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Old January 20th, 2003, 05:06 PM   #1
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Canon On-board Mic

Im still waiting fro my XL1s in the post, but just have a question to ask:

Anyone out there know what the on-board mic is like on the XL1s? I have used the Sennheiser MKE300 quite a lot but just want to know how it compares in relation to the mic on-board.

So if anyone has used both mics, please let me know how u would rate the two! Is one more directional than the other? Does one seem to pick up sound a bit clearer? Is one more "punchier" for getting better dialog in noisy environments!

So anyone out there with experience let me know!
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Old January 20th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #2
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Welcome Christopher!

Well, here's the difference between the two in brief.

The XL1s' standard mic is a pretty good omni-directional stereo (2-channel) mic. It will pick up sounds darn near anywhere near the camera. It's also powered by the XL1s battery.

The Sennheiser MKE-300 is a super-cardioid single-channel (mono) shotgun mic. That is, it has a much narrower field and rejects (varying degrees of) off-axis sound. As you know, it's powered by a watch battery.

The MKE-300 will generally be better for getting cleaner dialog than the standard mic., although the camera would have to be close to the subjects and the background (behind the subjects) will have to be quiet.

You will be able to use the MKE-300 with your new XL1s by simply mounting it to the XL1s' shoe, unplugging the standard mic and plugging the MKE-300's mini plug into that empty socket.
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Old January 20th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #3
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Thanks!!

I knew about the differences in mic types, just was not sure about the Canon Standard mic, as cam is still in post - out of stock, so they say....but probably just getting interest off my payment.

So guess you'd recommend just using the Sennheiser, as that is what I thought for myself, but having not used the Canon one, just wanted an opinion as to its quality.

So best off not using the on-cam one and sticking to my Sennheiser? (that is until I get a better mic.)

Any suggestions for a mic? Probably up to region of 300 pounds, which is around 450 USD, but having a tax of 17.5% here, twice that of the US, its probably more like US equivilent of around 300USD anyway for electrical products u would buy there, or I could always exchange to USD and buy from USA. So any recommendations for a good one?
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Old January 20th, 2003, 06:44 PM   #4
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You may find that the MKE-300 isn't always appropriate. For example, if you're shooting an event where you really want more ambient sound you'll probably want to use the on-board mic. The MKE-300 is so compact and handy to carry in a bag that you'll find it easy to bring along.

The defacto standard prosumer-class shotgun mic is the Sennheiser ME-66 with the K6 power module. It's an excellent mic designed primarily for boom use. But it can be mounted to the XL1s using mounts from LightWave and others.

There are literally dozens of mics in this price/performance class. So take your time and shop. One noteworthy point is that you will need to have the ability to make 3-pin XLR audio connections to your XL1s to use many of them. (Such as Canon's MA-100 or MA-200 adapters, or the BeachTek or Studio One adapters.) Failing that, XLR-to-mini plug adapters are available.

The Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group published an excellent comparison of several low-cost shotgun mics on their site in 2001. It's worth a look.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old January 20th, 2003, 08:08 PM   #5
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I have an MKE300 and use it with my Canon XL1.
Ken pretty much covers everything about it. Light, compact, good for picking up dialogue.
That being said, I find I use the on-board mic 10x more often than I use the MKE300 in daily use.
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Old January 20th, 2003, 08:23 PM   #6
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What would you guys recommend for shooting a live music performance. . .Canon's onboard or an ME66?
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Old January 20th, 2003, 08:27 PM   #7
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Depends where the camera is. If you are on the stage in the middle of the band, use the on-camera mic. If you are in the crowd use the ME66.

The best choice is to tap into the house feed if it's setup properly. Not my area of experience though.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 01:16 AM   #8
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I don't think I'll have the opportunity to tap into the house feed. Sounds like the 66.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 01:27 AM   #9
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Josh,
Unless you already have the ME-66, give some thought to the layout of the sound field you anticipate. The ME-66 is a super cardioid mic, with a relatively narrow hot field (but not as narrow as the lobar mics). If the talent / sound will be spread across the stage you may be better served with a cardioid mic (a broader field). Of course if it's just going to be an ear-splitting event pumped through a wall of amps it might not make much difference. <g>

Pardon the old-fart remark.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 01:27 AM   #10
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Also, what about these XLR to miniplug adapters? I asked around about these a long time ago, and was told they didn't exist. Where specifically do you get them? Does someone sell very short XLR cables to go with them?
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Old January 21st, 2003, 01:35 AM   #11
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The best config would be to use an XLR adapter with your XL1 (MA-100, 200, BeachTek, Studio One), particularly when shooting in a live, uncontrolled event such as a concert. In addition to the noise reduction inherent to the XLR design their sturdier connections provide a more secure fitting than a consumer-style mini plug.

But, yes, adapters and cables for XLR-to-Mini do exist. Check your local Radio Shack or B&H.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 01:58 AM   #12
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Oh, well I already have the MA100. Do you know if anyone makes really short XLR cables, like 1-2 feet? All the places in town don't have 'em any shorter than six, which means I have to coil up the cable if I'm mounting the ME66 on the XL1s's shotgun mount.

Yes, do already have the ME66. The place I'm thinking of, I'd be like a foot or two from the stage, if it was anything like last time. I don't think it's ear splitting style music, but I could be wrong. I don't want to get the crowd all around me though.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 02:00 AM   #13
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Check the B&H link I posted above.
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Old January 21st, 2003, 05:21 AM   #14
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The MKE300 is not a great choice for music. It has a marked low frequency roll off below around 200 Hz. In very loud venues, it may go into excessive distortion at a substantially lower sound level than mics like the ME66.
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