Most people will be familiar with DSLR cameras. They have been an industry standard for many years, but maybe some are not so familiar with the Video version. They have turned the video shoot on its head as they became a threat, and then in the eyes of some, surpassed what is possible with a camcorder.
Full video recording in high definition at 720p or 1080p leaves a camcorder a long way behind in quality.
Whether you are shooting a video blog, something for Youtube or maybe being even more adventurous, if you are producing great quality visuals, there is something else you will need – great quality audio.
This means a great quality microphone or audio recording device. Most of these microphones will be what they call ‘Shotgun mics”. They are unidirectional, and to achieve the best results need to be pointed at the sound source.
They are not to be confused with ‘boom mics’ where boom is just the name given to the mic stand.
So, let’s have a look at the best microphones for DSLR Video cameras…
Top 10 Best Microphones For DSLR Video Camera 2021 Reviews
1 Rode VideoMicPro Compact Directional On-Camera Microphone
Rode knows a thing or two about producing great microphones; let’s see what they have with the VideoMicPro.
The VideoMicPro is a microphone that has been designed for use with DSLR cameras. It will also operate with camcorders. Featuring a capsule condenser microphone that gives superb results with low self-noise ratios. And it will produce broadcast quality audio. It connects to the camera through a 3.5mm jack.
Its super-cardioid design means that any surrounding noise is reduced to a minimum and the mic concentrates on receiving the sound from the subject. Any potential noise or rumbling is reduced by the built-in shock mounting to ensure your results are as clean as possible.
It is built to be compact and lightweight to make it easy and comfortable to use and is powered by a 9v battery which should provide you with about 70 hours of use.
To reduce external noises in the vicinity, it is fitted with an integrated windscreen made of foam.
Recording facilities include a two-step high pass filter and a three position level control. These are located on the rear of the microphone for easy control when in use.
The level settings will boost the levels as required. The -10dB attenuation for loud sounds like drums, and the +20dB boost designed purely for DSLR cameras. This allows you to reduce the input level, which in effect also reduces any surrounding unwanted sounds.
It’s a decent microphone that produces good quality audio. It will work best when you are near to the source as against working at a distance when it may struggle a little.
2 Shure VP83F LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone
Shure knows a thing or two about producing quality mics. I think we are all well aware of that so I’m not exactly certain why I made the statement. Maybe in case, someone has popped in from outside the Galaxy.
The VP83F Lenshopper is a shotgun microphone that has a camera mounted condenser that will give quality audio recordings. It is designed specifically to work with DSLR cameras but will also operate with camcorders.
Its polar pattern design is highly directional and will reduce the amount of unwanted noise. While the audio is recorded to MicroSDHC cards that support up to 32GB. These are WAV files at 24-bit/48kHz.
And to ensure that any vibrations or camera operative noises are reduced to a minimum, a Rycote Lyre shock system is used.
It addresses the problems of recording the target in a variety of different environments by having a 60Db gain range and also a low cut filter. The gain is adjustable in 1dB settings to give you absolute control.
With typical design features that make their products built to last the VP83F has a metal construction but is still lightweight. Audio input is via a 3.5mm detachable cable, and there is a stereo headphone output for monitoring the audio.
Wind and other external noises are reduced by a foam windscreen. But in windy conditions, it may need a wind muff, but then most will.
One great feature of this camera is the backlit LCD screen for the operations menu, which is clear, fully inclusive, and makes the unit easy to use. This ease of use is assisted by the one-button recording operation.
Two AA alkaline batteries will give approximately ten hours of recording life.
It won’t be the cheapest you will find, but then you are buying Shure know-how and quality.
3 Canon Directional Microphone DM-E1
Canon is one of the market leaders in cameras and associated products but maybe are not so well known for audio reproduction.
The DM-E1 is a microphone for your camera, but this offers a few extra options. Normally these cameras are Shotgun cameras, and this has a dedicated setting to fulfill the ‘point it straight at the target’ type of operation, but it goes a bit further.
