Camera that powers lavalier microphone - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a video camera that I can connect a lavalier microphone to that does not have it's own power supply. My current camera, the Canon Vixia HF R200, requires an external mic with it's own power supply and I'm looking to make a change. Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 05:31 PM
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Hi,

first you need to clarify if you are looking for plug in power (also known as bias voltage and typically 1.5 to 3 V) that is supplied with a 3.5 mm mic jack and is used with consumer level microphones, or if you are looking to use a professional level XLR mic that requires 48V phantom power supplied on an XLR jack. They are totally different things and are not interchangeable. It appears that the HF R200 has a mic input, but that it doesn't supply plug in power or bias voltage, as far as I can tell from the online manual.

For example, here is a camcorder that provides bias voltage on a 3.5 mm mic jack:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838328-REG/Sony_HDR_PJ760V_B_HDR_PJ760V_HD_Camcorder_Black.html

Here is a camcorder that provides 48V phantom power on an XLR mic jack:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/749467-REG/Canon_4922B002_XA10_HD_Professional_Camcorder.html

So it depends on your needs, whether you need consumer level plug in power, or professional level 48V phantom power via XLR.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response! What I need is a camera with a 3.5 mm bias voltage input. Do you know of anything like that in the $200 - $300 range? Or will these types of cameras be much more expensive?
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 10:27 AM
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I don't know of anything specific in the $200 to $300 range, but it shouldn't be hard to find something that meets your needs (if it exists in the $200 to $300 range.) I looked at the various Canon consumer models, and couldn't tell if they had bias voltage on the mic input from simply reading the specifications, so I did a Google search to find the online manuals, and it became clear from reading the section in the online manual about using external microphones that the several Canon consumer models I looked at didn't provide bias voltage. You might want to look at camcorders from Panasonic, Sony, Canon and others to see which models have mic inputs, then do some further investigation to find which provide bias voltage.

To do a search, if you go to BHPhoto website, click on the camcorder icon, then in the next display click on the new camcorder icon, and then at the left under Features, choose Mic input (or just click on the following link):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Features_Mic+Input&ci=1871&N=4294548093+4165122414

that will give you all of the consumer camcorders that have mic inputs. From there you will have to do some further research (perhaps going to the manufacturer's website) to see which provide bias voltage.


I should also add that there are some consumer lavalier microphones that don't need bias voltage as they have their own internal battery, and they should work with your HF R200 (the online manual implies that the HF R200 has a mic input), which doesn't provide bias voltage. For example, the ATR3350 should work:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/664437-REG/Audio_Technica_ATR3350_ATR3350_Omnidirectional_Condenser_Lavalier.html

Generally in audio gear, you get what you pay for. In this case you get more than you pay for. I have this microphone and I am very pleased with the quality of this $17 microphone. B&H also sells a Pearstone battery powered mic (OLM-10) for about $23, and it is a noisy piece of junk (which is what would be expected for $23.)
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again. I actually do own the ATR33350 and am sick of replacing the battery and/or dealing with diminished sound quality as the battery dies. I've sent a few emails to Canon, Sony, Panasonic, etc. for help with finding a camera with plug in power so hopefully I hear back soon.
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