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The Importance of Quality DSLR Audio: RODE VideoMic GO Review

When RODE announced their latest consumer oriented microphone the VideoMic GO I was pretty amazed that it was priced at only $99. As more and more photographers venture into shooting video they quickly realize the importance of quality audio.

Now with the VideoMic Go quality audio does not have to be overly expensive. I recently took this microphone out for a spin to a friends concert.

Brian Marsella is a world famous pianist who creates unbelievable sounding music. His show was the perfect opportunity for me to give this microphone a spin.

The setup is very simple. Place the microphone in the hot shoe, run the single cable to the camera and boom, you are almost ready to record. There are no settings to switch or futz with on the microphone itself, it is simply one cable. On top of no buttons there is no need for separate batteries as the mic gets all it’s power from the camera.

The next step is one of the most important when it comes to capturing solid audio at concerts or in any situation for that matter. You have to set your levels properly. Sure you could leave the audio levels on auto and let the camera do the work. But the results you get tend to leave a little to be desired.

Most cameras now give you the ability to change the audio levels from Auto to Off to High, Medium and Low. Some of the higher end cameras even give you a much larger range to tweak your settings. I used the Nikon D4 for this shoot and set my audio levels all the way down to 2, which means I was in a loud environment.

Without getting into to much detail about the reasons behind settings I wanted to make sure my audio was not peeking. The visual representation of this is shown when the audio levels get into the red area. My goal was to keep my audio in the yellow area without it touching the red. In order to achieve this at the show I had to move my levels all the way down to 2.

As you can tell the results were spectacular. The audio is very balanced and does not go through major shifts that you tend to get when you leave it in auto.

So let’s move into a little bit of a review of this mic. For the price you are getting world class audio. Sure for more money you can get something with more bells and whistles but for most people just starting out with video this is a steal.

In a world where most people stick with the on board audio you will have a head start with something like the VideoMic Go. This shotgun microphone is perfect for doing interviews as long as your subject is right in front of the camera at a reasonable distance. It is a great option for general audio recording of the ambient sounds that are around you.

If you are using auto focus the microphone may still pick up the hunting noise slightly but it will be better than the onboard built in mic.

Is this the best microphone in the world? The simple answer is no but it definitely holds it’s on even against some of the more expensive microphones from RODE. For more on the VIDEOMIC GO please click here.

If you are new to video recording this is one option that I highly recommend that you invest in right off the bat.

For more on Brian Marsella and his music you can check out his website right here.

All the video was captured with the Nikon D4 on a manfroto video monopod with video head. I used the Nikon 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 lenses. The D4 was set to 1080P at 24 FPS. I also utilized the 2.7X Crop mode that the D4 offers.