If you love that your DSLR shoots HD video, but find yourself disappointed by the audio quality, then check out the RØDE VideoMic. This microphone goes for about $150 and will do wonders for the sound quality of your video clips. Simply mount the microphone directly to your camera’s hot shoe mount and you’re all set.
I really love this mic as it allows you to dramatically improve your sound quality without breaking the bank or requiring your subjects to have microphones. It’s a “shotgun” style microphone, which means it works best when pointed directly at your subject(s).
That directional focus greatly reduces the level of sounds that are off to the sides of the microphone, which makes the VideoMic perfect for catching wedding vows, filming children, doing interviews or simply reducing the annoying camera adjustment noises from your back yard family videos.
If you plan to shoot video outside, don’t forget to add a “Deadcat“. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds! A Deadcat is simply a wind shield that slips over the microphone to help minimize wind noise. They generally go for about $40.
Still need your hot shoe for a flash? No problem. If you work with an assistant, there are pistol grips and boom poles available for the VideoMic. Shooting solo? Not to worry, there are several inexpensive mounts for the base or hot shoe mounts of your camera that easily allow you to have multiple accessories attached at the same time.
Just a quick note before you get started, be sure to check your camera for an external Mic input. You’ll typically find it near your camera’s output, power or external shutter/flash hook ups. (It looks like a standard headphone jack.) Some Canon cameras that feature a Mic input are the 7D, 60D, Rebel T3i, 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II and 1D Mark IV. Popular Nikon cameras that support an external microphone include the D300s, D7000, D3S and D3X.
Are you using external Mics to capture better sound quality for your DSLR? We’d love to hear about it!