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Alternatives to Rode Videmic Pro


Stab
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I LOVE my Shure VP83. I was never happy with the Rode VMP audio quality (maybe I had a dud?) so sold it for the Shure. The audio is so much better, so much cleaner. Also the Shure only needs a single AA battery and the build quality makes the Rode seem toy-like.

The only negative I found with the Shure is when it's on my GH3s hotshoe the back would stick into my forehead a bit when I look through the viewfinder. Annoying but so happy with the audio I just bought a Rycote hotshoe extender so it's off to one side.

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Well if you're looking for small and cheap, you really can't beat the Zoom H1. Stick it on a small gorillapod and you have a go anywhere, attach anywhere audio recording solution.  If you need something more directed - like a shotgun, just plug your Sennheiser into the H1.  I've used the H1 to record V/O's for TV spots in the field and they sounded great.  Its tiny, throw it in the bag and you always have a decent off camera or backup audio recording option. 

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Thanks Chris.

I believe the Zoom H1 or H2n could be used as a recorder in the field, no worries there. 

But 2 things:

- How would it work out if you connect the Zoom to the camera, in this case a GH3. Would that signal be strong enough to not having to use the GH3's preamps?
- How does it sound when you want to record someone giving a speech and you put the Zoom H1 or H2n at close distance to the subject? (like 2-3 feet)

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Thanks Jimbo.

If you keep the GH3 at 1 stripe of gain and put the mic at +20, could that be too loud sometimes that it starts distorting? I've read that the VP83 sends out a hotter signal than the Videomic Pro. Wondering if its not too much maybe?

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There are some really good test videos on Youtube, 2-3 feet will easily be picked up, the mics are really sensitive on the H1.  They are your standard XY config, so they pick up more room tone than a shotgun.  You can plug any 3.5mm jack mic into the H1, I have the Rode VMP and a lav that serves as a backup to my wireless system. There is a line out with an adjustable level that you can run into camera, others report great results but I never use it that way.  I usually have the VMP on the camera as a backup and the Zoom as my primary recorder when I go small/light.  I've also used it on the end of an overhead boom, crammed into a cheap shotgun shockmount to record interviews. At less than $100 its a great piece of kit and since it runs on one AA, its easy to always have a decent audio solution in your bag.  I never leave home without it.

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No problem, Stab. You're right, definitely too loud at +20db for some circumstances, and with the GH3 at 1 stripe you've got no where to go.

But for recording people talking it's great at +20db, and the VP83 really surprises me sometimes with the distance at which it picks up voices clearly. If I'm filming louder sounds then I switch to 0db and tweak the GH3 levels accordingly.

It's a fantastic shotgun mic, for me better in every way than the Rode VMP (except the forehead rubby thing ;-)). I'm thinking of upgrading my GH3 to a GH4 and wondering of the larger eyecup would circumvent that problem. But for now the hotshoe extender is working great and I find it easier to find and keep balance on my Glidecam as the Shure is on the left and counterbalances the battery.

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Thanks Chris and Jimbo.

I'm still doubting between a Zoom H1/H2n and a Shure VP83F. I realized that I will hardly ever use the camera actually mounted on the camera itself. I will use them to speaking subjects from as close as I can get with a microphone stand. I guess a shotgun is better for that, so the VP83F sounds like a good contender. 
And, if the situation permits, I would like to record the audio directly into the camera as well. So that's why I want something with a high output (+20 DB) setting so I don't have to sync up in post when possible.

My buddy has a Zoom H4n and when you hold it close to your mouth you get really nice, clean direct audio. Almost like a shotgun. But I wonder what happens when the distance increases to like 2-3-4 feet. Will it still sound so direct?

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