March 2, 2015 at 6:52AM

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Budget Film-Making : Shotgun mic under $100

I'm only 14 so i can't fully afford the high end equipment and leave extra money for other accessories. I was wondering what the best quality shotgun mic to be attached directly into my dslr, than used on a boom pole. I went on B&H and asked the live chat and they led me toward the Polsen SCL-1075 which was $54.95 , but i didn't know which one to pick out.

11 Comments

When I first started out, I bought a pretty cheap chinese shotgun mic off of ebay. It got the job done, but when I upgraded to a better mic, I was amazed by the difference in sound quality.

Audio is something that a lot of people starting out in filmmaking don't really consider important and that's the wrong way to look at it. You could shoot something that looks fantastic - the best visuals anyone has ever seen, but if the audio is bad, people will not remember your film. On the flipside, you could film your movie on an iphone - auto iso, auto everything with shots that don't look that stunning - and if you have superb audio, it could be a hit.

My advice would be to spend a little extra on a good shotgun mic (not spending tons of course). Maybe up your budget to $200 at least. That will give you a lot more options.

March 2, 2015 at 3:20PM

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Brad Tennant
Director / Cinematographer
470

I'm just starting out with audio myself. I can't speak for anything under $100. The first mic I bought was the Vid Pro XM55 microphone kit ($100). It works, but it sounds like people are speaking into tin cans. Indoors, the sound bounces all over the place. I hated the sound of that mic. After much research I bought the Audio Technica AT875R to replace the Vidpro. Made a world of difference. Only costs $169. I'd strongly suggest saving up and getting the AT875R or Rode ntg-2 simply because if you get something cheaper, you'll eventually be unhappy with the performance and you'll end up spending money all over again for something better. On the good side, you'll still have the cheap one as a backup. On the bad side, you have to spend money twice.

March 2, 2015 at 10:06PM

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Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography
987

I would try and find a used Rode VideoMic Pro in good shape.

The Audio Technica AT875R mic that Don suggests is a great starter mic, but it needs 48 volt phantom power over an XLR connection which you probably won't have. ( prosumer video cameras and some portable audio recorders can supply 48 volt phantom power over their XLR connections )

March 3, 2015 at 9:06AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31595

Great catch, Guy. I completely forgot to mention the phantom power issue. I have to agree with your suggestion of the videomic pro.

Don Way

March 3, 2015 at 9:34AM

This may sound crazy, but my first sound set-up was a Tascam DR40 on the end of a boom pole - actually the middle of a lighting stand (8ft long and about £10). It actually worked pretty well, plus you can use it for general recording, ADR etc. Then when you can afford a decent XLR shotgun mic you can plug it into the Tascam - which does have phantom power.

All of which is a long way of saying think outside the box! But I agree with the others - don't skimp on sound kit. Look around on eBay and you can probably get a NTG1/2 at a reasonable price - with usual caveats re: buying from established sellers.

March 3, 2015 at 3:01PM

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Jon Mills
Filmmaker
615

I still use a Tascam DR-40 for run'n'gun situations where I need to set-up everything ASAP. I either mount it on a boom arm or on a Manfrotto back light stand with a ball-head attached to the top, so I can position the DR-40 just out of my frame. ( either from below or from the side )

Manfrotto Back Light Stand
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?N=10325266&InitialSearch=yes&sts=pi

Guy McLoughlin

March 3, 2015 at 7:45PM

Same here, well almost. My first setup was a zoom H1 on a monopod. I recently used my DR-40 on a boom pole for an indoor shoot with great results (before I bought the AT875R. The internal mics are good if you can get them close enough.

March 3, 2015 at 4:19PM

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Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography
987

I'd agree with Jon Mills on using a recorder like a Zoom H1. The audio quality would be much better than a cheap shotgun, plus you can use it in the future with either a lavalier microphone or something like a Rode Videomic Pro. I use an Azden SGM-1x which I got for $60 used on Ebay. I'd try to go the used route if you don't want to get a recorder.

March 3, 2015 at 7:27PM

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Lewis Callaway
Video Producer
75

Audio-Technica ATR-6550 is a generic chinese manufactured mic that A-T just bought a bulk order of and slapped their logo on it. 50 bucks on amazon. I plug it into my Zoom H1. I haven't really had a chance to use it for film, but the sound I get on tests sounds better than anything in-camera, and anything better than that is good enough for me, as a no-budget filmmaker.

March 3, 2015 at 8:28PM, Edited March 3, 8:28PM

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Torsten Pearson
Writer-Director-Editor
428

Its actually a japanese company that has been running for over 50 years..so $50 for that is a pretty good bargain, considering the company as well

Isa Can

July 30, 2016 at 5:31PM

In this year many new speaker lanced but many people don't know about this that's why here is the list of best speakers under 5000 in 2018 April

April 25, 2018 at 6:33AM

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