Audio Solutions for DSLR Videographers

In today's modern production environment images are just as important as sound. Video footage needs to impress with stunning detail, pleasing composition and natural exposure, however more often than not, audio tends to take a back seat and be subject to compromise in certain situations especially when one is shooting with a DSLR like the 5D Mark III, or Panasonic GH4.

There are plenty of audio solutions geared towards the video professional, however as we've tend to move more towards shooting with large sensor cameras, some of them lack professional audio inputs and control. Take for example the 5D Mark III. The camera which was the successor to the mighty 5D Mark II, which brought a significant change in the way images are captured for most of professional video productions. The small form factor and incredible latitude and full frame look overshadowed its audio shortcomings.

Very soon audio manufacturers started providing audio recorders and interfaces to bring up the camera to broadcast spec. Of course, it may not shoot 50mb/s on board in a 422 colour space, on the contrary, the H.264 codec is very much still 8bit 420, however for those requiring a higher bit rate video recording the HDMI output is clean and once connected to an appropriate third party recorder the footage really sparkles.

But still it is widely used in the industry for various video applications most of which require high-quality sound. We've selected a few options for those looking to bring their video DSLR's up to spec with great quality professional audio.

Tascam DR-60D Mark II

Designed with DSLR video makers in mind, the DR-60D Mark II is a 4 track professional audio recorder, which continues Tascam's audio heritage by bringing XLR inputs and high-quality pre-amps to a broad range of video professionals. The upgraded HDDA microphone preamps provide up to 64dB of gain, capturing every nuance of a performance. Up to four channels at a time can be recorded to the internal SD Card, at up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV file resolution. Two of the mic inputs utilize locking XLR connectors with 48V phantom power, the other two use an 1/8” stereo connector for wireless and lavaliere microphones.

A Camera Output sends the mic mix to the camera for later synchronization, and a Camera Input is provided for monitoring playback. An additional headphone out and line out assist the crew during filming. The DR-60DmkII is designed for low-noise operation, including soft touch buttons and dedicated gain controls.

Tascam DR-70D

Very similar to the DR-60D Mark II above, but it adds a slimmer profile and 2 built in microphones. In addition, it provides four XLR/TRS combo jacks which can be used to record four channels of audio with excellent sound quality using professional microphones. Thanks to a camera output the recorder’s stereo signal can be recorded also on the camera to ease subsequent editing of the material in combination with the slate tone function of the recorder. On the other hand you can use the camera input to monitor the audio of the camera using the recorder.

Sony XLR K2M for Sony A7s mirror less camera

The Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone allows you to connect professional-quality microphones, mixing consoles and sound studios to cameras equipped with a Multi-Interface Shoe, including Sony's a7 series, RX series and select camcorders. It features a 2-channel XLR adapter box with independent level controls and includes the ECM-XM1 shotgun microphone.

Rode NTG-1 Shotgun Microphone

The RØDE NTG1 is a lightweight condenser shotgun microphone, designed for professional applications within the film, video, television and production industries.

Its full frequency response, low noise and audio transparency make it an ideal film, video, and voice over microphone, while its low weight (105gm/3.7oz) makes it an ideal boom microphone.

In addition to the native 20Hz-20kHz frequency response a selectable high-pass filter at 80Hz is available, which will prevent low end noise such as air conditioners and traffic from being recorded.

The microphone requires phantom power 48Volts so make sure your external recorder can provide it. The DR-60D Mark II and 70D from Tascam have this feature.

Rode VideoMic Pro

For those who want to use the 3.5mm jack directly into their DSLR, the Rode VideoMic Pro is the perfect solution for the budget minded buyer.

Here's a rundown of the mics features:

• Broadcast recording quality condenser microphone

• Compact form factor (150mm in length)

• Ultra lightweight 85g

• 9V battery powered - over 70 hours use

• Integrated shock mounting

• Integrated foam windscreen

• 3.5mm stereo mini-jack output

• On camera power, level and filter controls

• Camera shoe mount with 3/8" thread for easy boom pole mounting

For all your audio needs, our specialists at Visual Impact can help you get the right recorders, microphones and any other audio accessories, give us a ring at 0208 977 1222 or send us a quick message via the Contact Us form.