Filming Equipment: Microphones. Youtube videos are a part of my every day life. I'm either watching videos or making them, and I have learned a thing or two in the past year, even though I am definitely far from being any sort of professional. Trust me, I'm still a noob (I also watched my little brother play too much Halo apparently, affecting my vocabulary...). Anyway, today, I'm going to share my microphone equipment with you and my thoughts on each of them. For reference, I use a Nikon D3200 (and I love it).
First, when recording videos, it is important to consider the amount of background noise that your camera will be able to pick up. The more noise there is, the stronger the microphone you will need to block it out. Personally, I try to film without any windows and doors open and no fans or air conditioners running. However, living in a place where 95F is the normal temperature, I usually need to have the AC on. You can hear this in the background of my videos, but it's either that or die of heat stroke.
Most cameras have a built-in microphone. Personally, I think this microphone picks up way too much background noise, but it is good for beginners. If you don't have anything running in the background for the microphone to pick up, you should be fine. Also, speak loudly, because these microphones are not very strong. You can always lower the volume when editing.
External Microphone - SG-108 Shotgun DV Stereo Microphone for Canon/Nikon
If your camera has an external microphone jack, you can opt to purchase an external microphone instead of using the built-in microphone. For my first external microphone, I didn't want anything that was too expensive, so I took to Youtube to search for reviews on affordable external microphones. Sharon Farrell, one of my favorite Youtubers, shared her filming set up and talked about what microphone she used at the time. It's the SG-108 Shotgun Mic.
You can get it from Ebay or Amazon, and the quality is pretty decent. It is a directional microphone that pulls sound in from the front and sides to create a crisp clear sound. It's not the best, but at $26, it's pretty good. Plus, if you turn down the background noise and speak loud and clear, you won't have any problems. To use it, you plug it into the external microphone jack in the camera and turn on the switch. It runs on a battery and should last about 900 hours. My issue with this mic is that I sometimes forget to turn on the switch... very frustrating when I realize this after an hour or so of filming. Still, it's a good starter microphone, especially if you're just starting out.
External Microphone - Rode VideoMic GO On-Camera Shotgun Microphone
Rode is an established brand that creates excellent quality microphones. The Rode VideoMic line of microphones is perfect for those on the go or if you don't want to fuss with wires or an on/off switch. After having the SG-108 for several months, I was ready to invest in a better quality microphone. I found Cristina Viseu's audio test video on three different microphones. Her video drew me to the Rode VideoMic GO, because the sound quality was good and the price was right.
At $99 from several electronic retailers (ex. BH Photo), it was an investment I was willing to make. After having used this microphone for a couple of months, I'm really liking it. The recording quality is much better than the SG-108. It is also a directional microphone, but it is a bit larger both in length and width. This microphone is able to pull in more sound and create a more clear, crisp audio recording. The background noise is lessened, the voice quality is stronger and louder, and I don't need to fuss with an on/off switch. I just plug it in and go. However, I do sometimes forget to plug it into the camera, but that's a personal problem, lol! Also, this microphone looks heavy and clunky, but it is SO light. I was really surprised at how light it was, like a K-Swiss shoe - they look heavy and chunky but feel like marshmallows. Hopefully, you understand my analogy there.
Overall, I do believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to audio equipment. Also, it is extremely important to do your research before shopping. I researched for several weeks before deciding on the Rode VideoMic GO, even after Cristina recommended I look into the Rode VideoMic Pro. Honestly, I would have gotten the Pro, but it was priced at $258, and I wasn't willing to put that kind of cash down - not yet, anyway, since I was also getting a new lens at the same time (review later). For now, I am really happy with my equipment. I've received a lot of compliments on my video quality lately, and that makes me really happy!
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What equipment do you use for videos? Looking into a microphone? If not one of these, what kind?
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A beautiful couple full of life and happiness, working together to create a sustainable and prosperous life all while helping others each step of the way. After battling thyroid cancer, Courtney turned to NeriumAD which helped lighten and reverse the scarring from surgery, and the results were amazing enough to prompt Alan and Courtney to join the Nerium team. Want to know more about this power couple? Check out their blog here, and their NeriumAD site here.