Rode Mics for your Nikon D5200

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The Rode range of Mics are ideal for DSLR videographers

Rode Mic for the Nikon D5200There are various ways of recording sound when you are shooting video with your D5200. Whilst using the internal mic is the easiest option, the sound quality is not good enough for professional use, or if you have to compete with any background noise.

The Rode mics fit on to the hot shoe and then into the jack on the side of the camera. They all have some sort of shock absorber – usually some flexible plastic fitting – and are very simple to use. Obviously one advantage of having the Mic on the camera like this is that it faces the same way as the lens. These Mics are ideal for interviews or documentary type videos and can also be very useful at concerts or live events, where the sound all tends to come from a single source. The best Mics are actually mono. That is because they can be pointed in the right direction and don’t suck sound from the periphery. Stereo Mics tend to pick up much more ambient sound. The graphics here show the sort of area the Mics cover. If you want to know more about these look for “polar pattern for a cardioid microphone”.

 

The RØDE VideoMic

rode_videomic_sideThe RØDE VideoMic is a professional grade condenser shotgun microphone designed for use with consumer video cameras and personal audio recorders. “Condenser” refers to the way the sound is gathered and is regarded as more generally more sensitive that the other main option, the dynamic Mic. “Shotgun” refers to the shape of the Mic – long and cylindrical.

videomic_polar-patternThe shock absorber does a good job of isolating the VideoMic. The microphone is very directional, aiming directly in front of the camera. It also has the option of a high pass filter, which removes all noise below 80HZ – this level of noise tends to be distant traffic rumble or, if you are inside, the aircon. Inside the battery compartment (it runs on a 9volt battery), there is a level reduction option, but this is very difficult to access and change. It is certainly not something you could expect to do during the shoot.  The foam cover is reasonably effective at keeping out wind noise.

USA: Order your RØDE VideoMic here

UK: Order your RØDE VideoMic here

 

The RØDE Stereo VideoMic

rode-stereo-videomic-The RØDE Stereo VideoMic is a broadcast quality stereo microphone. It is an ideal microphone for capturing environmental and ambient sounds, as well as live music. For dialogue and directional applications the RØDE VideoMic and VideoMic Pro are more appropriate. It also has a good in-built shock mounting system that prevents unwanted rumble and vibrations in the microphone.

Rode-Stereo-VideoMic polar patternsIn addition to the high pass filter, there is an option to reduce the sound input by 10 decibels, to allow recording of loud sound sources, such as live music or motorsport. The Stereo VideoMic is ideal for use with DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5DMkII, Canon 7D, Canon 1D, Canon 550D/T2i, Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5100, Panasonic GH1 and Panasonic GH2.

USA: Order your RØDE Stereo VideoMic Here

UK: Order your RØDE Stereo VideoMic Here

 

The RØDE VideoMic Pro

rode-video-mic-pro

The RØDE VideoMic Pro is another shotgun microphone specifically designed for DSLR cameras. It provides broadcast quality audio via a 3.5mm minijack connector (outputting the mono signal to both left and right channels). Surrounding audio is minimised, and your recording and it focusses on the subject in front of the camera. An innovative suspension system separates the VideoMic Pro capsule and electronics from its mount, preventing unwanted rumble and vibrations in the microphone.

DV016_Jpg_Large_H75795_polar_pattern

Easily accessible on the rear face of the microphone are the power, filter and level controls. It has a selectable high-pass filter at 80Hz, which will prevent low end noise such as air conditioners and traffic from being recorded. Below these controls are the level settings. The -10dB level attenuation (or PAD) is ideal for recording loud sound sources, such as live music, motorsport, or interviews where the subject is very close to the camera. The +20dB level boost is designed for use with DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5DMkII, Canon 7D, Canon 1D, Canon 550D/T2i, Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5100, Panasonic GH1 and Panasonic GH2. This boost in the microphone output allows the user to reduce the camera’s preamp level (or mic-input level), effectively reducing the amount of noise generated by the camera’s comparatively low quality audio circuitry. The VideoMic pro is battery powered, and provides over 70 hours recording from a single 9V battery.

USA: Order your RØDE VideoMic Pro Here

UK: Order your RØDE VideoMic Pro Here

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D5200 movies – sound number 1

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The best ways to record sound with your Nikon D5200

There are two areas where photographers really struggle when they try to move into making videos. The first is understanding that, with moving pictures, they can use the movement of the camera to help tell the story – so they don’t need to fit everything into the frame from the start. The second is sound. Sound is completely irrelevant to stills photography. In most situations you can make as much noise as you like and it won’t effect the image. However, with movies, sound is more important that the picture. Just try watching a movie with poor images and an movie with poor sound. Your brain will cope with poor images, but the lack of quality sound makes the whole experience unbearable.

