Which camcorder microphone should you pick? And why not just make use of the camera’s built-in microphone?

Let’s start with the last query. Almost all videographers advise against using the camera’s built-in microphone. I concur with this advice unless it’s your only choice in which case it’s fine.

I’ll use a different microphone to record audio if I’m shooting something that is planned, official, or for business, though. There is a significant difference in quality for a number of reasons.

Issues with the On-Camcorder Microphone

The location of the microphone is incorrect. The speaker should be within earshot of the microphone. Usually, this is a person who is not facing the camcorder. The distance between the subject and the microphone causes you to inadvertently pick up the unwanted background noise.

Since it was designed for the cameraperson to speak, the microphone is actually on the camera. This is acceptable if you’re a parent narrating your child’s birthday party. Your voice and your child’s voice will be captured, though they will sound distant.

However, if you’re filming for a paying client, you don’t want the voice of the camera operator speaking off-camera or out-of-frame. The microphone needs to be on the subject because you want them in the frame.

The quality of the onboard microphone can vary. In my experience, on-camera microphones are definitely getting better, but some cameras still have subpar built-in microphones. The culprits here are HDSLR cameras.

Your voice may sound artificial, sterile, and flat on camera if the on-camera microphone is bad. It’s not what you want.

In any case, using the microphone is generally a bad idea. Your  camcorder microphone mount would benefit from having an external microphone attached.

By the way, this is one of the reasons I advise you to insist on getting an external microphone jack with any camcorder microphone you buy. See What Camera Should You Buy? On my blog.

Make sure to buy a video camera with an external microphone jack if you want to record audio and video simultaneously on the same device.

Which microphone should you pick for your camera, then? There are basically three types of microphones used in video production.

· Wireless Microphone

It’s a standard stick microphone.

These are fantastic if you work as a reporter or perform live vocals. When you want to direct the microphone at various mouths, it is quick and simple to do so (such as in an interview microphone for camcorder).

They frequently come at a low cost and are durable.But there are definitely drawbacks to this type of microphone for camcorder.

It is a major player in the frame, to start. It stands out and is annoying. It’s in the frame and almost as big as your face. Actually, there is no way to conceal it.

Additionally, it uses one of your hands. This microphone might not be a good fit for your application if you need the flexibility to move your hands without affecting the audio quality.

And if you do decide to conduct an interview using this microphone, don’t give it to the subject.

Ensure that you are the only one holding it. If you don’t, they’ll take charge of the interview, and you’ll have no chance of getting it back from them. They’ll also blow out the viewer’s eardrums because they don’t know how far to hold it from their mouth.

· Utilizing a Lavalier Microphone

I believe this to be the most adaptable microphone there is, especially if it’s wireless.

Other names for a lavalier microphone include a  camcorder lapel microphone, a clip-on mic, or a lav mic. All of them are the same.

When it comes to wireless lavalier microphone for camcorder, I love it. I adore having the liberty to move about and make irrational hand motions. I adore how tiny and unimportant they appear in the photograph. I like how unthreatening they are and how easily you tend to forget about them.

It’s really too bad. For a lav mic to produce acceptable audio quality, you must spend a LOT of money. I’ve personally bought a number of various models, and I’m not entirely satisfied with any of them. And as I move up the model price range, they keep getting more and more expensive. I’m hoping to settle on a happy medium eventually.

Yet almost every video shooter will discover they need wireless lavalier microphone for camcorder in their audio kit because of how versatile they are.

· The shotgun Microphone

My preferred type of video microphone is a shotgun microphone, but it too has drawbacks.

To start, what do you like? The audio is of very high quality. You can spend a lot of money, but even a midrange shotgun microphone records sound very well.

Additionally, it’s frequently outside the frame (pointing at the subject’s mouth from above or below the frame). It is especially helpful in narrative situations where you definitely don’t want to see a microphone in the frame when you can’t see it at all.

Additionally, a shotgun microphone helps focus the audio recording on what you want to record rather than capturing everything around you because it is highly directional.

Something this awesome inevitably has drawbacks. The main issue in this instance is that you frequently need assistance from a second person because they hold the microphone above the subject’s head.

Although the camcorder shotgun microphone is typically attached to a boom pole, you can also use a pistol grip (like the one I demonstrate in the video) and simply point the mic in the direction of the subject’s mouth.

It can be more expensive and inconvenient when you have to bring along a second person just for sound.However, I strongly advise using a shotgun microphone if you can find someone to hold it for you.