Rode NTG-2 and Canon 7D Problem
This is my first post on here but I have been a long time reader, so thanks ahead of time for such a helpful creative community.
Ok, here is my problem:
Background: I shoot documentary videos with a couple Canon 7D's. Ideally (and most of the time when there is any budget), I have another shooter with me and a sound person with me. In that case, I have my Rode NTG-2 working off a boom into an external recorder (right now a Tascam D-100 but I am looking for something different, but that's for another post). In extreme circumstances, I am alone shooting. It is WAY too hard to not only rig myself up with an external recorder and monitor video and be on the move with a shoulder mount with the 7d, but also very difficult to monitor any sound when worrying about everything else. I do use an external recorder if I can control my environment, like in interview situations or the like.
But it still leads me to actually want to use the auto level factors on the 7D for my audio in these extreme situations. The Mics on the 7d are useless, except for syncing purposes, as everyone knows. So,
Problem: I bought an XLR to Mini Jack cable and had a hotshoe mount for the Rode NTG-2. I plugged the NTG-2 directly into the 7D, hoping I can get at least better, less tin-y, and more focused sound. I put a brand new AA Battery in the Rode NTG-2. I am now looking at footage, and I can tell the shots where the Shotgun was plugged in by the audio levels not matching, but the Shotgun's audio track is blank! It is just white noise.
I know there are a number of mics designed for the 7D and 5D like the Rode Video Mic.
But it is a waste of money for me as just a backup when I am alone shooting and if I can just use my Rode NTG-2.
So my question is: Am I crazy for thinking I can plug in an NTG-2 into the 7D? Am I missing some setting on the NTG-2 or the Canon 7D that will allow them to be compatible? Any suggestions for getting these working together? And any suggestions for improving how I am operating on solo treks?
Assuming all the connections were good it sounds like you may have a problem with the XLR to Jack cable.
Obviously the Mic has a balanced output but the camera has an unbalanced input.
The correct way to deal with this is to use a balancing transformer which you can get built into a lead.
Check out http://www.etslan.com/ - they do a Balanced/Unbalanced DSLR lead with a small balancing transformer built into the XLR connector.
(Bottom right of page)
Otherwise the wiring must be
XLR Pin 1 to mini-jack sleeve
XLR pin 2 to mini jack tip and ring
XLR pin 3 to mini-jack sleeve (or to XLR pin 1 with small link in the XLR plug).
Thanks for the response. I am guessing it would be possible to accidentally buy an XLR to mini jack without the specs you are talking about? I purchased it on the run at a music store which may have been my problem. The bummer is I'm out $40 (music store prices). Is there a way to check & know if it's the cord before I buy a new one? And just know I shouldn't be looking at other parts of the connection for problems?
I would connect everything as you did previously and do a few tests.
I would guess its possibly not wired correctly although there is pretty much only one use for that lead so perhaps more likely it is faulty.
Or maybe on the day you just had a bad connection somewhere.
If you have a small volt meter or some other way of checking circuit continuity you can easily check that the pins of your lead are configured as they should be or perhaps one is shorting out.
Do you have any other equipment that you can plug the mic into without the adapter lead to test it ?
Its just a case of following a process of elimination when diagnosing this kind of thing.
Mic fault ?
Mic XLR lead fault ?
Mic adapter lead fault ?
Camera fault ?
Just some bad connection on the day ?
My first bet would be the adapter but work through each if you can and you will get the answer.
The proper way to use a balanced mic with an unbalanced input is to use some kind of balancing device. Otherwise you do get a signal level drop and can get noise and hum induced especially with longer cable runs.