Best Budget Camera Microphone

5 Best Budget Camera Microphone Buyer Guide in 2020

After several hours of researching about fifteen camera microphones, we have determined that the Rode VideoMic Pro is the best solution currently. It has an excellent quality / price ratio and can also boast of offering great versatility. It can be used indoors on a support or on the move, directly mounted on your device, without losing efficiency.

 

5 Best Budget Camera Microphone Buyer Guide in 2020

Rode VideoMic Pro

Rode VideoMic Pro+ Compact Directional On-Camera Shotgun Condenser Microphone

$296.00  in stock
13 new from $296.00
1 used from $210.68
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as of September 16, 2020

A benchmark price / quality ratio and exceptional performance make this microphone an excellent investment. As a bonus, it has extensive features that will allow you to instantly adapt it to your needs.

Rode has long been a benchmark in the field of microphones for DSLRs. The VideoMic Pro takes over from the very good VideoMic by offering improved features and correcting some of its flaws. It quickly became a popular model for both professionals and amateurs with a sufficient budget.

 

Rode VideoMicro

Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount

$83.94  in stock
10 new from $83.94
1 used from $159.00
Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
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as of September 16, 2020

Reduced version of VideoMic, it is an excellent introduction. With its high quality, it is intended for recording a relatively close subject while being very easily transportable.

Passive cardioid microphone and easily transportable, it is designed to follow you wherever you go. It does not excel in noisy environments or for distant subjects but that is not its interest. Its field is short range, recording an interview, a podcast or a musical extract in a rather quiet space. 

 

Shure VP83

Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone for use with DSLR Cameras and HD Camcorders

 in stock

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as of September 16, 2020

Robust and efficient, this microphone is a product to be reckoned with. It has great versatility without sacrificing recording quality. It adds an interesting autonomy and good portability.

The VP83 is a very good microphone that easily adapts to all situations. It is rather intended for use on the move thanks to its reduced size and high autonomy. However, it does not sacrifice recording quality with surprising results for its format. As a bonus, it can be equipped with an integrated reader / recorder and a headphone connection if you opt for the VP83F .

 

Tascam TM-2X

Tascam TM-2X Stereo X-Y Microphone for DSLR Cameras

 in stock

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as of September 16, 2020

This XY mic is an excellent solution for close proximity recording. It offers great performance while having interesting options such as a switchable high pass filter and output level control.

This product is a very good microphone for short range pickup. Whether for a group or for an isolated subject, it gives a good rendering of the scene, as long as the environment is calm enough. The frequencies covered are more extended in the bass than for its competitor but its lower robustness keeps it away from the top of the podium.

 

Sennheiser MKE 400

Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone - Black, MKE 400 Microphone

$199.95  in stock
24 new from $199.95
Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2020

This shotgun microphone is an excellent product for capturing more distant subjects. It offers very high recording quality and good endurance. As a bonus, it is accessible to amateurs and professionals alike.

Sennheiser has long been recognized when it comes to audio. With the MKE 400, the brand proves yet again that it is a manufacturer to be reckoned with. Lightweight, compact and durable, it is the perfect microphone for those who want to film on the go. However, it cannot compete with the VideoMic Pro which literally crushes the competition.

How did we make our choice?

Do you want to replace your device’s built-in microphone or record your videos without going through post-production synchronization or wearing a lavalier microphone ? So, in this case, buying a dedicated microphone is a good solution. However, the difficulty comes from the number of possibilities available to you. 

First of all, you should know that there are 3 types of microphone among the dedicated models:

Cannon : they have the smallest range. They are ideal for picking up sound from a specific source, even if it is quite far from you.

Cardioid : it focuses on the sounds coming in front of it, in a cone of about 130 °. This system minimizes sound sources coming from behind.

XY : the system is simple: two cardioid microphones are placed crosswise to focus their sound on the source located in the center while increasing the angle of capture of the lateral secondary subjects. As a bonus, this creates a full stereo image.

Depending on what you want to record, it will be necessary to choose one or the other solution.

Last updated on September 16, 2020

Other criteria then come into account:

The perceived frequency range : for this criterion, the reference is based on the human ear. It is important that your microphone comes as close as possible to the 20 Hz – 20 kHz range to ensure the most accurate recording possible. The average for the type of microphone targeted is rather between 50 Hz and 20 kHz. A wider range can be useful to professionals but its impact will be minimal in our case.

Maximum sensitivity and sound pressure: High sensitivity is often used to record weaker sound sources. On the flip side, the more powerful ones will easily cause saturation, to the detriment of the end result. The sound pressure is expressed in dB SPL. It allows you to determine the maximum supported level. In our case, this threshold must be high enough so that your microphone is as less sensitive as possible to secondary sources.

