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Suggest External Mic for Panasonic HDC-TM700

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
Looking for an external STEREO mic for a Panasonic HDC-TM700.

The Rode Stereo Video Mic looks great, and price is OK, but the size is too much for me.

The Azden SMX-10 and Audio Technica Pro 24CM are certainly cheap enough, but I'm not sure they are the best audio quality for under $300 as they only cost about $80.

I'm looking for something smaller than the Rode SVM, stereo, and $300 or less. Any suggestions? And if the SMX-10 and Pro 24CM are the only options - which is best?

Also, what's the difference between the HDC-TM700 and HDC-TM700K (is the K the NTSC model, and the non-K the PAL model?)
post #2 of 93
I'm also interested in recommendations for a decent, compact stereo mic for the TM 700, as well as an omni mic for less specific, more ambient noise.
post #3 of 93
me too!


Over here in EU HAMA seems to have some cheap ones....
post #4 of 93
I've owned the Azden, Rode videomic, and now Sennheiser MKE400. I can recommend the MKE 400 just based on size alone. http://www.sennheiserusa.com/profess...ra-mics_502047

post #5 of 93
Does the foam windshield on the Sennheiser MKE400 work as well in the wind as the dead kitten windshield on the Rode SVM ? It looks like it might show up in the TM700 FOV @35mm WA setting on the Panasonic shoe mount .
post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

Does the foam windshield on the Sennheiser MKE400 work as well in the wind as the dead kitten windshield on the Rode SVM ? It looks like it might show up in the TM700 FOV @35mm WA setting on the Panasonic shoe mount .

No. Nothing beats a dead kitten other than two dead kittens .
post #7 of 93
Thanks RobZ, the MKE400 looks very good. Small, durable, integrated shock mount, good reviews.
post #8 of 93
Can any of you guys recommend a solution for mounting a mic together with a light on the same camera????
post #9 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmonkey View Post

Can any of you guys recommend a solution for mounting a mic together with a light on the same camera????

I've seen one recently. It looks like a Y. I'm trying to find it; I don't remember where I saw it.
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by KWP View Post

I've seen one recently. It looks like a Y. I'm trying to find it; I don't remember where I saw it.


I bought one used on POTN. I paid $25 for it. You may want to search the forum there for links to manufacturers.
post #11 of 93
I've seen a flash bracket that was a full square with two mounts on top. But I'm not sure if that was some DIY job, or an actual product. But I want one like that.

As far as mics, you might consider a Zoom H2 or H4. Korg is coming out with an M2 and other recorders with mics that do well and give you the option to record in less compressed formats.

Foam cuts wind gusts down and gives a good platform for dead kittys. But it doesn't stop wind. Nothing beats a dead kitty like a dead kitty, except two of them. I've actually got three layers of fake fur on my mics. But hobby lobby only had 1/2" fake fur when I started that DIY project. And Austin has a lot of wind often. Enough to favor a monopod as it has a lower wind profile.
post #12 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmonkey View Post

Can any of you guys recommend a solution for mounting a mic together with a light on the same camera????

I could mount my LED video light on the second shoe on my Rode SVM bracket or on the Panasonic shoe on the right side.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Bracket_1.html

post #13 of 93
Thread Starter 
I saw the Sennheiser MKE-400 and it looks perfect in most respects, except that it's only mono.

Is there anything out there that's stereo, better than the Azden SMX-10, but smaller than the Rode SVM, and $300 or less?
post #14 of 93
Can anyone recommend a good, compact OMNI mic for the TM700?
post #15 of 93
Thread Starter 
@jogiba: Could I ask a question and a favor. If you put the Rode SVM in the cold shoe, does it show up in the video frame? How about with the dead kitty on?

Also, could I ask you to post some pictures, taken from the side (ideally perpendicular to the camera) to show the relative size of the Rode SVM to the HDC-TM700 when it's mounted on the cold shoe? Could you post pics with and without the kitty on? Thanks!
post #16 of 93
Anyone know if the Rode Deadcat Wind Muff can fit properly on the MKE 400?
post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpwooste View Post

@jogiba: Could I ask a question and a favor. If you put the Rode SVM in the cold shoe, does it show up in the video frame? How about with the dead kitty on?

Also, could I ask you to post some pictures, taken from the side (ideally perpendicular to the camera) to show the relative size of the Rode SVM to the HDC-TM700 when it's mounted on the cold shoe? Could you post pics with and without the kitty on? Thanks!

