Gs100k mic accessory at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 08:19 PM   #1
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Gs100k mic accessory

I was thinking about getting one of those mics you can add onto the top of the GS100k, but I'm not sure if it's worth the ichi man (100$) investment. Do any of you guys have one of the two (i believe) compatible Panasonic microphones? If so, do you notice a strong improvement in sound quality? Also, does anyone know a good place online to buy a wireless mic?
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 10:00 PM   #2
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Hi Jamie,

What are you currrently using? just the build-in mic in the gs100K?
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Old June 24th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #3
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yes

yeah, just the built in one. The sound is pretty good, even from far away. The 'zoom mic' function seems to work well, and the wind noise reduction also prevents amateurish sounding audio too. I was just curious if the mic accessories Panasonic puts out really makes a big improvement or not over just the internal mic.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:04 AM   #4
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I have the Panasonic stereo zoom mike that works off the hot shoe. It definitely gives the audio a boost, especially when the person/event you're taping is unamplified. I was warned, though, that this mike is best used in "wide" mode, and I have not tried it in any other! (Yup, slow to deviate from what works.). I actually keep it on the cam all the time and keep "low cut" on, even indoors. I think you may well find other mike/xlr configurations that would give you even better audio. If keeping the size and weight of the cam down matter a lot, however, this is a pretty good setup.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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I see.. thanks for the info. Maybe I'll shell out for a mic next time I'm in Tokyo.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #6
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Jamie are you still in Japan? If you are, why don't you inquire in those online stores like naniwa.com, masani denki, hat-in, PC bomber or outlet plaza. Their prices are certainly better than Tokyo big stores' and they would deliver for a reasonable fee (unless you live in the Sakhalin islands, the Southernmost islands of Okinawa or in one of those volcanic islands in the Tokyo bay :-))
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Old June 27th, 2004, 01:01 AM   #7
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You're right.. online stores almost always have way better prices for electronics in Japan than real stores. That's in fact how I bought my GS100k in the first place. Saved nearly $400 off the price they were asking for up here in Aomori. Thank's for the tip!
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Old June 28th, 2004, 03:10 AM   #8
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Hi Patricia,
I'm also interested in that zoom mic and wonder if you could share a bit more thoughts on it?

First - have you listened and compared the sound from the onboard and the zoom mic on decent HiFi system. Any marginal difference (despite both are in wide mode)?

Second - how the hot shoe powered mic influences the power consumption of the cam?
Have you noticed big drop in the power drain since you started using it?

Thanks in advance!
Bogdan
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Old June 28th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #9
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Bogdan, first let me correct myself. I said "wide" and should have said "tele." That's the mode it was suggested I use and it is the one I've been keeping it in.

I haven't done any test of the kind you mention, but what I do is make dvds of the events I shoot, many of which include musical jam sessions, and for me that's the "test" of the sound - the dvds have to play well enough to make the recipient happy. The mike does two things for me. First, since I keep it in lowcut mode, there are fewer wind noise problems - I shot one relative's outdoor wedding and the sound pick up was excellent, no wind noise. Second, it's possible to be much further away and record accurately. When the event itself is miked, of course there's less problem with just the onboard cam mike. Often, though, I get a mix of miked and unmiked speech/music in the same event, which has been frustrating in the past. The zoom mike helps a lot in that situation - at the outdoor wedding I spoke of, for example, the pastor was using a hand mike; he was supposed to hold it for the exchange of vows, but it wasn't done right. I was at the back of the audience (quite a bit back, actually) so I could stay out of the way of the professional shooting and get a shot of the ring exchange. The zoom did pick up the vows - somewhat faintly, but still clearly. I am sure that if you have professional mixing equipment (which I don't), you can boost the sound in post in such situations.

I use the waist pack battery, so I don't think I'll be much help to you on the battery drain issue. I can say, however, that for one family gathering the cam was in "quick start" mode for about 8 hours, with the mike attached the whole time. Seemed to work fine.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 09:03 PM   #10
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Thank you Patricia for the informative overview .

May be with 'tele' you mean the mic is in zoom mode so it can be controled with the zoom togle of the optics? Thus when you shot that distant scene you've got sound anyway. It's been muted as in tele the characteristiques of the mic become very narrow (almost mono) and also the high frequencies are surpressed.

I've tried the zoom function of the onboard mic and in tele it adds too much ambient noise. I guess the VMH3 is giving better results especially in that area.

To be sure what you are getting (or missing) though the simplest way is to record similar scene just for few minutes without and then with the accesory mic. Then just play back via the AV cable. If you have phone jack on the TV use that or even better use splitter to feed the TV with video signal and your HiFi with the audio signal.

DVD should be representative but it's too much more processing and work for a simple check.

Thanks once again, Pat!
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Old June 28th, 2004, 09:26 PM   #11
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Bogdan, the mike can be set for zoom, tele or wide. The best test (to me) is when one is actually shooting a real event, with all the actual noise and sound variations that can occur. Unfortunately, however, I am usually too caught up in the shooting and know I would either forget which mode I was using when or be annoyed that in the middle of "testing" I ended up losing something.

The person who got the mike for me has quite a formidable setup using the gs100 with an xlr adapter and, I believe, an Audio Technica mike. He tested the Pana stereo zoom mike before handing it over and concluded that it would be best in tele mode. So that's what I've stuck with. Experimenting with filters and lenses I will do, but not audio. I can usually drop in replacement footage if something is wrong; I can't, however, replace lost audio (says she, speaking from sad experience).
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Old June 28th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #12
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Agreed!
Don't want to disrupt your shooting of course ;)
And I've got even more info from your last post - that's enough - thanks!
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