White Wedding Photography reviews the Rode Shotgun Microphone

rode microphone review

In my last blog I talked about the stunning quality of The Nikon D7000’s HD movie mode. Whilst the image quality is second to none, the camera’s inbuilt features do fall down when it comes to recording audio. The inbuilt microphone is not powerful enough to use for anything important, and the mic also amplifies the whirring of the AF system. If you’re a serious wedding videographer an external microphone is a must.

There’s several options out there including the Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone, the new Nikon ME-1 stereo microphone, and the Rode Directional Shotgun Microphone. I’ve opted for the Rode, as it’s good marriage between price and quality. If you shop around you can get one for around £80. I was also swayed by the lure of the 10 year warranty that came with the mic. In all my years of buying electronics I’ve never encountered such a long warranty on a product!

The microphone easily slots in the hotshoe slot on top the camera. With the lead connecting into the mic jack on the left hand side of the camera. Upon playback you notice an improvement with the quality and volume of recorded audio straight away, easily surpassing the on-board mic. Having this attached also greatly reduces any noise coming from the AF system, although you still can notice it a little.

It’s much better for picking up subjects further away, and it really hones in on wherever the camera is pointed. This is great for recording the bride and groom exchanging vows at the wedding. Be warned though, in some situations this could be a disadvantage. For example, If you were filming a public speaker (e.g the best man), and then turned the camera to record the reaction of the crowd it’s likely you will suffer a significant dip in audio. This is not a design flaw as such, but is certainly something to bare in mind when using it.

However one aspect of the camera which does appear to be a design flaw is the inaccessibility of the sensitivity switch on the Rode. This can only be accessed by first taking out the microphone’s battery (9V). The actual switches themselves are also a little on the small side and require the use of a small tool such as mini screwdriver to actually operate them. For use on the fly this is highly impractical. It’s a good job it’s possible to adjust sensitivity via the menu system on board the camera.

All in all though it’s a good buy. The Rode greatly improves the audio, and successfully combats the autofocus problem. I’m confident to rely upon it in professional situations and it hasn’t let me down yet. Besides, If it ever does I’m covered by Rode’s ridiculous warranty!

To find out about the services we offer head over to the packages page. Also, check out the gallery to see some examples of our work.

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