Røde’s Small, Go-Anywhere, Versatile, Camera-Top VideoMicro Cardioid Microphone Hits The Mark, Doubles as A Boom Mic Too.

by Karin Gottschalk2 Comments

With the release of the VideoMicro cardiod microphone, Australian audio recording innovator Røde has come up with another moviemaking microphone that has really hit the spot. This time, with a mic so small, portable, affordable and versatile that anyone with any size budget and any size camera, and type of camera for that matter, can make great use of it.

Or do what I have and make it their carry everywhere, first-out-of-the bag, automatic go-to mic that lives on top of my GH4 and now, the new Panasonic Lumix GX8.

The Røde VideoMicro is the microphone I always pop into my smallest shoulder bag, even when I go out only intending to shoot stills, ‘cos you never know what amazing footage opportunities might show up anywhere.

The VideoMicro’s cardioid pattern – see the difference between cardioid, super cardioid and stereo cardioid pick-up patterns in the illustration below – gives me a fusion of directional with immersive pick up so I don’t need worry about whether I have the right mic for the circumstances I find myself in.

The folks at Røde kindly sent over these diagrams of the three most common microphone types, Stereo Cardioid, Cardioid and Super Cardioid. Their Stereo VideoMic X and other stereo mics have the stereo cardioid pattern, the VideoMicro and some of Røde’s non-camera-mounted mics have cardioid patterns and all their shotgun microphones have the super cardioid pattern.

The folks at Røde kindly sent over these diagrams of the three most common microphone types, Stereo Cardioid, Cardioid and Super Cardioid. Their Stereo VideoMic X and other stereo mics have the stereo cardioid pattern, the VideoMicro and some of Røde’s non-camera-mounted mics have cardioid patterns and all their shotgun microphones have the super cardioid pattern. Click image to view full size.

The VideoMicro is a great compromise and gets the job done those times when I can’t carry a backpack full of camera, lens and audio recording gear. And when I do have my larger f-stop gear Satori backpack, or the smaller MindShift BackLight 26L on me, the VideoMicro fits in there along with one or two other alternative shock-mounted Røde mics like the Stereo VideoMic X stereo cardioid, the VideoMic Pro super cardioid or the NTG4+ even-more-super cardioid.

New Røde VideoMicro mounted on my Panasonic Lumix GH4 equipped with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens and Genustech Variable ND filter. Photograph made with Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens, and processed with DxO Optics Pro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Røde VideoMicro mounted on my Panasonic Lumix GH4 equipped with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens and Genustech Variable ND filter. Photograph made with Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens, and processed with DxO Optics Pro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

The Røde VideoMicro comes with its own fluffy slip-on windshield, very handy for those windy Sydney harbourside days.

The Røde VideoMicro comes with its own fluffy slip-on windshield, very handy for those windy Sydney harbourside days.

The Røde VideoMicro doubles as a very lightweight boom-mounted microphone. Its cardioid pattern is wider than the more directional pattern of super cardioid microphones aka shotgun mics, and should be beneficial when recording conversations between two or more subjects. Boompole illustrated here is a Røde Micro Boompole.

The Røde VideoMicro doubles as a very lightweight boom-mounted microphone. Its cardioid pattern is wider than the more directional pattern of super cardioid microphones aka shotgun mics, and should be beneficial when recording conversations between two or more subjects. Boompole illustrated here is a Røde Micro Boompole.

I am still learning all the audio tech talk, acronyms and jargon so I won’t dwell on the fine points of the VideoMicro’s audio recording capabilities. I will leave that up to more experienced minds who have shared their insights in the videos I have linked to lower down this page.

But I can share other factors that have made it so appealing, besides the great audio I get out of it. Here is a list:

  • The mic’s all-metal body is solid, unlike some other microphones in my collection, and I have no qualms about stowing it in any bag at any time ‘cos I know it can take the knocks.
  • It has a small, durable Rycote Lyre shock mount, the same brand and style of mount I have chosen for all my other microphones and that does the job really well. The Rycote mount has an easy-to-grip wide plastic lock wheel accessible even on the tightest of rigs.
  • I love detachable cables and especially detachable coiled cables. The VideoMicro comes with a red coiled cable  small enough to fit anywhere that stretches to accommodate small to bigger cameras and rigs.
  • It comes with its own fluffy windshield at no extra cost, a necessity given the winds that crop up on these weird cold, grey, wintry, blowy days we have now in between the searingly hot summery ones.
  • At the risk of repetition, the VideoMicro is small and lightweight, meaning it adds almost nothing to the weight on my shoulders.
  • No battery! The VideoMicro is powered through the camera.
  • Lastly, but not least, it is an Australian product, designed in Australia and made in Australia, and those three things are far too uncommon when this country is struggling to crawl out of its crazy dependence on mining coal and exporting iron ore to countries that have radically cut back on both in recent years.

Some VideoMicro reviews:

Røde’s small camera-top VideoMicro cardioid mic hits the mark & doubles as a boom mic. Click To Tweet

Introducing the RØDE VideoMicro

VideoMicro Audio Comparison

Listen to audio samples taken with the VideoMicro on a variety of different devices including an iPhone 5, iPhone 6+ & Panasonic Lumix G7

RØDE VideoMicro

Via RØDE:

The VideoMicro is a compact microphone designed to improve the audio quality of your videos. It incorporates a high-quality cardioid condenser microphone capsule for great quality audio recordings when used with a wide range of cameras.

A directional microphone, the VideoMicro reduces distracting peripheral sounds and focusses on the audio in front of the camera. Its pickup is more forgiving than RØDE’s other on-camera microphones providing a more natural sound when recording indoors.

videomicro3

videomicro2

Perfect for capturing incredible audio to accompany inspiring vision. The microphone body is made from aluminum, giving it a high level of RF rejection, and is finished in RØDE’s high-grade ceramic anti-glare black coating. Included with the VideoMicro is a camera shoe mount featuring a Rycote Lyre shock mount.

Featuring a suspension structure composed of a hard-wearing thermoplastic, it is far more effective at minimising unwanted vibrations, handling and cable-borne noise than traditional elastic suspensions. Virtually indestructible, the Rycote Lyre will never sag, snap, wear out or require rethreading to maintain its effectiveness.

Also included is the WS9 synthetic furry wind shield with foam inner cell, designed for use in outdoor scenarios where wind and environmental noise can inhibit recordings. Optionally available is the RØDE SC7, a TRS to TRRS cable that allows the VideoMicro to be used with smartphones, to capture crystal clear, directional sound for video and video applications such as Periscope.

Learn more about VideoMicro.

(cover photo credit: snap from RØDE)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

Comments

  1. Does it plug into the GH4 without an adapter? The GH4 has a non-standard jack. Thanks.

  2. Davidkennedyphotos David, the VideoMicro plugs into the GH4’s 3.5mm jack without an adapter. The GX8 requires an adapter, as shown here: http://blog.planet5d.com/2015/11/panasonics-lumix-gx8-is-an-even-better-stills-movie-camera-than-its-excellent-tech-specs-suggest/

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