In 2023, it's a good idea for podcasters to record video of their content for YouTube and other social platforms. It can help boost your SEO and generally makes your podcast more accessible as YouTube gains steam as a popular podcast search engine. It can even increase traffic to your podcast website. Also a good idea? Having a quality video microphone for your DSLR camera to capture clear audio and give your podcast the professional sound you're after.
But which DSLR microphone is best for the job? In this post, we'll review all the factors (and features) to consider when looking for the best microphones to use with DSLR mics for podcasting.
What is a DSLR microphone?
A DSLR camera microphone is an external microphone designed specifically for recording audio with digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. This type of microphone is more versatile than regular microphones and offers better sound quality, making it the ideal choice for podcasting. It’s also lighter, smaller, and easier to carry around than traditional mics, making it perfect for on-the-go podcasting.
Why use a DSLR microphone for video recording?
Using a DSLR microphone for recording audio can give you better sound quality. Whether you’re out on the road or in the studio, using a mic specifically designed for recording with your DSLR camera will give you improved clarity and depth compared to standard microphones. DSLR mics are also smaller and more portable, so you can easily take your setup with you wherever you go.
Additionally, the right DSLR mic can help reduce background noise and pick up only the sound of your voice. This allows for a clear audio recording without any unnecessary distractions.
How to choose the right DSLR microphone
When choosing a DSLR microphone, there are several factors to consider. First, decide what type of mic you're looking for. There are three main types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
• Lavalier Mics: These clip-on mics are ideal for interviews and can be used to capture higher frequencies. They’re also very portable, making them great for on-the-go podcasting. The downside is that they tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
• Shotgun Mics: Shotgun mics are one of the most popular DSLR mic options for podcasters. They are popular with filmmakers and videographers who need to record dialogue and sound effects from a distance. These directional mics are perfect for capturing sound from a distance. They’re more powerful than lavalier mics and can pick up even the smallest details from a sound source.
• Handheld Mics: Handheld mics can pick up sounds from far away, making them great for outdoor podcasting and recording audio in noisy environments. The downside is that they can be bulky and require extra equipment like boom poles.
Now, let's take a look at some of the key features and potential accessories you might need when looking at the best DSLR mic set up for you.
The sound quality of your microphone will make a huge difference in the overall sound quality of your podcast. When selecting a DSLR microphone, look for one with a wide frequency range so that it can pick up high and low frequencies accurately. Additionally, look for one with a built-in shock mount to reduce vibrations and background noise.
Gain control allows you to adjust the volume of your audio without having to manually adjust each individual track. This is especially helpful if you’re recording multiple podcasts at one time and will help ensure that all audio levels are consistent throughout. Many DSLR microphones have built-in gain controls, but it’s best to double-check before you buy.
If you plan on recording audio with your DSLR microphone outdoors, a boom pole is an essential tool. Boom poles help to protect your mic from wind noise and other background noise that can be picked up by the camera mic. Look for one with a shock mount and windscreen to further reduce noise pollution.
Many DSLR microphones require phantom power in order to work properly. This is a type of electrical current that is sent from the camera’s battery to power the microphone. Make sure your microphone has the proper connection for phantom power, as not all DSLR mics have this feature.
If you’re recording audio with your DSLR microphone outdoors, it’s important to make sure that it can pick up higher frequencies accurately. Shotgun microphones are the best choice for capturing clear audio in outdoor environments, as they are designed to pick up sound from a greater distance.
A high-pass filter is a type of audio filter that reduces low-frequency sounds and leaves higher frequencies unaffected. This can be helpful in reducing background noise or rumble when recording with a DSLR camera, as it allows only the sound you want to be captured. Many DSLRs have built-in high-pass filters, while others may require an external filter to be added to the microphone.
Tips for using a DSLR microphone
Once you’ve chosen the right DSLR microphone, there are a few tips to keep in mind when using it.