Additional functions: many products integrate adjustment controls. They allow you to change certain parameters on the fly to enjoy a quality more suited to what you are recording. Generally a high pass filter is essential to reduce the impact of low frequency ambient noise such as rustling. A gain control is also necessary to avoid saturation due to suddenly too loud noise or amplify a sound that has become too weak.

Equipment provided: some equipment is considered essential. It is therefore interesting that they are provided in the packaging to avoid an additional cost. For example, a windshield (preferably fur) is important to reduce wind-related sounds and a shock mount is necessary to prevent tremors and shocks when traveling. Some manufacturers also include a case to protect the microphone from shocks during transport and thus prevent damage.

Mobility : when we approach this factor, 2 elements are decisive, the size of the microphone and its autonomy. So, if you have to move regularly, aim for compactness and lightness without neglecting robustness. High-end microphones will tend to be bulkier, but some sacrifice quality slightly for the benefit of their format. There are three types of power supply: passive (via connection to the device), by battery or, more rarely, via a battery.

Compatibility : there are many fastening and connection systems available today. If you want to use an external microphone, you must determine whether compatibility is ensured with your equipment, whether for the support of your microphone but also for its connection. So, a passively powered mic will usually need power to the jack on your device to work effectively where stand-alone models don’t.

On the basis of these criteria, we established a preselection of around fifteen models. After analyzing their characteristics and gathering information through tests, user reviews and videos, both in French and in English, we were able to compile our list of the 5 best camera microphones.

 

A benchmark price / quality ratio and exceptional performance make this microphone an excellent investment. As a bonus, it has extensive features that will allow you to instantly adapt it to your needs

A benchmark price / quality ratio and exceptional performance make this microphone an excellent investment. As a bonus, it has extensive features that will allow you to instantly adapt it to your needs. Its only flaw? The need to purchase a windjammer to avoid wind-related interference.

This shotgun microphone offers high recording quality. The frequencies covered range between 40Hz and 20kHz, making it a good student. The sound pressure supported of 134 dB gives you a good margin before reaching the saturation threshold.

To optimize all this, Rode has equipped its VideoMic Pro with a 2-stage high-pass filter: flat or 80 Hz. With it, you can minimize background noise such as rustling to enjoy a more final rendering. clean. At the same time, you can also adapt to the power of your sound source using the gain control which allows you to go from – 10 dB to + 20 dB (3 positions).

In the packaging, the brand provides a Shock Mount Rycote and a foam windshield. The latter will be sufficient in most cases but if you want to film in an environment where the wind is more present, consider investing in a Windjammer because the VideoMic Pro is quite sensitive to it.

In mobility, he is not a very good example. It is indeed quite bulky but that is the price of quality. The power supply is provided by a 9V battery which guarantees approximately 70 hours of recording.

Connectivity level, it conforms to current standards with a usual size shoe mount, an integrated 3/8 ”thread for pole mounting and connection to the device via a 3.5 mm jack.

Finally, the VideoMic Pro offers high-end performance for a price rather located in the mid-range.

For people wishing to push the quality even higher, this microphone is available in a Pro + version . This is an even more optimized but larger version: its frequency range is wider (20 Hz – 20 kHz), the power is supplied by a rechargeable battery (or 2 AA batteries) and additional functions such as that the recording of a safety track (at -10 dB) and the saving of the audio track directly on an SD card are added to it. 

We particularly recommend it to advanced users who will know how to exploit its full potential.

 

best budget camera microphone: Rode VideoMicro

Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount

$83.94  in stock
10 new from $83.94
1 used from $159.00
Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2020

Reduced version of VideoMic, it is an excellent introduction. With its high quality, it is intended for recording a relatively close subject while being very easily transportable.

Passive and easily transportable, it is designed to follow you wherever you go. It does not excel in noisy environments or for distant subjects but that is not its interest. Its field is short range, recording an interview, a podcast or a musical extract in a rather quiet space. 

This cardioid mic is ideal for those on a budget who want to get started in video shooting. With its frequency range between 100 Hz and 20 kHz, it is suitable for most situations while being insensitive to powerful noise thanks to an SPL threshold located at 140 dB.

The result is clear: high recording quality and good rendering, as long as your subject is not too far away and the environment is not too noisy.

In terms of functionality, entry level requires, you will not have access to anything very special but Rode makes up for it in equipment by providing a windjammer (which already represents a good saving) and a Rycote shock mount. This set includes everything you need to get the most out of this little microphone.

Small note for people who opt for it: when you mount it on the support, make sure to block the cable in one of the notches located on the base to completely stabilize the whole and avoid jolts when moving.

