptable sound (not worse than the internal mic)
5. Turning off and on together with the camera itself
6. Zooming would be nice but not a must
I would greatly appreciate your advices!

I have seen on the Web some Sony external microphones which seem to satisfy these requirements, but I am not sure if Sony's mic will be compatible with Canon (items 3 and 5 above).
Could anyone please tell me if Sony mics would work on Optura 60?
Slava Dobrovitski is offline  
Old January 19th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #2
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I agree. Motor noise on that camera is a killer. Not sure you're ever going to find a camera-mounted solution at any price. We had a shoot last week where the boom mic picked it up! I'm looking into making a barney of some kind.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #3
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I picked up an inexpensive audio-technica atr25 mic. It does pick up my motor noise, but it is definitely reduced. Other than this, the sound is excellent for my purposes. It's definitely better than the on board mic.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Connelly
I picked up an inexpensive audio-technica atr25 mic. It does pick up my motor noise, but it is definitely reduced. Other than this, the sound is excellent for my purposes. It's definitely better than the on board mic.
The Sima SZ-1 is a clone of the ATR-25. ~ $50 at Best Buy. Camera mounted, but not a shockmount.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 02:26 PM   #5
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First, thanks to everyone for replying. I really appreciate your advices.
About the suggestions:
Dale, thank you for the tip. ATR 25 is almost what I need, but it is way too big, almost twice longer than the camera. I often use the camcorder outdoors. Otherwise, ATR25 would be just perfect.
Patrick, Is Sima as big as ATR25?
If yes, is there something similar, but smaller? Did someone try Sony?
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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Forgot one more thing, sorry for double posting. In some of the previous threads here, someone (was it Dale?) mentioned that he uses ATR 25 with the shock mount Beyer Dynamic EA 86, getting the whole system which works just great for less than $70.
Could you please tell me, does the shock mount compromises functionality of the microphone? I mean, if I use the mic with the shock mount, can the microphone turn on/off along with the camera, and zoom in/out along with the camera? Also, are there compatibility issues, or I can use any shock mount with any microphone?
Thank you very much for the information!
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 05:46 PM   #7
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The only microphone that works directly with the Optura 60's power supply is the Canon DM-50. It is the only microphone that will turn on & off with the camera.

All other shotgun microphones need need to be turned on & off separately from the camcorder.

The Beyer Dynamic shockmount can be used with any microphone that will fit inside it, but it will not connect the microphone to the camcorder's power supply. The only shockmount that allows you to connect to the Optura 60's power supply is the one that comes with the Canon DM-50, and it only works with the supplied Canon microphone.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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The ATR 25 carries it's own AA battery. I was not the one who suggested the shock mount, but I'm definitely interested in it.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:15 AM   #9
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Michael, Dale, thank you for the helpful explanation! The question about on/off is now completely clear.
I have only one more question left, whether the external mic (with its own power supply) will zoom in/out along with the camera? I.e., whether the cable which connects the external mic to the camera carries the zooming signal to the mic, or this signal is also transferred through the accessory shoe? If the former is true, is there some compatibility issue, like certain mic should be used only with the certain camera?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 06:01 PM   #10
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The only mic that works with the camcorder's optical zoom is the Sony "zoom" mic. And it only works with certain Sony camcorders.

This so called "zoom" function works by rejecting more and more sounds from the side of the mic and is available as a manual feature on some shotgun mics. For example, the Canon DM-50 can be manually set to have a wide or narrow angle of rejection.

The ATR25 mic does not have this feature, it has a single, unchangeable angle of sound rejection. One step up is the ATR55 which can be manually set to change it's angle of rejection.
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