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Thread: External microphone for 7d

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    External microphone for 7d

    Hope I'm in the right thread, sorry if I'm not. Can anyone suggest a cheap microphone for my Canon 7D that I'll be able to use while recording interviews at motocross? Where would I find something suitable by the weekend?? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

    Canon: 5D MkIII - 7D MkI x 2 - 1000D all gripped
    70-200mm f2.8L IS USM II, 16-35mm f4/L, 50mm f1.4, 75-300 f4, 18-55 f4 IS
    600EX RT - 430EX II Speedlites, ST-E3-RT transmitter
    Manfrotto 290s tripod
    Photoshop CS5, Lightroom
    http://www.facebook.com/OnThePipeImages - http://www.flickr.com/photos/onthepipeimages/

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearson View Post
    .... Can anyone suggest a cheap microphone .....
    Define cheap!

    I'd call something of high quality and capability in the $100 range as cheap.(depending on features tho).

    Personally, I'd go for a remote (wireless) solution.
    A while back I had the chance to make a video of a street event.
    While the making of the video was an interesting distraction, and as a total amateur I know I'm not going to rival George Lucas or Steven Spielberg in terms of quality of production(especially with a 5 minutes notice that I've been requested to do video instead of the photos I was supposed too) .. I still like to do it as best as I can given the equipment I had to use.

    So it was not only annoying every time the person (I was doing the video for) came up to me during some filming to offer more advice and ideas.
    The advice and ideas weren't the issue .. her voice (even a whisper) came through the shotgun mic I had to use.
    The mic being too close to the camera, and hence too far from the subject made it a total annoyance in editing later. Took almost forever to filter out her voice in the editing.

    Make it as remote as you possibly can .. there's always some idiot that doesn't understand the notion of 'rolling'.

    As for brands(that I only know of and have had some use of). Rode and Sennheiser are always good .. but damn expensive.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    If I had to spend $100-$150 I wouldn't mind. It doesn't have to be paramount pictures quality sound as most of the sound I do record will be noisy and close to the track (4-8m at most). Can you suggest somwhere I can find said microphones?? I've got no idea on this and have been thrown in the deep end with little notice. Can see this being a big ball of fun!!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearson View Post
    ..... most of the sound I do record will be noisy and close to the track (4-8m at most). .....
    This is why I suggested a wireless microphone setup.
    If you use a shotgun mic(mounted to the camera) the background noise will annoy in the resulting video.
    (if at the motocross track, then obviously of bikes wizzing by every second or so)
    If you have half decent editing software, you can minimise the background noise a bit, but not all.

    If you have a remote mic, then the person doing the interview will have the mic only a few cm's from their mouth. the predominant sound will be of them talking, and the background noise will only serve as a backdrop to remind or hint that the actual interview is at the track!

    Rode make this wireless mic(for 'film makers') but I can't find a price. Expect it to be more than $150 tho(more like $300 or even more).

    But it gives you an idea of the sort of wireless mic I'm referring too.

    I've seen 'cheapo' (as in no name brand) types on ebay too.

    Here's one as a sample(not an endorsement of it tho) I'd found whilst I been searching for them.


    Just some ideas.

    Oh! and FWIW: another option could be to use an external recorder device.
    You can get some very high quality devices for about that money(and would give much better filter operations(low or high pass filters can be pretty effective at removing unwanted background noises).
    Basically, the recorder device acts a a would be microphone. It stores the sound externally(ie. separately) from the video that the camera creates. You would then turn the sound off in camera.
    This sort of system obviously needs the use of a video editor to sync the recorded sound back with the video tho.
    (this process is actually easy to do with many basic video editing software).

    What is hard to edit out is background, or any unwanted sounds that can (really) ruin the video captured.

    For my little project, I captured just over an hour oif video footage, to create 5 3min clips, as well as one whole 15min clip(for posterity). The clips were to go onto facebook, or something.
    Took me about an afternoon to sort the footage into it's various clips.
    Had to edit out one blooper .. took about 10 mins to find appropriate footage to edit in as replacement.

    Took me days and days of trying to work out how to filter background noises that made it impossible to hear some people speaking. The MC was quite loud and clear, but not all the interviewees were, and in one particular clip the woman's voice is drowned out too much by the background noise and some other nearby women cackling away like hens!
    Took me a couple of days to finally admit defeat .. no way to clear this video of background noises(especially the cackling women!)

    If it weren't for the over $100 price of that no name wireless mic, I'd take a chance on it(personally). But at over $100 .. if it doesn't work too well(ie. totally tinny and/or crappy sound!) that's over $100 wasted. That's money better spent on the $300 version, or the hundred dollar recorder device.
    If it were $50 .. I'd taker the punt on it.


    LOL! on the thrown in at the deep end.
    I had on the spot notification of my video making day.
    Turned up at 8:30AM(requested to start at about 9AM) as requested expecting to just walk about the day taking photos of stuff I thought was interesting.
    At 8:31AM, I was then asked, if I could do some video(to which I said yeah .... ) thinking a bit of video as well as the photos. Not THE video.
    But the other person asked to come in and capture the video for the day piked out less than an hour before the 9AM requested time. So my photo day turned into a video day instead.

    I took a quick sample video using the onboard mic(on camera) and realised that if any video were to come of this day, I had to quickly rush home and get this quite cheap and old shotgun mic I've had for about 15 years. It's not really bad, but it's also not good either. For the most part, sound turned out usable .. except for this one softly spoken woman .. oh and the event organiser with all these great ideas .. at the wrong moment!

    anyhow .. good luck with it all.

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    Member MrQ's Avatar
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    I have a Rode Videomic Pro which I find works well. It's a shotgun style mic and is suited for filming stuff a few meters in front of you. The lavalier mics such as arthurking has linked to will work, but you need to clip them onto each subject. If you're trying to get quick interviews with people that may be more stuffing around then you/they want.

    The easiest option is to use an external recorder like a Tascam DR-05. Rode (and others) even make ones that use your smart phone. You can put these wherever they're needed and record the audio, then sync it with the video when you edit. You can sync manually with a bit of effort or there is software that will do it for you.

    Unwanted noise is going to be problem with whichever style you go with. Try and find somewhere out of the way and get a second person to guide unwanted talkers away from the camera.
    -- Mister Q

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