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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #31
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I own a ME66/k6. 5 or 6 years ago it was the "Go to" mic, but in the last few years sound guys LOVE to tear it down. So now it's a whipping boy. But I think it's still a good little mic although it's nearly useless indoors. The Audio Technica AT4073A is highly regarded but it's more expensive. Don't forget some kind of windscreen. The "Mike Muff" is good if you're broke.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 09:20 AM   #32
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I use a ME66 on my camera and find it does a great job. If I have the luxury of using a sound tech, and that person wants to use their own gear (which I encourage) then it's up to them what they choose to use, and I have found more often than not, it is a 416. There is no question to me that the 416 is a better mic, but is it worth the extra money? That would be up to you. I find that the ability of the ME66 to use both phantom power or internal power makes it more versatile to me, and I often have a Lectrosonics 'butt plug' attached so that I can remove the mic and have a wireless shotgun ready to go at any moment. When I am working by myself, this allows me to 'drop' the shotgun closer to my subject (if I'm not using a lav and just want better nat sound) in an inconspicuous place. That said, this creates a couple of issues. One is having a receiver (or two) always attached to the camera. (that's another whole thread) The other is there is no way you can use the stock camera shotgun mount to carry this much weight if you have a transmitter attached to the mic. As you've probably already read, many are breaking off already without the added weight of a transmitter.
One of the first things I did with my EX3 was take that worthless mic holder off. It's cheap plastic, and I didn't give it a month rigged the way I like to set my camera up. I waded through all the posts here, and searched the web for the perfect solution which would provide some shock mount, plus some added height so the rycote doesn't show in the frame, and make it easy to remove the mic in a hurry. After much research and experimentation, I finally settled on something I already owned, the Sony CAC-12 mic mount.
Sony | CAC-12 Camera Microphone Holder | CAC12 | B&H Photo Video
I believe I noticed someone else here has used this on their EX.... When I first looked at it, I didn't want to have to grind down the two nipples which protrude from the EX when the stock mount is removed. I also didn't want to drill holes in my CAC-12 to fit it over the nipples on the EX... I still use this on my Beta D600. But in the end, I finally just drilled the small holes in the CAC-12 to allow it to sit flush on the EX, and it fit perfectly. Well, almost perfectly... the tiny 12mm (I think?) screws used on the EX are disappointing. Even my old PD-150 had beefier screws mounting the mic holder in place.... but whatever. You will have to find some longer 12mm screws and use some small washers to keep the screw heads from trying to fall into the holes on the CAC-12 which uses a much bigger allen screw on the Beta. I did not have to enlarge the holes on the CAC-12 even though the do not match the mount on the EX perfectly, since the holes in the CAC-12 are big enough to make up the difference in the spread on the EX mount. It actually makes for a pretty firm mount. (as much as that can be said with the construction of the EX)
This probably isn't perfect, but nothing is going to be. I like the added height, the robust mount will take the weight of the ME66 with the transmitter easily. It has done so for a decade on my Beta. Now, if I can just avoid taking the whole XLR apparatus off the EX.....
One added advantage of the CAC-12, is if you do not tighten the lock too tightly, there will be some 'play' should you walk into a door or something smacks into the mic. This will allow the mount to pivot a bit and take the hit, hopefully taking the stress off the mounting and (hopefully) not cracking or breaking where this screws into the camera. I have had this happen a couple of times now, and was VERY happy the mic just moved out of the way rather than transmit that force down to the camera mount. I don't think there is any other mount which would have this ability.

Anyway, this works. I have not had unacceptable noise from this mount, and if I do start hearing something, I can just remove the mic and get it near my subject (providing you're not on the move) If I'm working with a producer or talent who can take the mic, it is very convenient to be able to just hand it off without a lot of XLR cable to deal with connected to the camera.
This does not use up the cold shoe mount above the camera mic which I do use for a light now and then. It's nice to still have that when I need it.

As a side note, I spent some time recently chatting with some Sony reps recently up at the Sundance Film Festival. I wanted to discuss some issues with them (the IR contamination issue, the necessity of using a circular polarizer, SDHC use, and more relevant the crappy design of the shotgun holder and tripod mount on both EX cameras. Surprisingly, the guy I talked with said Sony was aware of both issues, and is looking into it. What that means is anyone's guess..... but at least they acknowledge some poor design in those areas.

I hope this helps somewhat.... but the short answer to all this is don't use the mic holder on the camera. Buy what suits your needs best, there are many decent options provided by many others here. The one thing everyone is in agreement on, is the stock mount WILL break eventually, especially with a larger mic such as the ME66 or 416 sticking out of it with a dead cat attached. Good luck-

Last edited by Derek Reich; January 31st, 2009 at 05:33 PM.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:22 AM   #33
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Thanks everyone. My camera arrived last night. When I look through the product brochure, the mount and attached mic look relatively low profile and inconspicious compared to some of the larger shock mounting solutions people are suggesting. One picture I found had the shockmount standing almost a foot above the camera. I cannot imagine shooting handheld with something like that.

Has anyone tried the Sony shotgun?
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