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RODE videomic VS the PRO version
  • I have done some research for a low cost mic for my GH2 shoulder rig and i am very close to order the RODE videomic as i think it has not significant difference with the PRO version. I don't care much for the size, but i do care for the quality. Any suggestions ?
  • 42 Replies sorted by
  • I'll tell you my personal subjective view on this.
    I do not own either mike.
    So, this will be from pure usability and investment value side.
    Pro version is smaller and have preamp. As far as I know most people think that it is of higher quality, including shock mount, etc.
    But I strongly recommend you to have XLR recorder and long separate mike on your rig, at least as an option.
    Because shotgun mikes side rejection is highly dependent of mike length. And in run and gun you are generally not in optimal position. It won't be so light as Rode mikes, unfortunately.
    If you have option to have separate sound man (or shooting from tripod) then even cheap mike with cheap boom positioned properly will outperform best shotgun.
  • well , thank you. I'll keep that in mind. In a controlled situation of course i will use an XLR recorder with some properly positioned microphone but i think to have an option of a directional mike on the rig is a good thing. Now the question for me is if you don't care about the size factor does the PRO version worth the extra money ? Maybe an owner of both can answer this.
  • i found this link: http://www.juicedlink.com/audio-preamps-mixers-etc-c-66
    maybe useful for GH1 or GH2 DS214 to eliminate noise, maybe better DT-454 for XLR, do you have advice?
  • I don't own Rode VMP, but I considered it seriously. It has a few drawbacks. Unbalanced output isn't good for long cable connection. Carrying a separate battery can be cumbersome. Its built-in shockmount is both good and bad. The built-in preamp... who cares.

    I got AT875R shotgun mic. XLR balanced output. It draws low voltage. Small enough. I got ART Dual Pre preamp w/ phantom power. The only issue was portability. It's little over a pound. I got a compact rig w/ QR-01 quick release. All worked out nicely. I can take Dual Pre to workplace and use it as a preamp for my iphone. Haha. It sounds much better. Connect it to a laptop via USB to record digital audio in high quality.


  • May be this will be useful:

  • well, i have seen a video review (i´ve been looking for it again, and i´m sorry, but i couldn´t find it) that says that with the gh2 the videomic pro at +20 was useless because of the autogain, (this review was made long before the hack), so keep in mind that if you are going to use the videomic pro, that from that review at 0db performs exactly the same as the videomic, you must hack the autogain first and run some tests to see if the +20db feature works properly or not.

    btw, i´m with our almighty hacker on this, you should probably buy a proper shotgun, maybe the rode ntg-2 (that records a lot better than the videomics) (USD 200):
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rode-NTG-2-Broadcast-quality-shotgun-Microphone-/290604465725?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a9603e3d

    and perhaps buy also one of this (to mount on the hot shoe):
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pro-3-8-inch-Tripod-screw-Flash-Hot-Shoe-Adapter-/250838132298?pt=Camera_Flash_Accessories&hash=item3a671e264a

    or this two (to have direction from the hot shoe):
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-3-8-Convert-Screw-Adapter-Tripod-Monopod-/110608140315?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c0c2481b
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/360-Flash-Shoe-Umbrella-Holder-Ball-Head-Light-Stand-/170633409568?pt=Camera_Flash_Accessories&hash=item27ba8b3420

    or better (a shockmount for the hot shoe):
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rode-SM3-Shockmount-NTG-1-NTG-2-/320740963561?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aada6b4e9

    remember also that a kitten/dead wombat is a must if you think you will record on a windy scenario...

    and at least from my point of view is a lot better that the ntg-2 uses 1 AAA battery, instead of the 9 volt battery of the videomic´s, because most likely tou will find a AAA anywhere, or probably you already have rechargeable AAA´s...

    greetings!
  • If you ask me for cheap shotgun I am for MXL FR-300
    image

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MXL-10-inch-Camcorder-Shotgun-Condenser-Microphone-Mic-/110699585631

    It is much hotter than Rode and with TR100 or Zoom recorders it is big plus.
  • I've used the regular VideoMic many times, and I own the VideoMic Pro. I don't think the difference in sound quality is that great - unless you're using a Canon DSLR, in which case the the +20dB function on the VideoMic Pro gives you better results (this feature is useless on the GH2, I mostly have the VMP set on -10dB when using it on my GH2).

