Breaking the Sound Barrier

I’ve been wrestling with audio quality lately and losing every match. When shooting video with a DSLR—in my case with a Nikon D300s—the problem has been capturing quality sound. The internal mic just doesn’t cut it because, well, it’s internal. It picks up the sound of the camera. Everyone knows internal microphones suck. In a pinch they’re OK for shooting breaking news where the audio is going to be chaotic, but it’s a no-go for interviews. So I’ve tried moderately priced external shotgun mics and they’re definitely a step up, but still not satisfying. In fact, the results are often “airy” as opposed to rich and lush.

So the question becomes: do I need to spend a small fortune on sound equipment and then lug around a lot of extra gear?


I discovered a compact digital field recorder… the Zoom H4n Handy Recorder available from Samson Technologies. Just what the sound-doctor ordered! Professional quality from a handheld unit that can record a symphony to rival a DVD.

The H4n mounted on the handle of a Cam Caddie.

Got your interest now, I bet.

Well check out the July issue of Zoom Street on Thursday for our feature review of the H4n.

How’s that for a teaser?