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Question

Help! Decent yet inexpensive used video with external mic

by weaverswigglers / April 7, 2013 7:17 AM PDT

Wondering if someone could help me out in my search.

I am looking to buy a decent video camera with which to record myself and other musicians playing our songs. Mostly will be for internet stuff, read YouTube, and of course for posterity.

Not looking to break the bank too bad hence the used camera. Could go with a DSLR of course as most record in 1080p and either 24fps or 30fps, but will leave that open to the discussion here. As a side note to the camera question, if anyone knows of a good external microphone to connect up to it that would be wonderful. The microphone could be as, if not more important to this application.

I am an experienced computer user and video editor, but with all the equipment out there now it seems much easier to ask the experts what their opinions are before looking too extensively.

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All Answers

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Answer
The "external mic"
by boya84 / April 7, 2013 1:31 PM PDT

assuming your music is loud - is only part of the equation. You also need manual audio gain control. Without that, there is no mic that can help the camcorder deal with LOUD audi being recorded as a muddy mess with static.

Assuming you want to press record and let it go for a while, a dSLR is a poor choice. Usually, dSLR audio gain control is poor - and they are known to overheat during prolonged (longer than 15 minutes) of video or "live view". dSLRs are designed to capture stills - and video + audio are secondary "convenience features". This does not mean they cannot capture good video - they can. But they cannot be treated like a camcorder. Once in overheat mode, they take a long time to cool. And they have file size and record time limitations that camcorders do not have.

My preference is stereo audio - so the camera/camcorder needs to have either built-in stereo mics (common to camcorders), and perhaps a stereo audio input - and manual audio gain control.

The Canon HF R series has very rudimentary "normal" and "attenuator" (for LOUD AUDIO) while the HF M series has about 12 steps in manual audio gain control. Both series also have 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo audio inputs. Audio Technica makes decent stereo mics... so do RODE, Shure and a few others.

Your first step is to set a budget. I do music videos with Sony HDR-FX1, HDR-FX1000, HVR-Z5 and other camcorders - with XLR mics (using an XLR adapter when needed).

It depends on what sort of music, your budget, live vs planned, and lots of other stuff... I use the cameras I use because the lenses and imaging chips are large. They provide a much bigger use-window of opportunity that consumer cams or dSLRs...

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Not Too Loud
by weaverswigglers / April 7, 2013 5:34 PM PDT
In reply to: The "external mic"

I should have mentioned that it wasn't going to be anything too loud. I have even done some single acoustic stuff indoors with just my iPhone and it turned out alright. I was looking for this one to do outdoor shoots which could cause a problem with the ambient noise around. Live stuff, but just slightly planned, no big production. My budget, I'm hoping to spend around 1000. Just look on eBay and Craigslist I imagine and hope for a good deal?

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Something less expensive
by weaverswigglers / April 15, 2013 8:26 PM PDT
In reply to: The "external mic"

I have looked into the options you have suggested and it seems there still must be something less expensive for my application. The cheapest I have found any of those three is 1400 euro, which is quite a bit out of my price range. I would still need to buy the microphone at that price. Any other ideas?

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Hmmm. From what I can see,
by boya84 / April 16, 2013 12:22 AM PDT

The Canon Legria HF R36 and M56 are nowhere near 1400 euro at the Canon Italy site. I presume retailers are less $. An Audio Technica stereo mic (ATR6250) and camera bracket plus the camcorder whould be well below 1000 euro.

You aren't going to get "broadcast quality" but hopefully it is good enough for what you want.

Since we now know your budget, it is easier to fit a solution.

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Yoda Mics
by Terfyn / April 16, 2013 1:10 AM PDT

You want something less tham 1000 euros. Just as an example a V700 would cost around 500 E and a Yoda mic around 50-70 E. Nothin wrong with Audio Technica but Yoda gave as good a performance for half the price.

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Answer
Camera and Mic
by Terfyn / April 15, 2013 9:32 PM PDT

I'll put down what I've got for you to consider:-

1) Panasonic HC-V700 (recently bought by another Forum user for $300)
2) Yoga EM-268 Stereo Electret Condenser Mic + 15 ft lead

The V700 has Auto or Manual gain control. The combination seems to work OK and give good Quality.

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