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If you have invested in a good digital SLR or more modern mirrorless camera for video purposes, the built-in microphone is likely to leave you disappointed. Internal microphones are often tinny, too quiet, and offer little in the way of level adjustment.
To capture proper directional audio you’ll want to invest in a shotgun microphone. These are normally mounted in the hot shoe connector on top of your camera body, and can be angled or held off-camera to pick up optimal audio.
Microphone - Recommendations
It can be tough to decide just which shotgun microphone you should buy, so here are a few recommendations.
Stereo or Shotgun Mic?
Capture - Devices - Microphones - Microphones - List
The two most common on-camera audio capture devices are stereo microphones, and shotgun microphones. Before we proceed with the list, it’s worth taking a second to familiarize yourself with the jargon commonly used by microphone manufacturers.
15 Terms You Need to Know When Buying a Microphone
Microphone - Experience - Polar - Patterns - Condenser
Shopping for a microphone can be intimidating if you don't have professional experience. Polar patterns? Condenser or dynamic? Frequencies and sound pressures? Learn all you need to know in this jargon overview.
Shotgun microphones, like their namesake, are usually barrel-like in their design. They are great for picking up specific audio sources by pointing the microphone at whatever you want to capture. Other audio in the room (like stage directions and ambiance) is minimized.
Stereo - Microphones - Audio - Group - Interviews
Stereo microphones are designed to pick up multi-directional audio. These are perfect for group interviews in quiet rooms, or live performances in large venues. Some microphones include toggles for wide multi-directional modes and shotgun usage, but most do not.
You don’t have to stick to on-camera microphones though. For capturing interviews or recording audio from a single person, lavalier microphones are highly effective. Check out our top lavalier microphones for under $50.
Best - Lavalier - Microphones
The 5 Best Lavalier Microphones Under $50
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