May 19, 2015 at 6:51PM

12

Struggling to chose an External mic for Canon t4i

Hi,
I'm a film student trying to decide on film equipment to improve the quality of my short films (and wedding videography) . I currently only have a Canon t4i and the kit lens.
I would really like to purchase an external mic, but have gotten a little lost in the online swath of reviews. Would you have a recommendation for a shotgun mic (preferably one that can be mounted on both the camera and a boom pole)?
I thought I had settled on the rode VideoMic pro, but the Sennheiser MKE 600 - Shotgun Microphone also looks quite nice. I don't have a massive budget, so I would like to stay under $400 if possible.
Thanks :)
.

9 Comments

The Sennheiser MKE600 is the better mic ( it's one of the best at this price point ) but it's a lot bigger than the Rode VideoMic Pro and not really designed for camera mounting. ( camera mounting is usually a bad idea because your mic is almost always too far from your subject to record good audio, where you always want your mic to be 2-3 feet from your subject's head )

MKE600 + shock-mount + boom-pole for the win !

May 19, 2015 at 7:28PM

4
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33020

Thanks so much for the quick answer!
As much as I would love to boom pole everything, I'm often working as a one woman crew. I know it's not ideal but would the MKE600 still work okay mounted directly on top of my camera?

Ellie Berry

May 19, 2015 at 7:50PM, Edited May 19, 7:50PM

Hi

If you're looking for the best performing budget mic then I highly recommend this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/PVM1000-Condenser-Shotgun-Microphone-Cameras/dp/...

It is a lot cheaper than most of the popular mics but I have used this mic on 2 projects and it easily competes with rode video mics, you could even compare it to a ntg 2.

One thing to consider is that whatever mic you get, if you plug it straight into your t4i without any kind of amp it will sound horrible. If you want to avoid all the hiss that you get from DSLR audio then any recorder from zoom or tascam will be great. Please really consider an external recorder if you are going to be making short films. You have to sync it all up in post but it is defiantly worth it for the improved audio quality.

Ben

May 20, 2015 at 4:48AM

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GradedBlue
DP, Director, Editor, VFX
215

>>>As much as I would love to boom pole everything, I'm often working as a one woman crew. I know it's not ideal but would the MKE600 still work okay mounted directly on top of my camera?

Camera mounting is almost always the worst place to put a mic. If your subject is not going to be moving around, then you can put your shotgun mic on a low floor stand and point the mic up at your subject, so it's just below your camera's frame.

Manfrotto Backlight Stand with Adjustable Pole
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/325266-REG/Manfrotto_012B_012B_Bac...
( I use this all the time, and will even mount a small audio recorder on top instead of a mic )

Or you can place your mic on a stand on either side of the frame, so again it's just out of frame. Or if you don't mind dragging around a boom stand ( see link below ) you can boom your mic from above.

Manfrotto 420B Combi Boom Stand
( this is a regular stand that converts into a boom in about 5 seconds )
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546705-REG/Manfrotto_420B_420B_Com...

If your subject is going to be moving around a lot, then your only real choice is to use a lav mic and a small portable recorder that can be clipped to their clothing, or if you can afford it a wireless mic system like the Sennheiser G3 UHF or the new RODE-link wireless lav system.

RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1115091-REG/rode_rodlnk_fm_rodelin...

If you go the small recorder route ( say with a recorder like the Tascam DR-05 ) then I would recommend buying a decent lav mic like the OST-802 from Oscar SoundTech which costs about $100 and you can have it wired for any type of connector. ( in this case you would want a standard 3.5mm mini-plug connector that would plug right into your small recorder )

Oscar SoundTech Lav Mic Web Page
http://www.oscarsoundtech.com/services.html

Email what you want to the Oscar SoundTech people and they will then send you an exact quote of the cost. I own three of their lavs and they sound absolutely great. The OST-801 is meant to be used underneath clothing, while the OST-802 is meant to be used on top of clothing.

May 20, 2015 at 5:50AM, Edited May 20, 5:51AM

9
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33020

I have work with the ntg2, the ME66, and the videomic pro. Honestly, go for the Rode videomic pro, easier, better, cheaper. Also there is a new one that will be available next week. That might be a good choice.

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/05/19/rode-videomic-pro-gets-an-update/

It will be available next week.

May 21, 2015 at 8:24AM

0
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AvdS
1510

I have over $6k in microphones, a mic on a camera for me is a reference track for double system sound, but often it makes it to the project as is. I agree with everyone that recommends the rode mics, However any of the recommended mics will do the job including cheaper mics. Quality is more a function of technique in this instance than choice of mic. Done well, dialog doesn't make much demands when recorded skillfully.
I would stay away from stereo mics due to phase issues.
I also can recommend the irig hack and irigs cost about $35, that with any of the rode mics should give about as good as you can with a camera mounted mic.
Getting better sound means getting the mic close to the talent.
However how good does the sound have to be? so if it sounds studio quality and the subject is not in a studio, it will sound artificially too good.
The ambiance should fit the location, so don't forget to get room sound.

May 21, 2015 at 10:42AM, Edited May 21, 10:44AM

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I use MKE600 and really like the sound of it. AA battery power is nice, no worries about phantom. Yes, it is a little big next to t4i especially with windshield...

May 24, 2015 at 1:24AM

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Vladimir Pcholkin
BeekeeperStories
425

Everyone says that mounting a mic on top of the camera is a bad idea. I agree, if you want to catch specific sounds like, say, a person's voice or clear sounds to match a certain piece of action (like someone cutting vegetables). But if you get close enough to your subject--within a few feet--then the audio will be fine. I have used a Rode NTG-2 on top of my camera in run-n-gun situations, where I'm not in a good position to mic people up, or place recorders near the action. I found that if I remember to get right up in where the action is whenever I want good audio, then mounting the mic on top of the camera is pretty good. If you are only going for ambient sounds, like a distance shot of a crowd of people, then standing afar with your mic on top of your camera does well too.

One caveat is that the Rode NTG-2 doesn't have a lot of power. So you will get a hiss if you try to use only your camera's pre-amp. I've been using a pre-amp that goes in between the microphone and the camera. That has made a world of a difference.

Good luck!

May 24, 2015 at 4:41PM

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Harlan Rumjahn
Low-level government official
305

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/444022-REG/Azden_SMX_10_SMX_10_St... Check this out i have it and it works! a rhode with the rycote shockmount should work!

December 31, 2016 at 5:28PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2961

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