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Advice wanted: Canon DM-100 vs 3rd-party cold-shoe mic

rs-eos
Whiz

I have a Vixia HF G50 that has both a standard cold shoe and proprietary mini Canon shoe.

 

I'm a bit torn between the following two audio solutions and would like to hear from others. The following options are mics that have two operating modes: mono shotgun and XY stereo.

 

Option one: Canon Directional Stereo Microphone DM-100.

 

Option two: most likely an Azden SMX-30

 

The pros for the Canon: less expensive, smaller, lighter.  No extra power needed.  Would mount towards the rear of the unit (thus no possibilty of the tip of the mic being visible by the lens at its widest).   Cons... 

 

Cons of the Canon.  I cannot find any specifications whatsoever on Canon's site.  I can find a slightly different part of DM-E100.  But its specs are quite poor.  e.g. frequency response of only 100 Hz to 10 KHz.    Also, with the proprietary connection, I couldn't ever use it with my Canon EOS 5D IV if ever wanting to shoot video with that.

 

The pros for the Azden (or similar 3rd-party mics in its class).  Much better specs (at least on paper).  Many more options such as +20, 0 and -10db settings.   Can mount to any cold-shoe.  Could also use this on a boom arm if needed.

 

Cons for the Azden: A bit heavier and bulkier.  Mounts to the front end of the camera.  Possible that the edges of the wind screen may be visible when the cam is at the widest angle setting?  Requires batteries to power it, though with the auto-on setting (which may be compatible with the G50 as I understand from the user manual), that's not a huge deal.

 

Thanks in advance.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Inapickle
Rising Star

I have the DM-100. I made some comments about it in an a recent thread - "Canon Vixia HF-G60 - Questions on: Gain db versus ISO - and other questions". Can't cross link to other threads on this forum (which is annoying), so I'll quote:

 

"Yes, I have a DM-100 microphone. Doesn't quite have frequency spectrum of a Rode mic, but it's very convenient and versatile - you can switch between shotgun and stereo (90 and 120 degree) pick-up patterns and like you say just attach it to the camcorder without having to worry about cables and whether the external mic is powered on or not. Like many proprietery accessories it's quite pricey; I bought mine from a local camera store (open box sale in mint condition) for $CAN 100 years back when I had an HF-G10. Still use it a lot with my HF-G40 - sporting events especially where I'm not so bothered about capturing the full spectrum of ambient sounds - for that I use a Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro. One shortcoming of the DM-100 is that it does not have a low-cut (high-pass) filter switch and actually disables the low cut filter option in the camera menu that is normally available when connecting an external microphone to the mic jack. The' fur coat' that comes with the DM-100 provides some wind protection, but in anything more than breeze you'll get wind noise. Actually some years back I had dialogue with Rycote about producing a custom 'Windjammer' for it - they had one for the earlier DM-50 model, but not the DM-100. It got as far as producing and testing a prototype. The 'Windjammer' for the DM-50 just had a thin layer of acoustic foam in the fur lining. This one had an inner sleeve of 1" thick low density reticulated foam (as used in their 'Softie' models) with the fur coat fitted over that. Quite bulky when assembled, but the performance was excellent. Unfortuntely they decided not to put it into production because they thought there wouldn't be the demand at a profitable price point owing to the high manufacturing costs. I still have the prototype though and sometimes resort to it in strong, blustery winds. The Rode SVMP with it's 'dead kitten' fur copes quite well, up to a point"

 

Personally, I'd go with the Azden. You'd have much greater control over the audio quality.

 

If the edges of the Azden windscreen do appear in frame when mounted on the forward cold shoe you could you use an adapter to mount it on the rear Mini Advanced Shoe instead. Can't link to specific products here, but just do a search for 'Mini Advanced Shoe to Universal Shoe Adapter'. The plastic type that have a little a little tab to lock the foot in place are OK but are prone to break. I prefer one made by DM-Accessories that is all aluminium construction and screws down - more expensive but rock solid. Or else use a cold shoe extension bar to move the microphone back or to the side. I have a 4"/100mm one made by Rycote. Again very solid.

