Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 3: Important Accessories > External Microphone

External Microphone

The microphone (or mic) built into your camera is okay but not great. The camera manufacturer is not primarily concerned with audio. After all, a dSLR is specifically designed for shooting still photos. You will probably have to look very carefully on the camera body to even find the tiny openings for the microphone. Compare this to the microphones built into a camcorder where careful attention has been made to recording audio. Those mics, even on an inexpensive camcorder, are huge compared to what is on a dSLR.

Even if the camera manufacturer used a good mic in the camera body, there are some real problems with having a microphone built into the camera body itself. Microphones that are built into a camcorder are very carefully placed and mounted to optimize sound coming to the mic and minimize sound that comes from the body of the camera itself. Unfortunately, this is not true for mics built into a dSLR. Those microphones really emphasize noises from the camera and lens, and they are not optimally placed to get the best sound from your subject.

The answer is to get an external mic. Here are two types of microphones to look for. Make sure your camera allows you to plug in an external microphone. Unfortunately, some camera manufacturers do not include a mic jack and so you are forced to accept audio from the internal microphone.

image Shotgun mic. You can find shotgun microphones that will slide into the hot shoe of your camera and then plug in to the microphone jack. These microphones limit the area of sensitivity so that you can better pick up sounds from your subject rather than extraneous sounds coming from one side or the other. In addition, they have a small shock absorbing mount so that camera noises are not transmitted to the microphone. (See Figure 3.8.)

Figure 3.8 A shotgun mic limits its sensitivity to a narrow angle to better capture audio in many conditions.

image

image Lavalier mic. Lavalier microphones are the small microphones that you see clipped to people being interviewed for news and documentary stories on television. You can get these little microphones so that you can clip them to your subject’s collar or somewhere near their face and then plug the cord into your camera. Since a lavalier microphone is so close to the person talking, your camera will better record that person’s voice and minimize any extraneous sounds. (See Figure 3.9.)

Figure 3.9 A lavalier mic captures better audio by being close to the sound.

image

  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint