Still haven't found a good affordable LAV Mic to improve the audio in your videos? A few weeks ago I shared some information about the AspenMics lavaliers, and i'm not the only to say it's great sound for the money. Here's another recent review from Ray Ortega of ThePodcastersStudio.com testing out the $50 dollar AspenMics HQ-S LAV mics recorded to an Edirol portable audio recorder, and a few other samples using his iPhone as a portable Audio Recorder.
New Opteka VM-200 microphone. Claims an metal body, directional XY stereo, shock mount suspension, PAD switch, high pass noise filter, and windscreen filter included. Sounds like a decent build on the outside.
Is it effective? Well, we all know If the guts are cheap, it will sound cheap. It also looks a bit beastly compared to some of the smaller microphones on the market, or maybe even just a Zoom H1 portable recorder. More than likely it's still better than trying to use the in-camera microphone. No additional information or reviews I could find right now, but curious minds can find additional specs and pictures of the sub $140 dollar Opteka VM-200 Stereo Condenser Microphone on eBay (click here).
Did Tascam just drop a bomb on the Zoom H4n? The more affordable Tascam DR-40 is a great little recorder, but fell short when people realized you didn't have the same independent audio track levels like a Zoom H4n. The new firmware released today (found here), now adds that functionality to the Tascam DR-40. It still may not be as full featured as the Zoom H4n, but it has enough features for the average shooter, and this little recorder is $100 dollars cheaper than the Zoom H4n.
The Zoom H4n Portable Audio Recorder is a trusty little tool that almost every DSLR team has on hand. If you're looking for the cheapest deal, right now you can pocket a good 20% off on the factory refurbs + Free Shipping. Hard to find normally but a popular store front on eBay (which I purchased a few Zoom H1's from) has a few kits available which includes all the accessories from Wind Screen, mic stand, AC adapter, USB cable, 1GB Card, and Protective travel case. Cheaper than even used Zoom H4n's on eBay..
Doesn't look like it in photos, but this thing is small. The DS214 is really a great little device to professionally (and simply) add headphone monitoring and level adjustments for microphone inputs to DSLR's. The DS214 even includes AGC Defeat so this little black box can literally work magic for all DSLR audio shortcomings. Love the starting price point too. I'll mount it up next to a camera and show what that would look like.
There's only so many wireless microphone systems out there and If you've been wondering about this particular Audio Technica ATR 288W, here's a small clip. YouTube member creese13 writes in and shares a little test he's put together. Taking the budget wise Audio Technica ATR288W wireless system out for a small stroll it seems to be doing the job much better than the cheap Sony stuff I tried out as a backup wireless system. Flipping between Channel A and Channel B during this test, you decide which sounds better. Overall not bad sound for a budget wireless LAV going into a 7D -with AGC on. [Thanks Corey]
Not long ago Rode announced a new VideoMic Pro and now it's available. Didn't I just grab a new Microphone Windscreen over my VideoMic? This does not appear to be a replacement for the already popular VideoMic, but a new microphone altogether. Smaller form factor, better shock mounting, external switches, and a new +20db setting. Price obviously is more than the non-Pro VideoMic, but the new shock mount and smaller form factor already has me sold. Unlike the large VideoMic, this new VideoMic 'Pro' won't look as awkward when mounting on the smaller GH2 camera.
If you've been hiding under a rock, you might have missed all the ads for Varizoom's Crossfire stabilizer. Seems like they are really pushing this product towards DSLR shooters. It's a hand held video stabilizer that combines a tripod as the lower weight. When you're not running around, you've got a tripod ready to go. This is another product similar to their stabilizer/monopod a.k.a 'FlowPod'. How well does it work? I don't know, but it's set at a price where i'm not willing to find out. So unless you really need a set of sticks under your stabilizer, you can find it here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/750674-REG/VariZoom_VZ_CROSSFIRE_CrossFire_FP_Stabilizer.html
If you're in the market for a Battery grip but don't want to pay the OEM prices, you might be shopping for aftermarket. If you're a bit hesitant on choosing after market battery grips coming from overseas then maybe the new Vello line of grips might be up your alley. Available for both Canon and Nikon in select models, shipped from the big retailer B&H Photo Video should you run into any issues. Found here: Vello Battery Grips
G.I. Joe always told me 'knowledge is half the battle'. So for the newbies in the hiz-ouse - If you're still shopping for a microphone to suit your DSLR audio needs, you'll probably already find that the Rode VideoMic is a very popular one. I've run my own tests and found that it does perform much better than some microphones going for twice it's price. But before you start throwing down a solid buck, you can read up some other interesting suggestions through the B&H Insights blog that might help you get a bit more 'knowledge' - Go Joe!.
So a microphone will help you focus in on a little better sound than just the onboard microphone, but for the best sound processing, you'll want to shop for a portable audio recorder. The in camera audio of the DSLR's are just not up to par for the true audiophile. The link below jumps you to another B&H Insights article about different Portable Audio recorder solutions.
Like I had mentioned, the Tascam DR-08 was due in today's mail bag. Here it is in all it's plastic glory. Not that plastic is totally bad, even the Zoom H1 has it's share of plastic for the build. I haven't placed them side by side yet, but the Tascam appears to be in similar size and function. Will do a nice little test later tonight for audio quality and then run through the pros and cons of each item that I can think of.