Check out the new Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO
One way to improve the quality of your in-camera audio when shooting video with an HDSLR camera is to utilize an external adapter box (called a Camcorder XLR Adapter). These gizmos attach to the base of your camera and enable you to connect multiple XLR microphones to your camera’s lowly mini-plug mic input. However, one major drawback is that your ergonomically comfy camera body will now have a pointy metal box affixed to its bottom. Thankfully, the designers at Beachtek have addressed this situation with their new DXA-SLR PRO, which features a form-fitting chassis with rounded edges, a rubberized grip and an overall “born to be attached to a DSLR” design. In addition to these improvements, there are many new features that will help you achieve superior sound.
For more information on the ins and outs of Camcorder XLR Adapters, be sure to check out this B&H InDepth Buying Guide.
Recording clean audio on any kind of video shoot is a challenge, and the audio limitations of HDSLR cameras make it even more difficult. Most HDSLRs lack a headphone output and audio meters, so you can’t monitor the sound. To make matters worse, many cameras have a feature called Automatic Gain Control (AGC), which adjusts the audio recording levels for you. In some shooting situations, AGC really helps, but there are many situations where it makes your audio worse. AGC is similar to the “autofocus” function on a video camera. If you’re trying to shoot a professional-looking interview video and the autofocus suddenly starts “hunting” for focus in the middle of a take, your work is going to look amateurish. AGC does the same thing to audio levels.
The new DXA-SLR Pro offers solutions to all of these problems and empowers you with a few extra tools to really sharpen your sound. It’s kind of like a “greatest hits” album of Beachtek’s most popular songs, with a few new chart-topping tunes thrown in. Like any good Camcorder XLR Adapter, the new DXA-SLR PRO features two XLR inputs with phantom power that you can switch to accept mic or line-level signals. The ability to switch to line level makes it possible to connect your HDSLR to a mixing board at a live event or a wedding reception.
Similar to the Beachtek DXA-SLR, the new DXA-SLR PRO has a 3.5mm headphone output with a dedicated volume knob, and the ability to disable a camera’s AGC. Like the Beachtek DXA-5DA, the new DXA-SLR PRO features VU meters to easily check for proper recording levels. Similarities aside, this new Beachtek has a few additional tweaks that give it an edge. Both XLR inputs feature fast-acting limiters that prevent clipping and distortion from overly loud sounds. The limiters aren’t necessary for every situation, and can be turned on and off with dedicated switches. Its XLR inputs are also transformer balanced, which offers greater isolation and enhanced circuit protection. T
he DXA-SLR PRO has a new, DLSR-friendly chassis, with cutaways that allow easy access to its thumb wheel (which is used to affix it to the tripod thread on the base of a camera). Like all Camcorder XLR Adapters, the DXA-SLR PRO also features a tripod thread at its base, so you can still attach your camera rig to a tripod.