While using my Sony 550 (Sony MC50 without the mic and 2 year warranty) at the tail end of last year I used Sony’s ECM-HGZ1 a small gun mic that uses the Active Interface Shoe, quite frankly the Sony mic is less than useless, all treble, very unnatural.
Earlier this year after some “Googling” the words Sony’s Active Interface Shoe (AIS) I got a company who sold a “NORMAL” hot shoe that fits on top of the AIF shoe, with this accessory I was able to buy a normal camcorder gun mic in fact I chose the RODE VideoMic Pro.
I already own the RODE NTG-1 short shotgun mic which I am delighted with so I was happy to part with my £150 cash knowing the mic has a good pedigree.
Let me start by saying that the quality of the mic itself is very good indeed with a 2 step high pass filter and a 3 step level control built in, the “Dead cat” is a promotion that is sent to you in the post when you register the video mic, I have not yet received mine yet after a month !
I was less than impressed with the thickness of the audio lead that attaches to a 3.5 stereo mini jack, it’s far too flimsy for professional use and is a disaster waiting to happen the first time the cable gets pulled.
The 9v battery compartment is not well thought out it took me an age to get it back on after deciphering how to get it off in the first place.
I also bought the handle (Shown above) as I could envisage using the mic in an interview situation, the first job was interviewing a football interpreter called Dan Brennan for the Footy Blog.net, my sons blog and we had the mic on a one meter extension cable going into a Sony 550 camcorder.
Unfortunately due to lack of pro features like XLR and balanced phantoming the mic which was on a remote tripod picked up Dans mobile phone interference a few times, luckily the second camera an MC-50 did not suffer from this and we were able to switch to the MC-50s sound now and again.
It certainly sounds as good as a Pro mic but the design could be better, just as well you get a 10 year warranty though you do wonder if the flimsy mic lead is part of the warranty as this is by far the microphones achilles heal !