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Low Audio Recording Levels in Panasonic AG-DVC30

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Low Audio Recording Levels in Panasonic AG-DVC30
on Apr 20, 2006 at 7:19:07 pm

About a year ago I bought a Panasonic AG-DVC30 camcorder. The image is great, but the sound level stinks.

Recently I made a semi "scientific" study of the sound levels. I set up a standard color bars & tone in Premiere, positioned the camera about 10 feet from the speakers and then tried various mic settings. I imported them into Premiere and looked at them with its audio meter. 'Course, this does not relate to any objective scale, but the relative levels are perhaps significant. And I did set the loudness of the tone so that it was roughly equivalent to humans talking.

When I use the built-in mic and the default settings (i.e., AGC), I get a reading of

-30 dB

Which seems very low to my ear. When I attach an external (shotgun) mic and connect the cable to the "mic" input, I get the same thing:


However, if I shoot the same thing using a modest, consumer-grade Canon camcorder in exactly the same location, I get:

-12 dB

Which sounds "normal" to my ear.

Next, I set the AG-DVC30 to manual level setting (which is a pain because you have to go through 2 or 3 menu levels). This way I could bump the record level a notch or two and achieve -18 dB or higher.

My main question is: Is this camera defective?

Thanks for the advice.


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Re: Low Audio Recording Levels in Panasonic AG-DVC30
on Apr 20, 2006 at 9:19:14 pm

Don't know this camcorder, but it sounds like you might have a MIC ATTENUATION setting turned on.

Check the menus and slide-switches for this.
That could account for 10 to 20 dB of lower level.

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