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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
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Old February 25th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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xa10 mics

Mic suggestions please which shot gun works well? Pictures on it would be nice too!

Thanks
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Old February 25th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Re: xa10 mics

This should be an interesting thread:

I use one of three mics:
Sennheiser ME64 with a K6 module (phantom or battery). I use this mic the most. I really like the audio of the Sennheiser mics and truthfully my ME66 is just to long for this cam for my tastes. It's longer than the cam itself I think! The ME64 is quite a bit shorter at about 8.75" long, and is Cardioid, which to me, I like because most of the time I like to have some off-axis audio and don't need the long reach the ME66 offers. And the ME64 sounds a lot like the ME66 which I think has a wide range and a lot of 'punch'.

Sennheiser MKE400: When I want to go more compact and ditch the handle and XLR mic, I use the MKE400 (furry for outdoors). It's a little tyker of a mic that goes on the cold shoe and plugs into the 1/8 mini plug. I just think the audio from this guy is great given it's small size. It doesn't have the 'reach' of the ME66 or ME64, but it's amazingly good. For many family videos and gatherings, or bar/restaurant scenes, or anytime I don't want to attract attention or the image that says, "hey, I'm capturing you on a Pro setup for some use that you don't know about," this is the mic I use. The battery seems to last forever in that thing.

Sony Short Shotgun Mic: Lately I've mounted the mic that came with my Sony Z5U onto the XA10 because I prefer the ME64's sound, and it's currently mounted on the Z5 at the moment. I don't know who makes this mic (nobody on the Z5 forums seems to either), but it looks like a short Audio Technica mic or Azden. Maybe Sony makes it. Like I say, it sounds ok, but in comparisons, to my ears, the Sennheisers have better high end and more, what some call, "punch". Still, it is measurably shorter than the ME64 and at only 6 1/4" long it is about the perfect size for the XA10.

I was thinking of buying a Rode NTG 1 but didn't. The Audio Technica ATR875 would be a mice to consider as well. You can get some comparisons of the mics on Youtube, but it's hard to tell. Usually it's some kid in his bedroom going between the mics, but it's better than nothing.
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Last edited by Mark Goodsell; February 25th, 2012 at 11:50 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: xa10 mics

Audio Technica ATR875 work well, sized nicely. A recent thread has a photo showing it on a G10. Here is a shot ontheXA10. (The battery shown is a Wasabi.)
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xa10 mics-at875r.jpg  
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Last edited by Don Palomaki; February 26th, 2012 at 07:48 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old February 26th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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Re: xa10 mics

The Rode Videomic, with the shock mount removed, works absolutely flawlessly. It fits in the holder perfectly, it cost very little, the audio quality is very good, particularly for the price ($150 new, $100 used), and with the $10 XLR connector from B&H it it a most flexible option; mini plug or XLR, and both work great.

For the ceremony I run the Videomic using XLR on one channel, and my wireless on the other. For the reception, I remove the XLR and use the mini plug to go straight in the side, and I still have a shoe mount available for my light.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #5
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Re: xa10 mics

I have the Azden Professional Mini Shotgun which works good up to ~40' at conversation levels. It does pickup people who are standing off the side and yelling. Not sure if that's typical of shotguns. GL
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: xa10 mics

Here are some pics of mics for size reference. Don't forget to count the XLR jack and any foam windscreen you might use:

Sony Mic ECM-XM1 (came with Sony Z5U)


Sennheiser ME64 with a K6 module


Sennheiser ME66 with a K6 module


Sennheiser MKE400


All Mics Together:
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: xa10 mics

Couple more pics. I use these for outdoor shooting:

ME64/K6 with a homemade blimp (furry cover not shown)


MKE400 with a furry:
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Old February 26th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #8
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Re: xa10 mics

Great!!!! thanks,
Where do I get the sony one? Buy a z5 too?
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Old February 26th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #9
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Re: xa10 mics

I found this one that looks like the same thing:
Sony ECM-NV1 Directional Microphone for DSR-PD170 881429890 B&H