1. Make sure your mic is properly connected and powered on before recording.
2. Place the mic as close to the sound source as possible for optimal audio quality.
3. Aim the mic directly at the sound source and avoid pointing it towards walls or other reflective surfaces.
4. If you’re using a shotgun mic, use a boom pole to keep the mic as still as possible while recording.
5. Make sure your settings are optimized for the best audio quality by adjusting things like gain, EQ, and compressors.
6. Record in a quiet environment and use headphones to monitor your audio levels.
7. Lastly, always listen back to your recordings to make sure you’re getting the best sound possible!
Using a DSLR microphone can give you clearer, higher-quality audio than standard microphones. With the right mic and some careful planning, you can record great-sounding audio for your podcasts, videos, or other projects.
Top best DSLR microphones on the market
To find the best DSLR microphone, you should research and compare different brands and models. Take into consideration features such as sound quality, gain control, size, and ease of use. You should also read customer reviews to see what other people have to say about each product. Additionally, it’s important to make sure the microphone is within your budget. By doing a bit of research, you can find the perfect DSLR microphone for your specific needs.
Best DSLR Lavalier mics
The Movo WMX-1 2.4GHz Wireless Lavalier Microphone System is an ideal choice for those who need high-quality audio but don't want to be tethered to their camera with a wire. This system features an omnidirectional Lavaliere microphone, a wireless receiver and a transmitter, and is powered by triple A batteries with a 6 hours of charge.
It's very easy to set up and comes with a 3.5 mm TRS cable for smartphones and tablets.
Rode Wireless Go | $200.00
The Rode Wireless Go is an excellent choice for podcasters looking for a reliable, high-quality, and affordable Lavalier microphone system. At $200 it's twice the cost of the Movo, but features two transmitters with up to 656 feet of quality audio range. It can be either battery-powered and wireless or plugged in via its 3.5 mm USB connector.
It also comes with:
- Clip-On Transmitter
- Dual-Channel Wireless Receiver
- 2 x SC20 USB Type-A to USB Type-C Cable
- SC5 3.5mm TRS Memory Cable
- 2 x Furry Windshield
- Carry Pouch
Best DSLR shotgun mics
Rode VideoMic Pro+ | $229.00
This shotgun microphone is not as portable as wireless options but is easy to use and provides excellent audio quality at an affordable price point. It is ideal for full-frame DSLR cameras and comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can also be powered via its USB connector.
This mic includes an integrated shock mount and windscreen. It features a camera shoe mount with 3/8 Inch thread making it easy to mount a boom pole.
Sennheiser MKE 400 | $200.00
The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a directional shotgun mic you can add to your DSLR camera or smartphone to enhance your audio. This mic has integrated wind protection, so you won't have to use an external windscreen, and is compact and lightweight.
The MKE 400 can go for nearly 100 hours on a pair of triple-A batteries, making it extremely low maintenance. It also features a low-cut filter which reduces low-frequency noise.
- Swappable 3.5mm TRS and TRRS output cables
- 3.5mm headphone port with volume control
- 3-stage gain control (the original MKE 400 had two gain positions)
- Auto-power function
- Furry windshield included for outdoor wind protection
- Compatible with Sennheiser's CL 35 USB-C cable (available separately) for direct digital connection to a mobile device's USB Type-C port
Best DSLR handheld mic
The Saramonic UwMic9 Dual-Channel Wireless Mic System is a versatile and easy-to-use handheld microphone system. It features a Cardioid polar pattern, a 3.5 mm or XLR connection, and backlit LCD screens. It's an excellent, more affordable alternative to other handheld mics of similar quality.
The only downside is that the battery life isn’t great – it only lasts for about 3-4 hours on a single charge.
- Short coiled locking 3.5mm to 3.5mm mini-plug output cable
- 1 x Short locking gold-plated 3.5mm mini-plug to XLR male output cable
- Camera shoe mount with a 1/4 20 tripod thread
- Removable belt clip
- SR-UMBC1 battery compartment
When it comes to recording audio with your DSLR, a good-quality mic can make all the difference. Whether you’re looking for a Lavalier mic, shotgun mic, or handheld mic, there are plenty of great options on the market. By researching the best models and taking into account your specific needs, you can find the perfect DSLR microphone for your project.
No matter what type of DSLR microphone you choose, make sure to read reviews and do your research on the product before making a purchase. This will ensure that you’re getting the best quality for your money.