First we are going to go over some key terms, then we will review ten mic options for high quality audio. Feel free to jump straight to a mic review if you want:
- The Classic: Rode VideoMic
- Cheapest Lavalier: Deity V.Lav
- Best Shotgun Mic for Two: Sennheiser MKE 440
- Best Straight to Audio Card: Shure VP83F
- Tiniest, Mightiest: Ambeint ATM 216
- Best Lavalier for Two: Polsen MO-IDL1-MK2 Dual
- Best Shotgun/Stereo Combo: Audio Technica AT8024
- Best Lavalier: Microphone Madness MM-MSLM
- Highest Quality for Lowest Price: Sony ECM-GI
- Cheapest: Synco Mic M1S
- Best Long Shotgun Microphone: Senal MC24-EL
- Best Mini XLR Camera Mic: Azden SGM-250MX
- Best Mic with an App: Joby Wavo PRO
- Best Studio Ribbon Microphone: Coles 4038
- Most Color Choices: Sontronics Podcast Pro
What is a DSLR Microphone?
The name “DSLR Microphone” technically just means that the microphone will work with a DSLR camera. 💁♀️
More practically speaking, sites like Amazon will often use the term “DSLR microphone” to indicate microphones that are made to easily connect to the body of a typical DSLR camera.
Keep in mind the microphone itself is not “DSLR.” DSLR stands for “Digital Single-Lens Reflex.” It refers to the camera’s mechanism in recording images. 📹
Most modern video cameras are DSLR, at least the kind of video cameras that would be used for podcasting.
DSLR Microphone Key Concepts
Let’s briefly review some key concepts that you will see when looking at your choices of DSLR camera microphones. 🧑🏫
TRS/”Aux” vs USB and XLR Cable
Your microphone should come with at least one cable to plug into your video camera. It is important that the mic cable has a plug that fits the outlet on your camera. 🔌
Most DSLR cameras have 3.5mm audio jack type outlets for external mics. They are sometimes called “Aux” or you may hear them referred to as “audio jacks.” So make sure that the mic you purchase has a this kind of cable… often TRS or TRRS.
If you search for camera microphones on a platform like Amazon, you will find ones that have USB cables or even XLR cables. These outlets are a little more rare on DSLR cameras, but they do produce pro-quality recordings.
Primary Recording vs Secondary Recording
In a video podcast setup, camera microphones may be the primary source for audio capture or might only be the secondary.
DSLR Microphone as Secondary Recorder
A ‘secondary recording’ scenario It means that you have a high quality mic(s) at the table with the host/guests that acts as the primary audio recorder. It will record straight to a mixer, computer, or stand alone recorder. 🎛️
👉 In this case, the mic on the video camera only has one main function: To record audio with the video file so that the video can be synced with the higher quality, independently recorded audio during editing. In this case, the DSLR microphone does not need to be an expensive, high professional one. It just needs to capture enough audio so the soundwaves can be matched in post production.
DSLR Microphone as Primary Recorder
On the other hand, you may want your DSLR microphone to be your primary recording. Rather than have a professional mic in front of the podcast host, and a cheaper one on the camera, you only have one professional one on your camera.
Either decision is fine. Just keep in mind that many DSLR cameras already come with a built-in mic. That mic is usually good enough to act as a secondary recording device. So if you are only looking for a DSLR mic as a second source of audio, check if your camera has an internal mic and think about if you actually even need an external one. 🤔
To learn more about microphone concepts and key terms, feel free to check out our in-depth podcast microphone blog post.
Ok, now that we have covered the basics, let’s check out some of the best DSLR microphones out there! 🚀
The Classic: Rode VideoMic Pro
The Rode VideoMic Pro is a relatively small, light microphone that is made to attach to the top of a DSLR camera. You would probably want to use this as a secondary audio recorder, unless you are only recording one person or two people in a quiet location.
The Rode VideoMic Pro has a Rycote Lyre shock mounting system so the mic does not pick up vibrations from the camera or the surface it is resting on. 📳
This shotgun mic records audio in a highly direction cardioid polar pattern, meaning it is very good at picking up the a speaker’s voice and not picking up any other noise surrounding it. It also has a two-stage gain control and a high-pass filter to even further limit unwanted noise.
On the other hand, this mic does come with a studio-grade condenser capsule, meaning it will pick up the richness and detail of peoples’ voices. 😍
The Rode VideoMic has a frequency range of 40Hz – 20,0000Hz.
