Our J-school purchased fabulous Rode mics recently. This week my student Ski Dauphiney and I put it through its paces. We weren’t planning to be in front of the camera, so don’t judge us on our shooting skills or hairstyles. Please. We took turns working in front of and behind the camera so we could both get familiar with the settings.
When editing and posting the clips, we didn’t adjust the audio settings or levels. If one video is louder than another, it’s because the levels were different in the camera.
We used Canon 5D Mark III camera and the Rode VideoPro Mic.
1) First we set up the camera with its on-board (built-in mic) so we’d have a comparison.
Then we added the Rode mic to the hot shoe with the mic’s 1/8 ” cable running to the camera’s Audio In port.
The mic has two simple settings. We set it the High Pass Filter Switch to Mic On Flat (no HPF filter.) We made comments in the video when we changed the mic’s dB Level Control switch.
2) We set the camera’s Sound Recording setting to Auto and filmed with the Rode Mic.
3) Then we changed the camera’s Sound Recording setting to Manual so we could control it ourselves.
The Rode mic is great! We had a ceiling fan running for all the tests (because we turned off the AC, and it’s summer.) With the shotgun mic, we can’t hear the fan at all. With the on-board mic, we can definitely hear it. With the Rode mic, there’s a bit of a hollow or metallic sound with a bit of an echo. (I’m not an audio pro, so my audio vocabulary is poor.)
It’s interesting to hear the audio quality change as the subject moves around the room. The distance does’t make much difference in the levels. When I’m feeding the cat, the mic picks up the package crackling noise.
I think the Canon camera did a great job with the Sound Recording setting to Auto. In the future, I would only set it on Manual if there’s a special reason to override the Auto settings.
This test was fun and educational. There are a lot of variables and settings to choose from, and it took a while to find them all. We’re glad to have some practice before using it in the field. I hope you can benefit from our experience.