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on January 10, 2014
I produce Interview style videos for a living. I use a Professional field recorder with matched stereo microphones for my primary audio track. Recently I decided to add a "camera mount" shotgun microphone as a safety, aka a scratch track. The "on camera" microphone was useless, so why not? There is nothing more frustrating than shooting a set, then finding out your memory card or drive failed and you have no audio. So, I tried 1/2 a dozen different microphones ranging from a $30 "cheapie" all the way up to the $230+ Rode Pro.

So, the final decision was between the Rode Pro, and an inexpensive TAKSTAR (A brand I'd never heard of before). Evidently, the people behind TAKSTAR manufacture 99% of the shotgun camera microphones "for" brand name manufacturers like Opteka, Azden, AT and (you guessed it) Rode.

To my complete surprise, the TAKSTAR SGC-598 performed 99% as well as the Rode Pro, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, when editing audio in Post the TAKSTAR track was easier to work, with since it had a more neutral range. The Rode has a very heavy mid-range push (their "trademark" sound) which is fine for family videos or making your voice sound better on amateur documentaries, but very annoying to work with in a professional audio editor.

It was so inexpensive I picked up a second one as a spare (just in case) and plan to use them on all future shoots. The audio ended up being so good, I found I can easily use it as primary audio if my main system fails someday. Sure it will take a few hours to tweak/EQ, but it's a viable backup track, for practically free.

My verdict, if you want an inexpensive, great sounding shotgun, this is the way to go. It's easy to use, has great sound, decent line level, and it's well built. It also uses AA batteries.
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This review goes out to everyone thinking of buying a Rode videomic or a Takstar SGC-598.

BUY THIS MIC IF: you're on a small budget, don't mind boosting the sound in post production, and plan on speaking more or less directly into it. OR is you NEED to mic a lot of different areas simultaneously on the cheap.

DON'T BUY THIS IF: you're wanting a rich warm sounding mic that can pick up chatter from 25+ feet and requires very little post production tweaking. Spend money on a higher quality mic and you'll get your money's worth in time saved in post production.

First of all, let me acknowledge that you're on a budget. Most people are. Whether the budget it large or small there is always a budget. My budget was on the low end of high, being about $2-300 for my audio set up for an attempt at a youtube channel.

To begin with I bought a Rode Videomic off craigslist for $100 and was immediately impressed with the strong mids and it's ability to pick up voices and noises with clarity from 25+ feet. As I did more interviews and bought more equipment I realized that having multiple mics in one shoot would add some flexibility to my audio editing, so I started browsing mics again and found this.

Some reviewers say "it's just as good as a Rode, virtually indistinguishable!" but if you don't notice the difference between this mic and a videomic pro you've either got a junk audio in set up, or you should let someone else handle the audio editing. The Takstar is NOT a fantastic pro quality do everything mic, but it is a cheap and capable mic for budding videographers. Here's the ups and downs I've found after about 2-3 months of use and back to back testing between a videomic and this.

-Decent clarity at close ranges
-Low enough hiss
-Smaller than I thought (it looks pretty huge in pictures)
-Buy 3 for the price of 1 Rode Videomic ($150)
-Great to put it in harms way, you're only risking $40

-VERY quite, even with +10db on
-Struggles to pick up sounds from 25+ feet
-Shock mount is too stiff, might as well be glued on
22 comments| 123 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
While this may not be a "pro level" shotgun mic, it does a pretty darned good job. It will deliver way superior sound compared to using the onboard mic, and the audio is actually pretty clean and clear for something this inexpensive. If you're looking to improve the audio with your videos, this is a good low cost way to do it. Sure, you can get cleaner sound by spending $200 more, but if you're on a budget, this is hard to beat. It works on one AA battery, has an on-off switch, a 10+ DB switch, and comes with a foam pop filter. If you want to use it with your camcorder, you'll probably need a camera bracket which will mount both your camera and this mic. A bracket will give you a lot more stability, too, and is not an expensive option. You'll also look a whole lot more professional when you have your camera and this mic mounted on a bracket. Great deal for someone wanting to improve their vid-audio quality.
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on December 12, 2013
I got this mic after reading dozens of reviews and watching dozens of videos of other similarly priced products. There are some more expensive units that are not quite as nice, but of course this is by no means a "professional" mic. This is certainly a budget mic for those of us who are not wildly wealthy. It does the job, battery life is great.

One thing to note is that if you have the gain turned up (+10db button on side) you will pick up a lot of background noise.

