Don’t you think the audio quality is an important element when it comes to video production?
But then again sometimes you are under the impression that the built-in microphone of your shooting gadget is enough to record the audio or you are under the impression that dubbing the audio and later on combining it with your video is best.
In recent years of gadgets, the camera has gone from a device used to capture memories in a picture format to shoot the entire memory as a video. Like every other smart gadgets DSLR cameras also have built-in microphones, but when it comes to capturing something professional, the said built-in microphone is as good as nothing.
If you wish to produce something high quality like actual Hollywood movie makers than you need to have a perfect high-quality video microphone.
But still, some movie makers go with the traditional way of recording audio separately and later that audio track is laired over the video track while editing. Although, sometimes if the audio isn’t synchronized perfectly the overall quality of your video’s is deemed to be average.
But when it comes to using microphones you don’t have to carry the extra step of laying the audio track on your video track. With the microphone equipment, you’ll just get the broadcast ready audio with better quality.
On-camera shotgun microphones are the easiest way to better your audio quality when it comes to recording with DSLR cameras. You don’t necessarily need to mount your microphone equipment to the camera always, you can simply use an extension cable and mount them on a boom pole or tripod to get it closer to your character or objects.
I’ll let you take a look at the best shotgun microphones that are designed to be used both on on-camera as well as off-camera, you just need to know which kind of best camera microphones are available and what to consider when it comes to choosing one such device:
Top 10 Best Microphones for DSLR / Vlogging – 2019 Updated
Tascam TM-2X Stereo X-Y Microphone
Tascam is one of the leading companies in the world for manufacturing audio recorders.
Many professional movie makers use this particular equipment cause it has a stereo recording setup as well as some standalone audio recorder, this dual microphone can be pointed together to give one a directional recording method, where your mic is focused on only one particular sound which is directed towards it. It is the best option when you require both microphones and get by investing in this single one.
The recording frequency ranges from 50 Hz to 20 kHz, allowing you to adjust the bass as and when required to produce the best movie.
Main benefits of this video microphones are:
- Can be plucked in a 3.5 mm jack.
- Stereo Microphone.
- Directional as well as shotgun style recording.
- Frequency recording of 50 Hz to 20 kHz.
- Best for Low Bass
- No camera shoe adaptor and windscreen.
Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone
When you are low on budget and still need a perfect microphone for your DSLR just go for Rode VideoMicro Compact. It is a small and portable device and would be easy for you to handle. If you are just a beginner in the movie production world then this equipment is best for you.
It comes with excellent features for beginners and is a combined happiness box for you.
First, it uses a Rycote Lyre shock mount. Yes, that’s the amount you normally have on your DSLR cameras. The “Shock” mount aspect of it also elevates the microphone off of the camera.
When a microphone connects directly into the camera without such mount it will often pick up the sounds of you controlling the camera. It’s almost always a good idea to invest in a shock mount, even if the microphone you purchase doesn’t come with one.
Some benefits of this video microphones are:
- Can be plucked in a 3.5 mm jack.
- Shock Mount.
- Battery not necessary.
- Frequency reconecessary100 Hz to 20 kHz.
Rode VMGO Video Mic Go Lightweight On-Camera
Unlike Tascam, Rode is a major manufacturer when it comes to video microphones. This particular equipment form Rode is an advanced step up from the previously manufactured Rode microphones in terms of some audio specs. It’s also larger and more powerful in terms of weight and work.
It puts more power into recording the midtones at the potential expense of the higher-end frequencies. The microphone is also not directly compatible with the Nikon D7000 series. You’ll have to purchase an additional adaptor for using it with Nikon D7000 series.
Benefits of this microphone are:
- Frequency ranging from 100 Hz to 16 kHz.
- Powerful than earlier Rode VideoMicro.
- Uses camera power to work.
Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone
Do you have your own studio?
Or do you only work indoors? If yes, then this is the best equipment for you to gear up with.
If you are a Youtuber and need an audio recording microphone for it, blindly go for this particular Rode’s product. It has a profile of studio microphone and not supported for live field event or nature recordings.
It comes with a pop shield, designed specifically for catching those harsh “T” and “P” sounds you make naturally while talking, isn’t it the best? This kind of microphone can plug into some USB based cameras and even tablets, but it’s not the best for on the go video gear.
Some of the benefits of this microphone include:
- Best for home studio recording.
- 16 Bit Resolution
- Pop shield
- The USB connection for connecting with computers and tablets.
- Frequency recording of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R
The Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R is designed for full frame video cameras and high-end DSLR cameras. It is the topmost microphones ever designed by Rode.
