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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Rode VideoMic, On Camera Directional Mic
Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 12:50 PM on 10.22.12
->> Has anyone ever used a Rode VideoMic, On Camera Directional Mic?. If you have, how is the sound quality? I have to shoot a series of interviews soon and just don't want to spend a huge amount of money on wireless mics. Let me know what you thought of them and compare to sound quality to a wireless mic. Thanks.
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Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 10.22.12
->> I've used it extensively for work. While the quality of sound is just fine, the issue comes with the construction of the VideoMic. The bungee bands break easily, the screws come loose and cause the mic to twist off axis. I've had to replace the bungees and then replace those with rubber bands after they kept breaking.

Also, if you are using an HD-SLR the mic juts out over the eyepiece preventing you from looking through properly. While using it for day-to-day assignments where I'm shooting stills and video, the protrusion of the mic presents a challenge.

If you don't mind spending the extra cash I would go for the VideoMic Pro. It looks like a more stable unit and doesn't stick out over the eyepiece.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 1:56 PM on 10.22.12
->> If you're doing interviews a shotgun microphone mounted on a camera will never do you right. period.

Option 1. Wired or wireless lav
Option 2. Place the shotgun mic close to the subject

Option 1 is ideal for HD DSLR work.
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Mike Bradley, Photographer
Lewiston | ME | USA | Posted: 2:07 PM on 10.22.12
->> The sound quality is good, but as Garrett said, a shotgun mic isn't really ideal for doing an interview. I typically use a Rode VideoMic Pro on-camera and a wired lav mic into a Zoom H4n. The quality out of the lav mic is better every time for interviews.
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Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 2:08 PM on 10.22.12
->> Garrett....have heard the same thing that you mentioned on several occasions. Have decided to go with Rode ViedoMic Pro instead. I understand construction on that model is MUCH better.
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Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 10.22.12
->> sorry garrett and I meant Adam.
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Mark Kauzlarich, Photographer, Student/Intern
Madison | WI | | Posted: 2:09 PM on 10.22.12
->> My two cents:

If you can stand to wait, wait it out for the Rode Videomic Pro HD. It has both line out to camera and an in-camera recorder to an SD card, a much more solid construction and better microphone, and an in-mic audio monitor so you can plug in headphones and listen. If you don't have audio monitoring in-camera with your HD DSLR rig, this will make a world of difference.

Wireless lavs are amazing and super useful as well, but expensive. The Videomic Pro HD will also be more expensive than your vanilla Videomic Pro, but I think worth the extra cost, from what I can tell before it comes out.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 4:08 PM on 10.22.12
->> My video mic pro was junk. The sound was OK, but the thing literally fell apart.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 4:18 PM on 10.22.12
->> Two thoughts here and I've done interview-type work for a LONG time... over 10 years now.

1. Get the mic no more than 3ft from the person's mouth. A $100 mic placed 3ft from the person will sound MUCH better than a $2000 mic placed half a room away.

2. Lav's are terrific, and I use them. But they can be a pain for the talent. I typically use a mic stand which you can grab for $50 or less and any music shop.

3. Lot's of people make nice mics. You can go upscale to a Schoeps or Nuemann, or use something simple like the Sennheiser I use. They all sound better than most stuff you'll hear on TV.

4. Get your levels right. Record a hot signal, but don't clip. The nice thing about getting the mic close, is you don't have to use much gain, thus reducing the issues of background noise.

Rode makes some nice products. But I wouldn't use any of the "video mic" stuff. No one I know has had much success with it.
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Jon Wright, Photographer
Wayzata | MN | USA | Posted: 4:30 PM on 10.22.12
->> I have used the Rode Pro and like it. For interviews I use my Tascam handheld on a light stand just out of view in front of the subject and sync later.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 1:17 PM on 10.23.12
->> What's your intended market and what sort of sound quality do they expect (i.e. are they willing to pay for)?

I've been doing some sound work over the past year (good mixer, good recorder, good mics, good boom and three wireless lav sets) and good sound can make the difference between something ordinary and something amazing.

The on-camera mic, even a decent one like a Rode Pro, will not give you great interview sound. Indoors it will probably sound "boomy" and outdoors there will be all sorts of external noises (traffic, birds, etc.). It's good for ambient sound to mix in with the good sound and invaluable in a run-and-gun situation.

The best thing for you to do would be to get a sound person to boom the interviews using a good mixer/recorder and then sync it in post. You can use something like Plural Eyes to sync or just go with an old fashioned (but still very usable) slate (aka clapper). You can get slate apps for an iPad or iPhone for as little as $1.99 (usually called a "bloop slate" or something more elaborate for around $20 Make sure your sound person knows what mic to use regarding indoor vs outdoor shoots.

Easier, cheaper (depending on the cost of a sound person) and not requiring a second body would be buying or borrowing a Sennheiser G3 (or older G2) wireless lav set up. Excellent quality and great if your subject will be moving around or walking-and-talking. The receiver will mount on your DSLR's shoe and easily plug into your camera's audio input. You can buy a new G3 set for around $535.

A wired lav would be good if it's a sit-down situation but connecting it into your DSLR would take an XLR-to-3.5mm adapter. An Audio-Technica AT899 is an excellent (really good sound quality) wired lav that doesn't need phantom power (it can be powered by an internal AA) and costs around $200. The Mono Mini Male to XLR Female Cable will run you another $10-15.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 7:11 PM on 10.23.12
->> Any other recommendations for wired lav mics?
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Matthew Jonas, Photo Editor, Photographer
Longmont | CO | USA | Posted: 7:28 PM on 10.23.12
->> I'm hearing a lot of good things about the Sony UWP-V1 wireless mic kit. Street price of about $550 and seems to be as popular as the Sennheiser G3s are.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-UWPV1%2F3032/
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Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 10.23.12
->> I also use the Sony UWP-V1 wireless lav kit and love it. Better for interviews as Garrett and others pointed out. Great little unit.
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Crystal Chatham, Photographer, Assistant
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 9:28 PM on 10.23.12
->> I use the Rode VideoMic for work. It is the mic that our office purchased in a 7D package and works pretty well for just always having a mic available and around. I've got a Sennheiser and a Beachtek, but those don't travel in the car or in my daily gear bag. For newspaper video in a pinch: it's a good, affordable piece of equipment.

One note on the Rode -- at some point, the bungee bands will squeak. Somebody told me so I will pass on: when they do that just take them off and soak in some vegetable oil for a half hour or so. I did this 6 or 7 months ago and there hasn't been a squeak since.
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Jonathan Castner, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:46 PM on 10.24.12
->> A lavalier is an important tool to have for these situations. You will get much better sound with even a cheap lav than a good mic that is 5 feet away on your camera. I suggest that if you don't have a good wireless unit get an Audio Technica ART3350 lav and keep it in your bag. It's super cheap: $20, sounds quite good and has a twenty foot cord on it so that you can have plenty of space for your subject to even move about a bit. I've been using them for years and think of them as the 50mm lens of the mobile journalist's audio kit: everyone should have one.
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Thread Title: Rode VideoMic, On Camera Directional Mic
Thread Started By: Willis Glassgow
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