Three basics of external microphone for DSLR

The audio quality of DSLR camera often doesn’t match the excellent video output. Because of this, a lot of vloggers, YouTubers, and suchlike content creators use an external microphone for DSLR. As a result, both the video and audio can achieve high quality. In this article, we will tell you some basics, which include:

  1. Three types of external mic for DSLR and their common uses
  2. How to choose the best one for your DSLR filming?
  3. FAQs of setup and connection

SYNCO D2 XLR shotgun mic for DSLR is mounted on the DSLR camera.DSLR camera external microphone: Types and their uses

The DSLR has zoom lenses that are excellent for close-up shots and can produce high-quality HD video. But if you want to use your DSLR to record any kind of audio, you'll need a DSLR microphone. Three different types of external microphone for DSLR video are commonly used by vloggers, YouTubers, content creators, amateur filmmakers, and others. Based on your unique needs, you can choose the type that is best for you.

Shotgun microphone for DSLR - Directional pickup pattern helps DSLR shooting in noisy environments

Shotgun microphones are directional devices that can be either attached to a boom pole or mounted on the camera. It features the typical long shape, with the axis being the location of its highest response. They offer significant levels of extraneous noise suppression due to their strong directionality.

When you want to mike up a film taken from above the scene or when you're shooting outdoors and require an exceptionally tight polar pattern to reject outside noise, shotgun mics are your best option. You can use it for indoor or outdoor interviews, vlogs, etc.

Watch the video to see how the SYNCO D1, an on camera microphone for DSLR that features shotgun design, captures sounds in outdoor environment.

Lavalier microphone - Unobtrusive option for controlled recording environments

Lavalier, also known as lapel or clip on mic, is a small external microphone for DSLR that clips to the clothing of speakers at approximately "heart" height. It is omnidirectional and hence does not provide the best noise reduction. However, it stays so close to the speaker, so this won’t cause trouble for the recording.
It is a common choice for unobtrusive mic placement.

Lavalier microphone for DSLR is usually used in controlled environments with little or no ambient noises such as television studios. It can also be used for product video reviews, vlogging, tutorial videos, or broadcasting.

Handheld mics - Top choice for journalists and reporters

Generally, handheld mic is able to offer good audio performance but it is not usually used. It is popular among journalists and reporters since it is robust and doesn’t require charging. It is able to block surrounding noises since it can be held close to the talent. However, additional devices are often required to ensure it to work with the DSLR camera, which may cause a burden on outdoor filmmaking.

Five factors to consider for DSLR external microphone

To choose the best external microphone for DSLR, you need to pay attention to the following factors.

Polar pattern

The directionality explains how a mic gathers sound from its surroundings. For instance, some can simultaneously pick up sounds coming from all directions. Most others, in contrast, can only capture sounds from one direction, which, depending on the circumstance, can be useful.

Cardioid: This is also known as heart-shaped pattern and is usually used to capture speech or vocals. Cardioid microphone only picks up sounds front the front at which it is pointed and often rejects the audio from the sides and rear. It is commonly used to record music.

Supercardioid: It has narrower polar pattern than the cardioid, which ensures more rejection of surrounding noises. Unlike cardioid, it can capture sounds from the rear. It plays a big role if you want to pick up single target sounds in a noisy environment thanks to its resistance to feedback.

Bi-directional: In figure-8 polar mode, it picks up sound from the front and rear. It is popular in podcasting and somehow expensive.

Omnidirectional: An omnidirectional microphone captures sounds from every direction, making it perfect for recording crowds or groups. It is frequently used in studios for live performances with the intention of simulating the sound of the venue.

Response to frequency

Depending on the type, the frequency response varies among different external microphones for DSLR. Some are responsive to higher frequencies while others are sensitive to lower ones.

It typically ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz. Knowing this range by itself won't be very helpful, you also need to understand how the mic reacts to different frequencies. Therefore, think about what you will be recording before purchasing

Filters with a high pass rate

A high-pass filter could be useful for reducing background noise in recordings. The most frequent source of ambient noise is low frequency traffic noise. You won't have to worry about these noises if your microphone has a high-pass filter switch.

Power

Some external microphones for DSLR are powered by batteries, while others get the power from DSLR camera. Considering your power options carefully is necessary when shooting outside videos. In order to lessen the strain on the camera’s inbuilt battery, it is advisable to use a battery-powered microphone in this scenario.

Mount

If you mount your microphone directly on the camera, this should not be overlooked. Instead, a sturdy shock mount prevents camera movement from damaging your audio recording. When using a shock mount, there are no creaks brought on by adjustments or movements of the camera operator. Make sure the shock mount is compatible with your camera.

FAQs

How to set up shotgun external microphone for DSLR?

Setting up shotgun microphone for DSLR cameras may sound challenging, but it won't be as difficult as you think. How to connect microphone to DSLR camera? There are three options.

  1. Record the audio separately and then sync it with editing software as you edit.
  2. Attach your camera and your microphone together using an XLR adapter. This configuration has the benefits of getting a compact independent power supply. You can also monitor the sounds and turn off the inbuilt gain control of the DSLR.
  3. Directly attach your microphone to your camera via the mini-jack input. When filming for YouTube or the internet, this generates surprisingly decent audio quality.

Overall, all options are simple to complete and take between 2 and 5 minutes. Things can take less than 30 seconds once you become used to it.

How to connect wireless external microphone for DSLR?

If your camcorder has an XLR microphone input, connect the TRS jack of the receiver pack to the XLR output. If you don't, you can use the necessary cable to connect the receiver to the mini jack input on the camera. A breakout box, which features a phantom-powered XLR input, is a better option. It connects to the mini jack of DSLR and stops the socket from breaking.