Like the other Rode cameras, this is a mono based camera, although it has an excellent recording frequency of 40Hz – 20kHz. The microphone is larger and more powerful, so instead of pulling off of the camera’s battery supply, it uses a 9V battery.
There is a headphone jack for connecting directly with the microphone. This is beneficial if you want to use the equipment not with a video camera but with a phone or tablet. The camera also features a high pass filter to help reduce background snow. This helps you to level with crystal clear audio.
Some of the benefits of this video camera microphone include:
- Designed for high-end video cameras and DSLR cameras.
- Ultra lightweight
- 3.5 mm jack supported
- Two-step pass filter
- 9V battery
- Recording Frequency of 40 Hz to 20 kHz.
Zoom SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun Microphone
If you are into recording live events or some sports events or the sound of nature around you than you would be confused about which microphone would be best for you. Relax, that dilemma can be solved with the equipment Zoom SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun Microphone.
The stereo shotgun is designed in such a manner that it allows you to record exceptional surrounding audio notes. If you are a cinematographer than this device is your everyday need to capture the scenic audio. You are even allowed to control the microphone so that you can alter the stereo spread easily. If sometimes you desire to record in monotone then you can use the same device.
The microphone is longer at nearly nine inches (longer with the windscreen on). This is important to keep in mind as it may be longer than your lens. If this happens it can cast a shadow over your video, which is something you do not want.
Some of the major benefits of this video microphone include:
- Windscreen for reducing harsh sounds.
- AA batteries.
- Control knob directly for adjusting the stereoscope.
- Q8 handy video recorder.
- Best fort scenic audio recordings.
Rode RodeLink FM Wireless Filmmaker System
The wireless microphone setup is designed for on-air talents, such as news anchors. Like other wireless devices, the battery backup is excellent and the microphone can be easily placed near the speaker for clear audio quality. This wireless microphone system is an easy to use wireless lav microphone system.
One of the major benefits of this system is the receiver. The receive can clip onto the top of your camera and plug directly into the 3.55 microphone jack. This way, you don’t need a second receiver configuration, which makes it easier for you to move around with the camera.
Some of the main advantages of RodeLink FM Wireless Filmmaker System is:
- AA Batteries.
- USB support.
- Audio Frequency of 60 Hz to 2.4 GHz.
- Plugin with 3.5mm jack.
- Windscreen and clothing clips available.
- Wireless range of 100 Meters.
- Price around $ 325.
- 128 Bit encryption.
Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone
This Rode product is a high-end shotgun microphone which can only be used when added other equipment like shock mount to connect with the microphone, adaptor to connect with your DSLR camera for supporting XLR it external audio recording device. And hence this setup would require a higher price of around $ 750.
This microphone best filters out unnecessary sounds, giving you the perfect audio quality.
Benefits of this microphone include:
- High Sensitivity.
- Designed to withstand adverse environmental conditions.
- 40Hz – 20kHz recording frequency
- 48V Phantom Power and AA battery powered.
- Foam Windshield.
- Superior audio quality with XLR connection.
- Aluminum construction, no plastic parts.
If you are in a real need of high-end microphone and also have enough funds for investment then you should probably go of Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3. You’ll be impressed by the quality of audio track recorded using this microphone.
The microphone is designed for both interior and exterior environments. However, when it comes to this kind of a microphone you will really need to connect it to an external audio recorder as it only draws from Phantom Power.
Outside of professional grade camera setups, your regular DSLR will more than likely not support this kind of power requirement. The microphone is also built to handle a range of outdoor weather conditions.
You’ll need to protect the connection points, but whether you’re in a high wind or stormy location, this is the kind of equipment you’ll need.
Some of the benefits of this video camera microphone include:
- Suitable for any type of recording.
- Includes windshield.
- Phantom 48 +- 12 V.
- Rugged, suitable for adverse climatic conditions.
- Increased directivity due to the interference tube principle
- Weighing 165 grams only.
- Price around $ 1000
Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone System – MKE2 Lavalier Pro Set
If you’re interested in a truly high-end, professional audio recorder, this is a top of the line wireless option that beats just about anything else out there. This wireless setup is extremely compact for both receiver and microphone adaptor. The adaptor connects with Lav mic, which clips onto clothing.
It’s easy to setup and use.
Some of the major advantages of this device are:
- Receiver plugs directly into XLR port.
- Plug and Play design.
- Comes with Lav Mic
- Works with wireless Lav and Stage microphones.
- Optimized Dynamic Range.
