The saying is that when shooting video, the sound is more important than images. That is true. Your audience will put up with fuzzy, jiggly or under lit video but they won't be able to comprehend poor audio. Poor audio is the killer of quality video.
The standard microphones found embedded inside of most camcorders do a fair to poor job of capturing audio. It is not that the mike is made of inferior materials (but it may be) but that it is impossible to capture good quality sound from any kind of mike that is locked inside a camcorder.
Not only can it it not be properly aimed or focused, an embedded microphone is also subject to picking up the rumbles and grinding of the camcorder's various gears and electronics, as well as the possibility of picking up the sound of fingers rubbing and touching the various camcorder controls. This is especially likely if the camcorder operator is reaching around to twist the lens to follow focus or make other adjustments to the lens.
A much better solution is to use a mike that connects to the camcorder via an audio in jack. On consumer and prosumer camcorders, this can be a simple 1/8 inch mono or stereo jack or it can be via contacts on the camcorder's hot shoe. More expensive - (ie more professional camcorders) use professional XLR jacks and offer phantom power of various voltages that can power a microphone if needed.
However, the two mikes reviewed here, the Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone and the Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone both use a hot shoe on Canon Camcorders - it has to be the "Mini Advanced Shoe" tha tprpvides both the audio connection as well as the power supply.
These are not pro audio solution and are instead targeted to the consumer and prosumer user. They are also appropriate for most business and web video applications. If you already have a Canon VIXIA camcorder, these are the perfect accessories. If not, look elsewhere.
Which is better? A wireless system or a camera mounted directional mike? Well, it all depends on what kinds of videos you are shooting and where you find yourself. Personally, I think you need both!
However, before you shop for a mike, make sure your camcorder has an audio connection. Many of the entry level and pocket camcorders do not offer that feature.
By the way, anytime you are using an external mike, always check to make sure it is working! Do a test recording. Batteries don't last very long under continual use. Always carry to two or three extra batteries with you.
If possible, monitor the audio recording while you are shooting by plugging an earphone or headphone into the audio out jack on the camcorder. That is the best way to know if you have a loose connection, if the location is too windy or noisy, or if your batteries are dying.
The Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone is specifically designed for use with Canon VIXIA HF G10, VIXIA HF M-series, and VIXIA HF R-series camcorders. The system features a transmitter and receiver that operate over Bluetooth, with a range of up to 164 feet. The system is ideal for recording events, ceremonies, and anywhere a quality wireless microphone is necessary.
This design is unlike many other wireless mike systems. The transmitter and mike are on eunit - about 1.5 inches long. This means that it might be difficult to conceal it - especially when using it to mike someone wearing a sheer blouse or shirt..
As this uses Bluetooth, thick walls and large metal objects can reduce the transmission range.
The Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone
Just $229.00 for transmitter and receiver.
Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone Review
Excellent cable free audio accessory for those who are already using a Canon consumer camcorder- especially the Vixia series. Only works with camcorders that offer "Mini Advanced Shoe"
It provides excellent resistance to noise form the side - and when using the furry windmuff, good resistance to wind noise as well.
Be careful when installing it as there have reports that the base is a bit fragile and can break when isntlling and rmeoving it form the camcorder. Don't force it.
| Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone |
The Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone delivers high-quality stereo audio recordings to various Canon Vixia-series camcorders.
The microphone attaches to your camera's advanced accessory shoe for cable-free installation.
Includes Furry Windmuff
Includes three operational modes - mono-Shotgun, Stereo 90 degrees, and stereo 120 degrees.
Also for your Canon Camcorder - On Camera Light for Your Canon Camcorder
|The Canon VL-10Li II is a compact and powerful 10 watt video light for indoor or outdoor use. The light is powered by it's own (not included) battery pack - the BP-950G or BP-970G Lithium Ion battery. It attaches directly to the camcorder's accessory shoe. |
This on camera light works best with the following Canon camcorder models; XH-G1 and XH-A1.
Slide it on and make a movie. Even the best camcorders need a little extra light now and then. Just $79. ** Remember, you will also need to buy the battery pack.
Wedding videographers really like this. Small and throws off enough light.