What are the best budget shotgun microphones for video cameras?
Shotgun microphones are condenser microphones that have narrow patterns for picking up sound. The diaphragms inside them are small so they need amplification from a battery or a connected power supply, often referred to as phantom power. Because the diaphragm in a shotgun microphone is small it needs little acoustic sound to make it move. This means they are more sensitive than dynamic microphones.
You can recognise a shotgun microphone by its long shape and you will often see them on top of broadcast video cameras. They are useful for recording sound in various situations and are a good all-round choice for a microphone. The quality of these microphones can vary, so you do get what you pay for.
You can also use a shotgun microphone with a boom or fish pole so you can get closer to the source of your sound. A good shotgun microphone can often be expensive, but there are some good low cost options available.
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Rode VideoMic Pro +
The VideoMic Pro+ is a directional shotgun microphone and the successor to Rode’s popular VideoMic Pro. The original VideoMic Pro gave DSLR users better audio by bypassing the poor built in microphones on DSLR cameras.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ adds many new features to the original VideoMic Pro. It now has improved circuitry and features a two-stage high pass filter, level control and a high frequency shelf. There is also a power button so you can turn it on or off as needed. The connecting cable is now detachable which means you can replace it with a TRRS cable like the Rode SC7 so it will work with your Smartphone.
The windshield now features micro-fibre flocking and better all-round protection from wind without the need for an extra furry windsock to cover the microphone. To reduce sounds from bumps there is also a Rycote Lyre suspension support, which keeps the microphone stable when you are moving around.
The microphone gets its power from a rechargeable lithium battery. This will give you about 100 hours of use so it is unlikely you will run out of power when filming. If you are unfortunate to run out of power you can slot in some AA batteries, which will also power the VideoMic Pro+. This will keep the microphone working until you can recharge it with the provided USB cable.
Price: $288.00 £235.00 €262.00
Rode Videomic Go
The VideoMic Go is a directional shotgun microphone similar to Rode’s VideoMic Pro+. It doesn’t have as many features as the Rode VideoMic Pro+ but it is a third of the price. So if you are on a budget and looking for a shotgun microphone for your camera, this could be a good choice. Like the Rode VideoMic Pro+ it does come with a suspension mount, to help cushion the microphone when you are moving. This is useful if you are running around with your camera and don’t want to pick up any unwanted sounds on your audio.
The VideoMic Go is a mono microphone and comes with a mono lead to connect it to a video camera. The VideoMic Go does not need batteries but does need power from your camera to work correctly. This comes from a low voltage power supply that comes from your camera’s 3.5mm microphone socket.
It is however easy to set up. You just mount the microphone on a cold shoe mount on your camera or rig and connect the cable to your camera’s 3.5mm microphone socket. Once you have done this you are ready to start recording your audio. Compared with other microphones it is not heavy. It weighs only 73 grams so you will hardly know that is there.
It also comes with a foam windshield for when you are filming outside or in windy weather. This does a good job most of the time but for harsher climates you may want to add a more advanced protection like Rode’s own Deadcat windshield. The suspension mount does get in the way a little when putting this on but it is possible to add an extra wind shield if you need it.
Price: $98.00 £79.00 €89.00
Rode Videomic NTG
The RØDE VideoMic NTG is a NTG shotgun microphone, which you can use for sound recording for both your Smartphone and your video camera. It has a directional super-cardioid polar pick up pattern, which means it will only pick up sounds that are in front of it. The variable gain control will allow you to adjust the microphone’s output from microphone level to line level and to headphone level. This will give you multiple choices for what you decide to plug it into.
It also has an Auto-sensing output, which will switch between TRS and TRRS as you need it. The Rode VideoMic NTG weighs about 94 grams so it is lightweight enough to mount on top of your camera and will give you little arm ache. The Rycote Lyre Shock system holds the microphone in place and this will help to remove any unwanted noise you may pick up if you should happen to knock or bump the microphone. This will fit on any rig or tripod adaptor that has a cold shoe mount.
You can connect the VideoMic NTG to your camera by the 3.5mm plug or the USB-C output. The USB-C output lets the VideoMic NTG become a fully-featured USB microphone that you can record to a computer, tablet, or Smartphone. The USB-C output also charges the VideoMic NTG rechargeable battery and it should reach full power in about two hours. Once on full charge you can expect the microphone to work for about thirty hours. So it won’t run out of power in a hurry.
The sound quality is also first-class with a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz, a frequency response of 35Hz – 18kHz ±3 db and a signal to noise ratio of 79 dBA. The Rode VideoMic NTG is not cheap but if you are looking for a microphone for multiple uses, it is hard to beat.
Price: $244.00 £199.00 €222.00
Takstar SGE-598 Condenser Microphone
The Takstar SGC-598 is a low cost shotgun microphone with a shock resistant mount. It also comes with a windsock and a handy carrying pouch. Reviewers often compare this microphone next to more expensive microphones like the Rode VideoMic Pro+, which can cost hundreds of dollars more. The Takstar is not as good as the Rode VideoMic Pro+ but in various tests it stands up well to this competition and is a fraction of the cost.
The build quality is decent and it also has +10db audio boost and a low-cut switch. The frequency is 50kHz, which is a pretty good for a budget microphone of this type. It does lack bass for low-end frequencies but you can solve this by adding the bass back in, when you edit your video. It also has a cardioid polar pick up pattern which is common for a shotgun microphone and it does a good job of only picking up sounds that are in front of it. As far as shotgun microphones go, it’s excellent value for money.
Price: $46.00 £37.00 €41.00
Mouriv VMC355 Shotgun Mic
The VMC355 is a broadcast quality condenser microphone that will provide you with professional audio for your video camera. It comes with a level control to adjust the gain and low-cut filter. There is also a headphone socket, so if your camera does not have a headphone socket you can monitor your audio from this.