- DECT 1.9GHz transmission
- AES-256 encryption
- Automatic audio level control
- Auto frequency management
- License free
- Metal housing
- Made in Germany
DSLR Microphone Buying Guide
Photography is not about what gear you use, but about how you take a picture. Most, if not all professional photographers will agree with that, and it is a fact that there are way too many people out there that think great pictures are only possible with expensive equipment. Just to put it out there, you can may own a Mamiya or a Hasselblad with the best and fastest lens available and still take pictures nobody likes.
Again, a camera is just a tool – it is your creativity that produces great looking photographs.
Probably the most frequently asked question that a professional photographer gets asked is
“what camera do you use?”
“I never owned anything more than a simple point and shoot, what should I get to up my game?”.
Or something along these lines. Again, I must oblige and say that it is a very common misconception that professional-looking pictures can only be created with an expensive, professional camera. This is absolutely false. Some of the best photographs that exist are shot with point-and-shoot cameras, and there are people out there who are so good, they manage to take awesome pictures using their phone’s camera.
That being said, it does not necessarily mean that the camera does not matter at all. At least, for most people who are just starting to get into photography, it really doesn’t matter. If you’re starting off, focus on getting your technique and style right. If you do this, you will know if you’ve hit a ceiling with your point-and-shoot or your phone, and that you need a better camera.
For professionals, who make a living selling photos, the camera makes a huge difference.
First and foremost I must inform you that digital photography is about light. Having beautiful light will create beautiful photographs. Once you get the knack of how to work with light and how to compose your photographs, you can start taking stunning images and your gear won’t matter that much.
Knowing your camera’s functionality and honing your technique are next. Most people that use point-and-shoot cameras don’t even know how to operate them! They just pick “Auto” mode and don’t bother to figure out how important camera settings and modes are. I have nothing against “Auto”, and true, “Auto” modes are great, but when you look back at your photos, can you vouch for “Auto” and say that every picture it took was a great one?
I’m sure you can’t!
There are several common reasons for this to happen, which apply even to professional cameras:
- Bad Light
- Bad Subject
- Bad Composition
- Bad Technique
- No Creativity
If you sort all of the pictures you take into “good ones” and “bad ones”, I can bet the majority of bad ones were taken indoors, and the majority of “good ones” were taken outdoors, on a bright sunny day. Ever wonder why? It is because of the light! In low-light conditions, a camera boosts the sensitivity of its sensor (ISO), which results in a lot of noise, which make them come out grainy, while in conditions with good light, a camera will automatically decrease camera sensitivity, sets down the lens (aperture) which decreases noise and results in beautiful and sharp photographs. All this defines how a point-and-shoot works. But point-and-shoot cameras have their limitations.
Even if you’re the master of light, there are things that a DSLR can do better, and also some things that a point-and-shoot can’t do at all.
Let me list the advantages that DSLRs have over other cameras:
- Capable of changing lenses and the depth of field.
- Better image quality.
- Better shutter and focus speeds.
- Convenience – being able to see what you shoot.
- Can control the camera in a variety of different ways.
Without further ado, let’s see what you should look for in a DSLR. After all, you’re not here to read about point-and-shoots!
There are many different types of DSLR cameras available today that range from DSLR-like and entry-level DSLRs, all the way to professional-level DSLRs that offer the most features and versatility.
These cameras are generally classified in three classes/categories:
b) semi-professional and
Well, different brands offer different classifications, but the latter three are generally the same across all brands.
Let’s go over these categories really quickly.
As the name suggests, the “amateur” target market is for entry-level DSLRs that offer the least versatility and features to cut down the cost. This is an excellent choice for people starting out since it is the most affordable.
It has fewer features, which is not a bad thing. It means quicker learning for those limited features. You can expect to pay between $500-$800 for a camera kit in this category (a camera kit is comprised of a camera with one or more lenses).
The next category “semi-professional” lies between the amateur and professional categories. It is definitely more versatile than the amateur category and has better construction and your camera will also possibly include weather sealing. Sometimes, these cameras inherit features from the professional cameras.
They are heavier than the amateur cameras and are generally more compatible with older lenses. You can expect to pay between $1000-$1800 for a camera body only, meaning you will have to arrange for a kit separately if you need or want one.
The last category is “professional“. Again, as the name implies, cameras in this category are meant for professional photographers. You get the most features, highest speed and a lot of versatility.
The best construction quality and best sensor technology. Everything about these cameras will be A grade, and will include the best focus system, weather sealing and many other bells and whistles not found in amateur or semi-professional categories. These cameras are money-hungry they cost between $3000-$10000 for just the camera without a kit.
Regardless of if you’re completely new to the hobby of photography, or you’re upgrading your equipment from a point-and-shoot camera, buying a DSLR can prove to be a great investment. With so many options out there it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you.
