Digital Photography Review

The 7 Best On-Camera Microphones for DSLR Cameras

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So you’ve finally realized your dream and started your very own Youtube channel. Congratulations!

Like many before you, you probably looked up which camera is best for Youtube beginners…

And you’ve hopefully found it!

But if you’re anything like all these new video makers…

You quickly found out something was off with your videos…

And that’s THE SOUND.

All of a sudden all these people telling you to worry more about the sound than the image quality kind of start making sense, huh?

Or maybe you actually already have a Youtube channel…

But the sound on your videos is still lacking and you’re looking for a better microphone…

Which is always a good idea by the way!

Well, rest assured, you’ve come to the right place as I have compiled for today’s post…

The very best DSLR camera microphones currently available on the market.

So you won’t ever have to shoot your videos thinking if the sound quality will be really bad, or just bad.

Sounds good? Then let’s start.

First off…

Why Audio is More Important than Video

Generally, beginners filmmakers tend to think that the most important feature of a video is… well, the video.

But somehow, studies continuously show that audio is actually the most important part of a successful video.

Yes, you’ve read right, it’s not “equally as important as video”, it is MORE important. But you may ask yourself…

Why is that, though?

Well, think about it, have you ever watched a beautifully shot video just to find out sound is horrific and you can barely make out what the person speaking is saying?

Weren’t you immediately put off and felt like stopping watching the video?

And have you ever watched a mediocre quality video, maybe grainy or unfocused, BUT with great sound? And didn’t you stick until the end?

Exactly! and that’s why.

So before taking a look at the best microphones for your camera, let’s first see what kind of microphones actually exist out there, so you can decide which is best for your usage.

The 3 Main Types of On-Camera Microphones

Essentially, vloggers, youtubers and amateur filmmakers use 2 types of microphones when on the field:

  1. Handheld recorders – which are compact standalone devices that have buil-in microphones but can also act as recorders for external mics. Some can be mounted on-camera.
  2. Lavaliers – which are meant to be clipped on the clothes of the speaking subject.
  3. Shotgun – which are technically on-camera mics as they are designed to be clipped onto your DSLR so as to stay out of frame

To find out more about handheld field recorder, I happen to have an article just about that very subject. Check it out:

  • 9 Handheld Field Recorders to get you Perfect Sound in ANY Situation

Now, as for lavaliers, these mics can either be directly plugged into your camera, OR they can be wireless

Meaning you will be carrying a transmitter that transmits radio frequencies. Obviously wireless Lavs’ are more expensive but they are vital in some situations.

To read more about wireless Lavalier mics and other microphones, check out this article:

  • Wireless Microphones: A Comprehensive Guide

As for shotgun mics, let’s have a closer look at them:

As their name suggests, shotgun mics are oblong and generally have a supercardioid/hypercardioid polar pattern…

Meaning they almost don’t pick any sound from the sides, which is great for eliminating surrounding sounds.

So let’s see which are the best on-camera shotgun mics currently available.

First off…

1. Movo VXR10

Starting with a VERY cheap microphone, we have the Movo VXR10.

This mic comes with a lot of useful accessories, such as a shock-mount, a deadcat windscreen and more.

However, this isn’t just one more super cheap quality microphone that’ll break after its second use…

It is actually very good and an insane value for the price.

With literally thousand of positive reviews praising its build and sound quality…

It seems there is currently no better alternative to The Movo VXR10 under the $40 price point.

And since it is so compact, you can also use it with your smartphone if you have a grip with a shoemount such as this one.

Check it out:

  • Click here to compare prices: (Amazon/B&H)

Next up…

2. Rode VideoMicro

What if I told you Rode have basically created the best microphone for amateur Youtubers and filmmakers that don’t know the first thing about sound engineering?

Well, a lot of people seem to agree on this statement when it comes to the Rode VideoMicro.

Here’s why:

  • It’s extremely simple to use – no buttons whatsoever, just plug it and start shooting and recording.
  • It’s very compact – seriously, it’s really small
  • It’s really cheap
  • It doesn’t use any batteries – it’s powered by your camera, meaning you won’t have to worry about forgetting to switch it on or off.

So if you’ve just started your Youtube channel or are looking to up your sound game without breaking the bank…

Consider the Rode VideoMicro.

Now, keep it mind the VideoMicro:

  • Doesn’t have any buttons – meaning you have virtualy no control over how sound is picked up, and if your camera doesn’t have a very good preamp your signal might lack some power
  • Isn’t self-powered – meaning it is not super dynamic and won’t pick up sounds if they’re slightly distant from it

Basically the best noob-friendly high quality shotgun mic.

Chek it out:

  • Click here to compare prices: (Amazon/B&H/Thomann)

Next up…

3. Deity D3 Pro

Huh? “Deity”?

If you’re like me chances are you’ve never heard about this company before.

And it wouldn’t be too surprising, since the brand only launched their first microphone in 2018.

In reality, they used to be part of Aputure, a cinema gear manufacturer, until their spin-off.

But pay attention as this is considered by many a direct competitor of the VideoMic Pro+ we just talked about…

And actually a clear winner too by many.

