Got $500 to spend.... - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > SPC - Single Person Crew

SPC - Single Person Crew
Who said "One is the Loneliest Number?" You'll never walk alone here.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 18th, 2014, 10:54 PM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Re: Got $500 to spend....

I have the AT899 and it is a nice lav mic. For your budget I would say it is a winner. I have had Peluso condensor mics for many years and feel they are a great value for the dollar as well. CEMC-6

You do not want to plug anything audio into the camera because your camera is a still camera masquerading as a video camera! Its audio inputs are not at professional sound levels or have phantom power to run the condensers. They make some on-camera mics for DSLRs, but good technique does not include on camera mics very often. This is why I mentioned learning first before buying anything. Do a search for Jay Rose and audio production books. His books have a lot of useful info.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 02:17 AM   #17
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Got $500 to spend....

For camera-mounted sound, the Rode Videomic Pro is a good way to go. That said, I almost never use it. I would mainly want it where I'm just walking around, handheld. I don't shoot much like that so I don't tend to use it. If I were in a newsworthy event, say in a city after an earthquake, that's when I'd want that style mic.

For ambient sound, like near a waterfall, an X-Y array on a stand is a better solution. It will offer a stereo spread and for stereo, you don't want the image moving around with the camera.

For the lav, yes, the AT899 is good. You can also consider the AT803b. It's cheaper and sounds slightly better. Why? It's in a larger package. Part of what you pay for with a lav is small size. That said, the AT803b (which I used to own) is much noisier and much less sensitive (-45 dB) than the Sanken COS-11D (-35dB). Personally, I think the AT803b is good for public speaking but not so great for professional audio for video. The AT899 is only 2 dB more sensitive (-43dB). Not a bad choice for your budget but it's more of a stepping stone than a destination.

A separate recorder gives you a few things, mainly XLR connectors, phantom power, and lower noise at higher gains. It will also give 24-bit recording (vs. 16 into your camera), meters, headphone out, and more options. For instance, during a speech or press conference, you can place the recorder on the lectern and use the internal mics - which works okay if the speaker doesn't move around a lot. Also, remember those X-Y mic's I mentioned? Those are built into many of the recorders.

If you prefer recording into the camera, consider a juicedLink preamp. Some models offer phantom power and they provide clean preamps and boost into the camera. You're using Magic Lantern, which allows you to put the camera audio into a lower noise setting than does the Canon firmware. You can use a battery-powered mic into a transformer adapter from XLR to single ended connector, but it won't be as immune to interference (such as cell phone signals and power cord hum) and won't have the low noise of a good preamp.

You can see how things stack up: The AT899 has 8dB more noise than the Sanken. The passive adapter has much more noise than a good preamp. The camera has more noise than a good recorder. That adds up to a lot of hiss. You can do noise reduction, but that removes the fidelity of the voice and can make it sound underwater.

On the $500 budget, I'd choose the Tascam DR-40 as it gives you stereo mics for ambient recording at a low price, the AT899 as an inexpensive interview lavalier, and the Sony or Sennheiser headphones. Note that you'll mainly set the levels using the meters but that you want headphones so you can hear problems, such as a bad connection, clothes rustling over the mic, or the sound of audible dogs/kids/planes/traffic in the background. The headphones make sure that you don't get back to the edit bay without usable audio. Accessories might include stands, blankets, and a furry wind protector for the recorder's mics.

Earlier, you had asked about a slider. This would be mainly for b-roll, rather than the main interview footage. If your b-roll includes moving objects like people and cars, a tripod or similar will do the trick - just track the thing that's moving and it will look great. If the footage is of static objects like a stapler, pad of paper, or a flower in still air, a slider adds motion to what would otherwise be a still image. Consider if your b-roll objects move to decide if a slider is necessary.

But b-roll is secondary. Nail your interview footage first - especially the sound. Consider that you could play the sound of an interview on the radio without picture but you couldn't play the video of an interview on TV without sound.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 03:04 AM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Jon Fairhurst's words of wisdom are some very good ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
For corporate work, church recordings, and interviews? I'd focus on audio for sure.
On the mic side, I was going to mention the AT899 too like what the previous poster wrote, only because I have one and it is a really sweet mic setup. One word of caution about it is the cable between the battery and the mic is really delicate and from what I gather is not repairable so cautioning the talent would be really important to protect the investment.

