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Railfan Technology > DSLR External Mic Under $50 ???

Date: 04/13/17 21:02
DSLR External Mic Under $50 ???
Author: Tominde

I am on a very tight budget right now.   (Tax man got a much bigger chunk).  Planning to use my Nikon D5500 for video, mostly steam.

1.  Is it a waste of $$ to buy an external mic under $50.  Any recommendations.

2.  Can you explain Dead Cat, Kitten, Rat.  I know wind muffs, but what is difference between them?  What's a good local highway to look for this roadkill?  (just kidding)

3.  What is hot shoe for a mic? 

Date: 04/14/17 00:48
Re: DSLR External Mic Under $50 ???
Author: NS2501

I'll try to answer this to the best of my ability, so here it goes;

1.) As for price, I can't really comment regarding the context in which you ask; typically, you get what you pay for. Would it be a "waste" to buy an external mic under $50? Perhaps, perhaps not- that is a very subjective question.
Today, a lot of people seem to vouch heavily for the Røde VideoMic brand. These can be had for about $80-$250, depending upon the model and accessory package purchased. These are small, portable "shotgun" (directional) microphones. Shotgun mics are intended to isolate sound, i.e. whatever the mic is pointed at is whatever sound it will pick up; surrounding (and often distracting) noises are mitigated and sometimes almost completely eliminated depending upon the quality of the mic.

2.) "Dead Cat", "Kitten", and "Rat" are jaron for wind-mitigating devices that either cover (slip onto) the microphone or are placed on an external cage around the mic. The "dead cat" is the big fluffy device that is designed to actially break up incoming wind, and a good general rule of thumb to go by is, "the longer the fur, the better the wind breakup." I'm not sure what the other terms mean, but most "dead cats" also come with foam insulation that offers further wind-noise reduction in addition to shock reduction (shock reduction reduces handling noise). Of course, the method used to mount the mic also plays a significant role in shock reduction.

3.) The term "hot shoe" mic simply refers to the method of mounting the mic, in this case to the hot shoe of the camera.

I hope this helps, and good luck on your purchase.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/17 00:54 by NS2501.

Date: 04/30/17 10:22
Re: DSLR External Mic Under $50 ???
Author: philhoov

Check out the Rode VideoMicro from B&H that's $59.
I recently bought one and have used it 2X for videos posted here on TO:
It comes with a dead cat muff that works well, and draws power from the camera, thereby eliminating the need for batteries.
I was about initially about 500' away from the UP#844 in that first video and the sound is amazing!
Very good value for the money.

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