Let’s face it. While many recent DLSRs and ILCs can give you excellent visual quality in the videos, the sound quality of the built in microphones leave a lot to be desired. For a modest amount of money you can bring the sound quality up to par with the visual quality. That is why video mic sales have exploded.
It’s not a good thing when the mic on your DSLR is visible at the top of your videos. That’s the first thing I learned when I started doing research before buying a video mic. It is also not a good thing if the sound quality is disappointing. Fortunately, I found just the size I wanted with the quality I needed.
My first criteria was sound quality. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes you don’t. Sound quality usually gets better as the price goes up, but that is not always the case.
My second criteria was to find a compact mic. Many of the top rated mics are long. So long in fact that when mounted in the hotshoe of your DSLR they show up at the top of your videos when you shoot with a wide angle lens. If the mic is always off camera, a long mic is no longer an issue, but if it is on the camera and you use a wide angle lens, you are going to have problems. A long mic is also not an issue if it sits on the back of a long video camera. My intention was to use this as an on camera DSLR mic, plus I don’t want to carry around a big mic in my overstuffed backpack when I am out in the wilderness, so a compact mic was the way to go.
The RØDE VideoMicro was just what I needed and only cost about $52. It is compact enough that it won’t show up in my videos when I use a wide angle lens. The sound quality is also very good. Is it as as good as the RØDE VideoMic Pro R? Of course not. A $52 mic is not going to sound as good as a $220 mic. But the RØDE VideoMicro is much better than the built in mic on my DSLRs. The good news is the RØDE VideoMicro has better sound quality than the RØDE VideoMic Go which costs about $30 more than the VideoMicro. Sometimes less money gets you better quality.
A comparison of the RØDE VideoMicro, Video Go, and Video Pro follows:
The RØDE VideoMicro is so popular, thanks to the small size and high sound quality that there are a lot of fakes out there. There are also fakes of other RØDE mics. Before you buy any model of RØDE mic, read How Do You Know If You Have a Fake RØDE VideoMic?
Amazon is especially susceptible to fakes. Before you order from Amazon, check the “sold buy” information to make sure it says “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.”
A RØDE Mic for Your Smart Phone
If you are looking for a quality mic for your smart phone, check out the RØDE VideoMic Me.
You can order several models of RØDE mics for your DSLR, video camera, or smart phone in the RØDE Mics section of my photography store (link below). All of the links are to items that say “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.” Sometimes Amazon takes a link and points it to the same product but from a different source, so make sure you see “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” before you order.
This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest are here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.