Love using my dslr for video. Questions about microphones

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Cameras and Camcorders DSLR’s Love using my dslr for video. Questions about microphones

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    • #75576
      Hi Everybody,
      I've been getting more and more into filmmaking as a hobby, and I'm hoping to make a little cash doing videography on weekends. I have some questions and need some advice.
      I'd love to hear what you veterans have to say…
      I have an awesome EOS 5D it takes amazing pictures and video, I love it. The big problem I have is with the audio. I've been looking into getting a microphone. I don't want anything to cumbersome so I was thinking about getting a camera mounted shotgun style microphone. If anyone could answer some questions for me about microphones and maybe even a little bit about your background so I can see how things apply from your point of view, I'd be super grateful.
      What type of external microphone do you use for filmmaking?
      How did you decide it was the right microphone for you?
      What type of videography/filmmaking do you do? (interviews, sports, films, etc.?)
      Hobby or professional, or both?
      How long have you been into videography/filmmaking?
      I would super greatly appreciate any and everybody's answers. 
      Thanks so much,
    • #210210

      Hi Jake – I have a camera with decent internal preamps, manual audio gain control and a headphone jack, so I feel comfortable plugging good quality mics directly into the camera. But with your 5D (Mark II, I presume?), you will probably need an external preamp or recorder to get clean sound and headphone monitoring.


      I recommend you mount a relatively inexpensive (on sale, as of this post, for $179) Tascam DR-60D recorder onto the bottom of your camera – and connect the recorder to your camera with a $27 Sescom LN2MIC-TASDR100 cable.  That will give you two decent quality audio tracks, one on the camera and one on the recorder – plus pro mic inputs, audio monitoring and a headphone jack.


      Mount a pro mic like a battery powered $190 Audio Technica AT897 shotgun, a $5 XLR cable and an inexpensive shock mount on top of the camera, and you will improve your sound significantly. I bought an used Audio Technica pro shotgun and mounted it on top of my camera and have gotten very good results (pictured below).





      Get the mic off the camera, onto a boom and closer to your talent, and you'll get even cleaner sound.


      A good investment before you shell out hundreds of dollars for mics or recorders might be Ric Viers' great book, The Location Sound Bible.


      Hope this is helpful!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #210351
      Brother Dan

      Hi Jake –


      I'm a lifelong musician/singer, now doing video work, mainly documentaries (interview plus b-roll).


      Each type of mic has a different use, but if I had only one, it would be a good shotgun, complete with a fuzzy windscreen (aka a "dead cat"), a shock mount, a boom mic stand, and a boom pole.


      I use the Tascam DR-60D that Bill mentions above with my DSLR. (I also have a full size pro cam.) I'm very happy with it, it records its own back up, and the controls are easily accessible. My cam mounts on top of it, and it has a built-in tripod mount on the bottom. All the others I looked at are music-oriented, with most controls contained in digital menus that you have to deal with.


      Mic-wise, second choice depends on what you shoot. A handheld needs to be in your kit, and a lavalier, both wired and wireless. I believe in duplication for back-up sake, so usually have two mics operating simultaneously, recording two tracks on the recorder, plus an input on the cam.


      Good mics are expensive, but without sound your projects will just be silent movies, so the expense is worth it.


      Good luck!

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