Monday, February 4, 2013

Audio Technica AT835 and the GH3 - Pro mic vs Consumer Mic Shootout

Here is a test of my "new to me" Audio Technica AT835 plugged directly into the GH3.  I bought this AT835 used on eBay for $75 shipped.  This is not unusual.  If you are patient, it is possible to find deals on many old XLR shotgun mics.

To get the 600 Ohm balanced XLR output from the AT835 into my 2500 Ohm camera, I bought a Hosa MIT-156 XLR to 3.5mm line matching transformer for around $20.  You can pay more for a Shure A96F, but the Hosa does a great job.  Here is a picture of the setup, with a $23 Rainbowimaging pistol grip:

Please watch the video below to see how the $75 used AT835 stacked up against the $80 Azden SMX10 consumer mic, also plugged directly into the GH3.  Not to prejudice you before you listen to the test, but this experience tells me that picking up a used pro mic on eBay can be a pretty good investment - especially when compared to the price of camera mounted prosumer mics such as the $229 Rode VideoMic "Pro".

After trying the two mics out side-by-side, I am very glad to have adapted a pro mic to the GH3.  The only challenge is the length of the AT835. As you can see from the video, it is literally a "shotgun" - and sticks pretty far out in front of the camera.
I will probably end up getting something a little shorter (maybe a used Sennheiser K6/ME64 for about the same price as a VideoMic Pro), but, in the meantime, the AT835 is a great solution.
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