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-   -   Best general purpose shotgun mike for A-1 under $500. (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/107779-best-general-purpose-shotgun-mike-1-under-500-a.html)

Roger Lee November 12th, 2007 01:05 PM

Best general purpose shotgun mike for A-1 under $500.
Hello All,

I did some searches but couldn't exactly find what I was looking for.

I'm planning to buy a shotgun mike to attach to my A-1. I will use it for family events, recording concerts and may even do a wedding or two...cardioid or super cardioid pattern...a bit of a reach would be nice.

I would like to find something that produces a fairly good sound...perhaps not too bright sounding for music. I'm not too worried about higher SPL at concerts as I will control that manually if necessary.

Any suggestions?

For more professional sound I will use large diaphram condenser mikes run through a board with the A-1, when I need that.

I'm needing this mike more for one attached to the A-1 as an 'on the go' mike.


I'm getting the impression that many of you out there are shying away from any mike you attach to the A-1 that is longer than 9 inches. Is this true?

Thanks again.

Rog Lee

Dirk Bouwen November 12th, 2007 01:32 PM

Don't hesitate: the Rode NTG's are an excellent choice. In Europe for sale, sometimes under the 200 Euro's for an NTG2 - and they easily compete with 3X to 4x more expensive mics.

Dirk Bouwen November 12th, 2007 01:37 PM

One additional remark: even with the NTG2 + 'dead cat' wind shield, I had occassionally the dead-cat bottom hairs popping into the camera's view during a more entensive wind blaze.

An the length of the NTG-2 is not that big... this could be the problem you describe.

Jerome Marot November 12th, 2007 02:53 PM

I would say that a general purpose shotgun is a contradiction in terms.... Personaly, I use a Thomann t.Bone EM9900. It is longer than 9 inches, relatively cheap (99) and is able to pick sounds at 5-8 meters very nicely. I had to build myself an attachment for it, however (copied from the J-rod).

BTW, should I say that recording concerts with a shotgun is a poor idea? They are mono mikes (obviously: they only record in front), will not help to reduce reverb and acoustic laws imply that their directivity does not extend to bass sounds. On top of that, in practice, you need a low cut filter on shotgun because their design is based on an interference tube which is very, very sensitive to wind.

Shotguns main use is when you are outside (i.e. no reverb) and you need to record someone which is 3 to 8 meters away. For that they work very well (if there is no sound source behind the subject and if you use a windscreen).

For recording concerts, a flash card recorder like the cheap zooms h2 or h4 left near the scene or connected to the home mixer will give you results lightyears beyond anything carried on your A1.

Josh Laronge November 12th, 2007 02:55 PM

I second the NTG-2. I use it with the Rode shock mount and the sound is great.

Jack Walker November 12th, 2007 02:56 PM

Audio Technica makes a couple of good mics in this range.

The AT875 is a short shotgun, only 7 inches long, made for use on video cameras, and it costs $199.95. The short length is very, very helpful:

Here is the AT4073a, at 9 inches long, a long time professional alternative (to the high priced shotguns) choice for its high quality and low cost of $540:

The AT897 is a popular low cost shotgun for $249.95. However, it's 11 inches long, about the same as the NTG2:

The NTG-2 and any of the above mics would probably work well. I suggested considering length in making the choice. The XLR connector on the back of the mic adds some length, but a right angle XLR connector helps here.

Here is the Rode NTG-2 (at $249):

Daniel Park November 12th, 2007 03:33 PM

Why not opt for the NTG1 if going for a small footprint?
Since the A1 can supply phantom power, you can shave off a few inches by buying the NTG1 instead of the NTG2 (same mic, just no battery compartment). I have one and it works wonderfully.

B&H has one in a kit (for the same price as the mic alone) with an angled XLR cable (on the female end) and a shoe-mounted (SM3) shockmount. I picked up the SM5 one, which sports a cylinder that slides right into the A1's mic holder. Works well.

cheers, d.

Jeremiah Rickert November 12th, 2007 07:01 PM

I'm a big fan of the Sennheiser K6 series. The ME66 is probably "the classic" microphone. I personally own an ME67 barrel which is longer. I also own an Azden SGM 2x which has both short and long attachments, and I thought it was pretty good until I got the Sennheiser. The K6 works on either battery OR phantom power.

