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Video (DSLR) Audio

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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Sound Recording

Unread post by Klystron » Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:39 am

I have recently purchased a directional microphone to use with my video camera. I am not sure of the manufacturer but the box carries the National Geographic logo. It is fairly small consisting of a pistol grip containing the electronics, a small parabolic dish (similar to a satellite dish) about 30cm in diameter and an 8 times optical sight. The range is claimed at 300 feet (just under 100 meters). It has a built in memory chip to allow single session recording before downloading to another device such as a laptop.

Also included is a set of headphones whose output needs connecting to the camera, a job I need to do in the future before our next KNP trip. Once I have results I will post again.

Has anyone else had experience with this type of mic?

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Unread post by Shidzidzii » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:56 am

Sounds fantastic (no pun intended) !

Wish you many super scoops.

I love my records , tapes and CD's of the animal and bird sounds and the more you know them the easier to find and ID them .

Mechanicaly I am a genius but electronics I shy away from but
I think you will somehow have to "stream" the recordings as quick as possible to a say for example magnetic tape , to later playback and edit . Logic tells me you need a lot of continuous recording to get the scoop .


Unread post by laserblazer » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:07 pm

Presumably, you will just plug it into the camera's external mic. socket and attach it so it's pointing in the same direction as the camera. Does your video camera have manual gain control for the audio? If not, the earphones are not that much use as you won't be able to adjust the audio input. You will hear any extraneous noise and you maybe able to compensate for this by moving the mic. If you need any help on suitable brackets let me know.

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Unread post by wondercloak » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:25 pm

Awesome, glad someone's brought this up.

I'm very keen on (the idea of) sound recording in the bush but haven't explored it properly yet. Sorry, so I may not yet have anything new to add to this thread.

When I can afford one, I'm going to pick myself up one of the hand-held palm-top trackers. The software's improving all of the time & I'm quite keen to get a mic similar to what's been described here & record straight onto the palm-top.

Anyway, I look forward to any further info appearing here (and I'll let you know if and when I ever get to realise this dream)
- Mopani 21 to 23 Dec
- Shimuwini 30 Dec to 1 Jan
- Punda Maria 2 Jan
- Limpopo Tented Camp 3 to 5 Jan
- Leokwe 6 to 7 Jan

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Interesting Equipment

Unread post by Wild@Heart » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:38 am

They had a piece of equipment that you could purchase in the shops to listen to the sounds of the animals. Don't ask what they call it, but it works like a radar satellite. You aim and picks up all the sounds that you can listen through head phones, at R510,00 I think it's quite reasonable. Did not buy it though. Maybe next time. :lol:

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Video (DSLR) Audio

Unread post by krouxsa » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:56 am

Hi everyone

Please can anyone with experience help me with regards to Audio.

I recently acquired a Canon 5D MK2 and needless to say, the quality of the video captured are absolutely stunning. I had a look at the video called "Reverie" shot by Vincent Laforet and thought something as good as that is only possible by editing the video.

So yesterday I finally got the cable to link my camera with my HD tv.
I took a test video of about 2 minutes of my car standing outside the driveway...

My jaw dropped literally with the amount of detail that this camera takes video. It is simply something that is out of this world! The colors come alive!!! Definetely something to look into for the serious videographer. I also have an HDPVR and I think that the video being produced by the test video that I did, looks much better than the current HD broadcast on DSTV.

Anyway, after I watched the video a couple of times, I thought I might want to add sound. First of all, the microphone on the 5D MK2 is of very bad quality. You also need to take note that this is a Top Range DSLR and not supposed to capture Audio in the first place. So I inserted Gran Turismo Prologue (PS3) and played the audio of the opening scene. For those that have not seen the opening scene, it has an upbeat song with enjins revving and cars racing. While that was playing I played my Video and really thought if I had to send this to VW now, they would probably buy it from me!!!

No just kidding, but the sound mixed with the video enhanced the realism effect and really accompanies the video very well.

I'm great fan of Dereck and Beverly Joubert's wildlife films and own all of them in my dvd collection. They have been nominated a couple of times for their wildlife films as well as Beverly's wildlife audio.

Now I need someone's advice. I want to buy a sperate unit for the wildlife audio that I will be recording. I have been on the net but everyone has their own opinion and can't really make a decision just based on people's mixed feelings.

The one microphone that really gets rave reviews but shot down by a couple of experienced videographer is the Sennheiser MKH 416.

