Take the 2-minute tour ×
Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am working on some homemade lectures so I need good quality of sound, but unfortunately I do not have any budget so far(amateur stuff).

I am looking for a camera that can shoot in Full HD and can have an external microphone attached. I do not need anything further than that, though.

I was considering SONY HDR-CX240 until I found out it cannot have external mic. (What if it is a USB mic? It does have a USB slot.) So, should I quit this choice and buy a more expensive camera? Which one whould you recommend?

Is it possible that I record with the camera and external mic attached to my laptop at the same time?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Do you own a high-end smartphone? You can plug-in pretty much any microphone and have very decent audio quality. Some Android phones even support usb mics. So you probably need a cheap adapter for standard stereo or mono mics to work with the 3 channel type headphone+mic jacks in modern phones. Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058DOWH6/

It then only depends on the video quality of your phone. If that is satisfactory just get some sort of tripod adapter or other type of stand for phones and you're good to go. Definitely the cheapest solution if you already own a fitting phone.

If your phone is not an option I recommend you go with the laptop solution and use whatever camera fits your price point. Just do sound syncing by clapping in your hands when you start recording so it's easy for you to manually align the audio later on.

share|improve this answer
My phone sucks, but I plan to buy a new one, anyways. Just to complete my question; so these USB ports on cameras do not support USB mics? –  Mateva Jul 30 '14 at 14:04
@Mateva I'm going to guess that 100:1 they do not work like that. For USB to work, it requires a complex/robust driver to be able to know how to communicate with a variety of outside devices when they get plugged in, and a camera has a very limited USB driver only capable of performing activities that the developers had intended it for like being a client device for data transfer (i.e. communicate with a host like a computer for transferring files). –  Scott James Walter Jul 30 '14 at 14:17
Makes sense, thank you. But it would be good if they did. –  Mateva Jul 30 '14 at 14:57

The Canon VIXIA HF R500 is the least expensive consumer camcorder (from a major brand) that I have been able to find. I own one and love it. It has an external microphone jack that is compatible with my wireless lapel mic receiver.


share|improve this answer

Inspired by @Professor Sparkles♦'s answer, I decided to go for Samsung Galaxy S4* and a noise-reducing microphone with 3.5mm jack for Samsung (and other phones). I will keep you posted if this combination works well.

* I was offered Galaxy S4, S5 and LG G3 as the best video producing smartphones currently in the reseller's catalogue. My choice was based on desired quality\price trade-off.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.