No bass roll-off on the Sony mic if that matters to you. Panasonic has some similar mics with a pigtail AG-MC200G, Azden does too, the SGM-PDII. The AT875 is pretty short and is really popular. I've never been able to find any specs on the Sony mic but I'm guessing the frequency range is 80-18k. That's just a guess based on my tin ears, I could be way off. It sounds good, but the Sennheisers clearly sound better IMO. But a lot of guys use the Sony mic for pro and broadcast purposes so I guess it's ok. What I like about the Sony and Panasonic mics as well as the Azden listed above is the pigtail keeps the mics shorter.

Does anyone know of a super low profile XLR jack for other mics?
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Old February 27th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #10
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Re: xa10 mics

Quote:
It does pickup people who are standing off the side and yelling. Not sure if that's typical of shotguns.
That is the nature of shotguns. They "hear" sound from all directions, just are more sensitive to sounds from some directions and less to sounds from other directions. It also depends on frequency of the sound. The reason to use a directional microphone (e.g., shotgun) is to provide some rejection of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear. The microphone still should be fairly close (within a few feet) of the person speaking for best results.

The published polar pattern of the mic can give an idea as to its directionality.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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Re: xa10 mics

Thanks Don. You nailed it. The polar pattern shows some sensitivity directly to the sides and even slightly back. Cheers
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #12
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Re: xa10 mics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Foronda View Post
Mic suggestions please which shot gun works well? Pictures on it would be nice too!...
I have the Canon DM-100 on my G10. Don't have a photo, but here's one on a different camera:

http://images.camcorderinfo.com/imag...10_MicAtt1.jpg

It's probably not as good as the Rode Video Mic, but it works well, has no external cables, no battery, and doesn't require any mode switch -- the camera automatically knows it's mounted.

I've used the much larger Rode NTG-2 on a hand boom a lot. Used properly in a high noise environment it's very effective. In theory I could rig a camera mount for it, but the little DM-100 works adequately. Actually the built-in G10 mic works very well.

Outdoors in a windy environment the "dead cat" on a shotgun mic deadens wind sound much better than the built-in camera mic.

A shotgun mic is optimal for off-axis use. IE, its main feature isn't the "pickup" sensitivity as if it were a parabolic mic, but the strong *rejection* in the pattern null. In an interview an independently-positioned shotgun is best positioned above the subject pointed down, below the subject pointed up, left of subject pointed right, etc. Your goal is point the nulls at the noise, not just point the mic at the subject. A rigid camera-mounted shotgun mic makes this harder to do.

There are cases you have to use an on-board shotgun mic, but if at all possible a wireless lavalier or clip-on mic is usually better. I use the Canon WM-V1 which works very well with the G10. I also use a Sennheiser EW100 G2 a lot: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Wireless-100ENG-Microphone-System/dp/B0007IOYF2.

The EW100 is a true pro-quality lav, nearly invisible on the subject. But if you're doing quick walk-up interviews, it's slower to change than the Canon WM-V1.

Size and transportability is also an issue. For the NTG-2 and accessories I have a Pelican strong box, likewise for the Sennheiser EW100. For the little Canon DM-100 and WM-V1, I just stick them in my camcorder case. Two less boxes to carry in the field, and they work nearly as well -- at least in some circumstances -- as their big brothers.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 06:39 AM   #13
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Re: xa10 mics

Microphone selection and employment is an art. Eech mic has its characteristics and "sound."

However, there are some general concepts worth stating.
The worst sound is generally from a mic inside the camcorder.
A mic on the camcorder is OK for pickup of ambient sound, rarely good for pick up of spoken word or small ensembles.
A modest cost mic located close to the talent is generally better than an expensive mic at the camcorder if the camcorder is more than a few feet from the talent.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #14
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Re: xa10 mics

I use the Rode Videomic on the Xa10 and the G10. It's a little big but I don't like the smaller one.

I do have a Sennheiser Me64 but only use it on a boom. No special reason other than that's where I've always used it.
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