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Ultra affordable wireless options? Boya BY-WM6 vs Saramonic UwMic10 vs Azden PRO-XD?

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Currently have a RodeLink which I'm happy with, and brought it as I felt it is the "cheapest" wireless I could go with. But there are times when more than one (or two, or three...) wireless are needed. And I'm wondering if there are even more affordable options, which are still usable. 

Been looking around for the last few weeks at the various wireless options which are priced significantly below the RodeLink, there are a surprisingly large number of them!! :-o 

Unfortunately many of these ones are no good, but on the upside it appears wireless has taken great strides forward (all 5 of these wireless sets mentioned are only roughly a year old or less on the market), and I've narrowed it down to four which are cheaper than the RodeLink yet look appealing from what I can gather (here they are listed from cheapest to priciest):

Boya BY-WM6 vs Azden PRO-XD vs Saramonic UwMic10 vs Audio-Technica ATW-1701L

  • > Boya BY-WM6 

Is the cheapest of the four by far at only US$140 with free shipping. It uses the 584 MHz-608 MHz frequency range. Includes an XLR output cable. Runs on two AA batteries with a claimed run time of 8hrs. Comes with a portable case for the set. RX has a headphone jack. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Boya-BY-WM6-Lavalier-Wireless-Microphone-System-For-ENG-EFP-Canon-Sony-DSLR-/282001404702
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb39csJwR6I

  • > Azden PRO-XD

Second cheapest of the three at US$199 with free shipping. Uses 2.4GHz wireless. Uses an internal battery (can't swap it out.... hmmm... a downside! But on the upside, it is the slimmest of the four, which is a bonus for a wireless system).  Battery life is meant to be an impressive 16hrs (with a 3hr recharge time). Has a headphone jack on the RX. Internal batteries are rechargeable over USB (can see this being useful for bag use, to keep all the RX units charged up from a USB power pack. However careful battery management during the shoot will be needed with the TX units)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Azden-PRO-XD-2-4-GHz-Digital-Wireless-Lavalier-System-/171940834701
http://www.4kshooters.net/2015/11/11/azden-pro-xd-new-budget-digital-wireless-microphone-system/
http://cheesycam.com/azden-pro-xd-2-4-ghz-wireless-lavalier-microphone-system-just-199/
http://www.learnlightandsound.com/blog/2015/10/26/good-budget-wireless-lavalier-azden-pro-xd

  • > Saramonic UwMic10 

If you squint they look almost the same as the Sony UWP-D11 sets! (it even has an XLR TX option like Sony does with the Sony UWP-D16. Which I am really looking forward to using on the boom pole, to get rid of the cable)

But the Saramonic UwMic10 costs half the amount of a Sony UWP-D11. As it is US$270 plus taxes/shipping to NZ (which does then significantly increase its cost, unfortunately). 
http://www.saramonicusa.com/products/saramonic-uwmic10-digital-uhf-wireless-lavalier-microphone-system-with-bodypack-tx-and-portable-rx
http://www.dslrfilmnoob.com/2016/02/28/saramonic-uwmic10-dual-body-pack-2-channel-receiver-now-out/
http://www.dslrfilmnoob.com/2016/02/15/saramonic-uwmic10-dual-channel-uhf-wireless-system-review/
https://lensvid.com/gear/saramonic-uwmic10-uhf-wireless-lav-review/

The Saramonic is I think the system I'd like to go for, but once the final cost is worked out it ends up pushing up uncomfortable close to the RodeLink to really truly be a "cheaper option than a RodeLink" by a significant margin. Plus it is such a new item to the market that none of Adorama/B&H/Amazon.com are selling it, maybe I should revisit this item in a couple of months time and see if this has changed. 

  • > Audio-Technica ATW-1701L

Cheapest price now is $330.79:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1060929-REG/audio_technica_atw_1701_l_system_10_digtal_wireless.html

But it was merely US$220 at Adorama only a month ago:
http://dealnews.com/Audio-Technica-Camera-Mount-Microphone-System-for-220-free-shipping/1618268.html

I think that the current prices for the ATW-1701L are just a little too high right now, as it puts it too close in price to a RodeLink, so not much savings there. But if ever see it at that sale price then I'll buy one (two even!) in a heartbeat! 

Well, I think this now is complete survey of the "good options" which are cheaper than a RodeLink. I've surely left out a few other possibly interesting options, and feel free to point out anything important I've left out, but what I'm left wondering now...  is which of these four should I pull the trigger on and buy?  Open to any thoughts on my options!

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The Saramonic has another benefit, you can send two mics to one receiver, meaning you can mic two persons with lavs and just get one receiver in the camera. It's the best bang for buck system around and I'm currently looking at it too.

