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How good are dslr camera mics


DSLR cameras have become increasingly popular for capturing high-quality photos and videos. However, one aspect that often gets overlooked is the built-in microphone.

Many DSLR cameras come equipped with a built-in mic, but how good are they really? While these mics can capture audio, they often fall short in terms of quality and clarity.

External microphones are typically recommended for better audio quality when recording videos with a DSLR camera. These external mics can provide clearer sound, reduce background noise, and improve overall audio recording capabilities.

The Importance of DSLR Camera Mics

When it comes to capturing high-quality audio for your videos, the microphone on your DSLR camera plays a crucial role. The built-in microphone on most DSLR cameras is often not sufficient to capture clear and crisp sound, especially in noisy environments or when recording from a distance.

Investing in an external microphone for your DSLR camera can make a significant difference in the audio quality of your videos. External microphones are designed to capture sound more accurately and effectively, resulting in better overall audio quality. Whether you are filming interviews, vlogs, or short films, having a dedicated microphone can elevate the production value of your content.

Types of DSLR Camera Mics

  • Shotgun Microphones: Ideal for capturing sound from a specific direction, making them great for interviews or outdoor recording.
  • Lavalier Microphones: Small and discreet microphones that can be clipped onto clothing for hands-free recording, perfect for vlogs or presentations.
  • Stereo Microphones: Capture audio in stereo, providing a more immersive and natural sound experience for your viewers.

Tips for Using DSLR Camera Mics

  1. Position the microphone close to the sound source for clear audio.
  2. Use a windscreen or deadcat to reduce wind noise when filming outdoors.
  3. Monitor audio levels to ensure they are not peaking or too low during recording.

Enhancing Audio Quality

While DSLR camera microphones can capture decent audio, there are several ways to enhance the audio quality further:

  1. Invest in an external microphone: External microphones, such as shotgun or lavalier mics, can significantly improve audio quality by capturing sound more effectively and reducing background noise.
  2. Use a windscreen or deadcat: Wind noise can be a common issue when recording outdoors. Using a windscreen or deadcat can help reduce unwanted wind noise and improve the overall audio quality.
  3. Adjust microphone settings: Make sure to adjust the microphone settings on your DSLR camera to optimize audio levels and reduce distortion. Experiment with different settings to find the best configuration for your recording environment.
  4. Consider post-processing: After recording, you can further enhance the audio quality through post-processing techniques such as noise reduction, equalization, and compression. This can help fine-tune the audio and make it sound more professional.
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Types of DSLR Camera Mics

When it comes to DSLR camera mics, there are several types available to suit different needs and preferences. Here are some common types:

1. Built-in microphone: Most DSLR cameras come with a built-in microphone, which is convenient for capturing audio on the go. However, the quality may not be as good as external options.

2. Shotgun microphone: This type of mic is popular for its directional audio capture, making it ideal for recording subjects in front of the camera. It can help reduce background noise and focus on the main sound source.

3. Lavalier microphone: Also known as a lapel mic, this small microphone is clipped onto the subject’s clothing for hands-free audio recording. It is great for interviews, vlogs, and other situations where mobility is important.

4. Stereo microphone: Stereo mics capture audio in two channels, creating a more immersive sound experience. They are suitable for recording music, nature sounds, and other scenarios where spatial audio is desired.

5. Wireless microphone: These mics offer freedom of movement by eliminating the need for cables. They are great for recording events, interviews, and other situations where the subject needs to move around.

Shotgun vs. Lavalier Mics

When it comes to choosing a microphone for your DSLR camera, you may be faced with the decision of whether to use a shotgun mic or a lavalier mic. Both types of microphones have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand the differences between them.

Shotgun Mic

A shotgun mic is a highly directional microphone that picks up sound primarily from the direction it is pointed. This makes it great for capturing audio from a specific source or subject while minimizing background noise. Shotgun mics are often used in filmmaking and video production where the focus is on capturing clear dialogue or sound effects.

Lavalier Mic

A lavalier mic, also known as a lapel mic, is a small microphone that is clipped onto the clothing of the person speaking. Lavalier mics are discreet and provide hands-free operation, making them ideal for interviews, presentations, and other situations where the speaker needs to move around freely. However, lavalier mics may pick up more ambient noise compared to shotgun mics.

Ultimately, the choice between a shotgun mic and a lavalier mic will depend on your specific recording needs and preferences. Consider the environment, the type of audio you want to capture, and the level of mobility required when making your decision.

