Just arrived in the mail! My new Panasonic DMC-G7 4K Camera + FREE SHIPPING + FREE Audio Technica AT8024 Shotgun Mic (a $249.00 Value!). This is one of the most affordable 4K internal Video recording cameras available, especially if you're looking for an ILC (interchangeable lens camera). The kit comes standard with a lens so you're ready to shoot out of the box. Total hookup in my eyes., limited time (found here).
Windscreen, Wind Jammers, Softies, Dead Cats/Kittens - whatever they call some of these things, they can run you a pretty penny. If you're familiar with Microphone Windscreens then this next product might look very similar to other high end stuff. While the 'other' guys can charge upwards of $280 dollars, an equivalent MiCover Windscreen can run you just about $70 bucks. Not always that great in savings, but normally you'll be looking at 40-50% cheaper than the other brands. Depending on the microphone you have, simple SlipOvers can run you around just $20 bucks.
How well do they perform? I haven't had the chance to test just yet as i've been busy, but I can tell you that it will work way better than the stock foam. The build quality is very nice with a rubber ring at the tail end, internal foam that looks to be of quality acoustic material, and a furry outer coat. If I have time today, i'll run a quick 'microphone against the fan' test. You can find them in a limited amount of online websites, biggest one being eBay. Available in a Puffin or SlipOver for some microphones that are already built in to Pro Video Cameras. A variety of sizes should fit the most popular accessory microphones from Audio-Technica, Azden, Canon, JVC, Neumann, Panasonic, RodeRoland, Sennheiser, Shure, & Sony. You can find more at their eBay store following the link.
Maybe not a full Audio Technica AT875 Short Shotgun review, but more of a quick look at what to expect if you happened to grab one. I'm still building up the audio part of the JuicedLink DT454 and decided upon this short shotgun after many referrals. This AT875 shotgun microphone isn't as simple as connecting it directly to the DSLR camera, for something that simple you'll need the Rode VideoMic. The Rode VideoMic is self powered through a 9Volt battery and uses a small 3.5mm connector that goes to your cameras mic input (if available).
You've probably heard through the grapevine that DSLR's don't provide the best audio and most are limited by the camera's built in AGC. I wanted to have a little bit more control over the audio part of shooting video, while trying to save time in post audio sync, so here's where i'm at so far. This shotgun microphone requires 12V phantom power over an XLR cable. For my setup i'll be using it mainly with the JuicedLink DT454 that supplies the phantom power, and that box will further step it down into a 3.5mm direct to the DSLR. It's also nice that this JuicedLink allows for headphone monitoring of the audio. The DT454 also can accept 2 XLR inputs, so if I need to go with a LAV, Handheld Microphone, or Wireless setup, it's all possible with this expansion box. I could use the Zoom H4n, but with the DT454, I won't have to do any post audio sync work.
The AT875 comes with just the short shotgun, foam windscreen, and a padded leather bag. You'll need an XLR cable to get things moving so here's a great package that comes with an XLR and a hotshoe shockmount: Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone Kit
This particular shock mount that I received with the package is quite nice. It definitely doesn't bounce around as much as the Rode VM. With this microphone, it's also nice to have the option to use a shock mount or not. Something you won't get with the Rode since the shock mount is all part of the assembly. I'll try and get the audio part setup soon to run some tests, but i'm not too worried. This should be a solid audio solution for the price and definitely better than from the camera microphone.
If you're wondering about those Power Arms, you can find those here: http://cheesycam.com/flexible-friction-power-arms-for-dslr-accessories/
Yet another video where I try to cram as much gear tests into one quick take. Here i'm using the Zoom H1 recorder with Audio-Technica ATR3350 powered Lav mic talking about the Yongnuo RF-602 Flash Triggers. Hey, I might as well get it out of the way since I haven't said much about them after I received the Yongnuo's a few weeks ago.
The ATR3350 lav mic from Audio-Technica does perform very well for something that's only $20 dollars shipped. The Zoom H1 no doubt is an excellent audio recorder that can be thrown into a pocket and carried around by the speaker. The Zoom H1 levels were set to 60, which may not be the most optimal setting, but hopefully gives you an idea of it working in combination with the ATR3350 Lav. The Audio Technica Lav mic records in Mono, but if you're already a Rode Videomic user, that's nothing new. I duplicated the audio channels to both left and right, but as you can tell, it sounds very flat and quite differently than recording in real stereo like the X/Y mic config of the Zoom H1.
I wasn't too happy with the straight drop of mono audio in this video. There's no ambient sound, and almost sounds like a voice over. Well, that also means the LAV was working well by focusing on the speaker. I possibly could have done this video better with a shotgun microphone alone, but if we were in a very noisy environment where you need to be discreet like a wedding, the LAV mic may work best. It's possible to mix the audio from the Camera along with the LAV mic audio, but the IS motor on my 24-105mm lens comes in like a loud grinding noise. I probably should have used a shotgun microphone as a second microphone + Zoom H1 w/ ATR3350 Lav mic and mixed it all together to make things sound more natural.
Sorry guys, that was a real quick rough test before I had to head out to (currently in) Maui, Hawaii. I'm out here on vacation, but also to test some other gear where the scenery is much nicer.
As soon as the Zoom H1 was released, I began my search for the perfect 'low budget' lavalier microphone. I'm not saying the Audio-Technica ATR3350 Lavalier can outperform other $100.00+ microphones, but from the tests i've seen and the comments i've received, this is the microphone for me. This little Lav comes in at under $24.00 dollars! This microphone is also battery powered. Just 'generally' speaking, powered microphones tend to perform better than non-powered microphones. Whether you'll find use for this with your Zoom H1 to possibly replace some wireless situations, at under $24.00 dollars it's a nice thing to just have in the bag. Even without the Zoom H1, this microphone connected directly to your DSLR is already an improvement over the built in camera microphone. So after researching a few Vimeo videos, YouTube videos, and checking out some comments from some of the readers i'm skipping the KFC combo dinner tonight and throwin' it down on the Audio-Technica ATR3350 Lavalier.