New Audio Recording Features in the 5DmkIII and D800 = Streamlined juicedLink Pre-amp

Audio remains an underdeveloped feature on most DSLRs -- DSLR shooters must resort to independent recorders or pre-amp devices plugged into their cameras.  However, with each new model we see (small) steps in the right direction. We have yet to see a DSLR (even at the high end) that provides direct XLR inputs, but we do now have some basic control over gain levels along with headphone monitoring.  While providing a comparison of the the 5DmkIII and D800's audio features, juicedLink's Robert Rozak presents his latest pre-amp device, the RM333, and how it builds off of these new features:

Here's his comparison of the two units along with his intro to the juicedLink RM333 pre-amp:

Video is no longer available:

If you're new to DSLR shooting, and wondering what the purpose of a pre-amp device is, check out the audio section in the DSLR Cinematography Guide.  These devices allow you to use XLR inputs along with higher quality pre-amps to record solid audio directly into your camera(rather than recording separately and synching afterwards).  As pointed out in that chapter, when trying to record sound directly into older DSLR models like the 5DmkII, you sometimes had to find ways to disable built in camera features like automatic gain control.  With these newer models that offer direct control over gain, you no longer have to worry about it, and with the ability to monitor on camera, it really frees up the pre-amp device to offer the basic necessary features (and thus be as small and unobtrusive as possible).

Ideally we would be able to have these controls and inputs directly in-camera, but for now we can be moderately satisfied that things are  moving in the right direction and making these accessories more and more streamlined.

Have you tried recording sound on the new 5DmkII and D800?  Are you more likely to use a pre-amp or simply record to a separate audio device?  Let us know!

[via Cheesycam]

Your Comment


So, will using one of these juicedLink boxes work around a camera's AGC if that model doesn't allow you to disable it? I'm working with a 7D, and if this box will silence the hiss of AGC, I'm sold!

April 13, 2012 at 3:22PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


To disable the AGC on the 7D you'll need the (older) JuicedLink DT454. Downside of this approach is that you'll end up with only one channel of useable audio, because the other channel is used for sending a constant tone to the 7D in order to disable the AGC.

April 13, 2012 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

DSLR Filmmaker

What's the performance of audio like for the 5dmk3 vs the mk2 _with_ and _without_ an external preamp? Is it still noisy? Is it still a few frames out of sync?

Also, what's the advantage of using something like this vs the preamp/booster built into a lot of the new DSLR mics, like Rode SVM Pro?

April 13, 2012 at 3:27PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


That's only really good for film if you have some kind of preroll adjustment too. Almost all the shorts i worked on this year that went direct to camera had problems with audio that a preroll would have cured.

April 13, 2012 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I recently did a few interviews, and a instudio green screen shoot with the 5D3. The preamp on the 5D3 is obviously improved over the 5D2.

Sticking to old habits, I recorded audio into the H4n, and routed through a splitter back to the 5D3. This yielded better, fuller sound, results to the 5D3. Going directly into the camera is doable, but the quality is still night and day recording to an external device that allows XLRS.

If available, here's my method of preference:
1) Record audio externally; sync in post (use splitter for guide track in camera)
2) Use the routed audio out of the H4n into the 5D3 (less hiss)
3) If it was an unprofessional gig, or had no choice, would run audio directly into 5D3 and use it (warning it's still rather hollow sounding) --- probably do to the poor preamp, and the mini-audio jack.

My two cents.

April 13, 2012 at 5:15PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


5D3 user here - and I concur with the above. I'd say the 5D3's input is on the weaker side. A little noisy, and lacks punch, but you are going to get a variety of results depending on your audio equipment. The 5D3 audio in is totally useable for personal projects or maybe pieces for web but it's a noticeable step below would would be acceptable at an industry level.

However, an external pre-amp in some form or another is a MUST when recording audio with the 5D3 (just like any other DSLR).

Still - it's a huge improvement over the markII.

April 15, 2012 at 10:41AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


The Juicedlink is totally underrated. I'm always surprised how many people don't know about it. I've been using the basic model of the juicedlink since before DSLRs. I prefer them to a zoom because they have physical attenuators which make changing recording levels on the fly much easier. I find it gives you better amplification too but I haven't done any tests. This is a great no-nonsense product. With the new in camera features I think this is definitely the way to go! The audio bracketing function is great, I've always wanted something like that!

April 13, 2012 at 5:47PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Brian McCann

5D Mark III short with all audio captured on Juiced Link Box via Rode NTG-3

April 13, 2012 at 6:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Luke Neumann

Dual sound, use 302 mixer to tape out to your choice flash recorder in with no gain on volume control.

April 13, 2012 at 8:29PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Larry Vaughn

I've own the Juicedlink dt454 and its great with my mark 2 but since i'm a run and gun type shooter and i don't have a rig the dt454 is the most ergonomically retarded device on earth ... you cant get a decent grip when you've got it mounted to the bottom of the camera... i'm glad this model has a hot shoe feature but i wish they would have installed slightly bigger knobs ..

April 15, 2012 at 2:38AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I've been using the Sennheiser bodypacks on a 5D2 for years, and I can crank the output hot enough on the receiver that the wimpy Canon preamps aren't needed. I'm curious to hear if the 5D3's audio hardware has changed.

April 27, 2012 at 7:56AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM