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Old November 4th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London, UK
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Low-end microphone issues

I've been slightly disappointed with some of the audio on recordings made with my Panny MX500B (lack of dynamic range, noise, etc) and so am considering getting an external microphone. I've looked through a few of the past threads on this matter and feel a little wiser, but wanted to check my understanding.

It looks like there are quite a few options/issues to consider:

1) Shotgun or Stero?

It hadn't really occurred to me that this was a matter of choice, but it does make sense. Sometimes one does want to get just the sound of the person you're pointing at, but sometimes a more general sound or stereo image would be preferable. I get the impression that many of the so-called zoom-mikes are gimicks.

2) Big or small

The best microphones are bulky. Many of them dwarf the camcorder itself and some would be a right pain to carry around (thinking of Rode Video Mic here). Not only that, but they bring attention to oneself, which could lead to getting thrown out of places where they're nervous about rights management when high quality recordings are being made, or the wife thinking I'm showing off, or attraction of thieves.

3) Panasonic or 3rd party

Panasonic do the VM2 and VM3, priced at around 77 and 130ish respectively. These are both quite compact and the latter is reputed to do a zoom (though I've not heard the results).

4) Price (of course!)

For me, it should be below 100.

Having had an order for the Panasonic VM2 kick around for ages on Amazon (with repeated delays), I think I may go for a combination of low-end shotgun and stereo. For the stereo, the AudioTechnica ATR25 seems a popular beast and, at around 40+delivery, not too expensive. On the shotgun side of things, I'm wondering about the Azden EC-990, available on ebay for a similar amount.

Any comments on the above?

Last edited by Alex Lake; November 4th, 2005 at 06:41 AM. Reason: typo
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Old November 4th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2,195
I wouldn't worry about getting a stereo microphone.
Most external microphones that are used professionally are mono microphones.
Can't help you with the rest.
Good luck!
Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply

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