Turns out, they (very) rapidly made a name for themselves, for a variety of reasons, the main ones being:

  • A “stepless gain knob” – It might not seem like much, but the fact that you essentially have a volume knob for gain instead of switches means no more abrupt sounds when recording, and you can know smoothly adjust your gain even while shooting.
  • 51 hours of battery – compared the thirty-something hours only you get with Rode mics.
  • An insane value – actually, many users consider the brand to be the only one to fill the gap in between cheap and crappy mics and professional, expensive mics.

And the fact is that many professionals use Deity’s microphones as back ups to much more expensive, professional microphones.

Another reason for their quick success is the emphasis they put on social communication where they’re very active but most of all listen to their user’s feedback…

Check it out:

  • Click here to compare prices: – (Amazon/B&H)

Next up…

4. Rode VideoMic NTG

The Rode VideoMic NTG is pretty similar to the Rode VideoMic Pro we saw earlier…

With a few added features:

  • An aluminium construction – which might last longer than the VideoMic Pro+
  • A minus 20dB pad – compared to the -10db pad on the
  • A variable gain knob – which allows you to set the gain anywhere from 0 to +15, whereas the VideoMic Pro+’s knob only offers 3 positions, with no in-betweens.
  • An actual USB mic – You can actually use the VideoMic NTG as a full USB microphone to rcord on your computer.

On top of that, the NTG is actually cheaper than the VideoMic pro+.

Check it out:

  • Click here to compare prices – (Amazon/B&H)

Next up…

5. Rode VideoMic Pro+

In the same line as the VideoMicro, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ significantly steps up the game by offering much more control to the user:

  • An advanced suspension mount – it fully isolates the microphone from picking up handling sounds
  • 2 levels of high pass filters – so you can cut off surrounding sounds for example
  • An auto on/off feature – the mic automatically switches on/off when you turn your camera on/off
  • 3 ways of powering the mic – you can use it with AA batteries, rechargable battery or by USB.
  • Detachable and lockable cable – meaning you can replace a broken cable without sending back the mic or putting a shorter cable if you need to

Safety track feature

Here’s a feature many consider like the most important on this mic.

When activated, the microphone lowers the second channel’s recording by 10dB, so that even if you’re clipping at some point on the first channel…

You can always pick the same part in the other channel, which will have been recorded at -10dB and therefore won’t be clipping anymore…

Hence the name “safety track”.

Check it out:

  • Click here to compare prices: (Amazon/B&H)

Also check out the stereo version of this mic:

  • Click here to compare prices: (Amazon/B&H)

Next up…

6. Sennheiser MKE 600

Unlike the microphones we’ve seen until now…

The Sennheiser MKE 600 wasn’t primarily designed to be directly attached to cameras.

BUT since an adapter is included in the box, a lot of users actually use it as an on-camera microphones.

Which is why I included in this list.

Another reason is… Is sounds damn good.

With a much higher gain than the one of the NTG2, it will get you through pretty much any situation.

On top of that, the Sennheiser MKE 600 works off of phantom power, or AA batteries.

Check it out:

  • Click here to compare prices – (Amazon/B&H/Thomann)

Next up…

7. Shure VP83F

Compared to all the mics we’ve seen until now, the

Shure VP83F offers many significant upgrade:

  • Integrated micro-sd card recording – meaning you can record independently using the mic only, without any camera. In other words, this mic is a recorder on its own.
  • A screen – yes, it’s the only mic of this list to actually have a screen.
  • It’s compact – unlike some of Rode’s VideoMic’s line mics, it won’t get in your way if you use the viewfinder.
  • A MUCH greater RF rejection – meaning if your phone is close to the microphone, you won’t risk having a lot of interference, unlike other mics.

About this last point, check out this video that’ll give you a better idea of what I’m referring to:

And about the first point, you might wonder:

Why would I need to record sound directly onto a memory card in my mic?

Well, for a couple of reasons actually:

  • As a backup – imagine your mic’s memory card is damaged or something similar happens and you lose your mic’s audio. Since you’re able to record BOTH from the internal camera’s mic AND the VP83F, you’re essentialy always recording 2 tracks at the same time. If one fails, you’ll always have the other.
  • For better sound quality – what happens when you record into the camera? Well, because most DSLR don’t have great pre-aps, recording into them often yields a pretty bad hiss or other white noise. When recording directly into the Shure VP83F, you’ll be assured you get the best sound possible, with no risk of hiss or other non-desirable mechanical sound.

Now, this comes with a few caveats:

  • You need to press record on 2 devices – you need to record on both your DSLR and the mic, so don’t forget about that.
  • You’ll need to sync image and sound – since you’re recording on your mic independently, you’ll need to sync the tracks to the image you’re capturing on your DSLR

So if that’s a big no for you, take a look at the same model but WITHOUT integrated recorder, which records using your DSLR’s pre-amp.

Check them out:

  • Shure VP83F – (Amazon/B&H/Thomann)
  • Shure VP83 (no integrated recorder) – (Amazon/B&H/Thomann)

And That’s It

So there you have it, the 7 Best On-Camera Microphones for DSLR cameras, hopefully you’ve found the right one for you!

‘Til next time

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