Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
on March 26, 2011
There's not much info around about this mic, so I took a chance, and here you go! Hope this review is helpful.
So far I've given this mic some light use outdoors on my Panasonic TM700, and it seems to work well. I've also tested it with my Olympus LS-10 recorder, and that seems fine too. I can't say much to the audio quality, since I've only used it for some outdoor sounds -- and I'm not a great judge -- but it certainly seems great to me. Sound levels were fine, it sounds nice to my thick ear, it's pretty directional, and in the supplied clamp handling the camera (carefully) was no problem. Only issue was the furry cat trying to get in to the tops of my wide-angle shots, which I think I can solve (see below). It definitely seems well-made.
The mic uses an AA battery for power, or can use plug-in power if the device it's plugged in to supports that. I tested it with a battery, but since both my devices supply plug-in power, that's how I'm mainly using it, and it works fine (you may have to enable plug-in power in your device's settings). It seems slightly lower level than the built-in mics on both devices, but worked fine. (The battery didn't make a difference to that.) The plug is stereo, and the sound seems to be connected to both channels.
The supplied wind muff is OK. It slides directly on over the front -- a little tight at first but it goes. It's quite lightweight, and it's just the fur, no foam, but certainly offers some protection against wind -- I was using it in very blustery conditions, and while real wind will definitely come through, it helps a fair bit if you can get some shelter. If you want to try a different muff, you'll want something that covers 108mm / 4.25" from the front at least; 120mm / 4.72" is where the switch begins.
Physically, the mic measures about 21 mm / 27/32" in diameter, and 261 mm / 10 3/8" long. Allow at least an inch behind that for the cord grip and cord if you're going to have something behind it. There's a clear 101mm / 3.98 inches behind the on/off/low-cut switch for holding it (in a shockmount etc). If you don't mind covering the switch, you gain another 31mm / 1.22 inches. The wind muff comes back to that point.
The mount that comes with it is fine. It has a standard cold shoe mount, with a tripod thread in the middle; it also comes with an adaptor for Sony alpha cameras (which I'm not using). The mic is held directly over the mount, with the centre axis about 72mm / 2.83" above the base of the mount. The mount has a swivel joint in it so the mic can be turned left or right. Since my camera has the cold shoe bracket way forwards, I'm placing the grip over the on/off switch to get the mic back out of wide-angle view, which is fine as I have no battery in it. If your shoe mount is farther back, you should have less of a problem (depending on your lens).
The shock absorption comes from the fact that the top grip part of the mount is joined to the upright part with a block of rubber; also the grip has soft rubber pads and a rubber bushing inside it. This seems to work OK, although major handling noise is picked up; it could be that a bungee-type shockmount could help, if this becomes an issue.
The mic stand has a cord clip on it, which I can't use due to how the cord routes on my camera. However the cord -- about 325mm / 12.8" long -- is nice and sturdy, and doesn't flop about, so this is no problem in practice. The plug is right-angled.
Overall, seems pretty good!