This product has a built-in battery that can go for about eight hours until it needs to be recharged.
Its output connection is a 3.5mm TRS.
It comes with a ten year warranty. 🔟
You can buy this Rode DSLR microphone for $149.99.
Cheapest Lavalier: Deity V.Lav
The Deity V.Lav is a wired lavalier microphone that can plug into a DSLR video camera. It is a very, very affordable option for a primary recording DSLR microphone, if there is only one person speaking and it is a quiet recording area. 😌
The main feature of this DSLR microphone is that it is a relatively cheap wired lavalier. Since it is wired, it is naturally more likely to capture cleaner audio than a wireless option. Also, wireless options rarely work seamlessly with basic DSLR cameras.
Its wire is five meters long. That means you can clip it to your collar and still stay a comfortable distance from your camera. 👔
The Deity v.Lav is omnidirectional, meaning that it captures sound from all directions. However, clipping it to your collar helps limit what it picks up. Also be sure to use the foam filters that it comes with in order to limit unwanted noise.
It has a pre-polarized condenser that can last for over eight hundred hours on two LR41 batteries (aka watch batteries). 📆📆📆📆
Its frequency range is 50Hz – 20,000Hz.
This DSLR microphone does have a 3.5mm TRRS jack.
Deity offers this microphone for only $39.
Best Shotgun Mic for Two: Sennheiser MKE 440
The Sennheiser MKE 440 is two mini shotgun mics combined into one, like bunny ears. 🐰Because of this, even though the MKE 440 is an on-camera device, it can still be a good primary recording device for podcasts with two people.
Again, the two mini shotguns combined as one is a game-changer. It means you get focused audio in two different locations, creating an integrated sound. The pick-up pattern is stereo and super-cardioid.
It a lot of ways, it is how human ears function: Tuning into the conversation in front of them, and ignoring background noise. 👂
The Sennheiser mic also has a three-level sensitivity adjustment and a low cut filter.
Its high dynamic electronic circuit automatically matches the mic’s output signal to the DSLR camera’s input sensitivity. 😅
This DSLR microphone has built in elastic suspension and wind protection, and attaches to the top of a camera with a standard shoe mount. With two AAA batteries, it can work for at least one hundred hours straight.
Sennheiser sells this microphone for $349.95.
Best Straight to Audio Card: Shure VP83F
The Shure VP83F is a shotgun microphone made to attach at the top of a camera. Its high quality makes it a potential primary recording device in a quite location.
The most unique feature of this mic is that it records both to its own microSD card and to the camera’s video file. This built in flash recording capability captures audio in a cleaner way than the camera is able to. 😮
This independent recording feature also comes with its own interface on the microphone so you can adjust and monitor the audio recording. You can toggle the low-pass filter on and off. Also, you can adjust the microphone gain. Since you can also plug in podcast headphones to the microphone body to monitor the audio in real time, the interface also also you to control the volume of the headphones.
The Shure VP83F is the electronic condenser type. It records in a lobar pattern which is even more directional than a supercardioid polar pattern (it records a narrower area in front of it). 🎤
This DSLR microphone has an integrated shockmount and metal casing. It attaches to a camera with a shoemount.
It does require two AA batteries and will run for about ten hours straight on them. Depending on the storage size of the microSD card you buy, the card can hold anywhere from eight to sixty-four hours of recorded audio. 💽
This Shure product has a frequency range of 50Hz – 20,000Hz. Its output is a 3.5mm TRS.
Shure offers this mic at $299.00
Tiniest, Mightiest: Ambient ATM 216 TinyMike
The Ambeint ATM 216 TinyMike is miniature shotgun microphone. It is of high enough quality that it could act as a primary recording product.
The “TinyMike” is… well, tiny. 🤏
Weighing in at only 30grams, measuring 14cm x 8mm, it is smaller than a writing pen. 🖊️
The output cord it comes with also for electrical charging. Because of this, the microphone does not need batteries. It just gets electricity from the DSLR camera itself.
It comes with a Rycote Lyre shockmount system as well as a velvet foam wind shield which reduces wind noise. 🌬️
This Ambient product captures sound in a hyper-cardioid polar pattern. It has a frequency range of 20Hz – 18,000Hz.
This German-made microphone costs $484.00.
Best Lavalier for Two: Polsen MO-IDL1-MK2 Dual
The Polsen MO-IDL1-MK2 Dual is a lavalier type DSLR microphone. It can be a solid primary recording choice.