With the DM-E1 you have more control over the direction as well as switchable 90 degree and 120 degree stereo settings. These are good ideas and add an extra option to the filming and sound potential.
The 90 degree setting can be used for a single target, but it will also include some peripheral content allowing you to include groups into the shot and sound. The 120 degree will, of course, give you a wider field to work with and might be suitable for filming what is happening on a stage.
It has been designed to be usable with most cameras featuring a 3.5mm socket that have a dedicated movie mode. And has a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 16kHz.
Built in is a windscreen that will assist in reducing any unwanted external sounds from wind, and the standard shock mount is is included to reduce any camera vibration or associated noises.
Plus, this best Microphone for DSLR Video Camera doesn’t drain the battery resources of the camera and runs of its own button type lithium cell battery. A battery status light is featured on the camera body.
4 Saramonic VMIC Recorder Super-Cardioid Video Microphone
The Saramonic VMic is a robust shotgun microphone that is well made and can be described as a premium microphone. That does not mean to say it is poorly made or that it performs badly. Saramonic has produced a mic that is designed to deliver a good quality product at an affordable price.
It is made with a metal construction to withstand the potential rigors of video production and cane work with DSLR’s, video cameras and the best portable audio recorders. It also possesses a stable shock mount system to remove any accidental or unwanted camera noise.
A good feature on the VMic is a built-in headphone output. This can be important as some cameras do not have a headphone jack and therefore you could not hear the sound recording as it is happening.
The controls are basic and easy to use. If your camera is a little noisy, the +20dB boost provided will allow you to reduce the volume on the preamp of the camera to let you produce a clean sound. While the -10dB setting allows you to record in loud environments, live groups, or stage shows, for example.
It records to a micro SDHC card at 16-bit, 48kHz.
Further tonal control settings include a low-cut control that will rid you of unwanted low frequencies and a boost for high frequencies that will clarify the sharpness of the recording. It includes an LCD display which allows you to view and control the settings through a menu system.
It produces a good quality sound. Maybe not the best you will find, and it doesn’t possess some of the features that other more expensive microphones have, but for the cost, it is very good value.
Considering Saramonic have designed and manufactured a premium microphone for your DSLR there are a lot of features built in and with its rugged construction it represents a good buy.
5 Audio-Technica Dynamic Microphone AT8004
Audio-Technica is well-known for producing quality microphones at cost effective prices.
The first thing that is evident with this mic is that it is built to be used. It has a tough housing with a steel grille that has been hardened to withstand impact.
It is a dynamic mic and has a polar pattern, and its omnidirectional range means that some surround sound will be included. This is a negative aspect for some but for others, it is required for the ambiance of the project.
It could also be useful when working with people who may not be used to being interviewed and who turn the heads and body without realizing. When they do, the speech will still be collected by this mic. It also carries a shock mounting system that reduces handling noises.
The voice is reproduced naturally through the transparency of audio reproduction.
Clearly, from its design, it is built with certain functions in mind and is likely to be handheld. It is therefore ideal for in the field interviews at sports events or other outside activity.
It probably isn’t the kind of mic you would use to capture wider noise like crowds at sporting events as the primary function, and the individual target probably needs to be within a range of about 3 feet for best results.
Being omnidirectional it will pick up other sounds, but it is still most effective in interview-type mode with the other sounds just adding a little ambiance. The sound is good and clear, and it produces good results.
It uses an XLR connector and therefore will not connect directly to a DSLR, but adapters are available.
For the cash outlay a very good mic for the purpose it was designed for.
6 Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone
Sennheiser has tried to design a sound solution that will satisfy the run of the mill handheld video camera and also work with larger models. It is, therefore, a solution to producing high-quality audio on consumer products and even to a professional level.
It is made with a metal frame that is obviously designed for being able to handle plenty of activity, but when it’s in the hand, it doesn’t feel that strong. This might be unfair on this mic. It is quite small and very light, and it may be that the lack of weight and substance creates the feeling of a lack of stability.