So, as we start to look at movie making with the D5200 in more detail, sound is the obvious place to start. We welcome Cheryl Howarth, who has just completed her degree in Music Technology and is a professional sound engineer for a video company. She will take us through the complexities of getting the best possible sound for your videos.

 Getting the sound right is a tough job for photographers

The place to start is with the Nikon D5200 itself. boosting the internal mic from mono on the D5100 to stereo on the D5200 is really only a small change. the mics are very close together and, more importantly, very close to the lens. This means that, even with a SWM lens, there is a good chance that the Mic will pic up the noise of the lens focussing and any other camera noise. The Mic also has a wide recording pattern which means that it will pick up any noise from anywhere, not just what you are trying to video. This may suggest that the internal Mic is useless, but it does produce good ambient sound and is fine if you are close to your subject in a quiet spot. We have recorded on the internal Mic before in the studio, and it is perfectly useable.

A rode Mic for a Nikon D5200If you want to record sound from a specific point, you will need a directional Mic. Rode make good ones. You can get a couple of types – ones designed for a DSLR and ones designed for more general use. The DSLR Mics will come with a hotshoe attachment and a short cable to fit into the camera. These will run off a battery and feed the sound directly into the camera. Others, like the Rode NTG2, are more flexible, as they can run into a seperate sound recorder or ( with the right cable) into the camera. The NTG2 is the sort of Mic you will see being used by professional video crews. Often with a ‘dead cat’ wind muff, they are placed on a boom and sit above the subjects head, just out of shot. Because it is a directional Mic, it doesn’t pick up much ambient sound and is very versatile. With the right cable, it can fit into your D5200.

Tascam DR05 for the Nikon D5200It could also fit into a digital sound recorder, like a Tascam. These are great if the action is away from the camera and there would be too much noise interference to use a directional Mic on or near the camera. You can place the recorder near to the subject, and use either the inbuilt Mics or a directional Mic to pick up the sound. These recorders produce superb quality sound. The only downside is that you are recording the images and the sound separately, which means that you will have to put them together in post.

Sennheiser radio micsIf you are working with the subject and he/she is too far away for a directional Mic, or is going to be moving around, or there are two subjects, then the best way to record them is with radio Mics. these fit on the clothing of the subject and connect to a transmitter. the receiver is connected either to a digital recorder, or the camera. These work really well because they are always with the subject/s and clearly record their sound. Of course, you have to be careful not to record other sounds, like their clothes rustling, and if you have two Mics working into the same feed, the subject off camera needs to remember to be quiet.

We are producing a series of videos talking about Sound. Some of them will be available on the Nikon D5200 Channel on Youtube, and some will be exclusively produced for our manual. Cheryl is really looking forward to explaining some of the complexities of sound recording and show us how to get the best sound in different situations. Also we are grateful to Rubadub Audio in Glasgow, who specialise in sound recording equipment and are lending us some gear and further expertise. All the products mentioned in this article and in others are available to our UK readers here. For our US readers, check out these links.

See more videos about the Nikon D5200 DSLR here

Supercars video with the Nikon D5200

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Shooting Supercars with the Nikon D5200 was a Real Thrill

The Video Quality was Superb from this DSLR

A couple of weeks ago we got the chance to shoot some video for one of our clients who run supercar track days in Scotland. We wanted to get plenty of stock video so that, over the next few weeks, we could put together a selection of movies to advertise their next visit to the track. We had a really great day – the weather was superb and the crowds were really enthusiastic. The great thing about Supercars Scotland is that they are so enthusiastic about cars. It is infectious. I am not a petrol head by any means (I’ve got a boring Saab) but they took me round the track a couple of times on the Lambo (that’s a Lamborghini Gallardo, if you didn’t know…) and it literally took my breath away. It’s not just the acceleration, it’s the awesome breaking power of these cars that amazes you.

