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Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

Overview : The RØDE VideoMic is a professional grade shotgun microphone. Based on the latest 'Film industry' technology, the VideoMic is designed specifically for use with high quality Digital Video Cameras.

Enjoy studio recording quality with pro features like integrated shockmounting, a two-step high-pass filter (flat or 80Hz), and a three-stap pad (0, -10, -20dB).

The microphone exhibits low noise and an unusually wide bandwidth for its size. It is ultra lightweight, yet rugged due to its ABS construction. The VideoMic is powered by a standard 9V battery and offers a Low Battery LED status indicator.

Integrated shock-mounting and the switchable high-pass filter reduce unwanted low frequency rumble, and a windshield is also included.

The VideoMic attaches to any Camcorder that has the standard camera-shoe fitting and utilizes a stereo mini jack for audio output.

Features :
  • Broadcast and studio sound quality condenser microphone with wind-shield
  • Rugged reinforced ABS construction
  • Two step high-pass filter - flat or 80 Hz; three step PAD - 0, -10, -20dB
  • Integrated cold shoe mount, 1/4" and 3/8" thread
  • 9V battery operation
VideoMic Specs :
  • Power: 9V battery powered (battery sold separately)
  • Acoustic Principle: Line gradient
  • Directional Pattern: Super Cardioid
  • Frequency range: 40Hz-20kHz, selectable HPF @ 80Hz/12dB/octave
  • Output impedance: 200 Ohms
  • Signal noise ratio: 74 dB SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
  • Equivalent noise: 20 dB SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
  • Maximum SPL: 134dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KOhm load)
  • Sensitivity: -38 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (15 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
  • Weight: 176gm
  • Dimensions: 65mmH x 250mmW x 102mmD

Quality/Usability : Getting good quality audio is very important. Yes, the built-in microphone on your camera or camcorder will do just fine for some but it is very lacking. No one wants to hear unwanted sounds or the sound of your lens focusing. External mics not only help improve sound quality but weeds out unnecessary sound.

The Rode VideoMic is mainly made of plastic. Since it's consists of mainly plastic, the weight is very light. Although the microphone is light, the size is fairly big. The front of the mic comes with a foam windscreen. The windscreen did help reduce noise from breezes and low wind speeds. However, if you plan to use this microphone outdoors in moderately windy conditions, consider getting a windsock that can reduce noise at higher wind speeds.

Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

The ON/OFF switch on the back of the mic. The switch has three positions — OFF, ON and High-Pass Filter. The High-Pass Filter cuts out lower frequencies and helps accentuate voices. There is an LED next to the switch that lights up when you turn the microphone on and blinks when the battery needs to be replaced. The battery housing is located on the side of the microphone and holds a single 9V. The expected battery life is about 100 hours. But it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you.

Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

Like all shotgun microphones, the VideoMic attaches to your camcorder via the accessory shoe. The oversized shoe fastener is big enough to easily tighten and loosen the VideoMic. The mic has 2 threaded holes on the bottom to attach it to a tripod or boom. The holes are a 3/8" x 16 and a 1/4" x 20 threaded inserts. This definitely comes in handy if you're a videographer who needs to use a pistol grip or boom pole. As a reminder, if using a pistol grip or boom pole, you'll need the necessary cables to send the signals.

Once you have attached the microphone to the camera's hot shoe, simply plug the 35mm (1/8" Stereo) mic input into your camera in order to get it working. The 8" long coiled audio cord can stretch to about 2 feet. With the VideoMic mounted on top of a camera or camcorder, the cord does not get in the way. It's not too long and it's not too short.

Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

The VideoMic is different from other shotgun condenser mics on the market. It has a unique shock-mount rather than a fixed microphone. Replaceable rubber bands suspend the microphone on the shock-mount. The shock-mount helps reduce operator noise, protecting the microphone from shocks and jolts. It doesn't completely eliminate it but will help reduce it. So if you're walking around with the camera, you won't hear banging noise from the microphone. The shock-mount allows the microphone to move according to movement. Kind of like springs on a car.

The ability to capture sound with the Rode VideoMic is quite pleasing. The microphone can pick up voices at about 20 feet away. It's also able to pick up sounds past 20 feet but now the microphone is picking up noises such as heavy traffic and sound you do not want. This drowns out the sound that you do want. So if you're trying to capture audio, its best used when the microphone is pointed at your source.

Here is a video with recording that I did with my Nikon D7000 and Rode VideoMic:

Conclusion : Overall, the Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone works great. The weight of the microphone doesn't add any additional weight to your camera or camcorder which is a huge plus if you're holding it for a long period of time. It would have been nice if the microphone used AA batteries instead of 9V. The size is a bit too big. It's best used in studios as it won't be in the way.

It's nice that they also include extra rubber bands for the shock-mount in the event they come off or become loose.

Manufacturer: Rode Microphones
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

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