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Old March 24th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #1
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Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

I just purchased a Sony Ex-1 and am looking for an audio solution besides the built in mic. I do a lot of run & gun shooting and need a stereo (not just mono) on-camera mic, that has a 3 pin XLR input and also which isn't so long and big that it will dip down into the shot at full wide. I read some of the old threads on the forum and it seems like the solutions are very limited. Most of the mics are mono and some of them are really long too. The Sennheiser MKE-400 that I currently use on my old FX-1 is a great stereo mic for a very inexpensive price and exactly the right size for on-camera use (a little small actually) but of course that only uses a mini-plug, not XLR. Why is the selection so limited for these type of mics? Any other suggestions for a smallish stereo mic with XLR inputs that can mount on the EX-1?
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Old March 24th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

I've got a Sony ECM680S and really like how it sounds. Its a 5 pin mic but its no problem getting 5pin to dual 3pin breakout cable.

The only issue I have found with using it on the EX1 is you can't use the stock mic holder without getting a LOT of handling sounds in the audio. Put the mic in a good shock mount on the cold shoe and you are golden.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Chris, that looks like a nice mic at a reasonable price, and I like the switchable mono/stereo aspect. Nine inches or more in length seems really long though! It will be sticking way out in front of my lens for sure. Not sure why Sony made it with the 5-pin XLR instead of the usuual 3 pin XLR. I see the mic available online at B&H for example and other online shops, but I don't see where to get a 5pin to dual 3 pin breakout cable however. Also seems like another potential problem to have a cable connected to other cables dangling alongside the body of the camera while shooting.

Edit: I just found the official Sony 5-pin to 3-pin XLR Cable For ECM-680S Stereo Shotgun Mic also available at B&H. Unfortunately it says that it ships in 7-14 business days! I have shoots coming up sooner than that, so I guess I am stuck making do with the built in stereo mic and hoping that is acceptable audio or picking up another mic locally to make do for the next week or so.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Jim, you could probably get this one overnighted from B&H, but it's a bit expensive. You also could make your own!

Sennheiser ACS5 5-pin XLR Y Cable ACS5 B&H Photo Video
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Gunn View Post
Chris, that looks like a nice mic at a reasonable price, and I like the switchable mono/stereo aspect. Nine inches or more in length seems really long though! It will be sticking way out in front of my lens for sure. Not sure why Sony made it with the 5-pin XLR instead of the usuual 3 pin XLR. I see the mic available online at B&H for example and other online shops, but I don't see where to get a 5pin to dual 3 pin breakout cable however. Also seems like another potential problem to have a cable connected to other cables dangling alongside the body of the camera while shooting.

Edit: I just found the official Sony 5-pin to 3-pin XLR Cable For ECM-680S Stereo Shotgun Mic also available at B&H. Unfortunately it says that it ships in 7-14 business days! I have shoots coming up sooner than that, so I guess I am stuck making do with the built in stereo mic and hoping that is acceptable audio or picking up another mic locally to make do for the next week or so.
This is the cable I bought -
Remote Audio 5-Pin Stereo XLR Female to Dual XLR Male CAXSTE B&H

The cable is short and won't hang down the side of the camera.

It sounds like a long mic but once you have it in the shock mount and it setup in the shoe it doesn't stick out but a few inches past the lens. You won't see it in the frame even with the wide angle adapter.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess all these 5 pin to 3 pin XLR cables are essentially the same? The Sennheiser one Dave suggested is 6" and that seems ideal to me (assuming it's not too short to physically reach the XLR inputs on the camera). The Sony one is 16" and the Remote Audio version is 18", both of which seem unnecessarily long and would result in cables that need to be tidied up somehow.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

I'd go with one that is slightly longer than you need, Jim. If the cord is too short, you'll risk transmitting vibration up the cable. It's easier to have a slight loop or at least not have the wire pulled taut. The final length will be impacted by the length of your mic, too.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #8
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Dave, I guess I'll probably order a short cable and a longer cable and see which one works better and just return the other one. It's funny, I never had any issues working with consumer/prosumer audio gear. My small Sennheiser MKE 400 on-camera mic consistently delivers great stereo sound, screws easily into a cold shoe, plugs into the mini plug on any DV or HDV camera easily and is the best $200 I ever spent! All the pro audio gear mics (with XLR) are not only expensive but too many of them are mono and even the ones that are mono/stereo, they all seem real finicky. From what I read on the forums, everyone has to purchase extra accessories, cables and mounts and then jury rig them to make them work with their individual videocameras.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #9
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Jim
I've looked at the MKE 400 for use with small Sony Handicams- but these cams often do not have a standard bracket- they only have the Sony "hotshoe" which is a smaller bracket.
Is there any way to adapt the MKE 400 to fit it into the Sony hotshoe??
Thanks
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Old March 25th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #10
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Robert,

Specifically to your question, I bought a Sony shoe adapter for my HC1 from B. Hague in Nottingham a few years ago and it works just fine with Rode VideoMic and Stereo Video Mic. They do ship worldwide if needs be but I believe someone in the USA also makes a similar type adapter. A search should find a product link.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

This adapter can be ordered in any cable length you want:

USB Microphone, Stereo Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Custom Cables and more at Rock Bottom Prices from The Sound Professionals - Great deals on Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Cable and more!

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Old March 25th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

680S is very nice I have on too, but it's very long. If you phone around some Sony dealers you might be able to pick up one of the short stereo mics that are supplied with cameras like the PDW-F350 etc. These were not popular with many crews as they were not very directional, so were often replaced with the 680S. So if your just after a cheap short stereo mic it may be worth making a few phone calls.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #13
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Robert,

Specifically to your question, I bought a Sony shoe adapter for my HC1 from B. Hague in Nottingham a few years ago and it works just fine with Rode VideoMic and Stereo Video Mic. They do ship worldwide if needs be but I believe someone in the USA also makes a similar type adapter. A search should find a product link.
Andy
Right you are and here is a link:
Sony Mini AIS Active Interface Adapter to Standard Shoe - Photogearfinder
Somehow I had been expecting Sony to provide this gadget- should have known better :)
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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:35 AM   #14
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Re: Small stereo XLR on-camera mic for EX-1?

That actually looks better than the Hague one too! OK, let the thread return to its chosen subject.
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