View Full Version : GL2 Microphone Damage

Craig Brunson
July 7th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Over the holiday, I had my GL2 with me in Florida. I was badly wanting to tape a large fireworks display on the beach which the local community was producing. I finally decided against this for two reasons:

1. I was concerned the wind on the beach may bring damaging sand into my unit.

2. I was concerned the loud noise of the fireworks shells may cause damage to my camera's audio system.

Are either of these concerns justified? In the end, the fireworks display seriously malfunctioned cauing magnificent explosions I would have loved to have caputered, but I was too scared to take the camera out of the bag. How silly or legitimate were my reasons?

Graham Bernard
July 7th, 2007, 11:57 PM
My thoughts are these:

1] If you heard it and your eardrums are fine, then your camera could handle it. You really think Canon would make a device that couldn't handle what your ears could? Think about it for a second?

2] I've captured footage next to a booming loudspeaker, which hadn't I been wearing my HEADPHONES I could have done myself some major damage! In these situations a always have MIC ATTN set to on. And no, the on--board was fine.

Maybe one of our tech-endowed colleagues will tell us of the physical ways that the on-board mic deals with the actual pressure waves and thence the voltage generated by the same. I'm guessing these are the 2 fears at the bottom of your concerned question - yes?

And yes, I HAVE filmed very loud fireworks, but I would garner some MORE info to make yourself doubly/triply sure - yes? I guess there WILL be a situation that the mic would be "affected". But again, if I'm okay, then I'm guessing the mic would be too? No?

The "blowing" sand thing is completely something else again. And yes, I'd always wear a protector on the beach! Apart from anything else, I'd be wanting to remove that awful "howling and "wumpha wumpha" sound that hits the mic.



Don Palomaki
July 9th, 2007, 11:33 AM
The fireworks will not damage the camcorder mic before your ears are damaged. But as noted, you probably should use MIC ATT setting to minimize overloading the mic preamps.

Blowing sand is always a potential serious problem, at the beach, the desert, or anywhere else. You will want an effective way to protect the camcorder form the sand, especially if you plan to open the tape compartment.

Graham Bernard
July 9th, 2007, 11:59 AM
As has been noted, you should take more care of the sand INTO the camera before the MIC business. When it comes to sand these are quite delicate instruments.

Craig Brunson
July 10th, 2007, 08:22 AM
Can anyone recommed an effective protection solution for the GL-2? Its terrible to not be able to use your camera on the beach.

Frank Simpson
July 16th, 2007, 11:34 AM
There are ways to protect you camera while shooting in challenging environments. First of all, make sure your lens is protected with a simple UV filter. As has been said many, many times before, better to scratch an inexpensive filter than an expensive lens.

To protect the body of the camera you can find a large ziploc bag that will accommodate the camera. Put the camera in the bag with the lens sticking out the opening and seal the bag up to the lens. Voila! Protection against blowing sand or even light rain.

I recall seeing pictures of the cameras used for the original Star Wars wrapped in clear plastic to protect them from the blowing sands of Tunisia.

The company I work for makes an item similar to this for SLR cameras called the RAINSLEEVE (
It features a drawstring closure for the lens end, and an open bottom to reach up into the sleeve. It also has an eyepiece opening that can be attached to the viewfinder to compose shots through the lens instead of plastic.

Alas, the GL2 doesn't fit in this version of the RAINSLEEVE. (I've tried it with mine). I have asked my boss to consider making one that would accommodate mid-large size camcorders, so we'll see in anything comes of that.

Ger Griffin
July 16th, 2007, 06:14 PM
sand destroyed my very first film camera when i was 10 and i was very upset

Michael Westphal
July 18th, 2007, 07:19 PM
I just finished a 2 day shoot on Horn Island, MS with my GL2. I was more worried about the salt air, but sand rated 2nd. The shoot involved not only the island, but boats in the water off the island, and shots near the shore at "sea" level. I was careful to protect all equipment -- 2 gallon ziplocs are GREAT -- but I did manage to get sand in the tripod and boom. Nasty stuff. I've already disassembled the boom and soon the tripod. Of course, I also cleaned the heads and wiped the camera down with micor-fiber cloths dipped in distilled water...

The GL2 and the HV-20 both survived just fine.

OH, and as for sound... we used pyro effects in the movie -- during the testing, the guys we hired showed us some explosives and a home built canon. Of course, I had to capture the tests in HD. No apparent harm was done to the HV-20 mic....

Ger Griffin
July 22nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
looks like ye had fun!
i hope you chased after that woman with the check shirt! (#86)

Michael Westphal
July 26th, 2007, 10:24 PM
She'd be my niece...