February 16, 2016 at 5:45AM

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AT875r, NTG2 or NTG3?

Typically, a gear related question...

I've started shooting a doc on my C100 mk2 with interviews mostly on wireless lav's and the odd bit of B-roll sound from the internal omni mic's or a Rode Videomic Pro (which looks ridiculous on top of that camera, but beside the point I guess). Really I want to be able to use the shotgun mount built into the camera and get myself a decent mic as there's an event coming up that is crucial to the doc. I'd like to have nice useable b-roll sound but also the ability to capture on the fly interviews without having to boom in if I can avoid it, though I realise I'll have to get closer.

So basically I'm not sure whether to just save my cash and get a cheap dinky AT875r since none of the sound will be perfect in that kind of situation. Or invest in a used NTG3 having heard how nice they can sound. Or somewhere in between and get an NTG2. I'll have phantom power so no problem there, but I suppose there's an argument for having a self powered mic should the situation arise in the future.

Through all of this I'm wondering how well the c100 shotgun mount will deal with handheld work once I'm out trying to capture stuff. I'm worried it'll disappoint! I'm also mindful that with all of these I still have to buy a windshield so more money on top.

Any thoughts?

10 Comments

Any mic mounted on your camera is probably going to be too far from your subject. ( you need your mic to be 3 feet or less from your subject to record good dialog )

So if you aren't going to boom your mic, then there's not much point in using the NTG-2 or NTG-3 mics.

The AT875R and the NTG-3 mics work well for indoor dialog recording, where the NTG-2 picks up too much reflected sound from walls / floors / ceiling to it's a bad fit indoors.

The NTG-3 has the best overall sound quality, where the NTG-2 can sound a little "muddy" in the upper range, and the AT875R can sound "thin" on the lower range. ( some of this can be fixed with EQ in post )

If you're going to use the mic on the camera then the AT875R is what I would use. It won't sound great if your subject is more than 3 feet from the camera, but then no mic is going to sound great when used like this.

February 16, 2016 at 11:54AM

1
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32806

Thanks for your help Guy

The intention would be to get within 3 feet to get a few vox pop style interviews if it's mounted to camera, or possibly put it on a pistol grip as an alternative. Would it be no good for b-roll/ambient sound to use a shotgun? Would I be better off use using the internal mics of the c100 for that? Specifically, it's a bunch of parades and celebrations that I'll be shooting on the occasion I mentioned above, with a few vox pops and also, there's a good chance people will stick their faces in the camera etc. There will be booze involved most probably.

The size of the audio technica definitely appeals. I suppose I'm wondering about ntg3 because of longevity and multiple uses.

Thanks

Liam Martin

February 16, 2016 at 12:11PM

>>>The intention would be to get within 3 feet to get a few vox pop style interviews if it's mounted to camera, or possibly put it on a pistol grip as an alternative.

Then I would go with a cardioid "pencil" mic which will isolate your subject quite well when used in close and won't be effected by indoor reflected sound. I've used the Rode NT5 mic and the discontinued Audio-Technica AT3031 mic for this type of recording, and I recently picked up a $60 Takstar CM63 mic from eBay which sounds extremely good for it's low cost. ( I will post a comparison test in a couple of weeks, but so far it's an absolute bargain for the high quality sound it captures )

http://goo.gl/QqnWwF

>>>Would it be no good for b-roll/ambient sound to use a shotgun?

There's no point in using a shotgun mic for ambient sound as you normally want to pick up everything in the environment when recording ambient audio, where shotgun mics are designed to isolate your subject from that ambient sound.

I like to use stereo mics / recorders for ambient sound which add that 3D audio imaging to your recording, and you can always kill the stereo effect by mixing down to mono, or by just using one side of the stereo as a mono track. ( I've never used the C100 built-in mics when recording so I have no opinion about them )

February 16, 2016 at 1:25PM, Edited February 16, 1:25PM

2
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32806

Cool thanks for your help. I'll work it out!

I think the c100 omni mic's are not the worst in the world, so I may stick with them for ambient sound and work with something else when speaking to people. Might do a quick test with an external recorder and the built in mic's and see how different they sound.

Cheers

Liam Martin

February 16, 2016 at 2:41PM

Why do you say the AT875r is cheap and dinky? The price is low yes, but it really is a high quality, solidly built mic, I personally think it sounds great.

February 18, 2016 at 2:01PM

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Justin W
Filmmaker
1

Oh I just meant dinky as in small.

Liam Martin

February 18, 2016 at 2:32PM

I can tell you from personal experience that a shotgun mic mounted on top of your camera provides excellent results for your on-the-fly interviews if you 1) use a wide angle lens (about 35mm), and 2) do not have any loud noises going on behind the person you are interviewing. What does the lens have to do with anything, you ask? Well, if you are doing a head and shoulders framing of the subject (with a little off-centeredness, of course, for compositional effect) then you will find that framing of that sort will bring you within a perfect distance to pick up the high-quality sound from your interviewee. In my experience, the results are as good as booming the mic from above.

I am a run-n-gunner, so I try to use the smallest equipment I can with the easiest techniques for capturing high-quality audio. Booming from above is usually out of the question for my purposes.

One more thing, just in case you want to know: I use a Rode NTG-2, powered by a Juiced Link pre-amp. Dang is that combo excellent!

Anyway, hope this helps. Try it, and you won't be disappointed! Have fun!

P.S. Let me know if you want to see an example of the results of this technique. I'll send you a link to a vimeo I did, which in itself is pretty boring sh_t if you are not a laboratory professional, but it shows how I utilized the on-camera mic for great results.

February 19, 2016 at 7:25PM

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Harlan Rumjahn
Low-level government official
273

Thanks Harlan. I'll most probably have a 17-55 f2.8 on there so will be able to shoot at 35mm. What you have described is exactly the kind of thing I had planned. At other times I might be able to boom, but often I just want to have the ability to allow things to happen in front of me without intervening too much even if I don't have someone to operate a boom. There will be someone with me asking the questions but it can be incredibly distracting for someone being interviewed by a guy with headphones and a boom pole in the air.

Liam Martin

February 20, 2016 at 5:03AM

Oh totally, Liam. Even just the camera there is distracting and can take away the naturalness of those candid interviews. Forget a mic on a boom pole! ;) That in itself causes a lot of anxiety if people just see some dude walking around with a mic on a pole. I have found out that the best way to catch those interviews is what you have already planned to do: have a friend interacting with the interviewee while you (as unobtrusively as possible) catch it with your camera. Just remember to choose your backgrounds wisely, so that you don't get a lot of contamination from sounds behind your subject. Good luck!

February 21, 2016 at 5:13PM

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Reply
Harlan Rumjahn
Low-level government official
273

I have both the NTG2 and NTG3 that I use with C100 / C300 in a run and gun style set up, the NTG3 is head and shoulders better and well worth the extra!

Also from memory Dave Dugdale did a comparison video with the Video Mic Pro and the NTG2 and came to the conclusion that they used the same (or very similar) internals just re-housed

May 16, 2016 at 10:11AM

1
Reply
GUERRILLAMIKE
Camera Operator / Editor
115

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