 

I suppose you could use the Azden with 'Auto' levels on the HF-G50 but would you really want to ? It's only going to compress the audio and increase gain noise. Better to set the levels manually and normalise the audio in post.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Incidentally, this the prototype custom Rycote Windjammer for the DM-100 that I mentioned - mounted on an HF-G10 there. It's a monster

 

DM-100 Rycote Windjammer.png

 

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4

Inapickle
Rising Star

I have the DM-100. I made some comments about it in an a recent thread - "Canon Vixia HF-G60 - Questions on: Gain db versus ISO - and other questions". Can't cross link to other threads on this forum (which is annoying), so I'll quote:

 

"Yes, I have a DM-100 microphone. Doesn't quite have frequency spectrum of a Rode mic, but it's very convenient and versatile - you can switch between shotgun and stereo (90 and 120 degree) pick-up patterns and like you say just attach it to the camcorder without having to worry about cables and whether the external mic is powered on or not. Like many proprietery accessories it's quite pricey; I bought mine from a local camera store (open box sale in mint condition) for $CAN 100 years back when I had an HF-G10. Still use it a lot with my HF-G40 - sporting events especially where I'm not so bothered about capturing the full spectrum of ambient sounds - for that I use a Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro. One shortcoming of the DM-100 is that it does not have a low-cut (high-pass) filter switch and actually disables the low cut filter option in the camera menu that is normally available when connecting an external microphone to the mic jack. The' fur coat' that comes with the DM-100 provides some wind protection, but in anything more than breeze you'll get wind noise. Actually some years back I had dialogue with Rycote about producing a custom 'Windjammer' for it - they had one for the earlier DM-50 model, but not the DM-100. It got as far as producing and testing a prototype. The 'Windjammer' for the DM-50 just had a thin layer of acoustic foam in the fur lining. This one had an inner sleeve of 1" thick low density reticulated foam (as used in their 'Softie' models) with the fur coat fitted over that. Quite bulky when assembled, but the performance was excellent. Unfortuntely they decided not to put it into production because they thought there wouldn't be the demand at a profitable price point owing to the high manufacturing costs. I still have the prototype though and sometimes resort to it in strong, blustery winds. The Rode SVMP with it's 'dead kitten' fur copes quite well, up to a point"

 

Personally, I'd go with the Azden. You'd have much greater control over the audio quality.

 

If the edges of the Azden windscreen do appear in frame when mounted on the forward cold shoe you could you use an adapter to mount it on the rear Mini Advanced Shoe instead. Can't link to specific products here, but just do a search for 'Mini Advanced Shoe to Universal Shoe Adapter'. The plastic type that have a little a little tab to lock the foot in place are OK but are prone to break. I prefer one made by DM-Accessories that is all aluminium construction and screws down - more expensive but rock solid. Or else use a cold shoe extension bar to move the microphone back or to the side. I have a 4"/100mm one made by Rycote. Again very solid.

 

I suppose you could use the Azden with 'Auto' levels on the HF-G50 but would you really want to ? It's only going to compress the audio and increase gain noise. Better to set the levels manually and normalise the audio in post.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Incidentally, this the prototype custom Rycote Windjammer for the DM-100 that I mentioned - mounted on an HF-G10 there. It's a monster

 

DM-100 Rycote Windjammer.png

 

Thanks for all the very useful details.

 

Yea, that windscreen is indeed large! The Azden appears to be about the same size.  But since it would sit a bit higher up as well, it may not be an issue.  Thanks for the tip though on mounting to the rear shoe via an adapter.  I did manage to find a brand that carries the all-metal mount version and I'd definitely go with that if needed.

 

Finally, I think you misread what I wrote about the auto-on feature; didn't mean to imply using auto-levels for sound.  The auto-on is a feature on the Azden where it's power can be turned automatically on/off by the connected piece of equipment.   It's not phantom power; just some kind of "power sensing" tech to know when to self power on/off. The Canon G50 manual implies this should work.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


@rs-eos wrote:

Finally, I think you misread what I wrote about the auto-on feature; didn't mean to imply using auto-levels for sound.  The auto-on is a feature on the Azden where it's power can be turned automatically on/off by the connected piece of equipment.   It's not phantom power; just some kind of "power sensing" tech to know when to self power on/off. The Canon G50 manual implies this should work.


Just checked the HF-G50 manual and it does indeed say that the camcorder can supply power to an external 'plug-in-power' microphone when the 'MIC Power' setting is turned ON in the Audio Setup menu, but cautions that supplying power to a microphone without plug-in power functionality may damage the microphone.

 

Didn't realize the HF-G50 has this functionality. Looks like the HF-G60 has it too. That's good to know. My HF-G40 only works with self-powered external mics.

rhckm49
Enthusiast

I have a G40 camcorder and I use the microphone at the back of the camera, which does not require a battery as it is a pass through. The DM-100 I believe is a more stable connection because with the wired microphones, you must connect it to the 3.5mm jack and if it comes disconnected, the camera reverts back to the internal microphone.

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