I have used this mic as a secondary audio source separate from my camera, plugged into a Zoom H4N and the sound comes out pretty nice, assuming that you are close to the subject, and there is not a lot of other noise.

It works pretty well for interviews, and I have even used it to record audio from a couple concerts that I have filmed. Overall, for the price, I would recommend it highly.
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on November 3, 2016
Takstar SGC-598 Photography Interview Shotgun MIC Microphone for Nikon Canon DSLR Camera DV Camcorder I really love this microphone. I know that there are better ones out there, but for the price you can't beat this. I have used this mic for the past 2 years and it is still working great. The battery life is awesome! It just takes one AA battery and it seems to last forever. I use this mic on my Canon T4I and the sound quality is pretty good. I use it mostly for getting sound from the room but I have used it in a close interview style setting. I would suggest that even though this is a great cheap mic for your DSLR, don't make this your only source of capturing sound for your projects.
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on August 17, 2017
You get what you pay for. With that said, this product performs to the expectations I placed on it for the price I paid for it. It does its job and for that I gave it 5 stars. It is pretty much made of hard plastic all around with decent quality make that pretty much satisfy the audio quality I needed for my camera. It needed AA battery to power it, so make sure you don't forget to turn it on otherwise you will have a silent film. I'm not a video or film expert and therefore find this at a good enough quality for the video recording that I do. I'm sure that there are more expensive ones which would probably do a much better job but I'm totally fine with this one.
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OK so what do i have to say about this mic well it works well when the audio source is near to the front of the mic and if you are in a loud area but far away you can still use the mic to get way better sound than you would from the on cam microphone this takstar should be used with a dead cat wind screen for out door recording the 10 db gain is helpful if you are recording into your camera and if you can monitor your audio it makes it easier to control the levels also i would recommend not using the low pass filter and just fix any low rumbles in post so you have more data to work with also this mic is not super directional it will pic any thin around it so try to keep it isolated also the sock mount helps but is not that great you can still get some noises from it moving if you ask me this mic is wonderful for the price comparable to the rode video mic go. if you are on a budget this mic works wonder if you know what your doing

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on May 18, 2017
This thing is awesome!! I did my research before I bought this mic, and I knew it was going to be a great fit for me. My purpose for getting this was so that I could get better hand-held audio with my GH4, and it's made all my dreams come true. The little built in microphone on my camera is a nice feature to have, but we all know that built in mics are going to pick up the camera operator's voice loudest of all which is usually not the goal, and is especially unfortunate if you're prone to the cam-op giggles. All I wanted to do was focus in on one person in a noisy room, and the Takstar does it well. I modified the Takstar's suspension system because the rubber thingies that it comes with are way too stiff and don't stifle rattling at all, so I just replaced them with some colorful hair-styling rubber bands and it works so much better. The battery life has even been good so far; I make sure to turn it off between shooting, but I went for a couple hours without needing to replace the AA. Would I use this for in the making of a short film? Maybe! It really is very decent quality. It's two steps up from where I was, so I'm a happy filmmaker.
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on November 13, 2014
Takstar has made a super great, easy to use mic that will improve the sounds quality of anything you use it on. This is a very useful tool in all my videos and if you are wondering how it sounds - ITS GREAT!!! For the price listed I was a little bit scared to try this but it has been a complete change for me and my videos. I cant say how good this is in words but I will try. For starters this is a simple connection to you video device since it connects via 3.5mm jack and it does not require phantom power just one AAA battery. My knowledge in video production and creation is amateur at best which is why I researched weeks on external mic to find what would be easy to use with best sound quality and this mic was it.

This is a directional mic meaning you pretty much have to talk toward it for best results so if you are interviewing several people you will have to face them with it but for tech reviews or VLOGs this is perfect. I use it indoor only so I cant say how it does outside but it picks up everything I need it to when I am 3 - 5 feet from it.

As I stated earlier it connects directly to your camera through mic port (3.5mm) so you do not have to sync audio and video when you are editing the final video product and that is why I like it so much. This mic is paired with my Canon Vixia HF R400 and my video quality is great (for an amateur).

For a full video review and sound test check my video review:
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on June 1, 2017
This does NOT fit the Nikon D5500 as listed. The round cylinder that is attached between the foot and the large round piece is way too wide. The foot slides in a couple millimeters and then the brackets hit the cylinder. It is one piece, so it cannot be adjusted to create a gap that can slide over the brackets on the hot shoe. See attached photo.
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