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What's one of the best parts about being a video professional? All the cool gear! In this weekly series, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman team up to discuss the latest and greatest equipment for video production and post. They talk about the newest cameras, like the Blackmagic 4K, pocket cinema cameras, and GoPros; accessories and adapters that will make your shoots run smoother; and the great tech being invented every day. And because they keep both cost and quality in mind, you'll never have to worry about blowing your budget or compromising production value. Come back every Friday for a new tip.
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Now one of the reasons why folks use the Zoom H4n, is that there were severe limitations on some of the early generations of DSLR style cameras. >> Yeah. >> Cameras have gotten pretty good sometimes. >> Well we have to sort of break this out into sort of two different sides of the equation. There's the first, there's the microphone part of the equation. And that hasn't really changed the whole lot on terms of sort of DSLR style Hybrid cameras. >> Right. >> But what has changed a lot, is the processing, the file formats, and the things we can do in software on these cameras are going to give us better audio quality.
At the end if the day in most situations. You're still stuck if you're using the camera natively with a couple of pricks in the plastic, and that's your microphone. But there's some new options out there that are really exciting. >> Well, for example, I could take my Olympus camera here and I can connect to the accessory port and hatch your adaptor. >> Yep. >> A dedicated audio unit. This is the microphone adaptor, the EM1 unit here. >> Uh-huh. >> External microphone and you know, it comes with a simple little, you know, shotgun style mic. This allows us to connect, in this case, a small stereo mic to the top of the camera and it's giving us some additional directionality on the side there.
And it works out well because it just gives us more audio to work with. And removes it from being right where the hand or other areas might cause some rub. But I often just pull that out, and just plug in our regular sort of microphone. >> Yep. >> And it's easy to get extension cables for these, and so you can make this as long as you need to, but now, you could run, and getting a mini-plug extension is super easy. I actually have three of them, so I can go about 40 feet. >> Yeah, the thing I really like about this is that it's essentially digital connection into the camera itself. I mean, obviously, it's an analog connection.
Here with the microphone but this is so nice. It's utilizing the hot shoe in a way that the hot shoe probably should be used. >> Yeah. >> You know there's that digital connection there. It's nice and compact. You don't have anything bigger hanging off the camera. Sure, you have a little cable management to deal with, but that's not a big deal. And it's a really unique thing that Olympus has done with the EM1. >> And to the same point, the Olympus camera and the GH4 do have some manual controls over the audio levels. The GH4 and the GH3 have this, they were outstanding. You really could see the view meters and fix it, and so in this case you've attached the newer version of the Rode mic as a shotgun mike.
>> Yes, this is a Rode video mic, much improved over earlier models because, this, mainly because sort of the durability of the shock here. Now of course this has been a tride and true method on DSLR Hybrid cameras for years. Attaching a, you know, a shotgun microphone like this to get better audio. Nothing has changed about that. Same way, you can still put a, you know, a Sennheiser, or a Rode. Whatever you want to do, put it up there, it's just sort of a eight inch right up to the camera. But some of the newer cameras, this GH4 included, not only do they give me true audio meters, let me turn off things like automatic gain control.
The real benefit on newer cameras, is that I can now record uncompressed audio. Which is great because we've in the past been limited because of card speeds and things of that nature, been limited to recording compressed audio. Usually AAC audio with H264 or maybe sometimes mp3 on a, on a camera and that's just no good for final audio. You talk to any Audio Mixer, they want uncompressed, it's clean as it can be audio to work with instead of starting with a compressed format. And that's really nice that a lot of the newer cameras, as you said, are doing that.
And, I think for both of these reasons, right, sort of the, sort of the direct digital attachments. Sort of the, what's going on in the software. As you pointed out, we do lose sight sometimes of why we went to a recorder this, you know, a recorder like this. >> Yeah. I think for some of you are like boy, it would just be so much easier to record directly in the camera. Well if you have a newer camera. That might be an option again. >> Yeah. Don't forget, depending on the type of direct attach mic you are using, you may need power. In this case this Rode mic has built in power to supply to the microphone. But if you are using a traditional video shotgun mic, that needs phantom power, you'll have to rely on external power, to power that microphone.
>> The important thing, though, is that you take control. You might need to use one of those splitter cables like I showed you so you can run the mic in and then hijack that jack to use as as a headphone jack. Or some of these newer connection options and better file formats go a long way. But, this isn't the end of the show because we got two other methods that are pretty cool. One is using your laptop. And the other is just taking a look at an extremely robust external unit that really takes a point and shoot or a DSLR or a micro four thirds camera, and gives it the audio processing power of a pro video camera
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