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Boom Microphone Options for Canon HG20 camera

This task is closed
Created atSeptember 12, 2009
Created by(null)
ClosedJune 22, 2011
Shots given2
WreckupationsDirector, Sound Designer, Sound Editor, Cinemato- and photographer

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Dario Odobasic Sennheiser Phantom Power (an old staff)
Thierry Gschwind Beachtek


Okay, here's the situation:

-I want to plug a boom microphone into my Canon HG20 camera, which has a non-powered 3.5mm audio input and a powered audio cradle.

-I have a fairly good quality Olympus ME31 3.5mm mic which produces excellent audio quality when I record stuff on my computer.

-Unfortunately the mic requires an external power source which my camera apparently isn't providing, so the mic does work on my computer for example but not when attached to the camera.

-The camera's powered mic cradle only works with Canon equipment, and the only Canon mic I can find for it isn't suitable for boom work as it attaches to the top of the camera.

What can I do?

I've tried looking on the web for a solution to this problem, but the only things I can find are scary complex-looking electronics projects involving circuit diagrams and soldering irons. I'm not really up to the job of building my own power supply, nor would I dare attach a self-built power supply to my camera.

Is there any kind of off-the-shelf power system that could let me power the microphone while it's plugged into the camera?

I've even got a pretty good improvised boom pole (a telescopic carbon-fibre fishing net handle) so everything else is in place, I just need to find some way to get the microphone powered.

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Thierry Gschwind September 16, 2009 13:50 2 Thumb-ups
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I use a BeachTek adapter with a normal XLR microphone, gives much better sound quality.

Also the price of these adapter are cheaper than the Sennheiser one.

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Dario Odobasic September 17, 2009 08:47 Flag

I didn't know about that, sorry. This is obviously a reason to be worried about but my colleague told me yesterday about his order last year where everything went ok. Maybe he had luck (?)

(null) September 17, 2009 04:27 Flag

My current mic is okay, it's just the power supply that's a problem. If I do get a new mic it would have to have its own power supply because the phantom adapters are too expensive for me.

By the way, when I searched for "Globalmediapro" on Google, one of the first suggested pairings was "Globalmediapro fraud". This has me a bit worried:

I'm also worried by how many reviewers have mysteriously withdrawn their comments:

Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 23:07 Flag

Kris, try to Google this one:
Globalmediapro M-203 Shotgun Condenser Microphone (cca 90 euros)
If all written about it is true (meaning polar diagram, frequency response etc.) I think that you shouldn't look any further. There's another model of the same label which cost about 35 euros but I don't belive in its quality. M-203 is mono mike but I think it's OK because all ambiental noises and sound effects can be recorded separately later, even with built-in mike of your Camcorder.
The Idea for M-203 came from my job colleague on tonight's Political TV show which we worked together and during this long and boring Live session I have mentioned your problem. More people - more knowledge as you see but work on some Political TV shows are best suitable for exchange of experiences :-)

(null) September 16, 2009 18:01 Flag

The one with the phantom power is closer to $600, at least in the shops I've been looking in.

Thierry Gschwind September 16, 2009 17:51 Flag

Expensive? I mean 300$ is really cheap for that kind of equipement, and slo the mic are certainly double or three times more expensive.

(null) September 16, 2009 16:21 Flag

Ah... oh no, the phantom power model is just as expensive. Darn. :-(

(null) September 16, 2009 16:19 Flag

Ahaa... now that's more like it, the price is much lower.

Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 16:10 Flag

Thank you for the information :-)
A lot of people cannot effort some hi-tech and 1st class devices so it's good to know that cheaper solutions exists.