A less expensive route would be to use a wired hand-held mic and instruct the talent how to hold it properly when talking.

The recorder is another good suggestion to avoid the camera noise. This would be perfect with the church scenario to avoid a long cable run.

There is one other option for the interview setup, and probably just as expensive as with the recorder, and that is to use a quiet preamp like a JuicedLink pre. What it does is basically boost the audio to a higher db level so the camera noise is not as significant. How that would work with your camera, AGC, and whatever settings, I wouldn't know, but the concept is essentially to provide a louder signal. One of the earliest models was the CX211 (discontinued) and it has both 2x XLR inputs and one mini input. The next model up was the CX231. I got mine off eBay but craigslist is also an option.

The camera-mounted preamp works well with a camera-mounted mic (which should be avoided but many people do it anyway).

Speaking of used mics (and a lot of other stuff), there are Chinese counterfeit copies of the good mics floating around so be very careful buying used good-name mics.

Speaking of a B-cam, this would be nice to have. If one could find a cheap used camera to used as a B-cam that would really add to the viewing pleasure of a video then when you upgrade your existing camera the old one could be the B-cam. I found a used full HD cam for $60 that worked really well as a B-cam so it can be done. Really makes the video look "richer".
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 08:17 AM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
Re: Got $500 to spend....

I think audio is the biggest gap in your list, and a zoom hn4 or similar for stereo ambience and two xlr mic inputs is needed, with a shotgun mic.
You may want to think about if you will be shooting handheld, because some kind of rig would really help. Not a big Franken-rig, as they are a pain to set up and can be unwieldy and awkward. I had myself all rigged up and found a stripped down rig that can mount on a monopod is much much better...
I don't think the 60d will help much, as it is the same quality image. I have a t3i and a 5dmii, both with magic lantern, and they mostly sit in the bag now that i have a 70d. Great camera, and the auto focus is so useful, though a bit quirky sometimes when it is choosing what to focus on. I would hold off on a camera until you fill the audio gap. Two cameras shooting with bad audio is not twice as much better, but great audio with one skillfully used camera can be infinitely better. And maybe the new auto focus will be available in a full frame camera when your gigs pay off...
Welcome to the video money pit!
Brian David Melnyk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 09:43 AM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

So basically the benefits of a recorder are…

Gives you the ability to use XLR jacks (XLR gives higher quality)
Gives ability to monitor sound to get the highest quality

I'm sure there are other benefits, but those are probably the only two that will effect me.

So when I go into post, will I just have to go all the way through the interviews and find the places where the sound matches the video and sync it that way? Seems like a lot more work than recording through the camera.

Also, this Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro (
BH (Links)
) is a great mic for natural sound, will a recorder give me the type of sound that the Rode will?
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 09:53 AM   #21
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Miami, Florida USA
Posts: 113
Re: Got $500 to spend....

There is this option...uses the tripod mounting hole on the bottom of the DSLR to attach to the camera and gives you direct, two-channel audio right into the camera.

BH (Links)


The unit has an additional hole on the other side so you can still mount your camera to a tripod.

Plus...it is well under five hundred bucks.

There are more expensive ones, but it gives you the ability to use professional XLR connectors to jack your audio into your camera and you don't have to worry about synching anything in post.
__________________
John DuMontelle - Freelance / Miami, Florida - USA
http://www.latincamproductions.com/
John DuMontelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 10:06 AM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

But most choose to just sync in post? I'm sure there must be an easy way to do it if a lot of people choose that route.
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

A couple more questions...

This recorder
Tascam DR-60D 4-Channel Linear PCM Recorder DR-60D B&H Photo
is similar and screws into the bottom of the camera. The only issue would be not being able to reach the talent with the mic. Would I simply get a extender?

This is the one I have been suggest to get a lot (Zoom H4n)
Zoom H4n Handy Mobile 4-Track Recorder ZH4N B&H Photo Video
I imagine this is a pretty good recorder. It is a bit more.

