5 Tips for Your Internal Camcorder Microphone

Most camcorders with a microphone come with an internal microphone, so that you can record sync sound with your video. While this comes in handy a lot, you should not rely on it if you need to capture great audio for two reasons. The biggest drawback is that it picks up sound from every direction so you can clearly hear things happening outside of your frame. The other downside is that the microphone is attached to the camera, so if your subjects are far away from you in a wide shot, you will have trouble hearing them. But, sometimes you don't have any other choice but to use the internal microphone. Here are 5 tips to help you get the best audio.

1. Wear Headphones

If your camera has a headphone jack, then wear headphones when you're shooting. This way you'll know when the audio is good and when it's bad. It's better to know that you're having problems on set where they can be fixed, as opposed to after the shoot at home when you're watching everything.

2. Keep the Camera Closer to the Subject

As mentioned in the intro, you want to keep the cameras as close as possible to the subject in order to hear her best. It might be tempting to stay where you are and quickly zoom in to get the close up, but that's not the right way to do it.

3. Keep Everyone Quiet

Because the microphone can pick up noise from every direction, it is extremely important that everyone is quiet because you will hear them. You will also hear other things loudly too, like cars passing by and refrigerators. If it makes noise, then it will be picked up. This is the main reason why you want to stay away from using the internal microphone whenever possible. If you're shooting a live event, it will be very hard to distinguish what you're hearing because the microphone will pick it up.

4. Shooting Outdoors Can Get Ugly

Professional external mics have windscreens for shooting out doors, so you don't hear the noise of the wind blowing into a mic. Your internal mic does not have this, and it will pick up the slightest breeze. Wind hitting a microphone is not a pleasant sound. To the video editor, it is similar to nails scratching against a chalk board.

5. Keep the Lens Cap Away

Some camcorders have lens caps that attach to it so it won't ever get lost. This is great, but if it's swinging and hitting the camera, you will hear it on the internal mic. You should remove the cap from the camera when using the internal mic to capture audio.

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