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How to record audio with a dslr camera


Recording high-quality audio is essential for creating professional videos with your DSLR camera. While DSLR cameras are known for their superior video quality, their built-in microphones often fall short when it comes to capturing clear and crisp audio. To ensure that your videos have great sound to match the stunning visuals, it’s important to learn how to properly record audio with a DSLR camera.

There are several options available for recording audio with a DSLR camera. One popular method is to use an external microphone that can be attached directly to the camera. This allows you to capture audio closer to the source, resulting in better sound quality. Another option is to use a separate audio recording device, such as a digital recorder or a lavalier microphone, and then sync the audio with your video in post-production.

It’s also important to consider the environment in which you are filming and adjust your audio recording setup accordingly. For example, if you are shooting outdoors where there is a lot of background noise, you may need to use a directional microphone to isolate the sound you want to capture. Additionally, using a windscreen or a deadcat can help reduce wind noise when filming in windy conditions.

Guide to Recording Audio with a DSLR Camera

When recording video with a DSLR camera, capturing high-quality audio is just as important as getting great visuals. Here are some tips to help you record better audio with your DSLR:

1. External Microphone

Invest in a good external microphone that can be mounted on your camera or connected to a separate audio recorder. This will improve the sound quality significantly compared to the built-in microphone on your camera.

2. Use a Windscreen

When recording outdoors, make sure to use a windscreen or a furry cover for your microphone to reduce wind noise and unwanted background sounds. This will help you capture cleaner audio.

Remember: Position the microphone close to the sound source for better audio quality and use headphones to monitor the audio levels while recording.

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Understanding Audio Inputs on DSLR Cameras

When it comes to recording audio with a DSLR camera, understanding the different audio inputs available is crucial. Most DSLR cameras come equipped with a built-in microphone, but the quality of the audio captured may not always be ideal. That’s where external audio inputs come into play.

Types of Audio Inputs

There are typically two types of audio inputs found on DSLR cameras: a 3.5mm microphone input and a headphone output. The 3.5mm microphone input allows you to connect an external microphone to your camera, which can significantly improve the quality of your audio recordings. The headphone output, on the other hand, allows you to monitor the audio being recorded in real-time, ensuring that you are capturing clear, high-quality sound.

It’s important to note that not all DSLR cameras have both a microphone input and a headphone output. Before purchasing a camera for audio recording purposes, make sure to check whether it has the necessary audio inputs to meet your needs.

Choosing the Right Microphone for DSLR Audio Recording

When it comes to recording audio with a DSLR camera, the microphone you choose can make a big difference in the quality of your recordings. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a microphone for DSLR audio recording:

Type of Microphone:

There are different types of microphones available for DSLR cameras, including shotgun, lavalier, and handheld microphones. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your recording needs.

Shotgun microphones are ideal for capturing audio from a distance and are commonly used for filmmaking and outdoor recording. They have a narrow pickup pattern that helps to isolate the sound source and reduce background noise.

Lavalier microphones, also known as lapel mics, are small and discreet microphones that can be clipped onto the speaker’s clothing. They are great for interviews and presentations where the speaker needs to move around.

Handheld microphones are versatile and easy to use, making them suitable for a wide range of recording situations. They are commonly used for interviews, live performances, and field recording.

Connection Type:

Another important factor to consider is the connection type of the microphone. Most DSLR cameras have a 3.5mm microphone input, so make sure the microphone you choose is compatible with your camera’s input.

Some microphones require batteries or external power sources, so be sure to check the power requirements of the microphone before making a purchase.

By considering these factors and choosing the right microphone for your DSLR camera, you can ensure that your audio recordings are clear and professional-sounding.

Setting Up Your Microphone for DSLR Recording

When recording audio with a DSLR camera, it’s important to set up your microphone correctly to ensure high-quality sound. Follow these steps to properly configure your microphone:

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1. Choose the Right Microphone

First, select a microphone that is compatible with your DSLR camera. Consider factors such as the type of microphone (shotgun, lavalier, etc.), connection type (XLR, 3.5mm), and power source (battery-powered, phantom power).

2. Attach the Microphone

Once you have chosen the appropriate microphone, attach it to your camera using the designated microphone input. Make sure the connection is secure to prevent any audio interference or loose connections during recording.

Adjusting Audio Levels on Your DSLR Camera

When recording audio with your DSLR camera, it is important to ensure that the audio levels are set correctly to capture clear and high-quality sound. Here are some tips for adjusting the audio levels on your DSLR camera:

1. Access the Audio Settings: Start by accessing the audio settings on your camera. This can usually be found in the menu under the audio or sound settings.

