Tech

Adding a microphone to your camera setup

If you’ve purchased a DSLR or mirrorless camera to capture those important family memories, you’ve probably noticed one area that is letting your videos down – audio.

Even the best cameras have pretty awful microphones built in. They’re tiny, omnidirectional, and usually pick up the sounds of the camera more than the room.

To step up your video game, you need a separate mic, and the best are from Australian manufacturer RODE.

For just $75, you can purchase the VideoMicro, a tiny external device that comes with its own shock mount to reduce the noise from bumps and shakes. The VideoMicro even comes with a windshield (known as a “dead cat” in the industry) for clear sound when shooting outside on a windy day.

It fits into a hot-shoe adaptor, and is small enough that it won’t stand out or intimidate those in front of the camera, but the audio from it is full and warm, and sounds far better than a tiny microphone should.

The VideoMicro is directional. It will capture the audio directly in front of the lens, reducing the room noise around the subject. You’ll get a clear rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” that doesn’t pop or distort. The sound is even good enough for the odd vox pop or corporate video interview.

And the VideoMicro is tough – I’ve had one bouncing around in my backpack for more than a year now, and the sound from it is as good as the day I bought it. There’s no marks or dents on the aluminium body, and if you register it with the manufacturer you’ll be covered by a 10-year warranty, for added peace of mind.

RODE has a suite of more expensive microphones for more professional needs, but if you’re just getting started, the VideoMicro is a fantastic little unit.

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