Choosing a High-Quality Shotgun Mic: the Rode NTG-3
I own an Audio-Technica AT-897 shotgun microphone, and I'm not particularly pleased with it. The shoddy sound quality of the dialogue on The West Side is one example of a microphone that was asked to perform is some non-ideal conditions, and did not deliver. Ever since I bought the AT897, I've found myself wishing that I had just gone with the industry standard (at a similar price point), the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combo. But you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have. That said, I've been eyeballing shotgun microphones that would be a significant step up from the AT897 for a good while, and the Rode NTG-3 has long been the top contender. Now Jim Feeley at ProVideo Coalition has written up a full review of the NTG-3, and here's what he has to say about it:
The NTG-3 is a well-designed and well-built audio instrument. The smooth response, generous pick-up pattern, and outstanding interference rejection make the mic a pleasure to work with. While some may find the $699 price beyond what they want to spend, the NTG-3 is more than worth it. Even at a higher price, it would be a very good value that should serve its owners well for many years. And what digital camera can you say that about?
Jim also says that the NTG-3 rejects interference from mobile phones (specifically, the ubiquitous iPhone), which is certainly a "must" for documentary work. He also opines that the nearest competitor is the Sennheiser MKH-416. If you're in the market for a shotgun microphone and want to get something that's a step up from the $300 price range (but that doesn't cost four figures), check out Jim's review below.
Here's a video look at the mic from B&H Photo:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=evkIdCzQC3Q
If I get my hands on one in the near feature, I'll certainly post my own thoughts. Any of you guys shoot with a NTG-3?