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Nikon 27045 ME-1 Stereo Microphone Supplied with Wind Screen and Soft Case
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- The ME-1 Stereo Microphone connects to compatible DSLR cameras that have a 3.5mm Mic jack and features new innovation that significantly reduces autofocus noise from being recorded.
- Designed for use with a digital SLR camera featuring a 3.5 mm (diameter) stereo mini-pin jack.
- Equipped with a cable stop which holds the cable in place to prevent noise from being recorded with accidental contact with the cable.
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Record crystal-clear sound and significantly reduce autofocus noise on your compatible DSLR camera using this compact stereo microphone
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This mic is made 90% out of metal. It mic itself is isolated with rubber from the rest of the unit. The base is made from plastic. I assume this is to prevent the mic from breaking the cameras hotshoe if you were to ever drop your camera.
I gave this mic four stars only because there are better options on the market. However if your just getting into video this mic is very simple to use. It just has one switch to turn the lowcut on and off. Lowcut will help when shooting outdoors.
In addition to these microphones having better specs than the tiny built-in stereo mics, the geometry and construction provide much-improved isolation from any camera (auto-focus) or tripod noises. The end result is video sound with less noise, less distortion, and better presence.
Please don't ask me which cameras it fits, I have no idea. If your DSLR has a hot shoe and a 3.5mm stereo jack for an external mic, this will likely fit.
Out of the box, the D800 can capture borderline acceptable sound with its built-in microphone. On a calm day with not much background noise, you'll be able to capture conversations at a reasonable distance using the built-in microphone. But add some background noise, wind noise or lots of motion (causing the camera to focus), and the built-in mic is less than ideal. You end up with world-class video, and iPhone-like audio.
One simple solution is the Nikon ME-1. It mounts in the hotshoe and provides generally much better audio quality than the camera's built-in microphone. It comes with a windscreen to help keep wind noise out, and it sits generally higher off the camera, making it more immune to picking up the sound of the lens motors as you zoom or focus. The cable is even long enough that you can put it on a hotshoe extender (not included) and get it maybe 6-8" away from the camera.
The ME-1 is unobtrusive, being not much bigger than a man's thumb. It doesn't substantially change the balance or feel of your camera, and it doesn't get in the way. It records two-channel stereo, but of course, being so small, there isn't a huge sense of stereo separation in the resulting audio channels.
The ME-1 comes with the windscreen, cable and a case and one of the things I like is that it requires no batteries. Controcution is typical Nikon - that is, very good. Although it's obviously designed for Nikon cameras, the ME-1 should work on any brand having a 3.5mm audio input jack and a hotshoe. I've tried it on a Canon camcorder, for example, and it works well in that sort of configuration too.
The ME-1 includes a built-in low-cut filter to cut out the low frequency boom you often get in windy conditions. With the microphone mounted above the camera, it can be much more susceptible to wind noise, and so you'll probably find yourself using the windscreen more than you might think. There are a few third-party windsock products that fit the ME-1...sounds like a good idea, but the few I've tried - while effective in reducing wind noise - tend to muffle the sound a bit.
As for sound quality, in most cases, the ME-1 is a definite improvement over the camera's built-in mic - but not a tremendous one. While DSLRs can put out amazing video, the audio isn't in the same league - even with the ME-1. Nikon rates the frequency response as 70-16000 with only a 60DB signal to noise ratio. While this is adequate for human speech and so forth, it's not going to give you terrific results recording, say, a live orchestra. The good news is that I suppose you can use high-end microphones off-camera for critical recordings - just don't expect the ME-1 alone to give you that.
If you're happy with your DSLR's video, but want to push the sound quality ahead, the ME-1 is worth a try.
I especially like the fact it fits in my small camera case. (LowePro Nova 160) as well as an additional lens. It also practically eliminates auto focus noise (coming from the motor and lens moving) that the built in mic will pick up (not noticeable in most active outdoor shots with ambient background noise or ie -the train, traffic, water, etc). You will get some focus motor sounds if the area you are recording is a quiet room etc, I suggest turning off the auto focus if doing a recording of a speaker or anything else auto focus would not be needed)
All in all - a very good performing accessory that does not pretend to be anything else and nicely constructed (quality plastic material). If you are planning to record voices from a distance ie- tv reporter, plays, wedding, then using a wireless lapel mic or hooking up to sound board is suggested.
I bought this microphone for my D3300 with the kit lenses.
When I could still easily hear the auto focus, I bought a 55-300 lens thinking the kit lenses were the issue; still have a lot of noise in my video recording.
This is the only mic sold by Nikon for this camera.