Every camera has so many specifications and features that it can be hard to tell them apart. Let’s take a look at the various things you need to know to choose the right DSLR for your needs.
What to Look for in DSLR :
1. Sensor Size
This is the most important feature of your camera, but this feature is often not known about by new learners. Every DSLR has an image sensor, which is what helps record the image that you see through your viewfinder.
The image/video is recorded onto your memory card. The bigger the sensor, the more detail it can capture, and the clearer the pictures you take will be. This details can be seen when the image is magnified.
A “full frame” is the largest sensor size available. Full frame sensors have the same size as a 35mm film – 36mm x 24mm. This size enables you to record at the maximum clarity, which is why full-frame DSLRs are very expensive. Most entry-level cameras though, they have crop sensors, which are of a smaller size.
2. Megapixel Resolution
As I said, the size of the sensor will be the most significant factor, that contributes to the clarity of the pictures you take. But most people believe that the number of megapixels of a photo is the ultimate measure of camera quality.
This is an easy mistake to make, as the manufacturers of cameras and even phones now talk only of the megapixels. They are important, sure. But not as important as you may think.
To be very honest, any DSLR that you buy today will have more than enough megapixels. If you differentiate two cameras only by the number of megapixels they’re packing, you almost certainly won’t notice the difference. If you do see a difference, it is due to the lens or sensor quality than the resolution.
In conclusion, don’t worry about the megapixels. You’ll be getting more than enough of them anyway.
3. Video Recording
If you plan on using your DSLR for video recording, you have to make sure that you look at the video capabilities that your options provide. Some entry level cameras can record in full HD 1080p, while other cameras are limited to 720p or non-HD recording.
There are also different recording frame rates available, where higher rates smoothen out motion better than lower rates.
This may not be a big deal to you, if you don’t plan on recording video as much, but it’s definitely worth looking at, especially if you’re unsure if you’ll be recording videos or not. Even if you don’t plan to record videos now, a camera with better video recording capabilities might come in handy in the future.
4. Modes and Editing Features
Every camera, including the DSLRs, come with a variety of modes like Action, Night, Landscape, Portrait, and the like. But, some entry-level cameras also come with other modes which are unique and differ with each brand or model.
I’m speaking of modes like Panorama, Scene Intelligent Auto, Food, or Guide, which is meant to help walk you through the use of the camera.
It is better to learn to shoot in aperture or shutter-priority, or even better, in manual mode. Learning to use all these is the best way to go, but when you’re just getting started, having the camera help you with specific modes can help you learn better. Always take a look at the modes available on the cameras that you’re comparing, to see if you find any that stand out at you.
A large number of cameras these days also include quick editing capabilities, which enables you to edit photos right from the screen on the back, by applying filters or automatically making adjustments if you choose to do so, or by changing the exposure settings.
I will put it out there that it’s much easier to make these edits with photo editing software on your computer. But being able to play around with your pictures without needing a computer is fun.
The vast majority of entry-level and mid-level cameras are packed with what is called a “kit lens”. This is an 18–55mm zoom lens, which tends not to have the same quality of glass or the same number of features as more expensive lenses do, but they do the trick.
However, if there’s a deal where you are able to get better 18–55mm lens or a 50mm prime lens or something like that, or even an extra telephoto lens, it can make a big difference in your photo quality. Make decisions accordingly.
6. Body Details
I can understand if you can’t really tell the difference between 2 entry-level cameras, since they look and feel pretty much the same. Although there are some considerations that you might want to keep in mind, before you go ahead and spend hard-earned money on anything.
For example, some cameras in the market include LCD viewscreens, which look and work better than the screens included on cheaper models. This will give you a better place to review your photos.
Other cameras have screens that pop out of the back of the camera, and rotate, which is really convenient if you’re trying to take shots at unique angles. At times, cameras include a touchscreen, which makes the camera easier to navigate than using the small buttons on the back of the camera.
Some cameras are meant for people with smaller hands (yes, these exist). If you don’t fall into that demographic, you’ll find that the camera will feel a bit cramped. Going for a larger-bodied camera will relieve some of the discomfort that this might cause.
Most entry-level cameras will have polycarbonate (plastic) bodies, which are very light, but also, don’t feel as sturdy or nice as more expensive cameras.
As you pay more, the quality and sturdiness of the camera body will increase. Therefore, if extra durability or a nicer feel are important to you, that’s something you may want to keep in mind.
It really does depend on what kind of audio setup you’re interested in, whether you want a directional, shotgun, stereo, mono and what kind of cash you want to put into it. So choose wisely as per your requirements.
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