What are On-Camera Microphones?
On-camera microphones are mics that are designed specifically for mounting on, or working well with, video cameras or DSLRs that have a video recording option. Typically mounting on the camera shoe, on-camera mics are designed to be lightweight so as to not put strain on the camera.
Why Use On-Camera Microphones?
In-built cameras are well known to be quite limited in the sound quality they deliver. They tend to pick up scuffing and handling noises from the user operating the camera.
On-camera mics are designed to provide the quality audio recording ability that in-built mics simply don’t provide. Many on-camera mics, such as the BOYA BY-BM3031 are equipped with shock mounts that absorb the types of noises typically picked up when handling the camera.
A Quick Buyer’s Guide – What to look for
Depending on what you are looking to record, whether that be voice from a person giving an interview, or ambient noise from all around, it’s a good idea to check the mic you’re getting is geared to capture these sounds effectively. Choose a ‘shotgun’ mic for when you’re recording something directly in front of you such as a voice, and choose a ‘stereo’ microphone for picking up multiple sound sources.
Some on-camera mics are built with interviews specifically in mind. The BOYA BY-MM1 for example is double ended, equipped with two supercardiod capsules meaning it’s able to capture audio from both the front and the back.
If you are ever planning on recording outside, it is important to realise that these mics are sensitive to the effects of the wind, whether that be a light breeze or a strong gale. To combat this, many on-camera mics come with foam windscreens and fur windshields. Fur windshields (often referred to as ‘dead cats’) are a superior option in reducing wind noise, but having one or the other is practically essential if you ever want to record audio outdoors.