External Camcorder Mic vs. Portable Audio Field Recorder

Anonymous (not verified)


I'm a videographer shooting with a Panasonic PV-GS 70, I shoot mostly live bands and loud music concerts. I want to improve the audio quality of my recordings (right now using built in camera mic) but have a dilemma and need your help. I've been researching the different options I have and wanted to know which one you think would be best considreing a budget of $200.

1. Buy an External Mic for Camcorder: Like the Rode SVM or Sennheiser MKE400

Pro's: Would Probably improve my recordings and have shoe mount to go directly on camera. Also I wouldn't need to synch the audio to the video in post-production when editing and that would save me a lot of time (also sometimes it's hard to synch the drums precisely with all the cymbols etc...)

Con's: My camera doesn't have a manual audio control and I'm scared that at high volumes the sound will clip. I can't afford to buy also a beachtek adaptor to regulate the levels going in the camera.
Also I saw some youtube clips of concerts shot with the rode svm and I wasn't too impressed with the sound quality. Also wondering if less expensive mics would do the job?

2. Other option is to buy a Portable Audio Field Recorder like the Zoom H2

Pro's: I can control the levels and adapt depending on the venue size etc...Reviews and audio quality are pretty good. Also have option to record in wav or mp3 format.

Con's: Wouldn't know where to put it (doesn't have shoe mount to go on camera). Not sure if I can connect the output of the zoom H2 to my camera mic in (that would save me the editing process of synching audio to video). If it can't be connected to the camera mic in, I would have to edit and synch the audio to video.

I know that many of you would suggest that the best audio for concerts would be by getting it from the sound guy mixer. Problem with that is that sometimes the mixer is far from the stage and would be dangerous to get a really long cable to connect. I could connect it via wireless but very expensive. Other problem with that is that some sound guys are not very nice and don't want to help you unless you pay them!

Please let me know what you guys think I appreciate your help!

jans123's picture
Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/20/2009 - 1:02pm

Hi! Read the post and just had to register to get into this forum.

With a similar budget problem I bought a H2 a year ago. Unfortunately my camcorders external mic input only works in editing mode, not when recording video (! yeah, silly!) hence I can't test if I can use it as an external mic on that device, but the H2 has a active line/earphone output making it probably possible to use in conjunction with a suitable camcorder as external mic while recoding on the H2s SD-card. The benefit is that the audio quality is probably much higher on the sound recorded in the H2 and also you have the soundtrack at the vide recording to chose from.