This Polsen product is technically one microphone, but it is really two lavalier microphones joined together. 👯
The two participants attach a lavalier microphone to their collar just as they typically would. But then the lavalier cords eventually join together as one output cable. This is super helpful as most DSLR cameras only have one audio input space! 🥳
Of course, this is not as ideal as recording two microphones on separate tracks. But again, that’s generally impossible for DSLRs any way!
Also, get this, this product has a switch on it so you can use it with a DSLR camera or a smart phone! If you are using a DSLR that does not provide bus power through its audio jack, the mic will use its own battery power. Or you can switch it to the “phone” mode and the mic will pull electricity from the smartphone you are using. Pretty helpful, right? 🙌
The microphones, like most lavaliers, have an omni-directional recording pattern. Made for capturing voices, they use electronic condensers.
Another bonus is that the united cable is twenty feet long! You can comfortably sit at a table with your podcast guest, with the video camera at a comfortable distance. 🪑
This microphone(s) is $45.95.
Best Shotgun/Stereo Combo: Audio Technica AT8024
The Audio Technica AT8024 is a high-quality shotgun/stereo microphone that can function as a primary recorder for a podcast in a relatively quiet environment.
What makes this mic special is that you can switch between recording in a line-cardioid mono or in mid-side stereo. That means you can pick whether to really focus on a single sound source or widen the recording target and really record the surround sound. The mid-side stereo option could be helpful if you are trying to record a panel podcast with only this one DSLR microphone. 🙎🙎♀️🙎♂️
You also can pick between three positions for the built-in attenuator. This means you can adjust between capturing really soft sounds and really loud sounds.
And finally, you can also switch on or off the low-frequency pass, helping get rid of unwanted noise in certain situations. 🤫
This DSLR microphone’s frequency range is 40Hz – 15,000Hz. It can run off a AA battery for almost eighty hours. The output connector is a 3.5mm stereo.
Audio Technica offers this microphone for $249.00.
Best Lavalier: Microphone Madness MM-MSLM
The Microphone Madness MM-MSLM is a professional level, wired lavalier microphone. It can act as a primary recording mic for your podcast.
This is a highly trust wired lapel mic. The cable is about six feet long so you will need to be pretty close to the camera. However it is really small so you can hide it well if you want. 🔍
The mic is omni-directional and very sensitive. It has a gold 3.5mm connector to plug into your DSLR. The frequency range is 20Hz – 20,000Hz.
In terms of power, you can either buy the battery powered version or the non-battery powered version. If you buy the one without the battery, just make sure your DSLR camera’s audio outlet provides at least 1 volt of phantom power. ⚡
This pro level microphone is available at $159.95.
Highest Quality for Lowest Price: Sony ECM-GI
The Sony ECM-GI is an ultracompact shotgun microphone ready to mount on your DSLR camera. It meant to record speech for video so it can probably work as a primary recorder for your podcast episodes. 👍
What makes this DSLR microphone unique is that it has a 14.6mm capsule, meaning it records with almost the same richness of a professional studio mic. 🤩
Also, if you use it with a Sony camera with a Sony Multi-Interface shoe, you do not need to use any audio or bus power cables. This feature eliminates a source of recording noise and signal degradation. 👟
However, if you are not using it with a Sony MI, be sure that your camera can provide the bus power for the capsule.
The Sony ECM-GI has a highly directional supercardioid polar pickup pattern. It also has a vibration surpressing design. Its frequency range is 40Hz – 20,000Hz.
You cannot make any adjustments on the microphone. Just plug and play. But its simplicity can be a relief. 💆
Sony offers this mic for $119.57.
Cheapest: Synco Mic M1S
The Synco Mic M1S is an ultracompact shotgun mic. It should only be used as a secondary recorder for your podcast. ‼️
The main feature of this DSLR microphone is it is cheap. As far as we can tell, it is the cheapest option there is. 😈
If you just need a DSLR microphone because your camera does not have a built-in one, this does the job. It will make it possible for you to sync your video with the much higher-quality audio recording you should have going separately.
The Synco Mic M1S does not need phantom power from your camera– that means it can work with just about any DSLR camera. It also does not need any batteries or to be recharged. (This is because it does not have a condenser).
It comes with both a TRS and a TRRS 3.5mm cable so, again, is compatible with almost anything (including smart phones). 🤘
This mic does utilize a cardioid polar pickup pattern and has a shock mount, both limiting unwanted ambient noises somewhat. Its frequency range is 100Hz – 20,000Hz. It does not have a high pass filter.
