Originally Posted by billsch
Has anyone tried a Rode mic with the HF20/200?
Yes. I just tested the Rode Stereo Videomic against a Azden SMX-10 and Audio-Technica Pro 24CM. It was a simple comparison filming something on TV with both voices and music from about six feet away.
My initial thoughts were the Azden was best overall. It's gain or S/N seems to be slightly higher and it rendered very realistic reproduction of both voices and music. At the same time, ambient noise was barely negligible and much less distracting than the constant hiss coming from the built-in mic (which overall wasn't too bad at reproducing audio).
The Rode was a close second and may actually have been as good as the Azden if the gain was a little higher. I noticed a slight "in a box" sound to voices indicating the Rode wasn't dead-on with clarity or presence. The Azden sounded more realistic to my ears. What I liked about the Rode over the other two mics is it has an on/off switch and a dead-kitty windshield. Both very useful. It also has the best side and rear rejection of sound. Ambient noise and hiss were a little loud, I thought. Keep in mind it is a monster on top of the tiny HF20. Size alone would be a good reason not to use this with the HF20. It is also about three times the cost.
The AT Pro 24CM came in third, but only marginally. Definitely much less gain on the mic so you'd need to boost it in the audio settings to be satisfactory. I did like how "round" and full voices sounded with the mic. Slight ambient noise/hiss but very acceptable.
Compared to all three mics, the built-in mic wasn't horrible. As I said, the main flaw is it picks up way too much ambient noise, much of from the camera itself. Odd since this is a tapeless system. I could live with the built-in mic, but for under $100 the Azden is a great alternative. It's also relatively small and light. Just no on/off light.
Hope this helps.