    The downfalls of both of these mics are similar. The problem is their weak, plastic construction, and their breakable shock mounts. The shock mount on the VMP constantly falls out of place and needs to be adjusted.

    That said, they are both very good sounding microphones. I'm working on a mic shootout right now (sorry Vitaliy - I didn't have the FR-300 when we did the shoot), and the VMP stands up really well against the competition. I'll be posting the new shootout on my blog in the next week or two, where you can hear the VMP back-to-back with other popular on-camera mics (the MKE 400, the Que Audio Q Mini, the Ambient Recording Tiny Mike and more).
  • Factor in that you don't get a deadcat with the Videomic and the price difference is very little, worth it IMHO. Ideally you'd always use XLR mics, but the ability to have a very small, yet broadcast quality shotgun that can be used without the need for an audio recorder has been invaluable in many situations, personally.
  • @ Ptchaw
    I think Rode has stop giving out the free deadcat for VMP. I heard it's only available for those mic that has serial number below 4000.

    @ Sam_Mallery
    So would you recommend the VMP for GH2? I mean audio wise, despite the plastic quality.

  • Yeah, the free included Deadcat promotion for the VideoMic Pro is over.

    Yes, I would recommend the Rode VideoMic Pro for the GH2. The rubber bands on the shock mount fall out constantly, and it's a real annoyance. But, sound quality wise, it's a good mic.

    I agree with Ptchaw... These little mics obviously aren't the end all be all. If you're shooting a serious project, you're going to need to have better sound equipment. But, for the occasional, not-so-terribly-important shoot, these mics are great to have around.
  • if you are recording sound off an interview, no shotgun mike is ever good enough. You will always use a lavaliar, or lapel mike, because it will cut out ambience quite significantly.

    level the input using a 4 track mixer on set, and you have very clean sound
  • Vitaliy Is the VM Pro output at line-out level ? Or is it just amplified a bit ? I remember that the tiny iriver recorders had a VERY clean line-in recording, so I wonder if the VM Pro will output line-out.

  • @kazuo - imho, the exact opposite is true. Every dubbing mixer I know will reach for the shotgun before the lavalier

  • I will start by saying that I am no pro on sound gear, all I know is pretty much what is practical to suit me for my purposes in making short films. That being said, I have done many sound comparisons and found that price-wise, for film making purposes, the Rode NTG-3 with Juicedlink CX-231 is a great choice. I bought both of them used from reputable sellers and grabbed a 17' telescopic painter's pole from Home Depot and a Pearstone shockmount..all for about $650 total. I love the sound quality and I've never had any buyer's remorse. But if you just need something small so you can run and gun, without needing a guy to operate a boom then a camera mounted mic will suit you better.

  • NTG-3 *highly recommended -Mirror match for the Mkh 416 (industry standard)

  • @mrBill

    Actually you are wrong too. If you're a capable location sound recordist you would have three: a lavalier (wireless), a gun, and onboard mike. Then you mix :)

  • I bought the regular VideoMic because the Pro version looked a bit flimsy, and I'd heard of the rubber bands coming off. I've never had any problems with the regular one, even running with it on a glidecam it's never detached.

  • @kazuo - who TF mixes an onboard mic with a wireless and a boom?

  • any shoot with a sound mixer and boom op is not going to have an onboard mic to mix, Period

  • @MikeDax - i had that problem with the Pro version, and ended up using really small tie-wraps to keep rubber bands in place - works great now