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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:06 AM   #1
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Question about DSLR mics

Believe it or not - I havn't used a DSLR mic ever. I think I'm going to start now long overdue.

I don't want to spend lots - so does anyone know of a sound but cheap alternative to the popular Rode mics?

Secondly - one thing I've always wondered - if the battery in the mic dies - Is there any way of knowing. Does the camera switch back to on board recording, or does the recording just have no sound?

This would be a big worry for me.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:25 AM   #2
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Clive, I know Røde have just released a new mic aimed at the lower end of the market called the Røde VideoMic Go which is retailing around $99 in Oz. That may suit your needs?

The other part of your question is probably a question for the camera manual as I suspect it will be controlled by the firmware of the camera.

HTH
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:57 AM   #3
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Hey Clive, with the VMP Rode mics anyway, with Canon DSLRs, if the battery died I'm pretty sure you'd get next to no sound. (Not no sound completely; for some reason it records at a very low unusable volume.) This is what happens when you record with the mic turned off anyway. But not only does the battery last forever, but it gives you a warning long before turning off.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 04:27 AM   #4
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

If you're looking for mics that plug right in to the DSLR and give 'ok' results then the Rode Video Mic is hard to beat.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 05:21 AM   #5
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

I"m looking for one as well for my gh3 and I came across below video, check out the video at 02:35 where he is doing a outside test, sounds pretty impressive to me how much of the background noise the mike is able to filter out. I find that mike a bit big but I guess you can't have the same results on very small microphones for dslr's.

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Thanks guys.

I'm finding very few straight up comparisons online. But I have seen one comparison and the Videomic Go is considerably worse than the Videomic Pro (still better than internal though). But it almost worth the £135 over the £65 for the Go version.

One benefit of the Go is that it doesn’t require a battery.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Hey Clive, with the VMP Rode mics anyway, with Canon DSLRs, if the battery died I'm pretty sure you'd get next to no sound. (Not no sound completely; for some reason it records at a very low unusable volume.) This is what happens when you record with the mic turned off anyway. But not only does the battery last forever, but it gives you a warning long before turning off.
I have the Rode Videomic, but not the pro. I've been wondering the same thing- how does it give you a warning, does the light blink?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 02:47 PM   #8
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Hey Max,

I use Energizer and Duracell 9V rechargeables in mine, and they're a year or two old now, and they still seem to run for around 30 hours. So, most weddings, I switch them on at the start of the day, then don't turn them off (I would forget to switch them back on otherwise).

In terms of low-charge warning, the light goes red. From that point, you still seem to have hours of battery life left, so it's no hassle to change.

The light also goes red if you haven't operated the switch properly, and have got it between two settings rather than one or the other (for instance, it's neither on nor high pass, but in between).
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

I use the Rode Videomic but find it's a bit big - I use it on my DSLR rig mounted on the side as the hot shoe is used for a 5" monitor (I've yet to find a shoe adapter for 2 items that doesn't work it's way loose) but it just gets in the way - I'm looking for something smaller - I only use my DSLR rig for evening receptions and rarely use the audio so I'm looking at something like this as it's small and won't get in the way

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-ECM-MSD...rophone+stereo

It's not as directional as the rode but should do the job

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Old January 24th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Can't speak to your exact camera model, but every prosumer CAMCORDER that I've ever worked with that had a built-in mic and a mini-jack mic input worked as such: if a cable is plugged into the mic jack, that automatically disables the on-board mic and switches audio input to the mini jack. Doesn't matter if the mic is on or off, live or dead, or even if a dummy plug or extension cord is all that is plugged in!

Most external mics will run for HUNDREDS of hours on one battery. This of course assumes you do remember to turn it off after a job...sitting in the closet for weeks turned on will certainly drain the battery.

Always have spare batteries with you for all gear, and always always use headphones to monitor your audio recording. Nothing worse than reviewing footage back home and finding you have bad audio, or worse, no sound at all.

Regards,
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Old January 24th, 2014, 02:54 PM   #11
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

If using Canon T2i (can't speak for others) and Magic Lantern you can set left internal and right external.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 04:22 PM   #12
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

We use the Sennheiser MKE400, just because their so small.

A single AAA battery lasts for around a week. We use Eneloop rechargeables and I left the mic on for a week trying to run it down. Still had charge after 7 days of 24 hour usage.

When its low the light on these stays on, on the Rode it goes red.

When it dies, you get no sound.

If audio is on automatic you won't know this until you check the footage back. Same if the mic jack comes loose which is common.

If you have the audio on manual you get the on screen bars so you can see that your getting nothing. If you have a 5D and magic lantern you can plug headphones into the video out to listen in.

I have a permanent rubber band around my camera to ensure the mic stays in its little hole :)
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Old January 24th, 2014, 08:01 PM   #13
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Rode VideoMic Pro is designed for dslr use. It has a 20DB setting for that purpose. In dslr, turn recording volume to one notch above zero. That will minimize the camera lousy preamp noise and use the mic amp instead for cleaner sound.

VM Go is a low end mic. It doesn't have any settings switch! No even on/off switch.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #14
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

One issue about the original Rode Videomic is that you will find it almost impossible to shoot any still photos as your forehead will hit the back of the mic.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 03:05 PM   #15
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Re: Question about DSLR mics

Sennheiser MKE400. End of story.
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