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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 07:12 PM   #1
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vx2000 mic problems

I just got a vx2000 and the built in mic seems a little bit flimsy. Also, it does not have good sound. It seems to pick up the sound of the LCD opening and the zoom motor, but other sounds from more than a few feet away can't be heard to well. What I am really worried about is the mic being flimsy, just a little, anybody else have this problem? I know built in mics are not too good, but on a pro-quality camera I would expect it to be decent. Do you think the audio technica atr 55 would be better? Eventually, I plan to buy an xlr shotgun and converter, but I am broke. Also, do you know where I can get the normal size eyecup? Mine only came with the big one (bought used from a store). Let me know, thanks
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 09:36 PM   #2
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It has a flexible joint between it and the handle.

You won't get good sound out of it as, unlike a zoom lens, there is no way to 'zoom' a microphone. Only getting a microphone close to the source will get you good sound. The microphone isn't all that bad, it just is located in the wrong place.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 09:37 PM   #3
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thanks, so it's not broken. Any suggestions on a good cheap mic?
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Old April 24th, 2004, 01:38 AM   #4
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Good and cheap are not synonymous with microphones.

However, you might find one of the Sony stereo microphones that cost around $75 U.S. might be acceptable. I used one to record a string quartet and they thought it was a far better recording than the expensive studio recording they had recently made. I had just run out of microphones during a wedding and that was what I used.

I don't know about that but that class of electret microphone is OK as long as you can set it down somewhere. Somewhere close.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 02:24 AM   #5
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Jorn,
I don't have personal experience with it, but I have heard
good things about the Sony stereo mic.
Interestingly, I have a Sony TR101 high-8 analog
camera. The stereo mic on that cam
is better than what is on the VX! It is actually
a stereo "zoom" mic, but I never played with that
feature much. It does sound *noticably* better than the
VX mic, which I don't think is really that bad.
The Sony stereo mic that Mike (I believe) is referring
to also has this zoom feature. From reading the
TR101 manual I take it that there are actually
three mics inside there. Two facing to the side and
one facing forward. So you can vary the audio recording
by getting a tighter shot or a wider shot, just like
with the video.
So maybe for around $75 you could improve the
sound a lot.
Heck, now that you've brought this up, I may get one
for my VX for just the family stuff. I have other mics (XLR and all that) but, man, did that TR101 sound good.
If you do get it, let us know what you think.
Here's a link.

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...MMSD1&Dept=dcc
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Old April 24th, 2004, 09:46 AM   #6
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a lesson learned (cheap mics)

Hi Jorn...

I have a VX2000 too and I agree about the mic. However, I wish I would've discovered this forum before I bought my "cheap" upgrade.

The upgrade was a Sony ECM-HS1. It was about $80. It's a a zoom/gun mic. You can select between the two depending on your needs. Unfortunately, this mic is exactly that. CHEAP... in both price and quality. So, my recomendations are to NOT get this mic!

It depends on what you consider inexpensive... but sometimes you get what you pay for! I am going for a price range of $200-$300. That, to me is "inexpensive"... not necessarily cheap. Cheap to me is $100 to $200. Regarding the mic... there is a TON of information on this topic. I posted on this subject... check it out... I posted it on 4/8/2004 and it's titled "Audio Adapters for VX2000 - advice please!" This should really help you out. Just don't get anything because you don't like the mic. Wait! I wish I did!

As for the eyecup... go to Sony on line at www.sony.com. They have all the Sony accessories there that go with the VX2000 (it's where I got my crappy mic!).

Hope this helps!
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Old April 24th, 2004, 11:12 AM   #7
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thanks! When I use a mono mic, how do I make it record to both left and right? As for cheap mics, I am looking to spend about 100, I just got the camera for $1700 so I am broke. What about the azden sgm x? Eventually I want to get an XLr adapter and an xlr shotgun, but that would cost several hundered $s. But the sgm x (I think it's called) says that it's "ideal" for dv cameras like the vx2000. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 02:01 PM   #8
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Mike's right Jorn. A so-so mic use up close to the noise is invariably better than an expensive mic used on camera. The microphone should remain static so as to pick up a constant (maybe stereo) signal, but often the camera needs to move, move, move. to keep the shots exciting. Mics on cameras are a compromise at best, and at worst are useless.