Sennheiser is not known for building sub-standard equipment, so the size and weight are possibly the reason.
It has a shock mount system to protect against handling and any vibration noises. It also has a low cut filter switch that will cut out light wind noise, though, if you will be working in high wind environments a muff will be needed as with all mics.
There is a switchable control for sensitivity that allows you to reproduce a quality sound over either long or short distances. While a single AAA alkaline battery will deliver a staggering three hundred hours of use.
It produces good quality audio, is small and easy to use and comes in at not too expensive a price. It isn’t the cheapest, but you will be getting Sennheiser quality.
Made in Germany.
7 Tascam TM-2X Stereo X-Y Microphone For DSLR Cameras
The TM-2X is a microphone that will record stereo audio to the input on your DSLR camera. And Tascam has made the setup as easy as possible, and it only requires you to connect the chord to the input jack on the camera. And no batteries are required as it takes its power from the camera.
A great feature of this microphone is that it fits directly on to your DSLR, but then it can swivel around up to 180 degrees. This will allow you to rotate the microphone only to capture sounds either to the side or behind what is being filmed. It also has a fitting to be attached to a tripod if required.
And to make sure it will operate with most brands of camera there is an input sensitivity switch.
Tascam have taken particular care in their design to try and alleviate the problems of external noise. Cameras are quite often used outside in any number of environments and are subject to the elements.
They have installed a switchable low-cut filter to eradicate unwanted noise from low frequencies, and a fur windscreen will attend to wind and any other unwanted naturally occurring noises.
There is also a noise isolation arm that is designed to prevent noise being picked up from the camera’s lens or other operational activity. This is aided by a floating support structure underneath the mic.
As with all things Tascam, this best Microphones for DSLR Video Camera is made to a high standard.
8 Shure VP64A Omnidirectional Handheld Microphone
Of course, there would be a Shure. Where there are microphones working you will find a Shure doing its job, usually to a very high standard. The VP64A is designed for audio and video production at a high level. It is a handheld omnidirectional dynamic microphone that has a high output.
The cartridge utilizes a neodymium magnet that delivers a higher output and better signal to noise ratio.
It is protected by a rubber isolation mount to reduce any handling noise and to make it tough and sturdy. Tough and rugged mic’s are what Shure do, of course. There will be some handling noise, you cannot avoid that, but it is kept to an absolute minimum and isn’t noticeable with good mic handling.
There is a windscreen supplied to protect against the wind in outside use, and it has a water-resistant mesh cover that allows it to be used in inclement weather.
The frequency responses are designed to produce quality and clear speech reproduction. And the positioning of the mic is variable due to omnidirectional polar pattern design, which makes the location less critical.
And because Shure expects this best Microphone for DSLR Video Camera to be used in live situations, they have made it look understated and professional in its appearance.
The reproduced sound is excellent as you might expect from Shure and the build quality good and long-lasting.
It is not a shotgun mic and therefore picks up an amount of surround sound but also helps to assist in interviews with inexperienced people who might ‘wander.’
It uses an XLR connector and therefore will not connect directly to a DSLR.
The price tag is not expensive at all.
9 Zoom SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun Microphone Capsule
Something a little different with the Zoom SSH-6. The company has designed a Shotgun microphone that has a multidirectional range for picking up sound not only from the direct source but also from left and right.
It has specifically been designed to work with their H5, H6, Q8, and U44 audio recorders. And has all the qualities to record professionally sounding voice reproductions.
Zoom has been very clever with this design. The capsule has a multidirectional mic for picking up sound from the center target as per a Shotgun microphone. It can though utilize its onboard bidirectional mic for collecting sound from either right or left of the target.
It will produce a fully mono-compatible stereo result that can be used in TV projects, film or video. You are therefore able to record the target with the center mic and then build around it the sounds captured by the side mics. The reproduced sound is very crisp and clear, but with very little bottom end.