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Factors to Consider

When evaluating the quality of DSLR camera mics, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Microphone Type: Different DSLR cameras come equipped with various types of microphones, such as built-in stereo mics, shotgun mics, or external mic inputs. The type of microphone can significantly impact the audio quality.
  • Frequency Response: The frequency response of the microphone determines the range of frequencies it can accurately capture. A wider frequency response generally results in better audio quality.
  • Directionality: Consider the directionality of the microphone, whether it is omnidirectional, cardioid, or shotgun. Different directional patterns are suitable for different recording scenarios.

Additional Considerations

  • External Mic Support: Check if the DSLR camera supports external microphones and if it has the necessary input connections.
  • Audio Controls: Look for cameras with manual audio controls that allow you to adjust settings like gain and levels for better sound quality.

Directionality and Sensitivity

One of the key advantages of DSLR camera mics is their directional capability. This means that they can focus on capturing sound from a specific direction while minimizing background noise. This feature is particularly useful in noisy environments or when you want to isolate a particular sound source.

Additionally, DSLR camera mics are designed to be sensitive to a wide range of audio frequencies. This enables them to capture both low and high-frequency sounds with clarity and accuracy. Whether you are recording a quiet conversation or a loud concert, a DSLR camera mic can deliver high-quality audio recordings.

Tips for Better Audio Recording

When using a DSLR camera mic for audio recording, there are a few tips you can follow to improve the quality of your sound:

1. Use an External Microphone: Consider investing in an external microphone for better audio quality. External mics can capture sound more effectively and reduce background noise.

2. Monitor Levels: Keep an eye on your audio levels to avoid distortion or clipping. Adjust the levels accordingly to ensure clear and balanced sound.

3. Control Background Noise: Choose a quiet location for recording to minimize background noise. Consider using a windscreen or foam cover to reduce unwanted noise interference.

4. Position the Microphone Properly: Place the microphone close to the sound source for better audio capture. Experiment with different positions to find the optimal placement for your recording.

5. Test Your Equipment: Before recording, test your equipment to ensure everything is working properly. Check for any interference or technical issues that may affect the audio quality.

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6. Edit and Enhance: After recording, use audio editing software to enhance the sound quality. Adjust levels, remove background noise, and apply filters to improve the overall audio experience.

Proper Mic Placement

Proper mic placement is crucial when using a DSLR camera mic to ensure high-quality audio recordings. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

1. Distance from the Source

Position the microphone at an appropriate distance from the sound source to capture clear and balanced audio. Too close, and you risk distortion; too far, and the sound may be weak. Experiment with different distances to find the sweet spot.

2. Directionality

Understand the directionality of your microphone and point it towards the sound source for optimal audio pickup. Some microphones have a cardioid pattern that captures sound from the front while reducing background noise. Adjust the angle to maximize sound quality.

Location Effect
Above the subject Clear voice capture
Behind the subject Background noise reduction
Close to the sound source Intimate sound recording


Are DSLR camera mics good enough for professional video production?

DSLR camera mics can be sufficient for amateur or hobbyist video production, but they may not meet the quality standards required for professional productions. Professional filmmakers often opt for external microphones or audio recording equipment to ensure high-quality sound.

Do DSLR camera mics capture clear audio in noisy environments?

DSLR camera mics can struggle to capture clear audio in noisy environments due to their limited sensitivity and directional capabilities. In loud or noisy settings, it is recommended to use external microphones or audio recording devices to ensure better sound quality.

Can DSLR camera mics be used for recording interviews or dialogues?

DSLR camera mics can be used for recording interviews or dialogues in quiet environments where background noise is minimal. However, for professional results or in noisy settings, it is advisable to use external microphones such as lavalier microphones or shotgun mics to capture clear and crisp audio.

Are there any ways to enhance the audio quality of DSLR camera mics?

There are several ways to enhance the audio quality of DSLR camera mics, such as using external microphones, windshields or deadcats to reduce wind noise, and recording audio separately on a dedicated audio recorder. Additionally, post-production techniques like noise reduction and equalization can also help improve the overall sound quality.

Carmen J. Moore
Carmen J. Moore

Carmen J. Moore is an expert in the field of photography and videography, blending a passion for art with technical expertise. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she is recognized as a sought-after photographer and videographer capable of capturing moments and crafting unique visual narratives.

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