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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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onboard mic for F3?

Any suggestions for a replacement on board mic for the F3? The supplied mic is a stereo with 2 XLR's. I don't get it - I never need a stereo on board and if you want to run with an onboard and a wireless you are left with one side of the onboard and an XLR dangling off.

I can put an Octava which sounds good up there but it tends to be sensitive to wind and I would prefer not to have a fuzzy taking up that much room all the time.

Am also looking at the old Sony 1-542-296 that was standard issue on Sony broadcast cameras for years. Its cheap directional and handles wind better. Not the greatest but ....

Lenny
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Old April 27th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I have a Sony ECM-680s which is a stereo/mono switchable mic. It's a good mic, but quite long. The ECM-VG1 would probably be a good match and is supplied with a softie wind gag, but I've never tried that mic myself, so don't know whether it's actually any good.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I don't want a long mic because I like to be able to handhold with wide lenses. That's why I balk at the Octava with the softie on it. I'll be comparing the Octava to the old Sony onboard today.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Well...No clear winner. Octava certainly sounds better and surprisingly has less handling noise, but it needs a softie outoors and that reduces the directionality quite a bit. Also you need to use the camera wind filter and I prefer to keep it off so it doesn't throw off a sound guy when he connects to the camera. Least amount of switching is best.
The ECM-VG1 looks perfect on paper and I especially like the newly designed wind filter and the switchable low cuts on the mic. Not available yet though. Price is right if it its half decent.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

For hand held I would consider the Rode NTG-1.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Bob, what's your experience with the Rode. It sounds pretty good on paper.
Do you lose much directionality with the "dead cat" on it? Do you pick up much handling noise.
Need the dead cat when outdoors?
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Old April 29th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I have an NTG-1 which I sometimes will mount on a camera. I am still using it, and am generally happy with what I get from it.
The obvious advantage of the NTG1 is that it is fairly small and light.
On the flip side, I don't find it to have as much reach or bass response as either the NTG-3 or the Sennheiser 416 (both of which I also have). If you can deal with one of the bigger mics, you'll get audio that's a bit cleaner and more directional (and you'll also be using a mic that costs 2-4 times as much.)
If you use one of the little isolation shock mounts that attaches to the hotshoe you'll get a bit less handling noise. I have a foam isolating strip that I wrap around the mic to get it to fit better for when I put it directly in the camera's attached mic holder (when I'm using the hot shoe for an on-camera light) .
I tend not to put the 'Dead Cat' on unless I think I really need it, but I haven't done much in comparison testing between Cat and No Cat.
HTH,
Dave S
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Old April 29th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

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Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Bob, what's your experience with the Rode. It sounds pretty good on paper.
Do you lose much directionality with the "dead cat" on it? Do you pick up much handling noise.
Need the dead cat when outdoors?
I have used this mic on a Sony Z1 and Sony EX1R for a camera mic. Most of what I have done with those cameras has been hand held so the small size and off-axis noise rejection help with getting what I need from a camera mic.

When outside the dead cat is very helpful until you get into very windy gusting conditions. I do not notice any problems in the directionality with the cat on the mic. I have the mic wrapped in thin foam to insert into the onboard mic holder if I want to keep a low profile. Otherwise I use an isolated mic holder mounted on the camera. So, no more handling noise than any other dedicated "camera" mic.

This is only a camera mic for me and if I have critical sound I use a sound person with a boom and/or wireless mics.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I like Audio Technica's AT875R. Small price, big sound...
Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone AT875R

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Old April 29th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Thierry,
Thanks for the suggestion, I just read some great reviews for the AT875R.
Couple of questions:

How is handling noise and how is wind noise outside. Do you use a softie with it?
Also if you use it on an F3 or an EX-1 what impedance setting do you use and do you need to have the wind filter in for exterior use?

I would like to have to make as few changes as possible in the audio settings when switching back & forth from a mixer or a radio mic.

I guess the same questions would apply to the Rode.

Lenny
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Old April 30th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I use a Rycote softie so, unless I am in a very strong wind, no need to use the low-cut filter. I keep the audio input TRIM level to its default but since I run this mic on CH2 half of the time in AGC mode, I set the AGC level to LOW. A note about the AT875, it does not have a tight pattern so, not the best mic to use for on the fly interviews in noisy environment. I use a K-Tek K-CAM-SSM shockmount, very, very good and sturdy. Attached is a pic of my rig in action in Morocco to give you an idea.

Take care,

Thierry.
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Old April 30th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Nice pic Thierry,

I want to go to Morocco too. Is the default -47?

I would like to avoid a shockmount if I can get away with the Sony Mic holder - just because I already have a TVLogic 5.6 in the hot shoe, also it won't fit in the camera bag without being taken off every time . Not too big a deal though and I guess I could mount both. Also I wonder if there is a smaller Rycoat for that mic looks pretty big.

Bob and Dave - Did you use any special kind of foam to increase the isolation within the Sony mic holder?
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Old April 30th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #13
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

I use material that I get from my local fabric store - foam on one side and fabric on the other. I think it is some kind of table pad backing?? Seems to work fine - I keep a couple of strips of it in the case and wrap one around the mic before it goes in the holder.
Actually the material works well with male velcro as well, so I use larger pieces to create easy separation padding for a lot of smaller pieces of gear when I travel.
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Old April 30th, 2011, 08:50 PM   #14
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Nice pic Thierry,

I want to go to Morocco too. Is the default -47?

I would like to avoid a shockmount if I can get away with the Sony Mic holder - just because I already have a TVLogic 5.6 in the hot shoe, also it won't fit in the camera bag without being taken off every time . Not too big a deal though and I guess I could mount both. Also I wonder if there is a smaller Rycoat for that mic looks pretty big.

Bob and Dave - Did you use any special kind of foam to increase the isolation within the Sony mic holder?
The K-Tek shock mount is very quick to release, two seconds, literallly. Yes, that wind sock is a bit bulky, looks even bigger on the pic because of the side lens. The 875 comes with a foam sock that is much smaller. Stay away from using the F3 mic holder, it is a bit flimsy and not good for any mic that is heavier than the stock mic.

You shoudl look at Schoeps for a lighter mic option but it won't come cheap...

Thierry.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 12:07 AM   #15
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Re: onboard mic for F3?

Damn Thierry,
You just look like a filmmaker!
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