The other nice thing about the ME66 is that there are a lot of "Accessories" that fit it...furries, blimps, etc.


Roger Lee November 12th, 2007 09:47 PM

As usual on this site, you guys are all very helpful.

Re: Rode...I'll check this out. I have two Rode LD condensers and am very impressed with those mikes.

Re: recording concerts. I realize the shotgun is going to be a bit of a problem here and I would use any number of dynamic mikes in place of the shotgun....provided I have the time to set up. I'm thinking of the situation where I run into a situation where music is there and I need to record with what I have on the camera.

I have researched the Sennheiser and AT and I have had the opportunity to use a few of these mikes in other situations....excellent mikes..Sennheiser and AT.

The length thing I was talking about had to do with some folks who posted that a mic that was 11" or longer would get in the way of recording or would be seen in a wide angle shot. It seemed some folks were suggesting mikes that were 9" or less in length for the A-1.

Interestingly, I have this mike and tried it today attached to the A-1 recording acoustic guitar and voice...using the A-1 48volt.

http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Produc...o_SM86_content (actually fits the A-1 mike holder)

The mike/camera was about 12 feet away from the subject and the audio was at +12db.

I was surprised at how nice a job the combo did in sound. Interesting.

Thanks again all for all the help...

Much appreciated.

You are all nice folks. :)

Rog Lee

Malcolm OBrien November 12th, 2007 10:03 PM


Along with Daniel Park mine is another vote for the Rode NTG1 in a Rode SM5 shock mount which also raises it above the wide angle FOV. I'm very happy with the combination.

Bruce S. Yarock November 13th, 2007 07:07 AM

I've been happy with my Audio technika 897,which I've had for a couple of years. I used it on my XL2, and now switch it from my XLH1 to A1. I was also lucky enough to pick up an AKG blue line with a hyper cardiod capsule for $250! It's a great mic, especilly indoors. Now if I could find a cardiod capsule for the AKG....
Bruce S. Yarock

Don Palomaki November 13th, 2007 07:48 AM

The Rode, AT and Sennheiser microphones mentioned above can all do a nice job at being a shotgun for field use.


I'm not too worried about higher SPL at concerts as I will control that manually if necessary.
is perhaps being a bit optimistic. The issue with mics and live concert SPL is being sure that the mic can handle the higher sound levels found at some live events, especially rock concerts and 4th of July events with live cannon and 1812 Overture. Remember that the mic is ahead of the level controls in the camcorder, including the MIC ATT setting. Some mics go into excessive distortion at lower sound pressure levels than others, and some do it at lower levels on battery than on phantom power. The mics mentioned above can deal with sound levels below the threshold of pain for most folks, but other may have problems. You need to read the specs to determine what the mic can handle in the way of SPL.

Another issue to consider is whether or not you want stereo sound. I've been using an AT-825 for stereo and have been satisfied with it.

Cardiod pattern mics generally typically have fewer polar pattern artifacts in their frequency response, and do nicely for concerts, especially when located between the audience and the performers. In this location I believe they do a better job reducing intrusive audience sound than hypercardiod or line-gradient mics.

Jerome Marot November 13th, 2007 12:03 PM


Originally Posted by Roger Lee (Post 774512)
I'm thinking of the situation where I run into a situation where music is there and I need to record with what I have on the camera.

I suggest getting a Zoom H2 and dropping it in a mike stand at the center of the stage.

John Ray November 13th, 2007 02:43 PM

my 2 cents
U can't go wrong with the RODE NTG2 at the price point..but for concerts I use the NT4 along with audio direct from the board

Roger Lee November 13th, 2007 04:18 PM

Hey all,

Greetings from Minn.

Thanks again for all the input. I'm researching mikes based on what you all have been saying.

By the way Don...

A number of mikes have a -20db pad switch or something like that. Since shotgun mikes are designed to reach out...I guess that would defeat the purpose of the mike...??

Perhaps there just isn't anything out there. mike wise, that can both reach out distance wise and compress sound when too close.

Maybe the built-in A-1 mike?

Malcom, I'm also looking at the NTG1.

And Malcom, a very good friend of mine is visiting her son there in Australia. He's a teacher, and married a beauty from your country. They have two kids and, from what I hear, love life there.

Take care all and thanks for the help. I do appreciate it.

Rog Lee

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