Anyway, I took the Nikon D5200 along. We were using a Nikon D800, D3s and Panasonic AF100 for the main action shots, but I was to shoot some of the drop in segments. The light was really bright, so I made sure to drop the picture profile down to neutral and focussed on doing the fronts of the cars. We have a make shift slide system made from some plastic piping and so I shot the from to the orange Lambo with that. Although we were planning to put music over most of the video, I didn’t want the noise, or inconsistency of the autofocus, so I used AF to focus and then switched it off on the lens. That way the Lambo stayed in focus even when other cars were in the shot. Next time I shall try to focus from one to the other.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

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Other than changing the picture profile from standard to neutral and controlling the focussing, I left everything on auto. Let me know what you think!

Here is one of the finished videos….

Click here to see more D5200 videos

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Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

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Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

Prices have flattened, the holidays are coming

Nikon D5200 digital camera with standard lensIf you haven’t bought your Nikon D5200 yet, then this is the perfect time to buy. The prices have stabilized and the camera stores fighting between themselves to get your money. Whilst the Nikon website is holding out for $800/£719.99 for a body and $900/£819.99 for the body and 18-55mm kit lens, (we don’t recommend getting the 18-105mm lens) you can get them for $700/£499 and $800/£571 respectively on the internet. Check out our prices below. We don’t think they are going to change much before the end of the summer. It is a great deal – the camera produces superb stills and videos and the 24mp chip is a cracker. Combined with the faster processor and the 39 focus points, you are getting a lot of camera for your money.

And if you have bought your D5200, why not try out our D5200 manual. It is full of tips and information to help you take great pictures and movies. It is only $10/£7 and we will update it for free. We are currently working on a video section which should be available shortly.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

In the meantime, please drop into our YouTube channel to catch up on some great advice and helpful videos. Recently we have put up a full review of the D5200 and also a video explaining the abbreviations on lenses made by Nikon Sigma and Tamron. Some more tips on night time photography are to follow. If you have any questions, that is probably the best place to contact us.

Review – 12-24mm Nikkor dx lens

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Take a look at this great Ultra-wide standard lens

This Nikon lens is perfect for your D5200

 

Nikkor 12-24mm lensThe Nikon 12-24mm lens would be a great addition to your lens collection. It is one of their semi-pro lenses and has eleven elements (pieces of glass). This makes it feel quite heavy, but the toughened plastic shell makes it feel sturdy in the hand. The metal mount ring and quality of the focus and zoom rings does give the lens an air of permanence. If cared for, this lens should be around for a good few years and should certainly outlast your current Nikon body, the next one and possibly the one after that.

 

12mm is just outside fish-eye territory and ideal for internal room shots and close ups though it is hardly a macro. Zooming up to 24mm gives you a view not far away from normal human vision. It smoothly goes from 12-24 with markers for 15, 18 and 20mm on the zoom ring.

 

This is a fixed aperture lens. F4 is the fastest setting, but it extends to f22 with plenty of aperture options in between. It is not a super fast lens, so shallow depth of field is not really an option, but the fact that it is fixed and its focal length is close to normal vision means that it is an ideal general lens for shooting video. Unlike some wide lenses, there is not much light fall off or vignetting throughout the zoom range.

Get some great deals for the Nikon 12-24mm f4 lens from these dealers….

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Adorama | Amazon | Cameta | Rakuten | J&R | UniquePhoto

 

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Amazon | UK Digital cameras | Wex

 

This is a DX lens, built for DX cameras like the Nikon D3000, D5000 and D7000 series of bodies. It has video friendly SWM (silent wave motor) technology, making it very fast and relatively quiet. It is an IF lens, which means that you can put a filter on it ( 77mm) and offers extra low dispersion (ED). One thing I particularly like about it is that it has an M/A switch for the auto-focus, which means that you can manually over-ride the autofocus without having to switch from Auto to Manual – though this lens is pretty forgiving when it comes to focus, especially for movies.

 

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

If you got the kit lens with your D5200, this is a really useful addition, offering a massive leap in image quality. The 18-55mm lens is a pretty good general lens, but it can’t compete with this top quality beast. This lens is perfect for video, travel photography and landscapes. It is not a cheap lens, but its performance is excellent and it is built to last.

See more videos about the Nikon D5200 here.

Check out this video by Alex James

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Check out this video shot on a Nikon D5200

Alex james takes the DSLR through its paces

 

Check out this video by former Blur musician Alex James. He shot it in the USA for Virgin Media and has made  pretty good job of it. No sour grapes here, but I suspect he didn’t do it all by himself – not least because he is in it. Still, it does show what the camera can do. However, the over-riding lesson from this video is – mind how you cross the road….

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

see more videos about the Nikon D5200 here.