Jul 12, 2013
by Marc Blake, marcblake.com
I was producing videos using Panasonic’s AG-HVX 200 camera. I call it my P2 rig because of it’s proprietary Panasonic P2 (data) card system used to collect your digital video recordings. We all know how Canon’s game changing 5D Mark II video features brought new opportunities to video production.
When I saw that season finale of “House” I was convinced.
It was time to invest in a HD DSLR rig. Since I have always been a Nikon owner I opted for a Nikon camera so I could use my modest collection of lenses.
Bought a Nikon HD DSLR and fired it up, excited to have that cool “look” that I could get from this setup. It was sweet to apply that shallow depth of field to my video production.
What a surprise when I discovered the difficulties in pulling focus, the changes in how to zoom in (or out) of the scene and the BIG SURPRISE… AUDIO issues!
My camera’s audio was horrible!
I contacted Nikon tech support and asked them why the sound on my new camera was, well, let’s just say not good and filled with noise and hiss and sound recording issues I never experienced before.
They wanted me to send my brand new Nikon camera in for repair!
I did not do that. It turns out that there was nothing broken with the camera. DSLR’s, as I soon learned, are not capable of recording [very] usable audio with their built-in tiny microphone. In fact, that little mic pics up all the focus and zoom movements from the lens barrel. This, too, is not something I wanted for my DSLR video projects.
After some research, I found out that the only way to get quality audio to the camera was by using an external mic that plugs into the “mic in” mini-pin jack that all higher end DLSR’s feature. That was how I needed to record dependable audio when shooting video with my new camera.
So I shopped around and quickly learned that audio is a whole new world that I was forced to learn about. Not what I had in mind, but my new reality none the less.
Going back to my P2 video recording days, I always used an Azden wireless lapel mic system since I mostly video recorded speakers at events. So, to some degree, I knew a tiny bit about external microphone sources/systems.
I decided that I would stay with Azden as a go to brand. Plus, their line up of shotgun mics, wireless systems, mixers (which I soon learned about as well) and more had my attention and trust in quality and support (and affordability).
I spoke with them and asked what would be a good choice for me to get started with a wireless system for my DSLR. They asked if I was going to make a decision based on budget. Well, I had just spent a pretty penny for my new camera, so I preferred to buy something moderately inexpensive.
They pointed me to their WMS-Pro DSLR wireless system. The cost was very low – surprisingly low!
The system (kit) I bought has a lapel mic, handheld mic and transmitter, plus a receiver that connects to my camera’s hot shoe. I just plug that into my camera’s mic-in adjust my levels and I’m good to go.
New to DSLR audio. This WMS-Pro system is a great choice to get you started producing great sound with your camera.