If you’re shooting a lot of documentary style run and gun footage, you likely owe a lot to your in-camera or hot-shoe mounted microphone. It’s simply not feasible to be constantly lav’d on every subject or to hire an audio specialist on every shoot. This means that you need to find a way to get the best audio in camera, and there are a variety of ways to do this.
Clearly, one of the most popular ways has been through RODE’s absurdly popular on-camera microphones. It seems like a camera really isn’t complete until it has a RODE mounted on top of it. But the discussion for on camera microphones doesn’t end there. There are plenty of other options on the market. Specifically, the Tascam DR-10SG.
Cinema5D has posted this quick rundown of the pros and cons of the microphone and the results are actually pretty promising. Now, you should always try to capture audio using the highest quality gear that you can, but in those situations where you’re limited to what you have in-camera, the Tascam DR-10SG seems like a solid option.
I have a couple withholdings about the system, though. While I understand the design behind the large arcing arm, keeping the mic far away from your button presses and focus racks, but it will definitely throw the balance of the camera off and limits your ability to use gimbals like the Glidecam or the Ronin.
In addition, the fact that you have to press two record buttons to record both audio and video is a bit off-putting.
All of this being said, when you hear the clip that Johnnie Behiri posts at the end of his review, it puts a lot of your concerns to rest. The audio is surprisingly clear and rich, even if a bit edited.
If you’re in the market for an on-camera microphone, the Tascam DR-10SG should definitely be on your radar.
Minute Review – Tascam DR 10SG
Tascam DR-10SG Minute Review, a Mountable Audio Recorder with Shotgun Microphone
As we all know, some of the latest cameras from respected manufacturers do not offer a way to monitor sound. Maybe the biggest selling point for this device is the ability to monitor audio levels when connected to cameras without a headphone jack, with the Sony a6300 being a good example. In order to do that, you will need the Tascam DR-10SG and a mini jack 3.5mm splitter. One thing to consider: if you are looking for greater flexibility in regards to connecting professional microphones and wireless audio receiver to your camera or a recorder, then you might want to look at Tascam’s other offering, the DR-10X, a micro audio XLR recorder device that, at least on paper, looks as a perfect flexible mini recorder.
Back to the Tascam DR-10SG. Here are its main specifications at a glance:
- Recording Media: microSD card (64 MB to 2 GB), microSDHC card (4 GB to 32 GB)
- Recording Format: 16/24-bit @ 44.1/48 kHz
- Mic Polarity: Super cardioid
- Analog Outputs: Camera Out/Phones: 1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo mini-jack (dual-mono signal)
- USB micro-B
- Power: 1 x AAA battery
- USB bus power
- Power Consumption: 0.75 W (maximum)
- Battery Operating Time: (48 kHz/24-bit, Limiter/ Dual Rec: Off, File type: Mono), Lithium 15:00 hours, NiMH Battery 7:30 hours, Alkaline 8:30 hours.
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.1 x 6.6 x 2.8″ (53 x 168 x 70.3 mm)
- Weight 3.9 oz (110 g) including batteries
Tascam DR-10SG Camera-Mountable Audio Recorder with Shotgun Microphone
The DR-10SG from Tascam is a supercardioid shotgun microphone and a professional-quality digital recorder in a single unit. It can be used as an on-camera attachment to record and capture audio for several consumer devices such as video cameras, DSLRs, and more.
The shotgun microphone features a shock-resistant mounting foot that attaches to your camera. The built-in professional-quality digital recorder has four selectable EQ modes, audio pass-through to the camera, and an on-board audio slate for synchronization during post production.
Furthermore, the unit features Tascam's Dual Recording mode, which automatically records a second “safety take” at a lower level. The DR-10SG can operate for 8.5 hours continuously on a single alkaline AAA battery and is compact and lightweight. The DR-10SG is designed to deliver professional-grade audio quality, while addressing the inherent issues of on-camera audio.
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(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)