Dario Odobasic September 15, 2009 23:39 2 Thumb-ups
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Sennheiser Phantom Power (an old staff)

Well, about 15 years ago when I worked as Croatian TV ENG sound technician, we had a small device called Phantom power unit produced by Sennheiser. This thingy was used only to set 12 or 48V power supply for MKH 416 series mikes used on old U-matic VCR which was not able to do direct power supply to the mike. Try to find somewhere that little black box with 9V R21 battery inside and two XLRs (in and out) connectors and if you find it, that will be perfect solution for your problem.
Just in case that your mike needs less power than 12 or 48V, there are plenty of attenuation XLR plug adapters which have to be connected btw mike and unit and they can be found in every well-equipped Electronic shop (like there is Chipoteka in Zagreb, Electronic Heaven as I used to call it)


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Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 13:25 Flag

OK, I have to agree about it :-)
Maybe this story can help someone else with similar problems.
I've been thinking of something when I was on my job schedule past few hours. If you cannot find or borrow the cable somewhere in your nearness, I can send you one somehow because those cables are almost consumable goods here in Croatian TV so I can always pick one-a-month for my personal needs even my all cables are in good shape. That's only a small favor I can do to help desperate Wrecker friend :-)

Canon HG20? Nice little camcorder with good video quality. I still have my old Sony VX2100 :-(

(null) September 16, 2009 10:18 Flag

I think Wreckamovie is meant for exactly this kind of thing. Other people may have these same problems in which case this conversation will help them too.

There are lots of technical jobs on the "wreckupations" list. Most people seem to discuss taglines and script ideas but I'm sure technical discussions are just as welcome. :-)

Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 10:08 Flag

So I see but also realize that you learn fast. You can always contact me for any technical help...maybe rather to find me on Facebook or Skype, just not to bother others on Wreckamovie with those technical difficulties correspondence.

(null) September 16, 2009 09:36 Flag

Ah... so you can plug XLR mics directly into 3.5mm if you have the right cable?

I can't help buying cheaper cables, I really don't have the money for anything else. If I spend too much on one area of equipment I won't have anything left for other stuff.

As you might have guessed I'm quite new to some areas of AV technology, thanks for the help.

Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 09:33 Flag

There are some very cheap cables (cost the same as e.g. two Burger meals) which quality is questionable but reasonable. When you buy a mike, you can ask a salesman for such a cable and if you tell him that you're out of money and that cable means your whole life, maybe the salesman will give you one as a store gift or discount. Just tell him that you need a cable with XLR female plug on the one side and 3.5mm stereo male plug on the other side of cable. What am I talking about?? The salesman knows everything :-)

(null) September 16, 2009 09:02 Flag

If I was going to get a new boom mic I'd want to pay 200 euros or less so the MCE-72 sounds just about plausible though it's at the edge of my budget.

How the heck do I connect it to my camera though? I need something that goes into a 3.5mm jack.

The Mogami cable looks good but I just don't have the money for it. I already blew almost all my "video hobby" money on my camera and a new computer.

Dario Odobasic September 16, 2009 08:55 Flag

So do I, Kris :-(
Croatia is still a country with small payments in a big-budget Europe but we learned how to manage the situation.
This device on upper pic is an old product of Sennheiser so I think you could find one in specialized Second Hand shops or maybe on Ebay and it should cost less than 200 euros I suppose.
The 2nd solution is, as you said, to buy a battery-powered microphone. In a range of some 200 euros I suggest Beyerdynamic MCE-72 CAM. Its quality is far better than some Sony models which cost a bit more and have a lot wider angle of sound catching which is not good for film&video production. And yes, it's a Stereo mike so you can use it as Mono in case of speech rec. or Stereo in case of getting atmosphere and music rec. Its shape is perfect for Boompole mounting. If you haven't a cable yet, I suggest Mogami cable with Neutrik jacks. You'll always find at least one Electro-freak who'll do that "scary" soldering job for you :-)

(null) September 16, 2009 04:14 Flag

That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thank you very much Dario! :-)

Just looking at the Phantom's prices though (300 - 500 euros), it looks like it would be a lot cheaper just to buy a battery-powered microphone.

I suppose I'm a small-budget person moving in a big-budget world. :-(