The Rode SVM with dead kitten WS does show up in FOV at 35mm wide angle setting when mounted on the Panasonic cold shoe. Here is one more shot I had and I will take more without the dead kitten WS from a side angle mounted on the Panasonic cold shoe tomorrow.
post #18 of 93
There's a couple mics like the AT825 or Rode NT4 that are stereo mics. You might need something like a beachtek or juiced link preamp to power them and feed the camcorder. So perhaps not compact, or cheap for the total package.

I'm more of an audio guy who's supplementing that with video. So my audio is a completely independent rig. Ultimately I'll end up with a stereo pair of mics like MKH 8020's or QTC50's. Right now I'm making due on Avenson STO-2's. I'm mostly happy with the Korg MR-1000 that records them and have improved battery life and overall quality by putting a couple Sound Devices MM-1's between the mics and the field recorder. Probably not a route that you'll want to pursue. You get basically the same functionality and results with a Zoom H2 if you want that OMNI surround sound thing in a small package. And the headphone out can feed your camcorder. Or whatever other outputs it might have. But I needed the extra battery life, resolution, and capacities that my gear offers. Perhaps need isn't the right word since I make no money doing what I do (yet). But I have a pretty good ideal of the result that I'm after and I'm still not quite there yet.
post #19 of 93
Or you could make your camcorder look small and get a Crown Sass-P mk II. It can be powered by 9V's.
post #20 of 93
Thanks shadow. The NT4 is pricier than I can afford, but I've been looking at the NT1A, as well as the Shure SM7B, Blue Bluebird, and Blue Baby Bottle. I'm basically looking for something versatile that can overcome any obvious limitations of the TM700's onboard mic while remaining inexpensive.
post #21 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmonkey View Post

Can any of you guys recommend a solution for mounting a mic together with a light on the same camera????

Here's the one I was originally thinking of.
http://www.amazon.com/Cool-lux-Brack...2698752&sr=1-8
post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagudri View Post

Thanks shadow. The NT4 is pricier than I can afford, but I've been looking at the NT1A, as well as the Shure SM7B, Blue Bluebird, and Blue Baby Bottle. I'm basically looking for something versatile that can overcome any obvious limitations of the TM700's onboard mic while remaining inexpensive.

Sm7b - dynamic, needs a lot of gain + off axis rejection

Blue Bluebird - condenser, needs phantom power + huge

What do you consider the limitations? SPL rating? Frequency response range / curve? Noise floor? Handling noise? Too directional / not directional enough? Proximity to fan?

Or one could ask what do you intend to record with it? Classroom lectures? Weddings? Local symphony? Are/is the mic(s) going to be on camcorder or off?

You might also check craigslist. You'd be surprised at how little use some of those mics have had. There's an AT822 on my local one that's < $200 and it's MSRP is closer to $500, although now discontinued. It wouldn't work for me, low SPL, limited frequency range. But I'm tempted for the price. If you want to be cheap, you could get a Behringer C2 pair for < $100. Granted that you need more than mics to rig / power / amplify them for use with a camcorder. There's a C2 pair on CL right now for like $40 with notes saying never used. For the price I'm also tempted. Rain mics or something like that.

Technically almost anything is going to be better than what ships with your VIDEO recording device.
post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by KWP View Post

Here's the one I was originally thinking of.
http://www.amazon.com/Cool-lux-Brack...2698752&sr=1-8

great - thanks!
post #24 of 93
Here's the Sennheiser mic on my 550. It's raised on a mini shoe adapter.

post #25 of 93
Thread Starter 
@jogiba: Any chance at taking the photos of the Rode SVM on the cold shoe?
Thanks!
post #26 of 93
It does not show in FOV unless I put the dead kitten windscreen on.
post #27 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post

Sm7b - dynamic, needs a lot of gain + off axis rejection

Blue Bluebird - condenser, needs phantom power + huge

What do you consider the limitations? SPL rating? Frequency response range / curve? Noise floor? Handling noise? Too directional / not directional enough? Proximity to fan?

Or one could ask what do you intend to record with it? Classroom lectures? Weddings? Local symphony? Are/is the mic(s) going to be on camcorder or off?

You might also check craigslist. You'd be surprised at how little use some of those mics have had. There's an AT822 on my local one that's < $200 and it's MSRP is closer to $500, although now discontinued. It wouldn't work for me, low SPL, limited frequency range. But I'm tempted for the price. If you want to be cheap, you could get a Behringer C2 pair for < $100. Granted that you need more than mics to rig / power / amplify them for use with a camcorder. There's a C2 pair on CL right now for like $40 with notes saying never used. For the price I'm also tempted. Rain mics or something like that.

Technically almost anything is going to be better than what ships with your VIDEO recording device.


