Lav Mics and Tripods?

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    • #44318

      I often have to mic a presenter or client for event videos so I bought the Audio Technica Pro-88W wireless lav mic. The mic works great in short distances and when it’s not competing with other RF devices. Lately I am having interference problems. I guess you get what you pay for. So now I am in the market for a good wireless lav mic. I liked the Pro-88 because I could clip to the shoe mount on my camera so it was neatly out of the way. I would like some thing that could also clip to the shoe mount or be discrete and plug right into my camera 1/8″ mic input. What do you guys suggest. Also, I need a good fluid head tripod what do you suggest. I’ll be using Canon 7d’s and Vixia HF 200’s on the tripods and I am tired of light plastic jerky tripod shots.

      I have read tons of reviews for the previous two products I mentioned and I can not honestly make a decision because most customer reviews are pretty vague or are written by people who shoot as a hobby not a business.

    • #185595


      Depending on your budget, Audio-Technica, Sony, Sennheiser among others make very good and affordable Wireless Mic Kits. Make sure you get mic’s in the 500Hz band or lower to be in compliance with the new FCC regs.

      Far as tripods go Bogen-Manfrotto makes some great and affordable lightweight tripods. You do need to consider your DSLR’s ultimate weight after potential accessories when considering a tripod. Your ‘pod may be rated at one weight, but with the addition of several pounds worth of rails, matteboxes and so on, your DSLR can get heavy as a traditional rig quick and your ‘pod won’t hold it.

      For a good look at both mic kits and ‘pods check out:

    • #185596

      Lavs and wireless units are GREAT, so long as you don’t have a frequency that is no longer legal to use; the client doesn’t mind you running your hands all over her body while you “mic” her (or him, for that matter); and they aren’t fidgety or wearing silk, rayon, nylon or any of those OTHER materials that LOVE to wreak havoc on the audio.

      I still use them, and will probably always want to have a system or set on hand, as well as hard-wired lavs, but I am leaning more every day toward use of highly directional shotgun mics with good side noise rejection levels, placed on stands just out of frame and CLOSE to the subject, or even occasionally a similar quality mic on a boom, either using a boom stand or an assistant when needed. All in all much cleaner audio and virtually ZERO occurrence of that interference you talk about.

      Mr. Porter is spot on with his referral to the Manfrotto-Bogen line of fluid-head consumer, prosumer and professional sticks. I use ONLY this brand heads on my heavy-duty tripod and my maximum-strength monopod. No herky jerky, unless I stepped into a fire ant bed or something πŸ˜‰

    • #185597

      I checked out some of the Sennheiser wireless lav mics. $600 seems to be were the quality mics at. Is that what I should expect to spend to get the quality I am looking for?

      As for the Manfrotto tripods and heads. I am seeing a wide price range and I am not exactly sure what I need. All the product descriptions and reviews say that the tripods are great. But with that much price difference there must be a difference in each model. Can you help pick one out? I want a tripod that will not move when I pan the head. I am mainly going to be using Canon Vixia HF 200 camera’s on it for now. Later I’ll be purchasing more 7D’s to use on the pods. So I need something that can work for both. The Vixia’s are lite camreas. As for the 7D now, I’ll using a shoulder system with a focus ring.

    • #185598

      Light, or heavy on the camera, with or without additional equipment, crane, etc. I use my $900 (15-years ago dollars) Bogen/Manfrotto rig. I have no idea what the current related model numbers would be, or if these same numbers apply, but it’s solid, lasts forever, and won’t move when you pan or tilt. 3066 fluid head with 3096 (I think) sticks – large bowl.

      The BEST wireless lav setups are going to run north of a thousand dollars.

    • #185599


      I have found that the Manfrotto 501 head 547 tripod is good for supporting Sony HVR-Z7u cameras. It is not as good as the one mentioned above, but it is quite a bit cheaper and for me – lighter. I do rock the head back and forth and up and down a bit to loosen it up if it’s cold. This gets rid of any sticking.

      As far as wireless mics go, you get what you pay for. In weddings, I use them on the groom and the minister, not on the bride. But, I also have wired mics in use so if a wireless fails, I still get the sound. Weddings are very tricky because you sometimes run into a nazi coordinator at a church who won’t let you place mics or cameras in any useful locations. I have never had a groom or officiant refuse to wear a wireless, though.

      Here’s a few things I’ve learned about wireless usage: Lectrosonics are great, but you have to take out a second mortgage to buy them; I find Sony to be a good brand and a lot cheaper; UHF is less likely to have RF noise than VHF, the higher the frequency, the better; Receivers with spacial diversity (two antennas) are way less likely to experience drop outs as the subject or camera mounted receiver move; batteries only last half as long as the mic manufacturers say so be sure you select equipment that uses inexpensive, readily available batteries and finally, mounting the little tiny mic to avoid fabric and jewelry noise is more important than anything else.


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