September 12, 2015 at 1:44PM, Edited September 12, 1:45PM


Sound options for one man doc crew

I'm working alone on a low budget direct cinema doc. Mostly outdoor shooting, no talking head interviews. My camera will be handheld, either dslr or gh4, and I'm looking for a good mic to mount on the camera but am open to other sound setups so long as the gear can be handled by one person simultaneously operating a camera. Thanks for any and all suggestions/tips.

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I would only mount a mic on a camera if I was going to record ambient sound for the outdoor locations I was shooting in, because it won't be possible to get usable dialog if people are further than 3 feet from your mic. ( you would have to go with a wireless system or have a small recorder attached to your subject's clothing, and then run a lav mic into either of these systems if you wanted to record usable dialog from further than 3 feet from your camera )

As for which recorder for ambient sound...

On the low price end of things we have the Tascam DR-05 or the Zoom H1 recorders. ( I owned the Zoom H1 for a year and then sold it because I hated the way the menu system worked, but the audio it recorded was quite good. I now own two Tascam DR-07 Mk2 recorders which are very similar to the DR-05, but these have been discontinued, so the DR-05 is all that Tascam has on the low-end. )

Up from this there is the Sony PCM-M10 recorder, but this recorder uses OMNI mics that pick-up everything, so you have to be very careful not to pick-up camera sounds while recording. ( I own one of these too, but I only use it as a compact recorder in a mixer-bag, so I rarely ever use the built-in mics )

You also might want to take a look at two low cost stereo mics that can be attached to the top of your camera and plugged into your camera's mic socket. These will provide better audio than the built-in camera mics, and will use your camera to record their audio.

Tascam TM-2X Stereo XY Condenser Mic : $100

RODE Stereo VideoMic Pro : $299

...And lastly, whatever you end up using to record outside you are going to have to rig up with wind-protection if you want usable audio. ( it's also possible to DIY this and make your own wind protection if you have time )

September 13, 2015 at 12:42PM, Edited September 13, 12:44PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

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