There’s a new kid on the block for DSLR and camcorder shooters who don’t have pro-style XLR audio inputs. In fact, there are two.
The Shure “VP83 LensHopper” is a compact, on-camera mic with a shotgun pickup pattern and a 3.5mm jack. It claims to be ruggedly built (all metal construction) and is powered by a single AA battery (130 hours mic use) or from phantom power.
It has a cold shoe mount at its base which also features a 1/4″ threaded base if you’d prefer to pop it onto a mic stand. A foam windscreen is provided and a custom fluffy windjammer is offered as an optional accessory.
Three built-in gain settings are offered: -10dB, 0dB and +20dB) with a low cut filter to minimise rumbles and similar noise. Frequency response is 50Hz to 20kHz. Self noise is listed as 17.4dB, with a signal to noise ratio of 76.6dB. It weighs just 133g.
Specifically of interest for the DSLR user perhaps is the V83F version which has an inbuilt flash memory recorder, thereby providing a very handy (and hopefully higher quality) recording of the sound than the camera, for sync in post production.
Recordings are 24bit/48kHz uncompressed .wav and the mic requires two AA cells giving ten hours record time. Storage is onto a microSD card up to 32GB. A tiny joystick enables adjustments with viewing on an equally tiny screen. SNR increases to 78dB for no apparent reason, with self noise down to 15.6dB. There’s a handy headphone jack for monitoring too.
The mics will be slugging it out with the likes of the Rode Videomic and Videomic Pro (probably the best known of this type of kit) as well as offerings from Hahnel, Que Audio, Sennheiser and MyMyk so there’s plenty of competition.