I generally use an audio-technica u100 wireless lav mic with my EX3 camera and the audio meter
level reading is between -10 and -20 with the external dial set to 5 and the internal trim set to -41dBu, which is fine. My question is when I use my hardwired Sony ECM-44B lav mic instead, I can't get anywhere near -10 to -20 on my levels meter unless I crank the external dial all the way up to the max (10) and set the internal trim to -59dBu. Can anyone tell me if this is the only way to get decent levels with the Sony mic? There are certain situations when I'd prefer to use the hardwired mic so I hope someone can help me out.
The U100 falls within the frequencies that were closed for wireless mic use; loosely, the 700MHz band, unless you're not in Braintree anymore. nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
But anyway, the output of the U100 (I have two of them) can be adjusted to almost line level. The ECM44B has a -53dB sensitivity. Its upscale cousin the ECM77B has a -35 dB sensitivity. In this instance, having a larger number with a minus sign in front of it (-53dB) means it's it generates less voltage than a mic that generates -35 dB. It also means that to get it to 0dB, you'd need to add 53 dB of gain.
Some systems are not designed to provide that much gain without noise. Others do fine. The maximum gain you can get from a good preamp is 65dB, btw.
Don't know how the EX3s do. I usually feed them with line level from a mixer. Try the Sound Devices 302 mixer.