Are you trying to decide on which mini-shotgun mic to use for your HDSLR? This post may help, but it won’t answer the question directly. It is hard to know which to pick – especially if you aren’t a mic expert (and not many of us are – I sure have a lot to learn and I’ll bet most of you do too). This morning, the folks at RØDE tweeted this video and so I gave it a watch – and if you’re looking for mics, this might help you decide. It comes from Chad Johnson (whom I’ve not contacted) and I’ll present it just as Chad did – letting you decide if it helps you make a decision.

Redrock Micro

The shootout

Shootout of the Mini Shotguns! from Chad Johnson on Vimeo.

Here’s a little shootout I did between 4 miniature shotguns. The Sennheiser MKE400, Rode VideoMic Pro, the Que Audio Micro Shotgun, and the Rode VideoMic. Who sounds best? Who has the best side rejection? Listen and you decide. Additional Audio Tests of these mics as audio files here:

My notes

I don’t have a great deal of experience with a wide variety of mics – but I do own both the RØDE VideoMic Pro and the RØDE VideoMic as well as the Sennheiser MKE400.

I haven’t ever tried to do a side by side test only because I don’t have enough experience to know how to do a proper test. I initially bought the RØDE Stereo Mic and learned that for some of my usage (especially when making videos at shows like NAB) it’s sound profile gathered too much audio from the sides – which is ok, as long as you learn what situations that is good. And then I broke the shoe mount by dropping it. This was at about the same time as I was learning more about the different kinds of mics and realized that for things like interviews at shows, I should be using a shotgun style mic.

So I bought the RØDE VideoMic. My main objection to that mic was that it sticks out the back when it is mounted on the shoe of the camera and since I shoot stills and video, getting my eye up to the viewfinder on the camera to shoot stills just doesn’t happen. The mic hits you in the forehead.

Next, I bought the Sennheiser MKE400 because it allowed me to shoot both stills and video without bumping my head.

Recently, RØDE sent me the RØDE VideoMic Pro for evaluation and it is much better at letting me shoot both stills and video (tho it still sticks out the back just a bit). It has performed very well tho at the NAB show, when I was taking it off the camera at the end of the day, the screw that holds the shoe mount to the mic popped off somewhere and I couldn’t find it. I was lucky I had the Sennheiser as a backup. I have reported the incident to RØDE and they are looking into it. I really didn’t expect it to separate as I haven’t put the mic thru that much use yet – but I’m very impressed with their interest in checking into the situation. Has anyone else had that problem?

I was very glad to bump into this comparison that Chad put together – it is very helpful to hear the differences in the mics – especially if you’re listening thru headphones. It may help you pick a mic – and it may help you decide that for your project, you’ll need something more advanced or a different kind of mic – so it is good to learn something new!

What are your mini-shotgun mic experiences? Which sounds better to you after watching?

Blogger’s Disclaimer: as I point out in the story – RØDE has sent me a RØDE VideoMic Pro for evaluation. I have purchased all the other mics on my own.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses