Improved Audio in Your DSLR videos

When filming interviews, events, a wedding, etc, having high quality sound is incredibly important! Yes, it's annoying when your morning coffee is messing with the smoothness of your panning. But if instead of "I do" all you hear is wind noise, or uncle Bob beside you blowing his nose, your video just greatly lost its appeal.

The sound recording quality in current DSLR's, or better, their build-in microphones, are... hmmmmm.... pretty bad. Luckily, there is really no need to rely on the build-in microphones anymore, as there are seveal options to vastly improve your audio quality without breaking the bank:

  • Hook an external mike to your DSLR. Several hot shoe mounted options are available, few are worth mentioning (like the Rode VideoMic Pro). Reviews to follow...
  • Hook an audio recorder (e.g your IPhone/Ipad) into an already existing sound system. A viable option especially on weddings and events. Make friends with the DJ and get incredible audio for next to nothing.
  • Invest in a wireless mike (the receiver being hooked up to either your camera or an external audio recorder). Expensive! Danger of interference with existing sound systems.
  • Place a small, lightweight audio recorder into the subjects pocket and use a wired lav mike. Viable, resonably proced option when dealing with only one subjects, like in interviews.
  • Have the subject speak directly into an audio recorder instead of an external microphone. The cheapest solution still giving excellent results. However, it doesn't look as professional in the video.

Wiring an external mike to your DSL has the advantage of having the audio already synced and available with your video clip. Easy. However, if you really want to take control over your audio, you will need to invest in an external recorder. This does  by no means to be expensive. Even using your iPhone, e.g. with an App like iTalk(http://store.griffintechnology.com/italk-premium), will give you significantly better results than the on-camera solution (decent microphone provided).

One step up, use an external audio recorder like Samsung's ZOOM H1. This will give you professional grade audio recordings with a variety of options, at under $100 (review to follow). This recorder is my favorite for DSLR work, and incredibly useful in day-to-day situations.

The H1's bigger bothers, The H2(n) and H4, can be interesting choices even for bigger productions, with professional grade features far exceedign the needs of everyday DSL video needs.