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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old November 30th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #1
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Shotgun mic ?

I am a new XHA1 owner, and have an Azden SGM X shot gun mic w/1/8" plug I used to use on my gs400. The question is does anyone use this mic with their XHA1? How is the sound compared to the onboard mic? I think it should still provide better directional sound since it is shotgun compared to on board. I have to do some tests but I want to include outdoor shots also with sound but the weather is bad.

Any one have any opinions or actual results to share with me?
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #2
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The answer depends upon what you want out of the sound. If you want to capture ambient sound in audibly active environment, the on board mic might be better. It's reasonably sensitive so it has some range in its usefulness.

If you want to capture dialog, the Azden will likely be better because of its directional properties. I've never used the Azden so this opinion is based on general shotgun properties.

Your intention to do some tests simulating the environments that you'll be working in to see what results you get is a good idea. It's hard to give a quantitative answer so a question as general as yours.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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I appreciate your response. I guess I really meant was which mic would actually have overall better sound characteristics. I understand the differences in pickup pattern etc.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 05:59 PM   #4
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Apples vs. bananas.

The stock mic is stereo, the Azden is a mono shotgun.

They will sound different. Neither will sound good for dialog that is more than a few feet from the microphone. The stock mic will likely provide more pleasing ambient sound, especially if stereo is a considerations. (Note thotgun mics tend to have pattern artifacts at different frequencies.)

Keep in mind that the SGM-X is a low cost consumer microphone with an uninspiring signal to noise ratio and low max sound pressure level rating. And its 1.5K impedance is not a good patch for the 600 ohm input of the camcorder.

Run comparison tests for your self and decide which sounds best to you before you make an important shoot.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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I did some simple shots with ambient sounds, music in background and dialouge and I was surprised that I thought the on board sounded better. It obviously just picked up more from the sides and the back. I guess I thought that even though the Azden was a low end mic it should be better than the on board, but I dont think it is based on my indoor tests. i will have to do the same outdoors.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM   #6
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People tend to be rather sniffy about built-in mics just because they are built-in. The pair on the XH-A1 are actually surprisingly good and resonably isolated from handling and camera noise. Having said that, a cheap mic in the right place (i.e. close to the source) with good wind-shielding will normally give better results than an expensive one in a bad place and/or with no wind-shielding. Also, a mic with less-good low frequency response will give fewer problems with wind than one with good bass response.
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