The microphone sits on a shockproof mount and this does a good job of providing isolation from vibration and camera noise. It has a 10dB sensitivity and a 200Hz low-frequency attenuation; to meet the different needs you may find when out filming.
This microphone gets its power from a single AA battery and there is a handy low power light on the microphone to let you know when it needs replacing. You connect the Mouriv VMC355 to your camera’s 3.5mm microphone socket and it should fit nicely into your camera’s cold shoe mount to keep it steady.
There is also a foam windshield that will help to reduce any unwanted sounds it may pick up in bad weather environments. This microphone has a total weight of 14g.
Price: $22.00 £18.00 €20.00
Comica CVM-V30 Lite
The Comica CVM-V30 Lite is another good quality low cost shotgun microphone. It weighs 52g, so it should not be too much of a load when you are carrying around on a day’s shooting. It needs no battery and gets its power from the video camera that it attaches to.
You connect it to your camera with the coiled cable to the 3.5mm microphone socket on your video camera. This cable will also work with any Smartphone with a 3.5mm microphone socket.
Under the microphone is a switch that you can use to select a Smartphone or a video camera, depending on what device you want to attach it too. The Comica CVM-V30 Lite does have a suspension mount, which does a good job of suppressing any unwanted noise you may get from your camera or general movements. To attach the microphone to your video camera you just slot it into the cold shoe mount.
Price: $40.00 £33.00 €36.00
The Movo VXR4000-PRO is a complete solution for recording studio quality audio direct to your video camera. It has many qualities of a professional microphone and has a compact lightweight design. This allows for clear dialogue capture without compromising your compact setup or getting in the way of your shot.
It features a 35Hz to 20kHz response, high pass filter, which will prevent low end noise such as air-conditioners and traffic from recording to your audio. It also has a 3 stage audio level control switch, which you can use to adjust the gain into the microphone.
You connect the microphone to your camera with the 3.5mm plug and it will easily mount onto any accessory with a cold shoe mount or that has a ¼” thread. There is shock mount for suppressing and handling and vibration noise and this does a good job of keeping the microphone stable.
You power the Movo VXR4000-PRO with a 9 volt battery, which should give you up to 100 hours of use. It also includes a standard windscreen and outdoor wind muff for filming in outdoor environments.
Price: $30.00 £25.00 €27.00
The Boya BY-BM3030 Microphone is a super cardioid condenser shotgun microphone, which is ideal for video camera audio recording. It has an integrated shock absorber that you can mount on a camera or boom pole and is ideal for interviews and electronic news-gathering.
The unidirectional condenser capsule lessens surrounding noise while recording your sound. This microphone comes with a foam windshield and a fake fur windshield. These help to reduce surrounding noise and wind noise while you are shooting outside.
The microphone gets its power from two AA batteries and these should give you up to 150 hours of use. The built-in headphone socket enables real-time monitoring of your audio if your camera does not have a headphone socket. The microphone has a 3.5mm connector making it compatible with any video camera with a 3.5mm microphone socket.
Price: $70.00 £57.00 €63.00
The Saramonic SR-M3 is another great affordable on-camera shotgun microphone that delivers broadcast-quality sound to your video camera. Unlike other shotgun microphones the Saramonic SR-M3 has a 3.5 mm microphone socket that enables you to plug in a second microphone. You can use this to plug in a lapel microphone or another shotgun microphone.
The SR-M3 also has a +10dB boost switch that allows you to turn down your camera’s noisy preamp to capture cleaner sounding audio as well as letting you pick up subjects from further away. It has a compact design with an integrated cold shoe mount and a wired cable that connects to the 3.5mm microphone socket on your video camera.
The built-in cold shoe mount also features a metal 1/4 screw mount that gives you even more options for putting the microphone on a boom pole or tripod. The integrated shock mount isolates the microphone from vibration noises and a low-cut switch on the back of the SR-M3 makes dialogue more clear and removes distracting noises.
There is also a headphone socket on the SR-M3, which can be useful if your camera does not have a headphone jack. It also includes a foam windscreen for indoor use that will help to cut down unwanted noise in bad weather. The Saramonic SR-M3 gets its power from a single AAA battery and there is a LED power light to let you know when the battery needs replacing.
Price: $80.00 £60.00 €70.00
Saramonic MixMic XLR
The Saramonic MixMic is a dual XLR microphone adaptor with a shotgun microphone. It has a design to work with any video camera that has a 3.5mm microphone socket. Getting quality audio can often be an issue with some video cameras and adding professional XLR microphones will help to give you superior audio recordings.
The Saramonic MixMic features two pro-standard XLR sockets with separate gain controls for each channel. This means that if you have two microphones connected you can control the gain on each if one source is louder than the other. Also included is the feature to switch between microphone and line inputs. This is useful if you are connecting to a mixing desk or soundboard and need a lower frequency of sound.
The Saramonic MixMic also has two low-cut filters for each channel to further improve your audio recording and you can add phantom power to microphones if you need to. The Saramonic MixMic gets its power from a single 9-volt battery that should last the day for general filming. There is also a preamp for better gain. You can also switch each channel on and off and mix both channels to a stereo mix. On the top is a shotgun microphone mount as well as a cold shoe mount for other adaptors.
On the bottom of the MixMic is a cold shoe mount that you can use to mount it to your video camera. Another great addition to the Saramonic MixMic is the included shotgun microphone. The Saramonic SR-NV5 shotgun microphone is a great microphone that compares well to a Rode NTG-3 at a fraction of the price. It also comes with a windshield and dead cat for extreme weather.
Price: $300.00 £250.00 €274.00
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