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Panasonic DMW-MS2 Shotgun Condenser Microphone
  • The MS2 is Panasonic's all new flagship 'GH3' shotgun condenser microphone.

    The mic sports the required 3.5mm jack cable, mic holder,cable holder, lock ring, tripod/hot shoe mount, mini plug 2m cable extender, windjammer and case. Its very easy to put together and you'll be up and shooting within minutes. After mounting and plugging in the 3.5mm jack the unit is powered once you switch on the GH3.

    Use the audio mic menus on the GH3 to switch between the following setups:-

    • [Shotgun] Allows recording from one direction by shutting out background and surrounding noise.

    • [Stereo] Allows normal stereo recording over a wide area.

    The windjammer can be fitted to the MS2 to knock out unwanted wind noise and very effective it is too. You can further reduce noise by selecting [Wind Cut] on the GH3. Mount the microphone either on top of the camera with the supplied hot shoe (which Panasonic believe is designed to sit at the best height for run and gun! - around 2 inches off the top of camera) or use the extension cable and mount it to a tripod of its own.

    Be careful not to use the the GH3's in-built flash when the mic is attached to the top of the camera - don't want any nasty surprises!

    Please find attached images of the mic and the response charts to the GH3 in-built settings.

    Summary: A very capable little condenser mic that is pretty accurate in both shotgun mode - knocking out surrounding sounds in the stereo field whilst concentrating on the cameras direct line of sight. Its also offers a much better recording of the full stereo field in Stereo mode against the internal mic of the GH3. But let you be the judge - watch a test video on vimeo here (pretty much most of the sound is unedited straight from the MS2);-

    The only drawback is probably price - for the same amount (£280 in the UK) - one can buy a Zoom or second hand Rode etc...

  • 9 Replies sorted by
  • Great video - very funny.

  • Great writeup, thanks. Any comparisons to the Rode VideoMic Pro?

  • Anyone wishing to compare this mic against a typically comparably-priced 'best-selling' video mic like the Rode NTG2 should look at the Rode chart below.

    rodentg2 spec.png
    860 x 1160 - 423K
  • It seems to me, that this microphone is basically MS-Stereo (Mid-Side) that is decoded in camera (or in mic). The little bump on top being the 8-charactaristic capsule. Can someone answer me some questions to this:

    • Is the mid and the side-signal recorded in shotgun mode to the 2nd channel of the camera, or just the mid-signal to both tracks?

    • Is there a battery powering the microphone, or is the GH3 providing phantom power? If later, what is the voltage?

  • @driftwood what min and max levels did you use with this mic 1-19 on this shoot? Sounds and looks good. I just did quick test with VMP and there is no way to pick reds, only quality goes down when increased +20.

  • @neveraholiday if it's like their cheaper MS offerings it'll be decoded in Mic with possibly a "width" control

  • I purchased the microphone and very quickly found that it picks up lens noise, such as the auto-focus operation. This occurs when the subject distance varies and you have AF switched on. I contacted Panasonic and they stated that they did not consider this to be a fault and suggested that I returned the mic if not happy with it.

    If you want to use this microphone, you have to find a mount which isolates it from the camera. The sales blurb mentions that there is some isolation built into the mic, but I found that in practice this is not the case.

  • I would be curious to know how this mic compares to the lesser expensive Rode NTG2 shotgun mic. I have had good results with the NTG2, but rarely use it placed directly on the camera. Instead, I would mount it on a stand or boom close to the audio source. The short cable on the Panasonic shotgun mic is intended for mounting on the camera, but that's not the ideal location for it. A shock mount will reduce handling noise, but won't do much to isolate mechanical noises like lenses and switches.

  • Does the menu in the GH4 offer new options for controlling the mid/side matrix mixing? It would be cool if there was an option to record the capsules to separate tracks and have the option to mix the matrix in post. I suspect Panasonic figured most "enthusiast" shooters wouldn't know how to do this, so this may be why the dumbed down the GH3 in-camera features. Just wondering if anything has improved with the GH4 for this mic.