The 9 Best Camera Mics
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in February of 2018. If you don't have the luxury of a sound mixer and boom operator to capture the audio portion of your videos, but you can't stand the tinny, unreliable sound from the microphone built into your camera, one of these specialist mics can provide a solution. They attach easily to the hot shoe on any camera body, and can capture tight, directional audio or large stereo scenes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
September 12, 2019:
No matter the size of your budget, you should always try to avoid using a camera's on-board microphone, as they tend to be omnidirectional and will pick up all kinds of unwanted noise and often make your audio sound muddled. A common saying among filmmakers is that video is two-thirds audio. That's because viewers tend to be more forgiving toward potato-quality video than substandard audio.
So, whether you're a student or a professional, there's no need to risk ruining your production with unintelligible garble. We tried to select camera microphones that fit into a range of prices, from the Takstar SGC-598 at under $30 to the Rode SVMX Stereo Videomic X at nearly $600, each of which will undoubtedly be a step up from your camera's internal mic.
If you have the luxury to look beyond price, there are some key differences between microphones to consider that will dictate what situations they will excel in. For example, the Rode Videomic Go, which has a supercardioid polar pattern, will lend itself best to picking out a single sound source in a noisy environment. Whereas the Rode SVMX Stereo Videomic X has a cardioid polar pattern and XY microphone orientation, making it is great for on-location shoots where you want to capture realistic atmospheric audio.
If you want to capture a rich-sounding voice recording, such as in an interview situation, it's going to be hard to beat our top pick, the Sennheiser MKE600. This shotgun microphone has a deep frequency response and a low noise floor, which also make it a good choice for voice-over work.