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Old October 14th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Looking to avoid an H4N, so are there any DSLRs on the market or that will be coming in the near future where the built in mic input records good audio?
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Old October 14th, 2014, 05:34 PM   #2
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

No.



:-)
But seriously, you have a large choice of cameras (which surely are chosen for their image quality) but also a large choice of audio recorders. The Zoom H4n is adequate in some situations, but there are many better recorders.

Others will be able to relate which of the current DSLRs have the least worst audio and ease of use, but it might help if you let us know what kind of work you do.

If you want really good audio, it is often best to hire someone in who has the right gear and the experience to use it effectively.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 01:29 AM   #3
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

I can't speak for the current crop of DSLRs, but I consider the audio I can get with my EOS 60D is good, maybe not to the highest professional standards, but still good.

Magic Lantern is a must, enabling the digital pre-amp, the noisy bit, to be turned down to minimum so the analogue gain is the only input level control. So now the input signal needs to be boosted. Using a Rode SVM with a FEL 3.5mm inline pre-amp ()Inline microphone pre-amplifiers - Canford), good levels of clean audio can be recorded.

The later SVM Pro has a higher output level, so the extra pre-amp is not necessary.

Using ML, audio monitoring is possible via the camera's USB port. I use a FiiO amplifier (http://www.fiio.com.cn/products/) for the purpose, but it may not be necessary depending on the headphones used. The only down side is you MUST use Canon's proprietary USB lead to connect it, or headphones, which is pricey. Not standard USB wiring, I believe!

Just my experience.

Dave

Last edited by Dave Baker; October 15th, 2014 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Add some info.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:38 AM   #4
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

From my experience the panasonic g6 and the sony rx10 have good inbuild audio to record ambient sound, much better then a gh3.

Here is a quick test I did including these camera's, it was recorded in my office with the sound coming from my pc soundspeakers and about 2 meters distance.
password: audio
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Old October 15th, 2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Riggs View Post
...are there any DSLRs on the market or that will be coming in the near future where the built in mic input records good audio?
No. It doesn't take much experience to find out that the worst position for a mic is on the camera. No matter how "good" the mic/preamps are, they are out of position for 99.5% of audio captures, so the resulting audio is still not acceptable for most uses.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Quote:
so the resulting audio is still not acceptable for most uses.
For recording ambient sound some are good enough, I have often used the onboard audio from my G6 while recording very loud music on a dancefloor at a wedding, if it's not distorted it's perfectly usable. Only if you are planning to record voices then I would agree the onboard audio is about the worst choice you can make.
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Old October 20th, 2014, 10:37 PM   #7
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Riggs View Post
Looking to avoid an H4N, so are there any DSLRs on the market or that will be coming in the near future where the built in mic input records good audio?
I've been very impressed with the audio circuitry of the Lumix GH4. If you plan to use an external mic, and the mic/preamp matches well with the input sensitivity of the GH4, I think you'll find that the quality is better than a Zoom H4n. I've compared the GH4 to the Zoom H6 by feeding the output of the H6 into the camera (with an additional attenuator) and I can't hear a difference.

Here's a video using a Rode NT4 stereo mic straight into the GH4:

Fran
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Old October 21st, 2014, 01:11 AM   #8
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

On the Sony A7S you can set audio levels (no AGC) and record in linear PCM. You can also attach a Sony XLR unit to the hotshoe if you so desire (XLR-K1M or XLR-K2M).

I have an A7S and a K1M but when I don't run two inputs I run the line-in right into the 1/8 input and leave the K1M at home.
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Old July 14th, 2015, 12:13 PM   #9
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Sorry to raise this old thread but i'm really struggling to defeat the agc on my A7s (with rode videomic) - sure you can manually set audio levels but when it goes quiet - the agc kicks in - makes the audio unusable for.me unless i'm missing something?
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Old July 14th, 2015, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

The Irig pre is repordely supposed to me a good preamp with the right microphone.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 11:55 PM   #11
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Good for what???
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Old July 25th, 2015, 10:05 PM   #12
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Good for a scratch track... Maybe.
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Old July 27th, 2015, 12:56 AM   #13
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

Usually good for a sync track if you're careful!
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Old July 28th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #14
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Re: Any DSLRs where the built in mic input records good audio?

If you are recording video and want good audio, then you have to be clear about what your definition of good audio is. Does it mean that you can hear ambient sound without motor noise etc, or does it mean using an external mic to avoid handling noise but signal to noise of the system is not that important, or does it mean studio quality audio with no discernible system or residual noise and the widest dynamic range and gain control possible?

If the latter, then using a DSLR to record video and audio when it is a specialised stills camera is never going to work well. A separate method of recording audio is going to be essential with high quality mics and efficient monitoring and control, the audio from the camera just being used for synching purposes.

With a recognition by manufacturers that many film makers use DSLRs for their large sensors, there is a gradual move to improve the quality of pre-amps and onboard control, but even with those improvements, an external mic is always going to give better quality. The best video quality really needs to be matched to the best audio quality and that will only be achieved with dedicated audio equipment and techniques.

Roger
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