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Old October 24th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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What interview microphone for your Xacti

At last I have found a solid state camear with a microphone input.

**********************************SKIP this preambel
You do not need to be told but, solid state random access is the business. Tapes, dammit, DVD's dammit, capture dammit. Give me FLASH memory.

But almost all FLASH memory cameras do not have a microphone input. Praise the Lord for the Xacti DMX H2, and Panasonic HDC-SD1, and SD3 (but they phased it out by SD5), and an old Olympus camera that had a microphone input. The P2 using Pansonic AVX200 also has microphone inputs of course, but it weights a lot and I am scared someone will mug me.

Lets face it, the viewing of amateur videos has increased a billion fold in the last couple of years due to the popularity of sites like Vimeo and Youtube. It is not difficult to make a video that a few thousand people will watch. This is more views university professors, quite few semiprofessional bands, and even some radio stations get. We can be famous. We can make video that people watch.

The vast majority of (non-ripped-off) watched content on the internet is someone talking to the camera. Humans like Humans. An interview (particularly a self interview) is the easiest way to make something interesting, far more so than another shot of someones back yard.

So the vast majority of this content is of vloggers in their bedrooms talking to their web cams. And there are good reasons for this. The lighting in their bedroom is bad. But if they took their camera outside they would be faced with wind and other ambient noise.

A microphone can bring the blogger out of the bedroom. It is a big step forward.

***************************************************************

But what microphone should we use?

I am particularly looking for something for (self) interviews that will reduce ambient noise.

Does the Xacti DmS HD2 allow one to set the audio level manuallly. (If not then I don't think that purchasing a microphone will much difference because the automtaci gain will crank itself up till it can hear background noise. Or alternatively, is the automatic gain ofthe Xacti sufficiently slow that if one keeps talking then the gain will never be ramped up to thepoint where afrificial nose is a problmen)?

Does an Xacti microphone *need* to be plug in power?

Does an Xacti microphone need to be stereo?

Would a Karaoke microphone do?

What happens if we plug in a mono microphone? Can the camera be set to record in only mono? Can we use the camera mike on one channel and the mono external microphone on the other?

Tim
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Old October 24th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #2
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I have Xacti HD1 and its microphone input is useless.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=72832

P.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #3
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Dan Hickey has good results
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....9&postcount=13
with Mini-Tripod Omni-directional Stereo Microphones *perhaps* like this (note "requires a bias voltage known as plug in power")
http://www.microphonemadness.com/pro...mmstertrip.htm

Bo Lorentzen recommends
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....27&postcount=6
and Peter Solmssen also
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....76&postcount=6
uses a sound professionals SPSPSM1
http://www.8thstreet.com/prod.asp?pid=10205
but this points in two opposite directions.

Chris Wells recommends
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....90&postcount=4
the Sound Professionals SPSPSM-13
http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cg...tem/SP-SPSM-13
whic has "astonishing sound" and claims to be omnidirection despite (like the SPSPSM-1) to have two microphones pointing in opposite directions. And I am not sure how I would hold it.

Jim Babcock recommended
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....55&postcount=4
Sony ECM ZS90
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Zoom_Mic.html
but after a while it stoppped working and the microphone has been discontinued and replaced by a mini shotgun microphone the Sony ECM CZ-10
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...&Q=&sku=428277
This does not seem appropriate for interviews since it is for voice *at a distance* the ZS90 was switchable for long and short distances.

Brian Beasleigh sounds convincing when he says
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....90&postcount=7
that no stero microphone is good for dialogue, so I guess I should split and use mono but then I would need to double up in post processing since there does not seem to be a record in mono setting.

Mathew Johnston reccomends
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....22&postcount=9
A Rode Videomic, which is a sort of boom mic that is attached to a bracket or mount attached to the camera
http://www.rodemic.com/?pagename=Pro...oduct=VideoMic
You can hear the results here
http://www.mattjohnstonrally.com/matt/FabThatCar.mov
But I would like something hand held.

I think that Graham Jones Seniour is using an audio technica, but I am not sure.

Last edited by Timothy Takemoto; October 24th, 2007 at 05:59 PM. Reason: add more microphones
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:26 AM   #4
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Sony F-V420 with stereo to mono splitter

I bought an audio technica AT9643 microphone which is plug in power compatible. But, I find I get clicks in the audio. These may occur when I operate the zoom or change the focus. Here is a clicky clip of me attempting to use this microphone.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgmelUbAJ3g

The good news is that if I split the stereo into two mono lines using a Sony PC 239S splitter,
http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/avacc/ava...ex.cfm?PD=1821
then I can use a dynamic vocalists microphone. I have the chunky metal Sony F-V420
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Uni-Direc.../lacanianlinks
which is cheap (25 USD) high quality, highly directional and highly recommended. It works fine despite the fact that it is a "dynamic microphone" (whatever that means) rather than "plug in power".

