Buying an external microphone for a camcorder can be confusing and frustrating. This is especially true for someone quite unfamiliar with the features that a good external microphone for a camcorder should have. Detailed here are the necessary things you should keep in mind before you head out and buy this peripheral device.
- Know what type of audio connection your camcorder is built with. First and foremost, you should know what type of audio connection your camcorder supports. This is so you avoid buying an external microphone that would not be compatible to your camcorder's audio input. Check the user's manual of your camcorder to know if it has a stereo or XLR jack just to be sure.
- Know the various types of external microphones. There are three different types of external microphones you can choose from. The first type is called a shotgun microphone. This type of microphone can be conveniently attached to the camcorder or hooked up to a pole. A shotgun microphone is ideal for picking up ambient sounds. The second type is called a lapel microphone. Lapel microphones are small microphones with attaching clips. Lapel microphones are typically used to pick up close range sounds such as in interviews. The third type of external microphone is called a handheld microphone. And like what its name connotes, a handheld microphone is typically held and pointed toward the direction of the sound.
- Know which type of external microphone to use in a video production. As was said, a shotgun microphone captures ambient sounds. So if you typically record, say, your family's weekend picnics at the park, or small gatherings of people, then a shotgun microphone would be the best choice. If you want to clearly capture a person's voice, say, in an interview, then both the handheld and lapel external microphones can be used. However, the latter can be hidden from the camera's view as it is quite small. So if you do not want your audience to see the subject speaking through a microphone, then a lapel is the way to go.
- Decide between a wired and wireless external microphone. Wireless external microphones are more expensive than their wired counterparts. However, wireless microphones are more convenient to use as tripping over wires is eliminated.
Investing in a quality external microphone for a camcorder is a must if you want your videos to be worth watching. Assess your budget and start comparing prices online. It is also worth reading consumer reviews to gain knowledge about how a specific external microphone is rated by the users themselves.