Now this onehttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/600761-REG/Zoom_H4N_H4n_Handy_Mobile_4_Track.html is only $100 and I've read that its great. That said, it doesn't have XLR jacks. Is that really important? Will XLR really give me that much better audio quality?
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 10:24 AM   #24
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Miami, Florida USA
Posts: 113
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Keep in mind...if you use a stand alone audio recorder...you're going to be starting a new career as a juggler.
Not that it can't be done.
I do like that first Tascam R-60D recorder.
I wonder how much physical space and weight it adds to your camera?
But best of all...you don't have to learn any juggling!
I've synched audio often enough and it's not that hard.
But it is an extra step that you can choose to avoid if you want to...or...not. ;)
__________________
John DuMontelle - Freelance / Miami, Florida - USA
http://www.latincamproductions.com/
John DuMontelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Good points...

Does XLR really add that much more quality to the audio?
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 12:08 PM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Brock,

Step back a second and think again that you are using a consumer stills camera for video use. A lot of people here want to use professional video gear for video use. They want this because it is designed to work well in the video world.

XLRs are just connectors, but they are the industry standard connector. This means all of the "good" equipment is made with an XLR connector. I am sure the Rode on-camera DSLR mic is fine but it is only for on-camera use. If you do not see why the mic needs to be used off of the camera most of the time then learning is more important to you right now than buying.

Buy cheap buy often is the phrase that fits here. Buying good stuff (often expensive) will last and serve you much longer.

And yes, recording straight into the camera is the easiest method and most used in normal video work until you get to very high end work where the sound recording equipment is better than even a professional video camera. But this is a downside to DSLRs for video work. They force you to use a separate audio recorder or preamp device if you want very good sound.

My point here is to learn the industry standard practices and why they are done that way. This will then lead you to what you need to buy for YOUR needs. Us folk on the internet will suggest things until the cows come home. We love spending other peoples' money!
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Thanks for the pep talk Tim. Much appreciated.

You make a lot of good points. I guess I just want more than my current $500 spending spree will get me so I'm trying to cut some corners here and there. Perhaps 2 purchases of higher quality audio gear will be the best direction for me currently.

Thanks again.
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 02:12 PM   #28
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Hi Brock. Many questions deserve many answers. :)

> So basically the benefits of a recorder are…
>
> Gives you the ability to use XLR jacks (XLR gives higher quality)
> Gives ability to monitor sound to get the highest quality

I'd say that you can benefit from all of these points:
- XLRs are robust and don't accidentally pull out or have intermittent connections.
- XLRs imply "balanced" wiring, which rejects interference from radio waves.
- More importantly, a good preamp means less hiss. DSLRs don't have good preamps.
- Visual monitoring helps you set proper levels.
- Audio monitoring helps you avoid screw ups. (Rather than giving high quality, it avoids failure.)
- A limiter ensures that the audio won't clip badly when it gets unexpectedly loud. DSLRs lack limiters.

> So when I go into post, will I just have to go all the way
> through the interviews and find the places where the
> sound matches the video and sync it that way? Seems
> like a lot more work than recording through the camera.

I do this manually, even for 90 minute events. It's not so bad for interviews. It's harder on narrative pieces with many takes, which is why people use clapper boards and call out "Act II, Scene 5, Take 3".

The two main solutions are Plural Eyes, which can sync audio & video automatically, and to use an external preamp into the camera. If you go with a preamp, I highly recommend a juicedLink over an Azden. I've tested the noise of the juicedLink CX231 and it reaps every last bit of quality that I can get from a 5D2 and Magic Lantern. You can see my reviews here: vimeo.com/5370880

> Also, this Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro ( BH (Links) ) is a
> great mic for natural sound, will a recorder give me the
> type of sound that the Rode will?

When you say "natural sound", what is your application?

For an on-camera mic, I'd choose the mono Videomic Pro. Stereo isn't good for recording dialog and doesn't do well when moved around on a handheld camera. The nice thing about the Rode "pro" versions is that they have preamps that allow the mic to feed the camera a hot signal for lower noise. I like this mic best for a casual documentary use, like walking around a fairground. You get what the camera sees, but this is really for background audio, not primary audio.