2. Set the Input Level: Adjust the input level to ensure that the audio is not too quiet or too loud. You can usually adjust the input level using the camera’s menu or buttons.

3. Use a Headphone: If your camera has a headphone jack, consider using headphones to monitor the audio levels while recording. This can help you make real-time adjustments to ensure optimal audio quality.

4. Test Before Recording: Before you start recording, test the audio levels by speaking into the microphone or making some noise. Make sure that the levels are not peaking or clipping.

5. Experiment and Adjust: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different audio levels and settings to find the best option for your recording environment. Make small adjustments and listen to the results to fine-tune the audio levels.

By following these tips and adjusting the audio levels on your DSLR camera, you can capture clear and high-quality audio to complement your video recordings.

Using External Audio Recorders with DSLR Cameras

While DSLR cameras are great for capturing high-quality video, they often fall short when it comes to audio recording. The built-in microphones on most DSLRs are usually not of the best quality and can pick up a lot of unwanted noise.

To improve the audio quality of your DSLR videos, you can use an external audio recorder. These devices are specifically designed to capture high-quality audio and can be easily connected to your camera for synchronized recording.

Benefits of Using an External Audio Recorder:

1. Improved audio quality: External audio recorders are equipped with high-quality microphones that can capture clear and crisp sound.

2. Reduced noise: External recorders can help reduce background noise and unwanted sounds, resulting in cleaner audio recordings.

Syncing Audio and Video in Post-Production

Once you have recorded audio separately from your DSLR camera, you will need to sync it with your video in post-production. There are several methods you can use to accomplish this:

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1. Manual Syncing:

If you recorded a reference audio track on your camera, you can manually sync the external audio with the camera’s audio track by aligning the waveforms in your video editing software.

2. Using Clapperboards:

Using a clapperboard at the beginning of your recording can provide a visual and audio cue that makes it easier to sync the audio and video in post-production.

Tip: Make sure to use the same audio cue, such as a clap or a word, at the beginning of both the external audio recording and the camera’s audio track for easier syncing.

By following these methods, you can ensure that your audio and video are perfectly synced in post-production, resulting in a professional-looking final product.

Tips for Achieving High-Quality Audio with a DSLR Camera

When recording audio with a DSLR camera, it’s important to pay attention to the sound quality to ensure that your videos have professional-grade audio. Here are some tips to help you achieve high-quality audio with your DSLR camera:

1. Use an External Microphone

One of the best ways to improve audio quality is to use an external microphone instead of relying on the built-in mic of the camera. External microphones can help capture clearer and more focused sound, reducing background noise and improving overall audio quality.

2. Position the Microphone Properly

When using an external microphone, make sure to position it correctly for optimal sound capture. Depending on the type of microphone you’re using (shotgun, lavalier, etc.), proper positioning can make a significant difference in the audio quality of your recordings.

3. Monitor Audio Levels Ensure that you monitor the audio levels while recording to prevent clipping or distortion. Keep an eye on the audio meters on your camera or use headphones to listen to the audio in real-time and adjust the levels accordingly.
4. Use Wind Protection If you’re recording outdoors, consider using a windscreen or deadcat to minimize wind noise. Wind can ruin an otherwise great recording, so investing in wind protection accessories can greatly improve the audio quality of your outdoor shoots.


What equipment do I need to record audio with a DSLR camera?

To record audio with a DSLR camera, you will need an external microphone, a microphone cable, and possibly a microphone stand or boom pole to position the microphone close to your subject. Additionally, you may need an audio recorder if your DSLR camera does not have a built-in microphone input.

Can I use the built-in microphone on my DSLR camera to record audio?

While some DSLR cameras do have built-in microphones, the audio quality may not be as good as an external microphone. Built-in microphones can pick up more background noise and may not provide the clarity and depth of sound that an external microphone can offer. It is generally recommended to use an external microphone for better audio quality.

What are some tips for recording high-quality audio with a DSLR camera?

To record high-quality audio with a DSLR camera, make sure to use an external microphone positioned close to your subject for clear and crisp sound. Reduce background noise as much as possible by choosing a quiet location and using a windscreen or deadcat to minimize wind noise. Monitor your audio levels to avoid clipping or distortion, and consider using a separate audio recorder for better control over your audio recording.

Do I need to sync audio with video when recording with a DSLR camera?

If you are using an external audio recorder, you will need to sync the audio with the video in post-production. This can be done manually by matching the audio waveform with the video timeline or using software tools like PluralEyes to automate the process. Syncing audio and video ensures that the sound is properly aligned with the visuals for a professional and polished final product.

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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