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If you want high quality audio, then buying an external microphone for your camera is a must. It will allow you to ignore the poor quality, internal mic on your camera, and instead enjoy pin-pointed, high quality audio whether you're inside or outdoors.
What types of on-camera mics are available?
There are two types of input cables that you should be aware of before purchasing and external microphone. These are Stereo Jacks, and XLR Jacks. Ensure that any mic you purchase has the correct cable for your input jack type.
The main types are explained below:
Shotgun microphones are attached directly onto your video camera or boom poll, aimed at capturing sounds in a specific area (depending on the settings). These focus a narrow field of noise, and so can be aimed towards targets for long ranged audio capture.
Lav mics, also known as lapel microphones, can be attached with a clip onto your subject, making them ideal for discrete interview microphones. They come in both wired, and wireless options, providing a cost-effective way to record multiple people at once using one receiver.
Handheld microphones offer the best quality audio, being the classic mic used on television programs. They can however become awkward to carry over long periods of time, particularly if they have a wire attached to them. Wireless handheld microphones offer the freedom to move around, making them the best option if you can afford the greater price.
How to attach a microphone to your camera?
If your input adapter from your camera fits the output cable from your microphone, then you can usually plug it in and get filming!
If you want to attach a shotgun mic to the camera, you should check the style of connector on the microphone, and purchase an attachment that fits the microphone onto the camera.
If you're camera has the wrong port, then consider purchasing an adapter, which will help to convert it to the right format to plug into your camera.
How to connect mic to action camera / GoPro?
If you want to attach an external microphone to your GoPro, you will usually have to use the official adapter that converts the mini-usb port into a 3.5mm jack, which can then have the mic plugged into it.
How to sync camera and mic?
The best way to syn your video camera with a microphone is to start your recording at the same time, and do 3 short claps with 1 second apart. Then when you import the audio and video files into your editor of choice, they will give you a clear guide to match the two clips together for seamless sync.