Aputure is probably http://amzn.to/2jUxYbtbest known for their LED Lighting, but over the last few years Aputure has also released a few different audio products including on-camera video microphones and Lav mic kits.
Just recently Aputure has released their first professional level Shotgun Microphone with quality and performance that is already being compared to mics over three times it's price. They've also added water resistant coatings that protect the microphone from elements, and even it was accidentally submerged into a puddle of water.
After shooting a few projects with the BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K camera, I found several that I could sometimes get away with just the audio from the built in microphones. But as soon as I threw on my Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 lens with Image Stabilization (Ursa is not full frame), the camera microphones would pick up all of the IS noise. Once that noise was embedded into the audio, it was no longer usable. So I set out to find a good microphone that I could mount over the handle.
I personally wanted the shortest shotgun microphone, powered over XLR phantom so I didn't have to worry about batteries. I wanted to find the slimmest shock mount so it didn't sit too high (trying to keep the camera clean and simple). It didn't need to be the best microphone in the world, as I was only planning to use it mostly on camera for good scratch audio or sound bites. After reviewing a few options I found the Azden SGM-PDII to be a good fit and has excellent customer reviews. Over at B&H they have an Azden SGM-PDII Shotgun Mic Kit that includes the shock mount, and the microphone already comes with a short XLR lead.
Running through the tests mounted on camera, the SGM-PDII was completely free of any Image Stabilization noise from my lens. So for my on-camera needs it works great. And surprisingly I found the microphone also sounded very good when booming overhead, so it's something I would even use during interviews. If you're working with a camera that has built in XLR inputs (i.e. Sony FS7) and looking for something better than the built in microphones, you may want to take a look at the Azden SGM-PDII Short Shotgun Microphone.
Here's a look at a few new DJI OSMO accessories, a few old ones, and how it all comes together for a nice 4K capable travel stabilizer. The Z-Axis Arm is an add-on to help smooth out any up/down jerky motions caused by walking. I feel lightweight gimbals are more prone to this movement as there is not enough mass. The Z-Axis is similar to the ISO arms you'll find on a Steadicam Vest.
The Extended Battery Adapter is a great addition if you already have DJI batteries (Phantom, Inspire1, etc) and want to shoot all day. But with the new firmware update that is supposed to give you longer run time on the stock batteries, you may not need the external battery.
The Extension Adapter will allow you to get better position for mounting some of your items. I think relocating the Phone mount behind the rear of the OSMO is a great spot and you'll be able to tilt as needed.
The Universal Mount comes with two cold shoes that will let you mount additional accessories such as an LED Light or the Rode VideoMicro - which is also sold on the DJI website now.
These are only a few items I think I would be using, but there is a number of expanded accessories available now from Bike Mounts, Car Mounts, Magic Arms, and even camera/gimbal upgrades to the new X5. Check out the DJI OSMO accessories page (here).
Azden recently reached out to me about their new SGM-250 and SGM-250P Shotgun Microphones. Both microphones are said to be 'Handcrafted in Japan' and use the same high quality mic element; the main difference being the SGM-250 runs on battery or phantom power while the SGM-250P runs on phantom power only.
Now they've done a pretty good job explaining their new product and really dug into the technical specs of their microphones. They also have some excellent video and sound examples placed on a dedicated page found at http://www.azden.com/sgm-250-sgm-250p.
I'm not going to do any technical examples, but I did do a simple test that should be fun for you guys to engage with. Azden has designed this microphone to be in the same space as microphones such as the Rode NTG-2 or Sennheiser MKE-600, so here's a basic example of the SGM-250 compared to the Rode NTG-2 Shotgun microphone.
I thought this would be an interesting test as we all have difference preferences when it comes to sound. Let you guys decide which microphone sounded better, and also to see how many of you can correctly guess which microphone is which. So leave your best guess in the comment section below!
The new Shure VP83 and VP83F are ultra-lightweight yet durable, with all-metal construction designed to Shure’s legendary quality standards. Additionally, both provide superior RF immunity and include highly directional supercardioid/ lobar polar patterns to reject unwanted off-axis audio. The VP83 also features easily-accessible controls, including a three-position gain switch to compensate for different recording environments and a low-cut filter switch to eliminate distracting background noise.
The VP83F with flash recording and playback functionality enables WAV file capture at 24 bit/48kHz sampling rate for direct-to-device recording and added audio redundancy. With a dedicated headphone audio output, the VP83F simplifies real-time monitoring and also offers an intuitive menu and controls for fast and easy control in almost any environment.
A83-FUR Windjammer® and A83-W Foam Windscreen accessories, exclusively developed with Rycote for the VP83 and VP83F LensHopper models, will also be available. Shure VP83 and VP83F will be available in summer 2013. Pricing TBD and will be available via B&H (click here).
Shure VP83 / VP83F Shotgun Microphone Build In Digital Audio Recorder
A short while back, Tony Carreti shared a test with a very inexpensive shotgun microphone (found here). Today, HDSLRNOW.com provided some additional data while comparing the sub $20 dollar EM-320E to the $230 dollar Audio Technica AT897 (found here). It's fairly obvious that the more expensive microphone sounds better, but the debate was about whether the sub $20 dollar microphone is worth using for those who may just be getting off the ground shooting video and without a budget. You can find the cheap EM-320E shotgun microphone via eBay (click here).
The Rode VideoMic is the most popular microphone in my bunch. When I needed something that would work well at CES in Vegas - worry free, I used the Rode VideoMic. Well Rode's got a 'new' VideoMic called the Rode VideoMic Pro. I don't think it's available for sale just yet, but it's been officially announced today. Definitely lots of enhancements in the exterior design, making it smaller and with a different shock mount design. They've made it easier to change a few settings with an exterior switch for high pass filter, and a seperate switch for -10dB , 0, and +20dB Levels. Want more? Check out the Microphone introduction here: http://www.rodemic.com/vmp/
I'd really love to check one of these out, and if you'd like to help (me), here's what you can do. Click here to send a Tweet to RodeMicrophones. Maybe a tweets could help hook a brotha up..