I just received my newest toy a few weeks ago thanks to Christmas gift cards from the family this year!
I was debating on getting a new lens, among other things, but I decided the final piece to my setup was the Rode Videomic Pro Compact Shotgun Microphone.
This microphone was created specifically for DSLR video shooters, but can be used with consumer level camcorders as well. Anything with a mini-jack input. DSLRs have changed what is visually possible in the film industry, but the audio is still very limited.
Overcoming the Limitations
Many people shooting with DSLRs have resorted back to the double system days of film. The most common way this is achieved is either with the Zoom H4N Digital Recorder or the Tascam DR-100, with microphone and XLR cables.
The double system setup is great for top quality audio on a “lock it down” production set, but not so great if you are a one man/woman crew. Shooting DSLR video is by no means a walk in the park – so adding another record button to your setup is not ideal.
For me, it’s just one more button that I will forget to press. Not good.
So, as much as I would like to be able to monitor my audio with headphones (it’s not possible with the Rode setup), it is not worth the extra “responsibility” to me.
Add to it the fact that you must also sync your audio to your image in post with a program like Pluraleyes – and choosing the Rode Videomic Pro becomes a no brainer for run and gun work.
Making the Decision
There were other microphone options for me to choose from of course – so how did I decide?
My first option was to go with the original Rode Videomic– which at about $100 cheaper was very tempting. The major drawback to this mic was the large size. This microphone was THE game changer for recording audio when DSLR video first came to be.
The other option was the Seinheiser MKE 400 Shotgun. Definitely comparable to the Rode Videomic Pro in terms of size, but lacked in features, audio quality, and clout (Rode is the clear leader in on camera mics for DSLR video).
Because of this I decided on the Rode Videomic Pro.
As I mentioned, the Videomic Pro was Rode’s answer to shooting DSLR video.
The feedback from using this new format lead them to create a smaller microphone with features helpful to this style of shooting.
The original Videomic is still available for purchase – because the Pro wasn’t an upgrade to this microphone. It was a complete redesign. The original was never intended for DSLR shooting in the first place, and fills a different need – camcorders.
Yes you can still purchase the original Videomic for DSLRs and save $100, but to me – and my research – you must go with the Videomic Pro.
Overall I love the form factor and quality of sound I now get from my DSLR, without the extra steps of syncing and carrying another piece of gear with me. If you are looking for ease of use – for run and gun work – this is the mic for you.