Video Cameras forum


best camcorder for audio

I am looking to buy a camcorder for personal use, and would like something with excellent audio quality, without having to buy an extra microphone. Sound is more important to me than image quality. Ideally I'd like to spend <$500. Any suggestions?

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All Answers

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Didn't find any.

In reply to: best camcorder for audio

To get better audio to date we need external mics. So if we shop for camcorders with that mic, I didn't find any under 500.

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remote recording

In reply to: Didn't find any.

Camcorder mics are, first, positioned in the wrong place to pick up decent audio and, second, not of best quality. You would be better looking for a camcorder with an external mic socket OR buy a decent audio recorder such as a Zoom.

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I stopped looking. I use these.

In reply to: remote recording

Google these models. Both have made fine audio for work in audio documentaries.

Sanyo ICD-XPS01M
Tascam DR series. Currently on the office table is a DR-40.

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Let me clarify...

In reply to: I stopped looking. I use these.

Okay let me clarify: I am not looking for only audio, I definitely need video as well. Sound quality does not have to be perfect, just better than most out there. An external microphone socket is not out of the question but again, I am not looking to pay more than $500. Is there really no product out there that fits this description? ...anyone?

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What do you have now?

In reply to: Let me clarify...

For example I could use one of my cell phones and then one of my audio recorders to get far above average work for say audio commentaries or the usual work where folk want a relative to talk about some event.

In post production we bring all this together. Your newer producers often get lost trying to fine the perfect camcorder.

OK, let's find a really out of this world quality setup for using our common android phone as a camcorder + high end audio portable rig.

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In reply to: What do you have now?

Thanks Bob, I think you may have a point. And your set-up is really interesting! Anyway I appreciate everyone's insights... looking into audio recorders now. My iPhone video is probably fine, as long as I can sync up better audio during the editing process. Debating between ZoomH1, Tascam DR-05, and Yamaha Pocketrak PR7. Thanks again everyone.

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Sorry about that fine typo.

In reply to: Interesting

My son has the DR-04 but wants my DR-05 for the XLR connections.

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Terfyn started you down the path.

In reply to: Let me clarify...

The built-in mics are generally fine, though you can't deny their not as large as good external mics. This makes the mic's diaphragm smaller, but this is not the point.

Examples: A singer on stage has a mic right up to their mouth. A news reporter at the studio has the mic clipped to their shirt getting as close to their mouth (the audio source) as possible. A person making a speech or responding to questions during a press conference from a podium has a bunch of mics at the podium, near the audio source. Shotgun mics on booms pointed at the person speaking. The list of examples is endless.

In each of these examples, the camera is further away. It has the ability to zoom using optics. The only place I know if that has some sort of "zoom mic" is a parabolic mic used during US football games from the sidelines - and they won't fit in a camera very well.

So when the camera's built-in mics are in the right place, the video framing usually won't be desirable... but when the video/image framing looks right, the built-in mics can't be in the right place for the audio... hence external mics or external recorders which allow the camera to be in the right place for video and the mics to be placed independently for audio.

If there was a consumer grade camcorder in your price range that was "better than most out there" then the professionals would already be using it. They don't like having to lug extra equipment around to make sure the audio and video are good for broadcast... one less thing to worry about and less equipment to buy, maintain and all that. So, they's already be using "it". But "it" does not exist so they keep doing what they are doing... separate, external, mic.

The *only* two times I have found a camcorder or camera's built-in mics are in the right place and the video framing is fine is when the person speaking is about 5 feet away from the camera speaking to the mic - or during a live concert (manual audio gain control is in use), the camera is in the audio "sweep spot" of the venue and there is no panning. But this is not how all video is captured which is why we all suggest the external mic option.

The least expensive camcorder of which I an aware with a mic jack is the Canon HF R500. Action cams are not "normal camcorders - neither are still image cameras that happen to capture video as a convenience feature.

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