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Author Topic: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?  (Read 15187 times)

Viggo

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Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« on: April 16, 2012, 04:15:17 PM »
Hi guys!

I have the Rode Stereo Videomic and I have tried it with 5d2, 1d4 and the 5d3, and I get a huge amount of background noise so I use the the internal for better soundquality.

Which do you use and do you have to clean seriously up in post (which I don't want to) or does give you clean audio?

Thanks!
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Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« on: April 16, 2012, 04:15:17 PM »

Spooky

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 04:31:07 PM »
Do you mean handling noise or hiss? I have a Rode video mic pro, on a 7D, and it's pretty clean although the lack of input control causes gain issues. I have now bought a Tascam DR7 to record and it's much better to place as close as possible to the source and easy to control. I then sync in premiere. You could plug the Rode into a digital recorder as well. The zoom models get good reviews as well...

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 04:44:29 PM »
Do you mean handling noise or hiss? I have a Rode video mic pro, on a 7D, and it's pretty clean although the lack of input control causes gain issues. I have now bought a Tascam DR7 to record and it's much better to place as close as possible to the source and easy to control. I then sync in premiere. You could plug the Rode into a digital recorder as well. The zoom models get good reviews as well...

Yeah, not handling noise, but hiss, like if a big fan was right next to you. I don't get it either, people claim the Rode mic's are great, but to me they're useless. I want a stereo mic that's not a zoom, as I mostly use wide lenses for video up close.

Anything from Sennheiser maybe?

"Bought one for my 600D but there was so much hiss it was unusable. Rode said it was a familiar problem with dslr cameras and suggested tweaking the settings. That didn't work so I got rid of the mic."

From a youtube video comment.
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Spooky

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 05:05:20 PM »
Ok, I'm wondering if you have your gain too high in the camera? Low source sounds on auto gain? Could there be any pickup of external interference where you're shooting?

Having the mic as close to the source is everything for quality, you may know this and I apologise if so...

What I meant regarding zoom mics was the brand of digital recorder, like Tascam, have a look at the Zoom HN4.

You can try filtering out any hiss in post but getting clean audio up front is your priority. The Rodes do get good reviews so I'm puzzled and I don't know if you would see an appreciable improvement with other 'consumer' grade mics. Good luck! :)

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 05:13:24 PM »
Ok, I'm wondering if you have your gain too high in the camera? Low source sounds on auto gain? Could there be any pickup of external interference where you're shooting?

Having the mic as close to the source is everything for quality, you may know this and I apologise if so...

What I meant regarding zoom mics was the brand of digital recorder, like Tascam, have a look at the Zoom HN4.

You can try filtering out any hiss in post but getting clean audio up front is your priority. The Rodes do get good reviews so I'm puzzled and I don't know if you would see an appreciable improvement with other 'consumer' grade mics. Good luck! :)

For the 5d2 and 1d4 there aren't any audio control in camera. I don't know to much about this though, but I know that I need to have my speakers almost at max if I want to hear people speak in a quite living room 4-5 feet away from them. And then of course, the noise is even worse.

I tried adjusting settings in the 5d3, but no luck with with either setting.

I'm not locked to "consumer grade" I just need one that works  ;) and, HIGHLY preferable, connected to the minijack as video editing makes me want to strangle my camera and throw the computer out the window....
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Spooky

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 05:27:37 PM »
Sounds like you have either got a low manual gain in camera or the mic needs a fresh battery? You should see on the rear screen of the 5d the audio levels. These should be showing a peak around -12 db when shooting your video (with sounds!), if not, adjust the manual camera gain using the 'Q' and touch wheel until you see this. I don't have the 5d so am saying this from reading the manual from memory! Someone else can chime in if I'm wrong... If you can't get a good audio response, try placing the camera+mic near a good sound source to prove the mics functioning, if still no good, check the mics battery, then try another mic!

You should not have to crank your speakers up to hear the audio, that's why you're hearing the hiss!

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 05:32:15 PM »
Just one other thing I just thought of, does the stereo mic have any gain switches on it? Is it set to '0' and not any negative value causing a low output?

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 05:32:15 PM »

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 05:50:12 PM »
Just one other thing I just thought of, does the stereo mic have any gain switches on it? Is it set to '0' and not any negative value causing a low output?

