The internal stereo mic....a real pleasant surprise at
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Old May 28th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #1
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The internal stereo mic....a real pleasant surprise

I do my editing with a nice, high quality set of Sennheiser headphones. Also, I used to have a KY-27 camera and was using the the old 3 head Sennheiser system with shotgun, cardioid and omni directional capsules that required batteries. At one point last year I was missing the deep, tight base response from the stock mic on my DSR 300A for the on camera channel (which I now have hooked up for the audio module on the A1, as it is much better than the one supplied with the A1). Everything I looked at seemed too long until my pro audio shop in North Hollywood, Location Sound, showed me their super cardioid Sennheiser MKH 50 P48. Omigod....what a great sounding tight mic. Problem was it was $1,200, but it was probably 20% better than my old setup and not long at all. I bit the bullet and bought it. What a great mic, and very sensitive, but has a switchable 10 DB pad on it plus a low roll off filter you can use that helps with wind or air conditioning. I could even use it on the A1 if I needed to, with its size.

Anyway, when not around loud speakers or needing really high quality, high dynamic range field recorded sound, I am really surprised by the quality and ambience of the A1's internal mic when listening with the phones. If you were just needing to capture ambient dialogue and low sound pressure music in an environment, it does surprisingly well and the stereo does lend a positive to that simple requirement.

I was doing an outdoor shoot for a very expensive wedding yesterday with two other cameramen on a bluff at a pricey hotel overlooking the ocean, where they had a string orchestra set up prior to and during the ceremony. For a few minutes, in off and on breezy situations, prior the the service I was shooting some footage. Last night when checking out the footage with the phones on, I really heard a nice semblance of what my ears recalled walking around. And also surprising, since I use a mini fuzzy on my Sennheiser, is the fact that the rumble and noise from the wind coming from the A1's internal setup was was not hideous like I expected it would be. Of course you could hear it but it seemed really decently muted.

I'm not advocating using it for serious work, but for casual use or in a pinch up close to people speaking, if you don't have the module on, it is surprisingly natural sounding, and the music from the musicians and what was coming over the speakers set up sounded quite decent.

Last edited by Ron Fabienke; May 29th, 2006 at 06:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 29th, 2006, 03:38 AM   #2
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I agree. Sony cams tend to have better internal mics than others. My years old Sony digital-8 camera had an exceptional internal mic compared to any other manufacturers models. And the same with hc1. Hc3 does sound worse to my ears though.

They do tend to capture operating sounds though, but those are easy to edit out.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #3
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I thought I had read here that the internal mic picked up the zoom mechanism loudly, but with the phones on I was listening for it & it seemed not an issue, especially the weekend before when there was not as much breeze also happening.

As I mentioned in another post, one of the things that is so cool about the A1 is that with the module not mounted, its size allows it to be easily placed in a belt pack and carried along as a back up when I'm away from the rest of my gear. The small North Face pak I found has 2 zipper compartments, with the second capable if I choose of also holding the small Sony twin bulb light and some extra batteries.
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