Linda too is right. My test of the HS1 (on John Beale's site) came to the same conclusions she has, that the HS1 is an awful mic, though I bet Sony sell a lot of them because they're labelled as 'intelligent'.

tom.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #9
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If you plug a mono miniplug into the microphone port on the VX-2000/2100, then you will get the microphone input recorded on both channels. If your microphone cable has a stereo mini connector on it, then you can buy a stereo to mono adaptor plug at Radio Shack for $2. However, note that the microphone plug on the cams are relatively fragile, and that the best type of cable to use is one that has a right angle mini plug on the end that connects into the camera. If you use a Radio Shack adaptor at the camera end you are asking for trouble, as it will stick out 1 inch or so and you are likely to inadvertently put large lateral stresses on the mike connector while using the setup. The best way is to make up a special cable to connect to the microphone that shorts the two channels together and that uses a right angle plug at the camera end. Of course the absolute simplest thing is to simply record the audio on one channel and then duplicate that channel to the other channel in your editing system.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #10
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when I plug in a mono mic, I can only hear it on the left, why?
Thanks for all your help
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Old April 24th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #11
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Because it's only recorded on the LH channel. In post it easy-peasy to pan-pot it to wherever you'd like it to be of course. Remember that unlike analogue days the quality of the sound is unaffected if you record one channel or two.

To hear it through both ear pieces while shooting, you'll need an 1/8" stereo to mono adapter for your cans.

tom.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 03:49 PM   #12
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The Sony microphone of which I spoke is the F-99EX 'One-Point Stereo Dynamic Microphone' It has a very nice right-angle plug on it and it works very well with mini-jack cameras and MD recorders.

It is not a 'zoom' microphone.

Think I bought it a Frys Electronics about 10 years ago. I know Sony has the equivalent as I've noticed something similar that Fry's still offers.

It works way better than the microphone that Sony put on my CCD-TR-3300 Hi-8 camcorder which was the best amateur (not prosumer) camera Sony ever made. Still a great camera with a real 2-lux sensitivity and a really good lens.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 04:13 AM   #13
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If you need a very small, but effective add-on stereo mike, consider the Sony ECM-MS908C. It has a switch to change the pickup sector from 120 degrees to 90 degrees. You can actually detect the change in your earphones. It has a full response range and is about 50% more sensitive than the pretty good built-in mike on my last small Sony cam. It's not super-directional and doesn't catch the fluttering of butterfly wings across the canyon. But, it beats wrestling with my 19-inch XLR mikes when they're not needed. For such a neat little package, it's worth the price. It cost me $100. over the counter and I'm just assuming they still sell it. It uses a mini stereo plug and has it's own battery.

Someone mentioned the Audio-Technica ATR-55 as a low-cost possibility for an outboard mono mike. I bought a pair several years ago and am only lukewarm about their performance. I put them on a 12-inch wide stereo rack and rigged a wiring harness to feed them both into a 3-way miniplug. They are good enough on their standard-sensitivity mode, but on the super pickup mode, they're too noisy. They do grab distant sounds well, but the fact I never use them, says something.

I have a Canon A-1 Digital from 13 years back that has such a good built-in mike and audio-control system, I never have bothered to use add-on mikes with it. I used it to shoot a Confederate Air Force show and that mike system on manual control delivered sound from those big old rotary engines that gives me a thrill when I listen to it in a good stereo/surround room today. When I go out at night to record owls and Coyotes and such, I usually take the A-1 Digital, just to get the audio. My Sony TR700 from 1994 is another top-end Hi-8 that has an excellent built-in mike.

They've pushed the video performance of the VX2100 family to an amazing level for the price range, but it seems the audio part of the package isn't keeping pace.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 13th, 2004, 05:55 PM   #14
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azden sgm-1x

i am thinking of getting the azden sgm 1x, because it's only 150. I will use a really short xlr to stereo mini until i can afford a sign video xlr adapter. Anybody had any expeirience with this set up?
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