Here is my 14second test uploaded to YouTube. The output is rather low but I think it will do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxyK8oro_XY
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Old October 27th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #5
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Panasonic WM-430

A Panasonic WM-430 dynamic microphone (again through the stereo to mono splitter, mentioned above) works even better.

This is the product page in Japanese
http://www.pssm.co.jp/products/produ...d-mic01_2.html

The microphone costs about 150 USD. It seems to have a higher output level.

Here is me demostrating the microphone in SD mode
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5vCe3OwbxQ
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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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As mentioned above, I use a Rode VideoMic. It came highly recommended and works great. I usually clamp it to my PVC DIY FigRig, but you can mount it direct to the Xacti if you want:

http://www.mattjohnstonrally.com/matt/xactirode.jpg
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Old October 29th, 2007, 09:28 AM   #7
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Is the Rode VideoMic a dynamic microphone too?

It is not really suitable for me since I am looking for something to hold but I can see the attraction.

It seems that a high output dynamic microphone is the way to go since plug and play microphones produce clicks. I will attempt to take my plug and play microphone back to the store soon.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:14 AM   #8
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The dynamic microphone is okay, but it is bulky compared to the camera and the output levels are low. I tried increasing the volume in post but I seem to have some sort of clipping. See this for an example of the microphone (and cheap wide lens) in use
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_U_XEqXR6I

The audio technica AT9643 is still making clicks. It is not the autofocus. It seems to be whenever I move the hand touching the camera.

However, I have just tried the microphone without the one metre extension cord, plugged directly into the 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter and that seems to do away with the clicks. It is perhaps therefore a problem with an insufficiently shielded extension cable. The Dynamic microphone has a much thicker better shielded extension cable.

I will try putting a ferrite core on the extension cable too and using a thicker more shielded microphone cable if I can find one. It would be nice to be able to find a microphone extension cable that combines as a 3.5mm Jack to Jack 2.5mm addapter - a 1m 3.5mm-2.5mm adapter.

Tim
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Old November 1st, 2007, 03:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedanes Bol View Post
I have Xacti HD1 and its microphone input is useless.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=72832

P.
Dear Pedanes Bol
Why is your microphone input useless? Do you get clicks like this?
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=106982
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Old February 10th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #10
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I purchased the HD1000 last week mainly because of its go anywhere size, but also because of the external mike input.

With a larger Sony HD camera I've had excellent results recording sound onto a Microtrak 24/96 digial audio recorder and running a lead from its line out ports to the camera's microphone inputs. It works well with the Microtrak's plug in stereo mike and with external powered mikes (Why do that, you might ask? Well, because we need both sound and video from media conferences and it's an easy way to get both without worrying about extra mikes or extracting sound from video).

I will try the same kind of set-up on the Xacti and let you know how it goes.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #11
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please do let us know.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:28 AM   #12
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I sent my Xacti HD2 back to Sanyo who told me that there was something wrong with both the input jack (that may have been my fault) and the internal workings of the camera. They fixed it under the guarantee at the Hiroshima service center in about one week.

The day it came back and I tested it once and the audio seemed really good. But then the memory card stopped staying in the camera and kept popping out. So it is back in for repair.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #13
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konishiwa Timothy

you were writing about eveyone can do video now, watch this video about mic
for xacti.it may help you

http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance...-videomic_tech
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Old May 11th, 2008, 04:27 AM   #14
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Microphone Does Not Work On Xacti CG6

Hello everyone,

I have a Xacti CG6 and I love my camera alot. I have used it for my vacation and loads of other things.

I bought this camera for actually one main reason, videoing comedies that my friends and I make. We have successfully finished one video. But i noticed that the sound quality from the camera's own microphone wasn't clear enough. So i searched the web for a microphone for my use. I found the Sony ECM-M907.

I have searched for it in Bangkok (where i live), and Singapore too. Well, in Singapore, I didn't find the ECM-M907, but I fortunately found the Sony ECM-M957. I have been told that it is a newer model and it's better than the Sony ECM-M907.

So I tested it with my camera (at the Sony shop), and found that it does not work with my camera. I'm not sure about this as the sales person there tested it again and said that there was sound coming from both the camera's microphone and the Sony ECM-MS957. He said there was probably a setting that would change the input from the camera's microphone to the Sony ECM-M957. I couldn't find it, a finally left the store.

I am very disappointed and I'm searching for other compatible and microphone for my needs.

Can anyone out there recommend some? And guarantee it would work?

Thanks.
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