Can anyone point me in the right direction or even share their experiences with audio equipment?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Audio for Wildlife

Unread post by richardharris » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:16 am


This forum tends to attract folks into photography rather than video - not that there is anything wrong with video! Used to do it myself until I became a digital photo obsessive!

Have to say I am tempted with the new small HD video cameras now appearing which do full HD. To answer one of your questions; the quality may well be better that HD TV. In the UK, a lot of output on HD channels is not real HD - just upscaled standard TV. Even real HD output is often not full HD. A recent (stunning!) BBC documentary about a South American wildlife park used cameras which did not do full HD.

Not to mention that full HD requires so much data that no one could afford to broadcast it yet! No doubt at some stage that will change.

As to your main question - only some unhelpful comments! I don't know anything about current high quality sound recorders - but in the days years ago when I was, they were very expensive. Probably cheaper to buy a dedicated video camera! Some of the better ones have very good mics and recording systems for general sound but what you could really do with if a directional mic as well. In my video days I did try one (probably equivalent to £150 now) and it was not much better than the cameras mike to be honest. And the quality (as opposed to direction) was not as good.

Again I am not an expert but a quick search will show you that good directional mics are also very expensive. I suppose it all depends on how much you want your videos to appear on TV!


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Re: Audio for Wildlife

Unread post by krouxsa » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:35 pm

Hi Richard & Caracal

Thanks for the effort.

I have coming across different websites and in the UK, there are even a forum totally dedicated to wildlife audio. Unfortunately they all give reviews but can't really decide on the best one, and always uses the line, "You need to use what's best for you"

My aim in posting this topic was for getting the attention of the many wildlife videographers that might browse on the internet or on the sanparks forum and come across this post.

I was watching another one of Beverly and Derek Joubert's brialliant documentary on Lions and Buffaloes. The sound that Beverly does are really unique and I can only imagine the output paired with the HD video shot with the 5dMK2.

You are 100% right with the mention of prices. Reasonable quality directional mics can be anything from R5000 to R17000!!!

You then really need to access the need for this microphone.
The other option that I am faced with is to hire the equipment, about R100 p/day and do a test trial with it. My only problem is the fact that I'm used to seeing pretty amazing stuff in Kruger and I don't want to be without the proper equipment at the time. It would then make more sense to buy a dedicated video camera and just use the camera as it was intended to be used. But after seeing the quality, my problem is just that!!

At the moment I would probably go for one of the Seinheiser Directional Mics. It is the best choice of microphones by most users that I have done research on but if anybody can please guide me or maybe even give more info I would gladly appreciate it.


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Re: Audio for Wildlife

Unread post by opsafari » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:58 am

The original post is very old however I would like to comment as I was searching for microphones. First the camera mentioned is original a still image camera with limited video recording @ 30 frames per second (NTSC format). South Africa is PAL (25 f/s). By adding a expensive rifle micophone will not help especially a rifle of mentioned make. You add more noise as the mic is mounted on the camera - handle noises! 2nd, the said mic needs phatom power, the Canon can not supply that - per manual. The mentioned wildlife documentaries use various microphones for directional and for stereo recording, enhanced in final mix before transmission. If you need to record wildlife audio, you need a more dedicated audio recording device to handle various mics. I do not realy understand why the still camera industry want to force their way into the video world! Maybe for the internet market! Video use a great deal of memory and when you do witness a lion kill at the end of the day, your memory card might be full by then! I am a serious photographer and also do wildlife audio recordings and when a situation arrives e.g. a lion kill I will concentrate on photography! My advice, choose between still of video, very difficult to try and do both!

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Re: Audio for Wildlife

Unread post by Shutterbug » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:44 am

Hi Krouxsa,
This link has a lot of info about shooting video with your DSLR and also the best mic's to use, I found it very useful, hope it helps you.
The earth has a circumference of 40 075 km and I have to travel 17 141 km to get to the Kruger, that's just not right :tongue:

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car noise

Unread post by lezese » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:58 pm

Hi to all the experts! I'm new to editing( using adobe premiere pro cs4) and wonder if someone can tell me if its possible to blot out the annoying noise of the car engine but not the natural sounds,and if yes,how to do it
Thanks in advance

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Re: car noise

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:25 pm

Hi lezese, I'm not an expert on audio and not sure pro cs4 offers this choice.
From what I know, but the experts can correct me on it, is that you have to divide the various "noises" and then delete the noise not wanted. I seem to remember that the various sound tracks are called channels or something of the sorts.
Some time back saw a person do something lack that and from a single sound track he divided into 5 different tracks and then either lowered or enhanced the track he wanted.

Sorry couldn't help more.
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