I just want something versatile, more effective in all types of environments than the onboard mic. And it needs to be compact. The Rode and Sennheiser Mics on this page seem ideal for more specialized purposes.
post #28 of 93
Here's a CMS_CUBE model adapter I used for a multi-microphone wind test on my Canon HF200. The adapter has five standard cold shoe mounting points (one on top, four on the sides), and can be found at http://dm-accessories.com. They do have different models for different camcorders, but some of them can be a bit awkward if the camcorder doesn't already have a shoe mount.

post #29 of 93
The Rode SVM is great in the wind with dead kitten windshield.
post #30 of 93
Thread Starter 
I finally ended up buying both the Rode SVM and the Azden SMX-10, and spent most of the weekend testing them.

The Rode SVM is quite simply too large for me on the HDC-TM700. When placed on the cold shoe it would tip over the camera (I have a quick release plate under the camera for my tripod). Notably the QR plate has a flat bottom, but the Rode was so front and top heavy it was unstable. My wife said she wouldn't use it, it was uncomfortably balanced in her hands. What with the size concerns, and then with the deadcat muff showing in the field of view at anything wider than optical 2x zoom, it was a fairly quick conclusion I wouldn't be keeping the Rode SVM.

Having said that, I did try many sound quality, and signal to noise tests comparing the Rode SVM, the Azden SMX-10, and the built in microphone set to the Zoom or Stereo settings.

The built in mic does pick up some fan noise, it's annoying, and clearly audible in a quiet room. It's totally obvious when recording in a silent room and playing back the audio at maximum volume on the camera itself. However, having said that, when fixing the audio level (set to -3, and AGC off) I ran several tests where I had a CD playing at a loud volume level and other parts of the test where the room was silent. Using this I could use Adobe Soundbooth or Premiere to adjust the audio peaks up to 0db, and find out what the noise floor was. I was shocked to find that in this test, the noise level of the two external mics was the same as the built in mic!!!!

This is a revelation. Ultimately I think it means that the audio circuits of the camera are so poor that it doesn't matter what kind of mic you use, you'll get noise to a certain level because of the camera. Spending lots more on the microphone isn't going to do much good if you plan on recording the audio through the camera.

When I was done with my testing, I found the Signal to Noise ratio of all three microphones (Rode, Azden, Built In) were quite similar. However, the "color" of the noise was quite different. The built in had a mechanical fan noise to it, the Rode was slightly quieter (perhaps 2-3db less noise) but had a hiss and a hum. The Azden was noiser than the Rode (almost idential to the built in in pure signal strength) but the noise was entirely hiss only, a much "whiter" noise.

I was EASILY able to remove all of the hiss/hum/fan noises from all three from within Soundbooth - what an amazing tool.

I also tested how nice the audio sounded, with both male and female voice (thanks to my wife for being patient), and also heavy metal music (Joe Satriani) and female vocalist (Lisa Stansfield). The initial tests showed little difference in the audio quality with any of the mics. Honestly, if I could tell any difference, the Rode lost, I couldn't easily distinguish the other two.

Finally I tested the mics with a 20Hz-20kHz sine wave frequency test. The biggest surprise here was the Azden picked up the lowest frequencies with the strongest signal. This is entirely contrary to the "specs" which just goes to show how bogus specs are. The Rode claims 40Hz to 20kHz, the Azden only 100Hz to 17kHz. However, as neither of them state the dB drop off for these ranges they are meaningless. My tests showed the Azden picking up signals at 55Hz through around 14.5Khz, and the Rode 68Hz through around 17kHz, the built in mic fared very well, from 65Hz to around 17.5kHz.

At this point I gave up on the Rode. The size was too much, the audio no better in any test I threw at it.

I kept going with the Azden a bit longer, heck, it only cost $65, and I really really wanted it to work. On my prior camera an external mic was hugely better than the built in, 12dB more focused, and 10dB less noise, so I had a strong belief that the external mic must be better than an internal - it's what everyone says too, so I was seeking positive reinforcement of this.

My final test was wind noise. I walked around with the built in mic, and with the Azden SMX-10 with the wind muff outside, it was quite windy so I picked up several gusts, both head on, and sideways. The internal mic was WAY WAY better.

Anyway, to say I'm surprised would be an understatement. I've sent both mics back, and I guess I'll just be using the camera on it's own. The fan noise is "bad" but when I compared it to my previous camera, it's no worse than the tape motor noise that my prior camera, with external mic, captured. Although to be honest, although the SN ratio may be similar, the color of the fan noise is worse. But having found Soundbooth to very successfully eliminate the noise pretty much solves the problem.

Clearly the built in mic (in Zoom or Stereo mode) is actually quite good.

Roland.
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