NTG-2 or NTG-3 or ??
I have been researching shotgun mics for the past few days and have come to a point where I'm looking for specific advice for my setup.
First off just to mention:
-Will be using for documentary and the odd short film (indoor and outdoor shots)
-given the way we shoot and times etc, renting is not going to work out very well for us
-can buy new or used
Given that at times we want to have a wireless setup, we wanted to get the H4n device from Zoom as it seems to be a well priced affordable XLR in portable recorder with phantom power. We dont have a camera with XLR in so this also helps with that and we can record just doing clap track straight to H4n.
Given that setup we want to grab a wired lav and a shotgun to go into the h4n when doing interviews etc.
My question surrounds the shotgun. I initially had looked at the ME66 from sennheiser but after all the reviews I read it seemed like many preferred the Rode NTG-2 to it and its quite a bit cheaper. Then I began looking at the NTG-3 which I hear is a very good mic for the money as it compares to some high end sennheisers. The NTG-2 and 3 have quite a different price point at almost $400 difference. My question is, in the range of the two mics for price and given the 2 mics I'm looking at, am I going to see a huge difference? I saw some sound tests and it seems the NTG-3 is a little crisper but nothing hugely drastic. Is there a mic better than NTG-2 a bit more expensive but cheaper than the NTG-3?
Any advice would be great!
Hands-down the NTG-3 is going to be the better sounding mic, as well as a better long-term investment... But, if you're happy with the sound of the NTG-2, then it is also a good mic. You can always sell it down the road without losing too much (think of it as rental fees) & move up to the NTG-3.
Probably better to let your sound recordist choose the best mics as per each situation. There's no one mic for all occasions and the sound guy I work with has 4 or five different shotgun mics for different situations.
However, I own an NTG2 and an NTG3. NTG3 is far superior in most regards. The sound is worlds apart and the build quality of the NTG2 is pretty toy like. I'd guess that the NTG@ was designed for video conferencing situations where the robustness and quality aren't critical. The NTG3 is more on par with lower end professional equipment and is indeed not dissimilar to the Sennheiser 416. Considering that they're both pretty cheap, you'd be mad to go for the NTG2 for film and documentary production.
As an aside, sound guys tell me that the Zoom H4N is very clunky and unprofessional to use. Can't ride the levels. XLR not designed for mic level input, takes ages to start up and format media etc. etc. You'd be much better of with a proper mixer and recorder setup. Nowadays you can get a pretty decent setup for around 4-5K Euro. Remember, It's not cheap if it doesn't do the job properly.