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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #1
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Bad speech pickup with background noise

Got my HV10 this weekend and shot some footage in Las Vegas. Most of it was hanging out with friends. When I watched the footage on TV later, I noticed that the microphone is horrible at picking up speech when there is some background noise, such as inside a casino. At points, the cam was only a few feet away from a person, and you see their mouth move but can hardly make out what they're saying. (And the background noise was really not that loud in reality!)

What gives? Is it because of the mic placement? Is it picking up the noise coming from the top, and not so much what's coming from the front of the camera? Are there any mic settings that should be adjusted? Haven't had time to explore that yet...

Image-wise, it looks incredibly crisp and sharp when the light is right! With low light it gets quite noisy, but I was aware of that before I bought it.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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re: your message

Thorsten,

How did the camera handle in terms of keeping it steady? Did you hand-hold it or use a tripod? Just curious to know what it's like being so small...

Thanks!
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Old October 18th, 2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jae Staats
Just curious to know what it's like being so small...
These are just rumours.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #4
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picking just a voice in a noisy background is hard with any camera. I should say with any device that record sound.
that is why reporter always hold a mic on TV. placement of mic is always more important than quality of mic or recorder.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
picking just a voice in a noisy background is hard with any camera. I should say with any device that record sound.
that is why reporter always hold a mic on TV. placement of mic is always more important than quality of mic or recorder.
Although a good directional mic will help.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #6
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Well, I don't know. I was behind the camera, and I could VERY CLEARLY hear what everyone was saying over the background noise. The voices were louder to me. It seems like the levels of the voices and the background noise were merged to the same level, so nothing stands out anymore.

This may be an automatic feature to prevent sound clipping?
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsten Poeppel
Well, I don't know. I was behind the camera, and I could VERY CLEARLY hear what everyone was saying over the background noise. The voices were louder to me. It seems like the levels of the voices and the background noise were merged to the same level, so nothing stands out anymore.

This may be an automatic feature to prevent sound clipping?
I think its reasonable to say that image-quality is a HV10 strong-point (very strong point !) but the audio side of things is lagging a lot. THe internal mic is, apparently, pointing BACK to the user (if someone could confirm if this is the case - i'm not 100% sure on this) and also the internal mic will be omnidirectional which again is never going to pick up someone speaking very well - it'll pick up general ambient noise rather well which is probably what you experienced. Honestly to record someone's voice well you really need either an on-camera shotgun mic or a handheld mic held somewhere near the person. Since the HV10 doens't have a mic socket of any sort or even a hotshoe/coldshoe, there's no possibility to do either of these things.

I think the HV10 is a stand-out on the image side of things, but people are going to find that the phrase (was it DSE who said this first?!) that audio is 70% of everything you see is true with this machine....

just my opinion. A mic jack would have been SO great. It doens't even really need an accessory shoe - you could have used one of those brackets like the Bescor VB-50 that screws into the tripod-socket to mount an ext. mic on it. Bit of a shame really about that.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #8
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that is the usual problem with people according no attention to audio.
they would not accept to shoot without a viewfinder or a monitor, but they accept to shoot without audio monitoring.
Why do they think that what they hear is must be ok , when they cannot accept what they see.
when you put your attention to a dialog, you can listen most of the word, even if you cannot really hear them du to background noise.
Your brain is filling the gap.
A microphone is not you ears or your brain.
In case of background noise in a crowd, a directional microphone could be a mess too, because it could take what happens behind you subject as good as the subject itself.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
In case of background noise in a crowd, a directional microphone could be a mess too, because it could take what happens behind you subject as good as the subject itself.
In fact if the background source of noise is 10feet away, and the subject is 5 feet away, then the noise coming from the background source is at a SPL (Sound Pressure Level) FOUR times quieter than the subject and therefore it's usually not much of an issue.

(Note: assumption the absolute volume of background noise and subject noise are same SPL if they were positioned same distance away).
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:30 PM   #10
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Thorsten

Thanks for posting this info. Hope someone can help you out with a setting suggestion.

FWIW, if enough people see this type of post perhaps Canon will rev this unit at some point and put a real mic input on this little gem.

Kind regards
JohnG
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