An important part of being an artist is your ability to be mobile. In most instances, you’ll have to travel somewhere for your craft–whether it’s for a shoot, a gig, a podcast, a gallery opening– you can bet that you’ll need to take your equipment with you. And why wouldn’t you want to do that? One of the best parts of traveling is documenting your time and experiences however you can. And to do that, you’ll need the proper equipment no matter what you are traveling with. So let’s talk about finding the best external microphone for your DSLR.
Let’s say that you are traveling with your DSLR camera. You’re set and ready for pictures, but you can also capture pretty great video on there as well. After all, it’s what it’s for. While the built in sound is adequate, for getting the best sound that you can get, you’ll want to get an external microphone. External microphones are the best option for someone wanting to get the best sound that they can with the videos you would be recording on your DSLR camera. It also all depends on what you will be recording (and we here at Hooke Audio love our 3D binaural audio). You don’t need an insanely fancy camera or microphone, but having a few different pieces of equipment will help you greatly in getting the end result that you want. So let’s talk about what you might need and what would be the best external microphone for your DSLR.
To start off, there are a few different types of external microphones. There are the shotgun microphones, lavaliere, and handheld. Each type of microphone is better for different types of situations and productions. While you can just get one for all of your sound recording needs, it would be ideal to have one of each different type to get the best sound for each situation. Are you into starting a podcast with your friends? Maybe some YouTube videos? Or do you like to explore and adventure out in nature and see all that the world has to offer? It’s great to have something that can do it all, but it’s also great to get your hands on multiple pieces of specialized equipment.
Shotgun microphones are great for getting ambient sounds, for music videos and video production, and generally anything where there are multiple sound sources or speakers. They can usually be attached to your DSLR with a cord and can even be attached via a boom pole. Some great shotguns are the Sennheiser MKE 400 and 600, and the Rode VideoMic Pro. Great choices for getting the best external microphone for your DSLR.
Lavaliere mics (or lapel mics) are great for doing interviews and podcasts on the go. They get attached to the subject’s shirt and they’ll pick up the voice crisp and clear. The Rode smartLav+, AudioTechnica ATR3550 and Azden EX-503 are all great choices for a top notch lavaliere microphone. These are all wired lavaliere microphones, but there are a few wireless microphones that you can choose from as well when you are looking to expand your range of equipment.
Handheld microphones are great for doing interviews, podcasts and other kinds of broadcast work, and recording musicians on the go as well. Using a handheld microphone is great for people who need to have the equipment in their hands and don’t need a very big range of sensitivity. They are usually very rugged and can be taken anywhere to do just about anything that you might need, which is why they might be a good choice for you. Some options include the Handy H2n Zoom mic and the AT 2005 USB microphone, both great and versatile as well.
We’ve talked before about how important sound is to a viewer’s experience and why #soundmatters. It is one of the most important aspects of life and our senses as humans, and helps us connect better with each other and with our experiences. So why would you treat it as anything less? Sound does so much to enhance the viewer’s experience, and to do so, you would want the best piece of equipment for your scenario to capture the best possible sound. While you can grab one piece of equipment that could cover all of your bases, it would be smart to invest in a few different options to enhance your repertoire. With different pieces of specialized equipment, not only are you improving your collection, but you are also giving yourself more opportunities to get the best sound possible in any situation. Including connecting a microphone to your DSLR camera.
In order to get the best external microphone for your DSLR, and to enhance your DSLR audio, you will have to do a little bit of shopping. Take time to figure just what your plans are for the future, the kinds of situations you will be putting yourself in, the places you want to go and the things you want to see. What do you use your DSLR camera for? Is it mostly for photography with some light video recording? Or do you use it mostly for recording home videos, trips with friends? Do you travel a lot and like to capture everything that you see? No matter what you want to do, there will always be a need for new equipment. It’s just a matter of figuring out the best kind of equipment for your DSLR camera, which will lead you to the best external microphone for your DSLR.
Keep listening and keep on creating!
Hooke Team Member