Although DSLR’s are good for making great video, sound recording on the tiny internal microphone is left sadly lacking. Couple with that some poor internal sound boosting and you have a combination that although gets the job done, does let down the whole package. I started a project a while ago where getting some decent audio was going to be important so I decided that I needed to get a small microphone that I could use with the Canon 600D.
I narrowed down my search between the Rode Video Mic Pro and the Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro. There seemed to be very little difference between the quality of recordings from these 2 mics. The main difference being that the stereo mic seems more suited to recording ambiance while the other one is more directional. I decided that if I was bothered enough about the sound to want to setup the mic, then more than likely I would be pointing the camera at what ever it was I filming, so I decided to go with the standard Rode Video Mic Pro.
It has a shoe mount that slots into the hot shoe on top of the camera. The mic body sits in a carriage that is suspended from the mount isolating it from the rest of camera. This does a very good job of stopping the mic picking up any noise from the body of the camera which is one of the biggest problems with the internal mic.
The back face has 2 slider controls. The top one is primarily a power switch but it moved all the way to the right it switches on the 80hz high pass filter, that will help remove and low end noise. Personally I haven’t had cause to use it yet so I can’t really comment on how effective it is.
The second slider gives you some control of levels with -10db, 0db and +20db settings. Personally I have only used the +20db setting in combination with turning down the preamp in the camera to just 2 “clicks” above zero. This has pretty much removed any sort of background hiss from the recordings.
Generally I’m very pleased with it, although I don’t have a huge amount to say about it. It is a simple piece of kit that does exactly what it is meant to in an uncomplicated way. The unit is light and compact which makes it very easy to slip into your camera bag.
On a side note the sponge packaging that came in the box for the mic fits very well in my Fancier KingKong 10 DSLR Sling Pack camera bag. This means that I now have a slot of exactly the right size and shape to protect the mic while in transit. I’m sure this would work in most camera bags, so don’t go throwing away the packaging to quick if you get one.