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I have a HDR SR12
Built in Mics stinks so if you want good audio, which is a must, go with quality mics and a field mixer. A viewer of anything you shoot will never forgive you for bad audio. I use a JuicedLink Mixer for all my wired and wireless mics setups. For outdoors on a boom I use the Rode NTG2, Indoors I use the Audio Technia AT4043 and Wireless I use mostly my Sennheiser Evolution G2 System with either a ME2 or a ME4 Lavalier. I have assorted Handheld mics by Shure for different applications in a lower price range that I can afford damage to from someone misusing it or bad weather. USE ONLY XLR Balanced mics only, even though you will have to connect to the SR12 with a miniplug, the XLRS are the way to go.
A lot of users think they can use a shotgun mic for long distant shots….THIS IS SO UNTRUE! Any mic you use must be used in the 1 to 3 foot range. Most Shotgun mics tend to pick up a lot of reflective sound, so thats why they are better outside with a windscreen system on them.
A mixer will make all the world of difference. I like the JuicedLink Mixers. The Sony HDR SR12 has no way to completly shut down the Auto Gain. All you can do is use the low level on setting. I would highly recommend setting that level low asap. The preamps in the HDR SR12 are noisey as hell. A good field mixer have better premps and less noise and headroom. JuicedLink has great videos on getting great sound, I would highly recommend checking out the website and watch all the videos, you will learn a lot from them.
As far as prices being low, well you get what you pay for. The mics will always be with you for a long time, where you will outgrow your camera rather quickly. Invest in good audio, you can’t go wrong. Even if you give up the hobby you will recover your audio equiptment costs better then your camera, and in the meantime with the right mics and gear your video will be so much better with good audio!
You say a vocal mic? Singing, Talking, Indoors, Outdoors, One person or more, What is you application? Weddings, Sporting Events, Docs, YouTube, Etc? So many different mics do so many different things. Do some research, you wil learn alot, check out those videos. The videos are not bias, but informative and educational. I like those small trype mixers for small camcorders thay are great.
Hope I was able to help you.