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Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic

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Alaa Ashkar
Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Feb 20, 2013 at 1:13:49 am


I have been searching on the internet for a while now for reviews on the Panasonic DMW-MS2 mic with not much success. I have only found two posts one is positive, the other is negative about the microphone:

I am confused! I don't know whether I should get the Rode videomic pro, which obviously has great reviews on the net or go for the Panasonic. I am an indy filmmaker who would need efficient shotgun sound for outdoors interviews and the possibility to catch ambient sounds as well. It seems to me that the Panasonic is a good all in one option since it allows both types of recordings (shotgun and stereo) while the Rode records only mono. Any thoughts? did anyone test the panasonic and can share his experience with it? how about other good quality mics that does both functions as the Panasonic?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Steve Crow
Re: Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Feb 20, 2013 at 1:27:23 am

Keep in mind that the Rode Videomic gets good reviews for its use to improve the in-camera sound while filming in a dual-audio setup.

I own one and I would NOT trust it outdoors for interviews unless I was within 4 to 5 feet of the subject and even then I would be using a 3rd party windscreen - not the flimsy foam one that comes with it.

The true interview sound is most often captured with another type of mic....often a lavalier or it could be a boom mic hung over the interview subject assuming that are not walking around.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media

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Alaa Ashkar
Re: Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:39:38 am

Thanks Steve for the quick reply.

I am aware of what you say. Since I work alone, I am looking for the most efficient equipment, and am willing to scarify a bit in quality for the sake of ease of use.
I was thinking of a shotgun mic like the panasonic Ms2 for these reasons:

- When set to stereo mode, it apparently captures much better stereo quality sound than the in-camera mic
- When set to shotgun mode: it isolates the sounds from the sides for better focused sound for interviews, and I can point it as close as possible to the subject if needed with the extension cable that comes with it.
- It offers these two functions so I won't need to buy two types of microphones like the Rode VideoMic pro AND the Rode StereoMic pro.

Downsides as far as I can tell (I am not a professional):

- It records in-camera (I will buy the Panasonic GH3), i.e. the sound recording quality (in terms of bit rate) is less than an external recorder like the Tascam or Zoom. But with an external recorder I will have to synchronizesound in post and I prefer to avoid that especially for ambient sound where I will have many short sequences. I think synchronizing is easy and great when working with long shots interviews, but when you have to synchronize tens of short shots every day it becomes more complicated I guess...? even when using a software like Plural Eyes.

- This mic is designed to work only on the GH3! it is powered by the camera battery and all functions are adjustable from the camera menu. Actually I don't mind that. Reminds me of Apple's hardware/software philosophy.

- Price: it costs a about 90$ more than the VideoMic pro! is it worth it? Or should I get the Rode and an external recorder like the Tascam Dr-40?

Now that the RODE VideoMic HD Digital Recorder Video Microphone is on the way to the market, that complicates my decision as well... it looks perfect but I guess the price will be less :)

I WOULD LOVE TO GET A FEEDBACK ON THIE PANASONIC MIC comparing it to the competition!

Sorry for saying much but its because I will be investing in sound equipment very soon and would not want to regret anything.


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Bill Bruner
Re: Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Feb 24, 2013 at 12:54:48 am

Hi Alaa - I saved a lot of money by buying a battery powered professional XLR mic for my GH3. Neither the Rode nor the DMW-MS2 can compete with the sound quality from a real professional microphone. Here is a picture of my setup:

I run the balanced XLR output from my $75 (used on eBay) Audio Technica AT-835 through a Hosa MIT-156 XLR to 3.5mm line matching transformer to match the mic's impedance to the camera's and, using the camera's preamps, the sound is great.

If you don't want to buy used, you can get a brand new $216 Audio Technica AT897, a $17 Hosa MIT-156, a $30 Campro Deluxe Shock Mount shock mount and a $29 Pearstone windmuff for less than the cost of a $299 DMW-MS2.

The frequency response of the AT897 is 20-20K Hz, the MS2's is 80-20K Hz; the signal-to-noise of the AT897 is 77dB, while the MS2's is 70.

Panasonic doesn't publish charts or numbers for rolloff or dynamic range, but the MS2 is unlikely to match the numbers for the AT897 (AT897 specs here, DMW-MS2 specs'>here).

Worse, if you ever want to boom the "prosumer" mics and run a long cable out of them, you can't - because their output is unbalanced and susceptible to RF interference. I really don't understand how Panasonic can sell these mics for more than the cost of a real microphone.

Hope this is helpful, and congrats on the decision to buy the GH3. It's a fabulous still/video camera.

Hybrid Camera Revolution

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Alaa Ashkar
Re: Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Feb 24, 2013 at 12:45:43 pm

Hello Bill,

Thank you for your interesting post. Your equipment looks very promising. I have some questions though:

From what I understand, any battery powered shotgun mic with XLR would work on the GH3 simply by using the Hosa transformer? what do you think of the Rode NTG-2 then? I am in France and its price is much cheaper than the Audio Technica AT897.

Also (and I am novice in these technical issues), from what I read on the internet, the GH3 in camera preamps (what does that mean actually?) might not be enough powerful as an external mixer like the Juiced Link. Is the GH3 preamp strong enough to benefit entirely from an external microphone's capabilities? Do you think using the battery grip will make a difference?
I guess the best would be to use an external recorder for the better bit rate recording capabilities (did you test the difference?). But then I would have to synchronize in post and I don't want that.

I would still like to hear that Panasonic MS2 sound quality compared to other DSLR shotgun miss. What I found interesting about it, and maybe that what justifies its price, is the fact its switchable shotgun/stereo, which will allow me to use "all in one" mice for interviews and ambient sound capturing.

Finally, size speaking, I find your mike too big for my type of work where I prefer not to draw much attention. I will be interviewing marginalized communities where having a big camera and a big mic might intimidate them. My presence might seem "less personal" in some situations.

Thanks for your input


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David Salahi
Re: Panasonic DMW MS2 Shotgun mic
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:01:05 pm

I have the Panasonic DMW-MS2 microphone and it's worked out well for me--until now. I bought a juicedLink Riggy Micro 202 preamp and the DMW-MS2 doesn't work with it. I'm pretty sure the DMW-MS2 won't work with any preamp because it's designed to be plugged directly into the GH4 (and certain other Panasonic cameras). When I plug the DMW-MS2 into the juicedLink preamp I get nothing out. (Two other non-Panasonic mikes work fine with the preamp.)

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