Check, check and check.. The place where I work we sell these mic's so I have tried it on three 5d2's in addition, and also the highpass filter on and off, and also the gain to "0" and "-10". nothing helps. I tried filming myself talking with the tv on in the background, and at 30 cm with the 35 L , and no matter what settings, it's the exact same results. Also with two other mic's of the same kind.

My brothers have a production studio and produces music, and he too was stumped.

Reading Customer Reviews over at BH for this mic, it seems it's great for everything but DSLR's...
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 05:53:19 PM by Viggo »
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Spooky

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 06:07:44 PM »
To me, this seems to be the camera gain setting. Does the audio 'bars' move well over to the right when monitoring / recording? If they do, does the audio track show a good waveform amplitude in the video editing package? Does the audio sound ok if played back in camera? If the audio level 'bars' are not moving to the right on the camera display, it must be the mic / mic battery / mic cable or camera input hardware / gain. I'm just trying to think what it might be and rule things out.

I can't see why this mic is not so good for dslr's compared to other kit, as long as it is outputting the correct levels.

I'm off to bed here in the UK, but will keep an eye on this for you... :)

Cornershot

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 06:08:16 PM »
The problem is probably due to your gain being too high and the lousy preamp in the camera. Most cameras have lousy, hissy preamps which is why some people buy external preamp boxes that boost mic sensitivity without raising the sound floor. Others use external recorders and mics and then sync the sound in a video editor. But neither will work unless you have a mic right up close to your subjects. As close to their mouths as possible. You can't do that with a mic mounted on a camera sitting at the back of the room. Otherwise you'll need either a wireless lapel mic or a mic on a boom. You can sub the expensive Sennheiser G3 with a lapel mic connected to a digital recorder on your subject. Of course you can't monitor sound that way but if the setting is simple, you'll probably get clean sound. Don't use straight camera sound. Audio Technica makes some decent shotgun mics and lower priced lapel mics.

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 06:27:09 PM »
Thanks guys! I'll look into all of this info. It might look like I'll use the videofunction with internal mic for short clips here and there in low light, and my handycam for the rest :oP
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prestonpalmer

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 07:51:27 PM »
The RODE does a pretty good job in my experience.  If you want super clean audio, you will need an off camera source.  Take a look at my video equipment page and let me know if you have questions.  The Zoom h1n's are really good for off camera audio.

http://www.brovadoweddings.com/blog/equipment/

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 03:49:24 AM »
The RODE does a pretty good job in my experience.  If you want super clean audio, you will need an off camera source.  Take a look at my video equipment page and let me know if you have questions.  The Zoom h1n's are really good for off camera audio.

http://www.brovadoweddings.com/blog/equipment/

Do you use the Rode into one of those external recorders? Because I'm not being picky about the sound quality, my experience with 6 different cameras and 3 mics is that the internal mic gives a better result for speach, MUCH better.

How diffcult is it and in what software do you sync the sound when using an external recorder like that h4n?
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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 03:49:24 AM »

Spooky

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 11:46:22 AM »
I have used my Rode on camera to video fairly strong sounds (waterfalls, trains, aircraft...) and the quality is better than the built in mic, just! The biggest difference is to get your mic as close as possible to the source, as the other guys have also said, either using your Rode on a boom with an extension lead, a lavalier or using a digital recorder. Some of these start at around £$70 so are not too expensive and give you full control and much better sound, either using their built in mics or your Rode as an input. I have used my video mic pro into my Tascam DR07ii to act as a shotgun when I couldnt get close, with decent results.
The H4n is vgood, multi track with xlr inputs but may be expensive and more than you need, the H1n or Tascam DR 8 offer external inputs and good built in mics with probably all you'll need.
The syncing is easy enough in most decent editors, by zooming into the video & audio tracks, you can then drag the audio to coincide with an obvious event (eg, clap). The advantages apart from good clear audio are that you get a continuous sound track independent of video takes, meaning that you can cut to many different angles with good consistent speech etc. There are software available to automatically sync your tracks but I've found it easy enough in both Final Cut and Premiere doing it manually.

Viggo

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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 02:20:17 AM »
Yeah, I have tried the Rode Stereo Videomic on something other than an DSLR, and wow, it is VERY good! Such a shame the input of the Canon's (maybe others as well) suck so hard.

Any one know if there is any help in using a small pre-amp between mic and cam?
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Re: Which external mic for Canon DSLR?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 02:20:17 AM »