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Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.

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Buddy Couch
Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 3:43:42 pm

If anyone could help me with the following techical problem I would be most appreciative. I have looked long and hard at the Zoom H4n for my audio needs. My question is if I bought a Rhode mic and plugged it into my cameras mic port, would this option be as good as the following.

H4n with rhode XLR type mic and sync in post? I realize with H4n I have 4 channel option to capture sound all over the scene, but have read so many post that ask "Why would you really want to capture ambience/dialogue at the same time." So in regard to this I ask for your professional advice in making the best decision to benefit my work, which can be anything from documentary/composites/3D animation.

I want a good portable audio solution that doesn't break the bank, yet performs well. My own research has led me to the H4n with Rhode Videomic and maybe an Azden wireless lav. I can always use the H4N as my handheld mic for interview style dialogue. I can also use it as desktop recording device for many applications.

Your thoughts / input are much appreciated.

Buddy C.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:28:46 pm

The audio recording quality of the H4n will be superior to the 60D. The HDSLRs do not have top quality pre amps.

If you use the H4n for recording interviews that run longer than the 12 minute limit of the Canon HDSLRs you can button the camera on and off during a question and leave the H4n recording. You can re shoot the questions as reversals if you need the vision. You'll need PluralEyes or similar in post for easy syncing.

You can also take an output from the the H4n using a dual adaptor and feed into the camera as a duplicated high quality input (I don't know why they discontinued the Line Out and Phone Out from the original H4). You'll likely have to do this if you use the H4n mikes as a handheld device.

Re convenience of a shotgun mic or lavalier wireless. If the subject is seated or some how prevented from moving around, even slightly, I use a mounted shotgun. In a standing type interview a lavalier wireless mic means they don't move off mic if they step a little forward or backward.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Buddy Couch
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:37:17 pm

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.

Yes I knew they spend their $$$ R&D on sensors and lens, then they put a 2 dollar recorder inside hehe.

Buddy


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 27, 2011 at 12:10:04 am

We need to remember these are a stills camera with a video facility developed at the request of press organisations so that press photographers could shoot video occasionally in an emergency. They were never intended to be a hardcore video production tool.

It was the video users who saw the huge potential and pushed the boundaries. For those of us fortunate or old enough to have dealt with dual system sound on film it wasn't such a big deal, we used to do it all the time. For those who didn't it's justifiably a big inconvenience that seems unnecessary.

No worries though Sony et all have come out with cameras like their FS-100 that eliminates the sound and record time hassles while retaining the large chip benefits in a compact body.

But why haven't Canon done anything yet? Will they ever?

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Buddy Couch
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:54:17 pm

Phil,
I respectfully disagree with you. There are many filmmakers doing amazing things with them. It just takes practice to master the focus and such. As far as quality of the shoots...I have seen some amazing stuff.

You do realize House, SNL, I am missing some more, as well as many famous filmmakers are using HDSLR. Its all about the glass. The combination of the effort Canon put into the video plus the 20k in glass many professionals had. It was a perfect marriage.

In addition people do not like change that threatens their current way of life/business. I say embrace change as it will always come to you whether you want it too or not. These HDSLRS are only the beginning, they are doing good stuff now, but think in 5 years. All studios in Hollywood will have converted by then. The quality will be there and the price is much much lower. Think of it in the terms Walter Biscardi explained Final Cut Pro 12 years ago. If it wasn't for FCP, the lower end editor could have never started his own shop. LINK to this article The current hardware/sofware solutions of the time were 100k plus. Its no different with the HDSLR revolution.

Bottom line in the hands of an expert, what they can do is phenominal. Check below for a very interesting read.

An article by

Kurt Lancaster, PhD, is the author of “DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video, Focal Press, 2011.” He teaches digital filmmaking and multimedia journalism at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication.

Read why Kurt Lancaster PhD no less switched from RED to Canon 5D

Portion of article below where head of Lucasfilms postproduction was interviewed.


Later, doing additional research, I came across Jared Abrams’s (Cinema 5D news) interview with Lucasfilm’s head of postproduction, Mike Blanchard, who felt that DSLR footage wouldn’t hold up to the big screen — but then discovered otherwise:

“Certainly when we just look at the footage and put it on a big screen it holds up way better than it has a right to,” he says. A lot of people get caught up in the numbers game, comparing one type of camera to another, he continues, such as the argument that film is 4K, blah, blah, blah. You know, it’s really not, because nobody ever sees a projected negative. So by the time you do a release print and [put it] through its paces, it’s no way near [what] a lot of people claim that it really is. So the great part about working at Lucasfilm, for people like Rick [McCallum] and George [Lucas] — working for them — is that you just show them things and that’s where it ends. We don’t do little charts about how it doesn’t have that or it doesn’t do that. We make it work. And that’s just a beautiful way to do work, because it opens up everything. (Interview with Jared Abrams, 15 April 2010).

We make it work. And that’s just a beautiful way to do work, because it opens up everything.

I love that statement.

Buddy C


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:48:12 am

Hi Buddy,

My previous post was not to put down the HDSLRs. I love them and my preferred camera for my own work is my 7D. I know many other cinematographers my age whose enthusiasm for their work has been rejuvenated by these cameras.

All I meant to point out was that some aspects, particularly audio, need "work arounds", ie dual system if you want pristine quality sound. As I said these methods are easy for someone like myself who was brought up with dual system audio and limited shot run times on film, but I understand that someone who has only shot with traditional video cameras would see them as a little frustrating, maybe even a backward step.

I'm prepared to work around all the "inconveniences" of the system for the aesthetic benefits of using a compact camera that shoots in extremely low light and offers the range of depth of field choices of the HDSLRs. I love the fact that people can now access this equipment without a major financial outlay.

They are however made as a still camera, and the major market for Canon, Nikon et al is still photographers. Sony and Panasonic have made inroads in introducing the large format chips integrated into what is primarily a video camera, and I love this, it will make my workflow much simpler without depleting the quality.

Re Canon, I wonder if they are developing a video version of the HDSLR, surely they are aware of the revolution their 5D has inspired. I was recently asked to do an evaluation of their new XF-305 series. This is a wonderful camera, 4.2.2 compression, extremely high quality pictures for the price and technically excellent, but whilst it's compact it doesn't offer the range of inter changeable lenses the low light performance or other aesthetic properties to the image that I love about my 7D.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Buddy Couch
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:15:56 pm

Cool Phil, thanks for the additional information. I have H4n now and its audio is phenonimal for something so small. I will do seperate audio myself(obviously). This is supposed to be one of the cool things about Final Cut Pro X, the fact you do not need plural eyes any longer. We shall see. I do agree with you though, many old schoolers seem to hold some contempt for HDSLR. I am just glad I ran across the very inspiring series that Shane Hurlbut did on his experience with Canon filming.

Buddy C


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Brent Dunn
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:56:37 am

This is why my next camera will be the Panasonic AF-100 or Sony NeX-FS 100. They have the great look of a DSLR, without all of the issues with rolling shutter, banding, jello, & poor audio / no control.

They are great video cameras that let you use your DSLR lenses.

I think Canon will need to wake up if they want to keep selling at this pace.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

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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Buddy Couch
Re: Audio question regarding H4n plus 60D.
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:22:59 pm

Brent,
This is great news :) I didn't realize they were coming out with one that could do that. The lenses are what give HDSLR cameras their main advantage besides size. Very cool information, thank you. Can I get an adapter for my Canon lenses?


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