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Old 09-28-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
mad_hatter
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NTG2 or Videomic Pro for on camera audio?

Just looking at on-camera microphones. The Rode Videomic Pro seems to be touted as the best option. Is there some reason NOT to use the NTG2 instead? Sure, you'd need an XLR to 3.5mm cable, plus a suitable shockmount, but all-in-all it would only set you back about 30 more. Then you'd have the option to run the mic via XLR-XLR into a field recorder for higher quality audio, when it's available.

Am I missing something? Any thoughts?

Cheers!
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:34 PM   #2
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It's as simple as that. Microphones aren't complicated at all.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
It's as simple as that. Microphones aren't complicated at all.
Incorrect. Microphones are quite complex as different mics have different response patterns, output levels, behaviors in different types of environments...

There's no single mic solution that will do everything, everywhere, every time.

As for the question from mad_hatter:

What, exactly, are you expecting to get out of this mic while it's mounted on-cam? And which camera are you using? As often-discussed as it is around here, I do hope we're working under the assumption that on-cam is the last and worst place for a mic for most usable sound. What it can be good for is nat sound for run-and-gun and documentary production. It can also be a much better quality of scratch mic for syncing to dual-system sound later.

The NTG-2 is well-known for having a weaker signal output, which means it struggles with low-cost/low-quality pre-amps. Your camera's preamps just past that 1/8" input are pretty poor. Much of this comes from the dual-power design, allowing the mic to run from an internal battery or external phantom (though the phantom-only version, the NTG-1, isn't much better). You're going to have to have a battery-powered mic if you're working with a camera that only offers 1/8" input. There are plug-in powered mics out there that are dirt cheap, but cheap is the operative word and I wouldn't recommend them. You'll need a mic that can take a battery.

As for the VideoMic Pro, as an on-cam mic it is very much an upgrade over the camera's built-in mics. If you're shooting with a DSLR it is a compact accessory that doesn't get in the way. It's perfect for on-cam nats and scratch audio. It runs on a battery, and it has a +20dB boost for the output, which can assist greatly in getting past the noise floor of the camera's cheap audio circuitry. Its shorter physical length means it only sort-of functions as a true shotgun (there isn't enough length in that interference tube to make it a true shotgun), but having used one extensively I can say that it does its job and does it well.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:21 AM   #4
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Yes Acoustic, I'm fully aware of the reasons that having the microphone on camera is just about the worst place to put it. But I am thinking more in relation to run and gun situations...

So, the VMP is less directional, due to it's length. But it has the +20db boost, to help overcome the poor audio circuitry of a dSLR. So, if forced to plug your mic directly into the camera, would the VMP actually give the 'cleaner' sound?

Of course, both mics can be boomed and run into a field recorder. But in this instance, I'd guess that you'd get a much cleaner sound from the NTG2. How about if you still wanted the mic camera mounted, but were also using a field recorder (Tascam DR60, for example) attached to your rig? Would the NTG2 than be a better option?
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_hatter View Post
So, the VMP is less directional, due to it's length. But it has the +20db boost, to help overcome the poor audio circuitry of a dSLR. So, if forced to plug your mic directly into the camera, would the VMP actually give the 'cleaner' sound?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_hatter View Post
Of course, both mics can be boomed and run into a field recorder. But in this instance, I'd guess that you'd get a much cleaner sound from the NTG2.
Well, not necessarily. The downside to the VMP in this scenario is that you'd have to run an extension of an unbalanced signal. That can also be a source of noise as the signal degrades over distance and the cable is more susceptible to RF interference.

On the other hand, the NTG-2's lower output level makes it struggle with the preamps of low-cost recorders. Unless you're going with something from SD or Zaxcom, I'm not sure it'll sound cleaner than the VMP. In this case, you might look at the Audio Technica AT-875r, which is less expensive, runs on phantom power only, and has a much hotter output for overcoming the limited clean gain of the recorder.

We're talking about an unidentified recorder, but ypu do mention the DR-60D below, so am I safe to assume that's the one you have or are planning to purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_hatter View Post
How about if you still wanted the mic camera mounted, but were also using a field recorder (Tascam DR60, for example) attached to your rig? Would the NTG2 than be a better option?
Again, the NTG-2 has output level issues that aren't suited to the limited clean gain of the recorder. The AT-875r is a better choice in this price range.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:49 PM   #6
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Well, I'm not really planning on purchasing any field recorder yet. Hence the reason for looking at the VMP and the NTG2, as both are battery powered and can record directly to the dSLR. But in an effort to future proof, I'm thinking about options for when/if I want to record to a field recorder.

I mention the DR60D simply because it seems like a decent recorder for dSLR work...
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:02 PM   #7
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The other massive handicap here, if plugging directly into a DSLR, is that most DSLRs have no headphone ouput so there's no direct monitoring of audio as it records. That's a huge blind spot.

The DR-60DmkII is indeed a great recorder for use alongside a DSLR.
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