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I've been trying to find an affordable mic for 600d DSLR. There's Rode VideoMic Go and Zoom H1 . But I still find these a little above my budget.

My question is: Can I use something like this

http://gadgetgrocery.com/image/data/Sony%20Recorders/Sony%20Digital%20Voice%20Recorder%20PX333%205.jpg

or a better one ( or even use ipad) to record audio then sync with video?

Do I absolutely need to plug a proffesional mic into the camera?

Edit: I will be using the camera for short film sequences. Some car interior scenes. I need an okay audio quality.

  • Need to know more. What kind of content are you going to be shooting? What's your budget? Is this a hobby for you or are you trying to do something professionally? Please be specific because audio is a varied spectrum. – Scott James Walter Aug 18 '14 at 14:59
  • The answer to the question "Can I..." is "Yes." But without knowing what you expect or why you're asking, there's no way to know if your results will be satisfactory. – Jim Mack Aug 18 '14 at 15:11
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I guess it really depends on your production and how high of quality you want. You will hear countless times, if you stick with this hobby, that audio far outweighs video when it comes to importance. This is somewhat counter intuitive because the video is much more obvious an impact than the audio. For this reason, however, purchasing the best audio solutions one can afford is usually the best solution (depending on your scenario, of course).

Recording inside a car is a whole new can of worms. They're incredibly noisy, especially while operating. For this reason, sound engineers will often entirely reconstruct car scenes specifically by recording sfx, foley and performing ADR with the actors. Hopefully you can think of some creative ways to use your car while it's not operating because it's incredibly difficult to capture usable audio.

Essentially you're asking the question that every beginner videographer asks: "what's the cheapest, all-around best audio solution I can get without having to think too much." It's a fair question, but one that doesn't have the best answer. I don't think a small palm recorder/ipad is a good idea. What I might recommend is a combo solution. I would pick up a wired lavalier mic (atr-3350) for $20 dollars and plug that directly into your camera for portrait shots, and then I might pick up a camera mounted shot gun mic (Azden SMX-10) for $80 for wider shots and you'd have a good universal, cheap solution.

It's worth noting that plugging microphones directly into Canon cameras is often not the best audio solution because of the low quality preamps and AGC found on the camera which results in adding a "hiss" to your audio. You can clean this up in post but it does degrade the audio slightly. Something to look out for, and something that you can kind of fix with Magic Lantern software you asked about earlier.

When you say "exterior sounds" I assume you mean dialogue (correct me if I'm wrong). For outside characters tend to be on the move, so having them attached to your camera (a la wired lavalier) is a bad idea. You never want to leash your actors to your camera for obvious reasons. Additionally, clothing will rub against the mic and create unusable audio. If you're not in motion, the only thing you need to worry about is wind. A few little dead cats for your lavs should solve that problem (while making them more noticeable). However, the ultimate solution to outdoor dialogue is a shotgun microphone on a boom pole. But, that is probably out of your budget, so a cam mounted VideoPro mic will do "well" as long as you get it close to your subject.

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  • Thanks for the detailed reply. I might try to get Rode VideoMic instead of Azden ( it's lot more expensive here ) . How good does that lavalier mic record exterior sounds? – user6353 Aug 18 '14 at 16:26
  • @CatwithaFez I edited my original answer with some more information. – Scott James Walter Aug 18 '14 at 16:38
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There are two key things for audio when shooting video that you MUST have.

First, you need to have good audio/video sync. Whatever recorder you use, must be able to produce good, solid timecode that will match up properly with your video, otherwise you end up with drift, which can be very hard to adjust for if the clock is inconsistent on your audio recorder. Sometimes cheaper audio devices may not have good clock sync as they aren't worried about exact pitch, but just general content.

Second, you need the audio recorder to actually provide better audio than your DSLR. A device with a cheap built in mic isn't going to provide substantially better audio than the DSLR. It might be slightly more isolated from noises of you adjusting the camera, but it still is going to pick up lots of room noise and other artifacts that will be a general pain for you. It is best to get a device with a better microphone than your DSLR has that can be placed in a better spot for picking up good quality audio without extraneous noise.

External inputs aren't critical, but solid timecode and the ability to record clean, targeted audio without noise is. External inputs make this easier to achieve and allow for more upgrades in the future, but if such products are outside your budget, you don't have to get them now.

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  • Considering that most cuts with dialogue aren't over a few seconds, drift isn't the bigger concern for someone looking to make short films, imo. I feel like if you're shooting continuous audio for interviews, news, concerts, etc. then it's probably more of an issue. I could be wrong, however, as I am not terribly experienced. – Scott James Walter Aug 18 '14 at 16:46
  • @ScottJamesWalter - well that depends on how long of scenes they are doing I suppose. If they are dubbing, yeah, it will just be a few seconds and can match up manually, but if they are shooting several minute scenes, then it is going to be a pain to have to resync multiple times in the scene. Much easier to sync to a clapper at the beginning and maybe one at the end and not have to worry about it the rest of the time for the entire scene. – AJ Henderson Aug 18 '14 at 16:50

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