How can I tell if my microphone is working?


In the words of Brian Johnson - "Shoot to thrill!"
Sep 19, 2013
Bristol, England
Hi guys,

I've been asked to video a friend's wedding in a few weeks, so I have purchased a cheap stereo mic from Ebay. It's a SG-108. I think it doesn't work, as the on switch is a bit iffy, but how can I tell on a 5d iii if the mic is working and the sound isn't coming from the in-camera mic? I have recorded some footage with the mic in and removed it mid way through and I noticed no difference in sound quality. Any thoughts?

Many thanks,

Grant :)


HDSLR Cinematographer/Photograper
Mar 20, 2012
Usually if anything plugs into the mic jack it will cut off the internal camera mic even if no sound is coming through the plugin mic. What I would do to test it is record video with out the external mic and tap/rub the camera mic that is located directly above the EOS 5D emblem. In this video you will hear loud noises as your finger interrupts the mic. Do the same thing again in another video but with the external mic plugged in. If the external mic is plugged in and you tap the camera mic just above the EOS 5D emblem and hear little/no interference, then the external mic is working and active. How cheap was the mic? You honestly may not notice too much difference on a super cheap mic. It also depends on what your shooting.


Any thoughts?

You bought a 5d3 and you then bought a cheap mic with an iffy switch?

My thoughts are... I hope your friend isn't paying you.

My 2nd thoughts are... if you aren't that serious about video then hold your hands up now. If your pal is depending on your cheap mic and attitude towards kit for a record of his big day then he is probably going quite far out on a limb.

Pay cheap, pay twice. Except with a wedding, there are no re-shoots.

I would expect a wedding videographer to have a wireless lav on the groom for the service, a line in from the pa desk during the speeches, and a sepsrate camera top mic for safety and anything ambient.

This would go through a beachtek or a tascam (tascam also lets you record, avoiding rubbish pre-amps on camera) and this would also give you discrete channels to work with in editing.

If all of this means nothing to you, then you shouldn't be considering shooting the only video record of the wedding...

If its the candid stuff you want, the in amongst it, then great... as a record of the day...... hmmmm naw.


Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
TrabimanUK said:
Any thoughts?
Yes, in case of your friend I'd re-think the decision to have you video the wedding :->

Unless the video is completely optional and there's nothing lost when it doesn't work out (even after the guests seeing you filming, and asking "where's the footage?"), wedding work is not a testbed for trial&error.

As for the mic: pop against it, that'll make a nice sound bump so you see what the source it. But really, at this stage I'd recommend against trying it in a live scenario.