How to overcome audio weaknesses of DSLRs by Wes Pope

A tip: How to overcome audio weaknesses of HDSLRs

by planetMitch2 Comments

At the MastersInMotionLive event we learned a lot – and one of the major topics I wanted to learn more about (and did thanks to Adam Forgione – and we'll have Adam on our planet5D live coming up too!) was recording better audio on HDSLRs. Well, this morning I also found this little tip from Wes Pope that I thought was interesting and wanted to pass along from Kurt Lancaster's blog (see our live interview with Kurt).


There are three major weaknesses to recording audio directly into any Canon or Nikon DSLR camera: there is no way to see levels while recording, you cannot listen on headphones, and there is no good pre-amp or phantom power (to power a microphone) built into the camera. It is my guess that all of these issues will be addressed in some way by the manufacturers in the near future, but in the mean-time, here is my solution:

I use an external audio recorder such as the Zoom H4n or the Tascam DR-100. I then use a step-down cord (from Sescom), to run a signal out of the recorder into the camera’s mic jack. This solution allows me to put the best possible audio into the camera and also creates an external audio recording in case anything goes wrong, like a cord connection coming loose. Otherwise, without visible recording levels or headphone jacks, there is no way to know for sure if you are getting anything in the camera. I find that more than 90% of the time the audio I send into the camera works fine and I can avoid having to sync the external audio recordings.


now that you've gotten a part of the tip – please read the whole story with more suggestions: How to overcome audio weaknesses of DSLRs by Wes Pope.

There's also this adapter if you're using magic lantern software!

How to overcome audio weaknesses of DSLRs by Wes Pope

How to overcome audio weaknesses of DSLRs by Wes Pope

(cover photo credit: snap from the article)


  1. The best way to overcome the audio weaknesses of DSLRs continues to be recording proper dual system sound with a high quality outboard recorder, and syncing up your dailies.

    This is from the perspective of optimizing for the best possible final quality, at the expense of convenience and price.

Leave a Comment