It is well-built, mostly of metal with just a few plastic connection fittings, so it is built to withstand the rigors of outside recording. And it includes a hairy windscreen to reduce wind and associated environmental noise.
At the price, it is good value with options other mic’s do not enjoy.
One thing to consider is that this mic will only work with certain Zoom devices.
10 Azden High-performance (SMX-10) Stereo Condenser Microphone
The SMX-10 is a condenser microphone that has been built for use with standard video cameras. It is a directional stereo mic that gives a good stereo placement and sound quality at a price that is not excessive. And it includes a windscreen for cutting out unwanted noise and the mount for camera fitting.
The camera is lightweight and is powered by one AAA alkaline battery which it is claimed will give you up to 400 hours of operation. The battery is not included. It has a coiled cable with a 3.5mm connector.
Included is the SMH-X shock mount that will eliminate any noise or vibrations from the camera or when mounted on a tripod or boom. It records stereo sound very precisely and automatically rejects any off-axis noise or sounds.
It is not a professional mic by any means, but it does produce very acceptable quality audio. The stereo performance is very good, and the rejection of unwanted sounds impressive. It doesn’t have to be right in the face of the target either and will record quality from a reasonable distance.
It has to be said though that the quality produced by this mic is very good and when considered with the price is better than outstanding.
The build quality is best described as ok being part metal and part plastic, so maybe a little care is needed in handling.
It’s a good buy if you just want to get great audio for some simple video without spending a fortune.
Best Microphones For DSLR Video Camera Buyers Guide
Time To Put Some Good Audio With Your Video
We read in some journals about the poor quality of the microphones that are provided with today’s video cameras. It’s all a bit unfair in many ways. It is a ‘video’ recorder, not a ‘video and audio’ recorder. The most important aspect is recording quality video; the sound is an afterthought in most cases. And to be honest, they’ve done well to provide any sound recording facility at all.
But as technology advances and we all become potential Spielberg’s, or think we are, then demands on the equipment we use will get higher. Expectancy levels rise, and the manufacturers are not really geared up, or it seems interested in providing high-quality sound for a basic commodity like a video camera.
I think we can all understand that.
There are some that produce better quality, but these are very expensive pieces of kit, and most people are already using their mid-priced range cameras and just want better audio.
Nothing wrong with that.
We have tried to find what we consider to be the best microphones for DSLR video cameras. There are many options, some specializing in certain areas others just good all-rounders. But you need to ask yourself the question…
What Will I Use It For?
Is it for fun with the family, holidays with sound, days out recording the kids as they grow up?
Maybe its for publication albeit at a lower level. Or possibly you need real quality for work projects that need to be just right?
All of the microphones we looked at impressed us in one way or another; that’s why they made it to our review. But they tended to be designed to fulfill certain functions and work in certain environments.
Some were the Shotgun kind, concentrating the sound from one source; others collected the sound from wider sources. Some were for outside broadcasts, maybe sporting events or similar. While others are more suited for quieter one to one interviews.
Deciding how you will use your best Microphones for DSLR Video Camera is important in making your choice.
Where Will I Use It?
This is vital. Some microphones are rugged and built for the outside. They have onboard equipment and extra facilities provided to cut out wind and environmental noise that you will experience if you are filming outside.
If you intend to use it mostly out of doors, it will need to be well built and have these facilities.
What Does It Look Like?
Sounds a rather irrelevant question for a microphone but if you are using it for a live broadcast or a recording where it is visible on camera, perhaps an interview, then it needs to look professional.
There are a few issues to consider, but amongst the microphones we have reviewed, we think you will find the best microphone for your DSLR video camera.
So, What Are The Best Microphones For DSLR Video Camera?
We would want it simple to connect and operate and obviously produce as good a sound as we can get. Good noise reduction is important but also some versatility because it could be used in a variety of venues. We have therefore decided that the best microphone for a DSLR video camera is the…
Well-built, easy to set up and use and with a rotation of audio field that will provide interesting sound options.
A quality microphone at a realistic price.