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Best value on audio equipment?

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Adam Leonard
Best value on audio equipment?
on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:56:41 pm

So I'm a TV/Video guy in between jobs and I'm looking to do more freelance videography to pay the bills. I already have a Panasonic HDC-TM900 and a tripod. Next I'm looking to get a good shotgun mic attachment and a wireless lav mic. Other things like lighting can come later.

I'm looking for the best value. I'm not exactly drowning in cash here but I obviously don't just want something crappy (contradictory, I know). What kind of relatively good stuff can I get for around $150 for the shotgun mic attachment and $450 for the lav mics? Difficulty: both need to be compatible with my HDC-TM900 and used stuff is fine. Thanks!

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Brent Dunn
Re: Best value on audio equipment?
on Mar 22, 2012 at 6:08:28 pm

I use the Sony Wireless Lav system and a wireless hand held. I had one conference shoot with 12 wirless microphones going with no interference. That really sold me. Plus, the audio quality is very good.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

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Dave Haynie
Re: Best value on audio equipment?
on Mar 23, 2012 at 5:11:46 am

"Good" is a big relative... some people will be happy with a $100 mic, some will not be happy with a $5,000 mic. One thing you can be sure of... the worst mic you're likely to use is the one you have already -- the TM900's built-ins (which are most likely very similar to built-ins in my TM700).

You're limited by your budget and your lack of XLR connectors -- I do most of my audio with my HMC40 and a Rode NTG-1 mic ($250), usually in combination with an off-camera recorder (Zoom H4n, often with other external mics), which is not too shabby, handles very high SLPs (138dB or so.. though you'll need a 20-30dB pad on your camera to use it recording very loud content), etc. Rode also makes my new favorite stage/vocal mic, the M1. So while I don't use it, I can recommend you checking out the Rode VideoMic ($150). This is designed for cameras with 3.5mm jacks, has a decent rep for this kind of mic, it runs from a standard 9V battery, and lots of DSLR shooters use it. If you're going to spend only $150 on a camera mic, you can't do much better.

I have a wired lav I use for interview situations, but no wireless ... kind of odd, given my collection of over 20 mics. But I haven't found a wireless mic I really like at a good price.


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