3 Types of Camcorder Microphones
The 3 main types of camcorder microphones are shotgun, lapel and handheld. All camcorders come standard with built-in microphones, but if you are looking for higher quality sound, an external microphone is the way to go. Depending on what you need the external microphone for, the guide below will help you pick if the shotgun, lapel, or handheld microphone is right for you.
All of these microphones can be purchased in wired and wireless models. Wired camcorder microphones are directly connected to your camcorder. Wireless camcorder microphones come with a receiver that is connected directly into the camcorder. You then connect a transmitter to the microphone so that it can connect to the receiver. While the wired camcorder microphones will produce a better sound, you are limited in regards to the distance you can record and you will have to deal with a mess of wires.
When purchasing a camcorder microphone, the first thing you need to ensure is that the microphone is compatible with your camcorder. A basic camcorder comes with a stereo jack. A high end camcorder comes with an XLR jack. If you are set on a specific microphone and it does not fit into your camcorder, you can purchase an adapter that comes equipped with the specific input jack that you need for the external camcorder microphone.
Shotgun Camcorder Microphone
Shotgun camcorder microphones are designed for those who will be filming in areas where sound is coming from multiple directions. Shotgun camcorder microphones can be directly secured to your camcorder or you can purchase a boom pole to attach the microphone for extended reach. If you need to obtain the sound from a wide open area, you can secure the microphone in that general area on the boom pole. If you are interviewing someone, the shotgun camcorder microphone can quickly be moved and placed in front of the person speaking. You often see shotgun camcorder microphones being used in conjunction with boom poles during press conferences.
Lapel Camcorder Microphone
Lapel camcorder microphones are often used when audio is being recorded via an interview or at a wedding. These microphones are small in size, but very effective. Typically, the lapel camcorder microphone is attached to a persons shirt, as you often see on television. The lapel camcorder microphone must be attached within a foot or two of the mouth in order to obtain the highest quality of audio. Lapel camcorder microphones are omni-directional, which means they are designed to obtain sound from multiple directions at once. If you are using a wireless lapel camcorder microphone, you must stay within close proximity to the transmitter, or you risk losing the audio altogether.
Handheld Camcorder Microphone
Out of the shoutgun, lapel and handheld camcorder microphones, the handheld camcorder microphone is the most limited in regards to uses. This microphone only works effectively when the microphone is in very close proximity to the area where the sound is coming from. Handheld camcorder microphones are typically only used when recording newscasts or when a performer is singing on stage.
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