The better solution for natural (ambient) sound is a stereo mic that doesn't move. Note that if you're filming a waterfall, a crowd, or crickets at night, you don't need to sync this to picture at all. That's where a recorder with built-in X-Y mics can be handy.

For recording Foley (like footsteps, opening a newspaper, a doorbell), I like using a mono mic up close to the source. You can use one channel of the X-Y mic for this purpose. You could also film with the camera and push the Videomic pro up close, but that's kind of clunky. My go-to mic is the Rode NT1-A for it's exceptionally low noise, which is great for recording subtle sounds.

> This recorder Tascam DR-60D 4-Channel Linear PCM
> Recorder DR-60D B&H Photo is similar and screws
> into the bottom of the camera. The only issue would
> be not being able to reach the talent with the mic.
> Would I simply get a extender?

You would use XLR cables, which can be linked together if necessary. Balanced cables are designed to handle very long runs.

> This is the one I have been suggest to get a lot (Zoom H4n)

I've tested the H4n and the Tascam DR-100 (original) and they had roughly the same quality. The DR-100 mkII is said to be quieter. The various Tascam XLR (with phantom power) recorders and the H4n will all deliver similar performance. Choose the one with the best mix of features, size, weight, mounting, mics, and price for your application and wallet

> Will XLR really give me that much better audio quality?

XLRs and balanced cables avoid interference and poor connectivity problems. The real magic is the electronics in the preamp, which will be much better than the preamp in the DSLR.

Overall, the best advice I can give is to consider what audio/video you really want to - and will - produce. Interviews are one thing. Live sermons are another. Walking around and casually documenting a reception is different still. Then there are choirs, news gathering, training videos, live sports recording, and short films. Each has its own requirements. If you can envision exactly what you plan to do, you can choose the best gear for the job.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 06:08 PM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 326
Re: Got $500 to spend....

Thanks Jon! Loved the comparisons (and the FedEx commercial! As a Steelers fan, it's actually good to know someone else in the NFL has a rough field)

This gives me a lot to think about and research.

As of right now, I planning on doing a lot of interviews (looking to get into corporate videos) and getting some ambient sound from wherever I am at the moment.

I am leaning toward getting the AT899
Audio-Technica AT899 - Condenser Lavalier Microphone AT899 B&H
I think it will provide a much higher quality sound than what I am currently working with.

I am also leaning toward getting the Zoom H4n
Zoom H4n Handy Mobile 4-Track Recorder ZH4N B&H Photo Video
Obviously it will allow me to plug in that lav mic and from what I've heard here and researched online, it will allow me to get some pretty good quality ambient noise with the mics in the device itself

If you have and suggestions please share them.

I think this will dramatically increase the quality of my audio. Looking forward to actually having some decent equipment!
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2014, 09:39 PM   #30
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Got $500 to spend....

The AT899 and Zoom H4n are solid choices. Don't forget the headphones.

Come to think about it, there is another way to go with headphones: earphones. I'm not talking about ear buds (they fall out and are not sealed.) I'm talking about something like these: Shure SE215 Sound-Isolating In-Ear Stereo Earphones SE215-CL B&H

A pro might laugh. They use big headphones with good sound, high sensitivity (to give high volume), and maybe a bit of boost in the high-mids to really cut through the outside sound. Here's the thing: when filming, such headphones can be psychologically and socially isolating. With earphones, you are more approachable to others. You can wear one in and one out when you want to interact. The main thing is that they will be good enough to warn you of problems, even if the quality isn't quite up to headphone level. One negative, however, is that they transmit any chewing or muscle tension in the jaw to your ears. Headphones don't seem to couple things quite as badly.

I sometimes shoot with a monopod at tradeshows like CES and NAB. Monitoring audio with earphones is much less conspicuous and I feel less cocooned. However, for shooting indoors in controlled environments, I prefer headphones. Consider your shooting style and your need to interact with random people when deciding the best path.

When filming, I recommend recording in-camera with AGC (automatic gain control) on. This gives you a reliable reference track without having to worry about levels. Whether PluralEyes is needed or not (for automatic syncing) depends on the length and randomness of your shooting.

Best of luck!
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > SPC - Single Person Crew

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:36 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network