There are a lot of factors to consider when shooting video, ranging from lighting to angles, but it can seem even more daunting to account for the factors that affect audio. That’s what makes a good video microphone so important. If you’re shooting videos by yourself, you’ll need to invest in a mic that you can mount to your camera.
You can generally get a pretty good idea of how your video looks by looking through the viewfinder, but with audio, it can feel like throwing darts with a blindfold on. You can’t always tell how good the audio is until after you get to your computer and pop in the SD card. Only then will you realize that there’s a plane overhead or ambient noise you couldn’t hear while shooting. Or worse, there will be wind in the background.
Since you quite literally can’t change the way the wind blows, it’s crucial to get a video microphone that can reliably produce crisp, clear audio. These options have camera mounts, so if you’re both the videographer and the sound guy, you don’t have to grow a third arm. Many of the best options include fuzzy covers (some varieties are called “deadcats”) for blocking out wind. Plus, the mics have mounts to easily attach to your camera. They’re also lightweight enough to not slow you down when you’re chasing the perfect angle.
Whether you’re on a safari, road trip, working on an interview or filming your first short film, these microphones will ensure that the sound is just as top notch as your video. Here’s what to look for…
1. Rode VideoMic with Fuzzy Windjammer Kit
Rode is well known for producing professional-grade audio equipment that regular consumers can afford. This video mic is designed to be attached to an SLR, and it comes with the mount, a windjammer, and the shotgun mic itself. The 80hz pass filter is designed to help videographers reduce obtrusive low-end noise like traffic.
Pros: Trusted brand name mic that produces good sound quality. It’s compatible with most SLRs, and it comes with a mount and windjammer.
Cons: The fuzz from the windjammer can potentially get in the top of the shot.
2. Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone
This compact and affordable video mic can be mounted to SLRs, but it’s small enough to use with a smartphone (with an adapter). It has a shock mount to reduce noise that comes from moving it, and there’s a deadcat to reduce wind noise. Plus, they throw in two 3.5 mm cables: one coiled and one straight.
Pros: Affordable kit includes a variety of accessories like a mount, deadcat, cables, and a soft carrying case. Good audio quality for the price.
Cons: Plastic mount isn’t very sturdy.
3. PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone
A shotgun mic is one way to get good audio, but sometimes a lapel mic is easier and more reliable. Just clip it on and go. This video microphone from PowerDeWise comes with a variety of accessories, including two cords, a carrying pouch, and a mono adapter. There are no batteries required, and the noise-canceling mic can be plugged into a phone, camera, or any variety of 3.5mm ports.
Pros: Portable, compact mic comes with an extra-long cable. No battery required. Good for interviews.
Cons: Most functional with phones but not as reliable with laptops.