This super, super simple microphone costs $14.99.
Best Long Shotgun Microphone: Senal MC24-EL
The Senal MC24-EL is a long shotgun microphone that can be attached directly to a DSLR camera and used in a studio or in a location with more background noise. 👍
This microphone has a high grade condenser traducer that is great at recording the sound quality of a human voice. It does require phantom power from a camera, or if your DSLR camera can’t produce phantom power, this mic can be powered with one AA battery.
The Senal MC24-EL uses a hypercardiod recording pattern, recording audio from directly in front of it and rejecting background noise from the sides or back. 🚫
This long mic has a durable structure with gold-plated XLR connector, foam wind shield, rubberized coating, and brass construction. It is very good at not picking up unwanted vibrations and room rumble.
The Senal MC24-EL costs around $180.00.
Best Mini XLR Camera: Azden SGM-250
Some cameras, not many but some, only have a mini XLR (or a 3.5mm) audio input on them. For these cases, check out the Azden SGM-250MX. It can be a primary microphone in a quiet studio. 🤫
The Azden SG-M-250MX records in a supercardioid pattern so it is focused on the voice in front of it, but it does allow some side audio to be recorded as well.
Its electric condenser needs phantom power, which is where the mini-XLR outlet comes in. The camera does come with a mini XLR cable that measures over a foot long and conducts power. However, if you have the right adapters you can also use an XLR cable. 👷
Made in Japan, this mic comes with an SMH-X shockmount so you can position the mic with detail as well as reduce vibrations.
The Azden SGM-250 is priced at $200.00.
Best Mic with an App: Joby Wavo PRO
The Joby Wavo PRO can act as a primary microphone for your podcast and it even has a secondary mic input so you can record yourself and a guest if you want. 👯
Everything has an app these days and the Joby Wavo PRO is no different. The Wave Pro app (available for iOS and Android) gives you the power to control settings like parametric EQs, pads, and filters. Getting these right while recording can eliminate a lot of time consuming work during editing and mixing.
The Joby Wave PRO comes with Rycote Lyre Shockmount and two windscreens, but it also has “Active Noise Reduction” technology to clean the recorded audio as it goes, in case some vibrations or background noise is picked up. 📳
The Wave PRO does not have any batteries. You can either charge it (full battery will last 60 hours) or use its USB cord to attach to a source of power during the recording.
JOBY lists this microphone at $300.00.
Best Studio Ribbon Microphone: Coles 4038
The Coles 4038 is THE primary recording microphone of all primary recording microphones. It is very, very nice (and expensive).
Most microphones have circular diaphragms to capture audio, but ribbon microphones’ diaphragms look like… well, ribbons. These thin strips of aluminum are extra sensitive to sound waves, which makes for amazing recording quality. The Coles 4038 is no exception.
But don’t worry, it is designed to reduce hums and have a low noise floor. This makes for super high quality audio.
The Coles 4038 uses a bidirectional polar recording pattern (imagine a Figure Eight shape) so it catches speakers on both sides of the flat mic. ♾️
It comes with an XLR cord, but be aware that its mount can be a bit tricky when it comes to connecting to a DSLR camera… or anything really. You’ll probably need to buy an adapter for whatever setup you use.
The Coles 4038 comes in at an eye-watering $1,500.00.
Most Color Choices: Sontronics Podcast Pro
The Sontronics Podcast Pro is specifically designed to function as a primary podcast microphone.
This microphone is a solid microphone at a cheap-to-middle price. It is a dynamic broadcast microphone that records in a supercardioid pattern. It has a built-in stand mount that works better for studio arms than being attached to the camera body. The Sontronics Podcast Pro has an XLR outlet to connect to a camera or other recording device, but does not come with an XLR cable.
It is notable that the Sontronics Podcast Pro has a built-in three-layer pop screen so if your plosives are super strong, this mic has your back in terms of sound quality.
But overall what stands out about this average, respectable microphone is that it comes in different colors! That’s right, you can choose from black, red, blue, gold, grey, green, and purple. So if you are looking for a mic to match your brand’s colors, this might be the one for you! 🌈
The Sontronics Podcast Pro, regardless of what color you choose, is $150.00.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post today. We hope it was an easy way to learn about some of the best DSLR microphones out there. As always, enjoy the podcast journey! 🧑🚀🪐Independentsprofessionals
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