July 31, 2015 at 12:43PM


Budget on-board microphone for DSLR?

I'm going to be shooting some vox pops and behind-the-scenes style footage using a Canon 600D. Audio should be of decent quality, but doesn't have to be to feature standard.

Anyone able to recommend a mic I can put on the hot shoe?


The audio recording quality of the Canon 600D is limited, so to get around this you need an external audio recorder which will have a much lower noise-floor and the ability to record uncompressed audio files. The Zoom H1 has pretty good sound, but I find the interface controls a little bit awkward. I prefer the Tascam DR-07 Mk2 recorder because of it's much easier interface.

Both of these recorders are not too directional so they are great for ambient room sound or interviews if the people speaking are close to the camera and speak in a fairly loud voice.

Adding a Rode VideoMic Pro will give you a much more directional mic which helps to isolate people you might interview from their environment, and it sounds quite good when plugged into a good quality portable recorder. ( you can plug it into your Canon camera but there will be a noticeable drop in audio quality compared to recording a 48 kHz 24-bit uncompressed WAV file with a portable recorder )

July 31, 2015 at 2:17PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

The best bet for a microphone to place on a hot shoe I would say go for the Rode VideoMic.

Each model of the VideoMic has a hot shoe mount so there would be no need to buy anything extra to attach it to the camera. The connection is a 3.5mm jack which would go straight into your 600D if you are fine with the drop in audio quality (any microphone plugged in would still sound better than the 600D's built-in microphone though).

If you want better audio and do not mind stretching your budget I would recommend a separate audio recorder (such as the Zoom H1). Remember to keep in mind that by using a separate recorder you would have to then sync the audio and video together in post-production. As for which model of Rode VideoMic is all dependant on your budget. The cheapest and worst of the three would be the VideoMic Go, then the VideoMic, and finally the VideoMic Pro being the most expensive and best quality of the three.

Regardless of price they are all great and easy to use microphones. For my short films I screw the Rode VideoMic onto a boom pole which is plugged straight into my Sony A7S. The sound quality for this setup is surprisingly good, and you can barely tell that it isn't recorded on a professional or more expensive microphone.

July 31, 2015 at 2:40PM

Callum Rhodes
Cinematographer / Director / Editor

Thanks guys. That looks like the the thing to go for. I'll get the Pro version which is currently discounted on Amazon.

Forgot to say I'll be using Magic Lantern so I'll be able to bypass auto-gain and adjust recording levels manually.


August 1, 2015 at 12:36AM

Karel Bata
Director / DP / Stereographer

Rode Video Mic Pro. Its so awesome.

August 1, 2015 at 6:08AM, Edited August 1, 6:08AM

Cathy Danneberg
Filmmaker, Editor, Designer, VFX

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