Hey Guys, i'm sorry if this isn't the right section for help on camcorders. So if it isn't please a mod move it.
Now, onto my dilemma...

i have a semi-old camcorder, the Sony DCR-DVD403. And the audio on it has just went totally downhill.

The Camcorder has 2 options when recording via the built in microphone, Normal, and Low. My issue is, there is a terrible hiss noise when recording in the normal audio mode. So I try recording in Low, but the microphone doesn't pick up anything. You have to practically shout into it in order for it to pick up noise.
I have an external microphone, a sony surround microphone ECM-HQP1. It doesn't seem to help at all. The same amount of audio is picked up, the same hissing sound on normal, same lack of audio on low. It doesn't seem to work at all. Although, the camcorder reads that the external microphone is there. In the Standard Settings under "Ext Sur Mic" (External Surround Microphone) it reads it, i can do 4ch mic or Stereo. But neither change it.

Any suggestions on solving this audio issue?