Mobility is its strong point: it is the most compact of the brand’s microphones and one of the smallest on the market. For power, you do not need batteries or a charging cable, only a camera capable of supplying power through the jack. And yes, the VideoMicro is passive and depends on your box to function. It also has a classic mounting bracket and can even be placed on a pole (remember to provide something to power it in this case).

Ultimately, if you want to shoot vlogs, interviews or any other type of short-range video, the VideoMicro is a very good inexpensive solution.

 

best high-end camera microphone: Shure VP83

Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone for use with DSLR Cameras and HD Camcorders

 in stock

Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2020

Robust and efficient, this microphone is a product to be reckoned with. It has great versatility without sacrificing recording quality. It adds an interesting autonomy and good portability.

The VP83 is a very good microphone that easily adapts to all situations. It is rather intended for use on the move thanks to its reduced size and high autonomy. However, it does not sacrifice recording quality with surprising results for its format. As a bonus, it can be equipped with an integrated reader / recorder and a headphone connection if you opt for the VP83F .

This shotgun microphone has great qualities. Its frequency range between 50 Hz and 20 kHz is sufficient for this type of product. Its maximum pressure threshold is 129 dB, a fairly comfortable result that minimizes the risk of saturation.

The result speaks for itself: you enjoy a clear and crisp recording, without parasitic noise. Some will still notice a slightly light bass response.

For the settings, you only have a 3-level gain control: -10 dB, 0 and +20 dB. This comes in handy if you find yourself in an environment where the intensity of the sounds changes regularly. 

The equipment is fairly standard with a Rycote shock mount and a foam windshield.

In terms of mobility, it is one of the most compact and light in its range. In addition, it gives off a real feeling of robustness thanks to its good assembly quality. Autonomy is provided by 1 AA battery which gives it an endurance of approximately 130 hours.

Just like the other models offered, the fixings are standardized and the connection with your device is made via a 3.5 jack.

In short, if you are looking for a product that combines top recording quality with mobility, the VP83 is the ideal solution, as long as you have the necessary budget.

 

cheap alternative: Tascam TM-2X

Tascam TM-2X Stereo X-Y Microphone for DSLR Cameras

 in stock

Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2020

This XY mic is an excellent solution for close proximity recording. It offers great performance while having interesting options such as a switchable high pass filter and output level control.

This product is a very good microphone for short range pickup. Whether for a group or for an isolated subject, it gives a good rendering of the scene, as long as the environment is calm enough. The frequencies covered are wider in the bass than its competitor, but its lower robustness and build quality push it away from the top of the podium.

The only XY microphone in our selection, the TM-2X is intended for stereo recording thanks to its two capsules. Frequencies covered are between 50Hz and 20kHz, a very good value for this price point. The acoustic sensitivity, on the other hand, is the lowest of our selection with a maximum of 125 dB.

On the other hand, in terms of functionality, it has everything to do with it. Thus, it is equipped with a switchable 130 Hz high-pass filter and a 2-stage output level control. The equipment is also well supplied with a shock mount, a support arm (to deport the microphone further from the device) and a fur windshield. 

Mobility level, we advise you to take it with you. Although its compact size and passive power supply are assets, its too low build quality and apparent fragility play tricks on it. Many users have noticed, for example, that the mounting arm breaks very easily. 

In the end, this defect prevents it from delighting the top of the ranking, even if its recording quality rivals that of the Rode.

 

mid-range alternative: Sennheiser MKE 400

Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone - Black, MKE 400 Microphone

$199.95  in stock
24 new from $199.95
Free shipping
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2020

This shotgun microphone is an excellent product for capturing more distant subjects. It offers very high recording quality and good endurance. As a bonus, it is accessible to amateurs and professionals alike.

Sennheiser has long been recognized when it comes to audio. With the MKE 400, the brand proves yet again that it is a manufacturer to be reckoned with. Lightweight, compact and durable, it is the perfect microphone for those who want to film on the go. However, it cannot compete with the VideoMic Pro which literally crushes the competition.

However, there is no shortage of assets! Its frequency range is between 40 Hz and 20 kHz which in itself is a very good value. On the other hand, the sound pressure threshold is quite low compared to our other products with a value of 126 dB. However, unless you are aiming for particularly powerful sounds, saturation is quite difficult to achieve.

In terms of functionality, no question of gain adjustment or switchable filter. Instead, Sennheiser prefers to incorporate sensitivity adjustment based on the distance to the subject. This results in good capture of sound sources further away and very easy adjustment.

The packaging contains, once again, a foam windshield and a shock mount for ease of use on the move and cancellation of handling noise.

Moreover, the MKE400 is very practical for this thanks to its compact size and lightness. Its autonomy is not to be outdone with an endurance of approximately 300 hours thanks to an AAA battery.

In terms of fixings, it remains within the standards while being usable on your box as on a pole. The connection is still ensured by a 3.5 jack cable.

 

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