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Unfortunately that feature isn't too useful, as you either need to mute one of those two or mix them together. Awkward indeed if you want ISO tracks. 

Apparently Saramonic (might) bring out stereo output for it, which will then mostly fix this problem. 

Plus it is so new, there are so few places which sell it at all, and its price with shipping/tax works out to be double (or more!) the price of the other two options. So while the Saramonic one is the most attractive of the three options for me (if I'm ruling out the 4th option, unless I see it go on special), its price does make it tricky... do I think it is better than the other two? YES! Do I think it is twice as good as the other two? Hmmm..... not sure, probably not. 

The Saramonic XLR TX unit (I *want*!) is meant to ship in June, maybe I should wait for that to ship and then reassess getting the Saramonic. And until then get an Azden PRO-XD or Boya BY-WM6?

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The Boya looks OK although I'm not sure about the build quality, but for that price you can buy multiple units and see. I wouldn't cry if it breaks -lol I was talking about the WM5 that look cheap and bad :blush:- the wm6 looks quite OK. And for the Sara, you're right, I din't realize it was impossible to control them individually, my bad! If I could I'd just jump to the Rode, but at the moment it's out of my league. 

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Yeah the extra thirty bucks for the WM6 over the WM5 is worth it just for its better looks! :-P :-D

And I'm only half joking....  if you bring a WM5 onto set people might look at it half suspiciously! But with the WM6 you might if you cross your fingers get away with it ;-)

They do use two completely different technologies however, 2.4GHz vs UHF. Wish I could get my hands on both to run robust tests on them together. 

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Do you need wireless audio because you're delivering straight to the editor or can you sync in house using a guide track?

This may be your best option:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1136079-REG/sennheiser_clip_mic_clip_mic_digital.html

The ME 2 is a very good quality mic. It should sound just like the G3 system, which is a good system except that its range is poor. In terms of sound quality and reliability this will compete with the best options, however it will present annoyances in post. The preamp should be better than a dSLR, hopefully better than a cheap recorder, too.

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I got the Boya BY-WM6, I'm very happy with it! Only used it for presentation videos so far, nothing narrative. But it's really performing in build quality, battery time and the wireless quality! Even the included lav mic sound really good considering the price, but you can get another lav if you need a fuller sound. I'm getting another one for when I need it.

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I like op which also uses rodelink with great result, and also want another wireless but at more affordable price, just want to see what you got at end!

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11 hours ago, Policar said:

No, that wouldn't be suitable. I need an extra wireless kit or two to add to my mixing bag. 

As I'm an aspiring semi pro sound recordist. Budget is too tight to go out tomorrow and buy a complete Zaxcom / ComTek / Lectrosonics wireless set up. 

Instead I'm looking for something which can more or less well enough "do the job" for no budget freebies I work on or on low paid jobs which don't have the budget to rent something better (not even Sennheiser G3 sets, which are merely US$40/day in my city). I thinking any of the four I listed should be able to handle those requirements. 

And then sometime in the future I'll upgrade to something better, maybe simply a few Sennheiser G3 (however I'm skeptical if they're worth it over say Audio-Technica ATW-1701L) or maaaaaybe even go the full hog and get Zaxcom / ComTek / Lectrosonics kit.

But neither of those will happen any time soon (thus looking for a more affordable wireless option), as first I want to buy an Audio-Technica AT4053b, Sanken CS-3e, and Zoom F8! So that is an over US$3k investment to do first. 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/642499-REG/Audio_Technica_AT4053B_AT4053b_Hypercardioid_Condenser_Microphone.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/406096-REG/Sanken_CS_3E_CS_3E_Short_Shotgun_Microphone.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140426-REG/zoom_zf8_f8_field_recorder.html

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$3k isn't much to spend for a pro sound kit. I know people dropping $15-20k for a basic set up, that's to start a career specifically as a mixer though and also really cheap compared with a camera. The F8 looks nice, great preamps apparently and nice design.

Your sound won't suffer appreciably with the Sennheiser (the ME is a nice mic, you pay in the need to sync, not in sound quality even vs the quite high end), but it sounds like that's not an option. I would save up for the lectros when you can–but getting something cheap until then make sense. Sounds like there's a lot of good stuff out there, I haven't tried it.

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So I have the Samson Airline Micro Camera Wireless System, my impression is the one I have (it is secondhand however) the microphone is not too good (but I have another coming that I can compare against, just to see if I got a dud microphone secondhand). But if I can swap out the microphone, then this should be greatly improved? Or so I hope/believe. As I care more about the quality of the wireless, than the lav mic it comes with (as that can and will be replaced with time). 

 

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