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Thread: Camcorder with external mic

  1. #1

    Cool Camcorder with external mic

    I'm trying to decide what camcorder is best with an external mic for making product review videos and uploading to youtube. I'd like to stay in the $200-$300 price range. My main concern is the external mic as most camcorders do not have good sound when relying on the internal mic. Any suggestions? I've done some research and really like the new JVC Addixxion, but it apparently does not come with an external mic or an output for an adapter for an external mic. I've read reviews until I'm blue in the face and still can't seem to make a decision. When I try to shop at local stores it seems none of the employees have any idea as to how the camcorders work, the battery life or if they can be used with an external mic. After shopping locally and online and reading reviews, I decided maybe asking my question in a forum would help me make my decision. I tried using the Flip camera a while back and the sound was horrible, you could hear the scratching of my fingers on the case and all other background sounds, but not so much my voice. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on understanding that the most important part of the visual art is the sound
    This already puts you ahead of the game.

    Now, you say product reviews. Are you going to have someone on screen talking about the products or will it all be done with a voiceover. If the latter ignore whether the camera has an external mic input and record into a digital recorder (eg a Zoom H1) - these devices have built in mics an will also take an external mic (3.5mm jack)

    If you want to record someone on screen then ... still use a digital recorder! So long as you use a clapperboard or even a sharp slap when you switch both camera and recorder into "Record" syncing the good sound with the poor om-camera sound in post is a cinch (and obviously you delete or lower the volume of teh bad sound)

    Why am I suggesting this rather than a camcorder witha mic input? Well, as you've already noticed very few cameras within your budget range have mic sockets and there are none that I'm aware of that have the other equally important part to the equation - a headphone socket (any half decent digital recorder does) You absolutely must be able to monitor what is being recorded - at worst you must be able to play it back in situ. There is nothing worse than uploading your footage/audio to the timeline and discovering hum caused by flourescent tubes, mobile phones trying to get a signal, or other noise in the background - or even worse drop-out or distortion.

    And have you thought about what sort of mic. A cheap wired lavalier (tie clip) mic can do a great job (especially if you're just recording voice), but of you want anything more you're probably talking about spending at least as much as your budget for the camera.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply!

    Yes, we will have someone on screen talking about the product. I found really good reviews on this camcorder which is samsung. I like samsung. http://camcorders.about.com/od/camco...msungHMX20.htm

    Can't seem to find it new though for purchase? and I thought for the mic I would just use a lavalier mic. They seem to be reasonably priced. I was looking at this one. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000246SKU

    I checked out the Zoom H1. I've not spent much time looking at digital recorders because I was set on finding a camcorder with a external mic. This gives me something else to think about. If I'm not worried about the mic sockets I might be more apt to buy the new JVC Adixxion.

  4. #4

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    I'm assuming if I buy the Zoom H1 I should go with this mic? http://www.amazon.com/Pearstone-OLM-...pr_product_top

    I'm not sure if the sony mic I mentioned above will work and I do not like that after reading the reviews, there is no battery power/unit that comes with the mic.

    I've never worked with voice over. This will all be new to me. Is there certain software I need to do this with? I use Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Elements to edit my videos.

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    For that Budget, you can't expect top quality - but as others here have suggest a way-round then that's probably useful for yr choice. The only other issue will be manual focus, so you can show the product against a soft background. Unfortunately this is the preserve of larger(more expensive) camcorders. However, if it's done in your "Home studio" then you should be able to play with distances (so the background is far away), or even use set-objects that are ill-defined (ie soft edges ). Some control of lighting might also help.

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    The mic you linked to is saying "unavailable".
    Audio Technica ATR3350 is cheap and cheerful and I've been happy with the results I've had (mine was an earlier model ATR-35, but there 's no major difference)
    Why are you looking at an action cam? Unless you are shooting products in/under extreme conditons, this seems an odd choice.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    The mic you linked to is saying "unavailable".
    Audio Technica ATR3350 is cheap and cheerful and I've been happy with the results I've had (mine was an earlier model ATR-35, but there 's no major difference)
    Why are you looking at an action cam? Unless you are shooting products in/under extreme conditons, this seems an odd choice.
    The husband would like to do some action vids just for fun. He's into mountain biking and racing and thought this would be a fun cam to use. Not necessary of course, but it is a neat lil gagdet.

    So I was looking at the voice over using Windows Movie Maker and found that we can actually use the voice recorder on our laptop and just add that to the video. We tried it a couple days ago and it sounded fine. So we might try using that as our recorder instead of purchasing a separate one.

    So this voice over option is a new idea for us and it looks like it will make the job of purchasing a video much easier and more to our budget.

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    Brilliant. If it does the job why spend more?
    I'd suggest you get as close to the mic as possible without it distorting or being affected by P's popping as this will give you the maximum signal-to-noise ratio. ie it will capture as much of the voice as possible whilst capturing as little of background noise as possibe. Try to record in a room with lots of soft furnishings or even drape a duvet over you and the laptop. this will all help cut down "room noise" and the sound of your voice bouncing off walls (echo & reverb). It's amazing how much of this is about! Good luck.
    Tim

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