- The Benefits of Using an External Mic for DSLR
- Top 8 DSLR Shotgun Mics for Video
- DSLR Camera Microphone Buying Guide
Audio is important.
If you want your videos to have professional quality, getting a external microphone for your camera is a must.
In today’s article, we’ll be looking at some of the best shotgun microphones for DSLR video cameras in 2019.
The Benefits of Using an External Mic for DSLR
Before we get to our review guide, we’re going to look at some of the benefits of using an directional microphone on your DSLR instead of the built-in microphone.
Many beginners assume that the included mic on their camera is sufficient for filming, but you’ll find that most of them can’t be compared to external models.
There are a few key differences between external mics and those which are mounted in cameras, and shotgun mics, in particular, have a few unique advantages of their own.
While most external mics will be able to record with better fidelity, shotgun mics can also cancel out noise from out of the shot.
Top 8 DSLR Shotgun Mics for Video
You may be wondering why we’re presenting such a wide range of DSLR camera microphones instead of just showing you which one of these is the best.
Keep in mind that everyone has different needs, and the best video mic for you may not work for someone else.
With a wide variety, there is a greater chance that everyone will be satisfied. Without a further ado, let’s get into shotgun mic reviews:
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is the most impressive model in the company’s VideoMic series, and it is designed for those who are serious about their sound quality. This product is available for around 300 dollars, and while it may be pricey, it will be sure to provide you with improved audio quality.
- A little larger
The Shure VP83 is a little more pricey than some of the other options on this list, and that’s due to its excellent performance. A high degree of electromagnetic resistance coupled with surprising sound fidelity makes this microphone an attractive choice for advanced users.
- Bulky design
Sennheiser is known for their quality audio products, and that reputation is upheld by their excellent MKE 400 compact shotgun mic for DSLR. This is one of the smaller shotgun mics on this list (though it’s still not as tiny as the Rode VideoMicro), making it ideal for filming on the go.
- Less capable than a full-sized model
- Pricey for a small mic
Up next, we’ll be looking at the VideoMic GO from Rode, which is one of their smaller models, designed for those who are always on the go while recording.
For just under $70, this is the best cheap shotgun mic!
- Lower quality than larger models
At last, we’ve reached the mic that started it all: the original Rode VideoMic (or at least the latest iteration of it).
- A little too large
The last model we’ll be looking at from Rode is the VideoMicro, which is also their smallest shotgun mic for DSLRs. This tiny microphone is designed to be as portable as possible, which also results in the least cumbersome shotgun mic we’ve yet to see.
- Rather pricey
- Lower quality than full-size mics
For those of you who are looking for an affordable shotgun mic, the Comica CVM-V30 is one of the better choices out there. While many cheap shotgun mics will be so unreliable that you’re better off saving your money, this model manages to combine reasonable performance with a relatively low price point.
- Build quality
- Isolation performance
The SGC-598 from TAKSTAR is another one of the more affordable options on this list, coming in at an even lower price point than the previous model from Comica. The lower price of this mic isn’t due to inferior quality, but it is instead due to the smaller size of the mic, as this is a compact model.
- Unreliable mounting
- Lack of additional features
DSLR Camera Microphone Buying Guide
If you’ve never purchased a shotgun mic before, or if it has been a long time since you bought your last one, you may not know what features are the most crucial in one of them. In this part of our guide, we’re going to cover some of the most important aspects that can determine whether or not a shotgun mic is worth it.
Of course, the first thing that you’re going to want to consider when choosing your shotgun mic is the quality of the sound that it records. If you opt for a poor-quality shotgun mic, then you shouldn’t be surprised if the audio comes out sounding just as muffled as if you had recorded it with your camera’s onboard mic.
Unfortunately, it is often a challenge to tell whether or not a microphone is going to have good sound quality until you test it out yourself. However, you’ll find that some manufacturers will upload audio clips of sounds recorded with their microphones so that you can hear an example of what they are like.
The mount that is used for your shotgun mic is another critical consideration, for a few different reasons. First off, you’ll want to be sure that the mount on the mic will be compatible with the camera you are using, though this is rarely a concern, as the majority of mounts will be universal.
A more pressing issue when it comes to the mount is the shock absorption it provides, as vibrations can move from the camera to the microphone and can be heard in the recording. Most shotgun mics will come with a mount that helps isolate them from the vibrations in the camera.
Another key reason to use a shotgun mic is due to the enhanced recording range, though this isn’t the case for all models. Some cheaper shotgun mics will have poor long-range performance, so you have to be sure that the model you’re looking at is ideal for your needs.
A microphone’s sensitivity is responsible for its performance at longer ranges, and you’ll find that more sensitive models tend to be more expensive. There are also shotgun mics that come equipped with an adjustable sensitivity setting, allowing you to optimize them for specific recording conditions.
Yet another reason to buy a shotgun mic is that they are meant to record noise that comes from in front of them while rejecting noise that comes from the back and the sides. This quality is known as off-axis rejection, and it is much sought-after in some of the best shotgun mics.
There are a few different things to consider when determining whether or not a microphone has effective off-axis rejection: the angle from which the sound is coming, the volume, and a bit more.
Of course, it is challenging to determine all of this without thorough tests, and it is also difficult to define in words how good a microphone is at isolating off-axis sounds.
The power source of your microphone is also crucial, and the ideal type will depend on your camera, the kind of films you’ll be making, and your preferences. The most common power source for shotgun mics is the disposable battery, and AAA and 9V cells are the preferred types.
There are also mics that come equipped with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries which can be used repeatedly and may end up saving you some money in the long run. Finally, there are mics which draw their power from the camera itself through the audio cable.
While in-line powered microphones may slightly lower the battery life of your camera, you won’t have to remember to turn off your microphone every time you unplug it. Forgetting that your mic is on can result in you wasting quite a few batteries.
The best shotgun microphones for DSLR cameras for video will often combine a couple or all of these power sources so that you can use the best one for the situation.
At this point, you may be wondering which of these mics are the best video, and that depends on what you want out of your directional mic for video recording and your budget.
If you want a shotgun mic for DSLR with an onboard recorder, then you’ll want the Shure VP83.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a microphone that is as compact and affordable as possible, then you’ll love the TAKSTAR SGC-598.
We hope that this guide has helped you find the best shotgun video mic for your needs.