i am a pro stills photographer and very keen to shoot a 1/2 hour pilot in hd video. with my project i plan to do the filming and sound myself as i will be filming my wife as the host, unfortunately no budget for a third person. i have been told that the canon 5D is the way to go, but it cannot support good quality sound. i need all my gear to fit into one pelican case. i need to have the options of a rifle mic, a wireless mic setup (2) and record ambient sound if necessary. i was told that the Zoom H4n was the best recorder using PluralEyes software to sync. i heard that there might be problems with this software as it needs clean sound to sync. finding an affordable rifle mic and wireless mic set-up is going to be a challenge. the subject matter includes music and interviews. i am on a very tight budget and would really appreciate any input. thank you, Rodney

3 Answers 3


The most important thing for getting good sound it getting the mic off the camera and close to the talent. While a separate recorder is optimal, it is not crucial for what you are trying to accomplish.

The Beachtek DXA-SLR is an adapter that will hook a pro microphone up to your 5D. You can find it on ebay for as little as $350, possibly lower. Pair that with a half-decent shotgun mic (like a RØDE NTG-2 - which can be battery powered - currently seeing it for under $200 on ebay), and a homemade boom pole (painter's pole from home depot - $20), and you'll be set.

Read my article on boom operation here to prep the boom op: http://www.colinhartonline.com/?p=336

That gets you respectable sound quality for under $600, and you can turn around and sell most of it on ebay for nearly as much as you paid for it.

Good luck!

  • thanks for the info on beachtec and rode mic combination. that mic will have to live on the camera as i will be doing camera and sound and cannot hold a boom as well. it will work for recording close up conversations and capturing wild sound, but i am still short of a wireless mic set up when filming interviews at a distance. i will read your article thanks for the link!
    – Rod
    Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 9:28

Check out this shotgun mic designed for use with the 5d and other similar DSLR's - widely used and reviewed.


Relatively cheap for such a mic too!

With the lav, if you were really on a tight budget, you could use the same mic input on the 5d for:


This has a 20 foot long cable, and its very cheap - cant say much for the quality as I have never known anyone to use it before, but it could work.

  • i appreciate your input and will research those two. the sennheiser seems good value and quality. i am told from a contact of mine that the camera really cannot support a good enough file for broadcasting on nationwide tv. my lavalier mike will have to be wireless and connected to a decent recorder. thanks again.
    – Rod
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 21:07

I have been working with a Canon 7D and I can tell you that you don't want to be using sound on the camera or any DSLR at the moment.

So used a H4n separate from the camera. If you can, grab a rode video mic pro and put that on the camera or alternatively just use the inbuilt mic for syncing (not for production audio). Remember depending on the DOP or camera operator may not have audio levels to look at once recording (let alone you getting anywhere near the LCD to check). So ALWAYS use something like a H4n to record.

Secondly, use a slate or just clap your hands. Even if the audio screws up on the camera, you can still sync it. Some cameras and older firmware don't even give you audio levels on the LCD once recording, so a slate is still important even if you are using puarleyes for sync later (it covers your butt).

Good luck. DSLR shooting is heaps of fun and is changing the way indy cinema and tv is working and I am loving working in the field. Basically vision is having a revolution like audio did with portable field recorders (especially digital systems).

  • hi Bruce. genius idea using the camera as a soundtrack to sync the better recording made with a H4n for example and your tip to clap at the beginning of each shot as a back up. i am going to be be a 'one man band' and will not have the luxury to monitor lots of levels on assorted equipment, hold boom poles, etc so this is right on track with what i am trying to achieve. that means i can use the H4n for wireless lavaliere mics and wild sound simultaneously & the rode mic on camera for closer up conversations and for wild sound. i'm trying not to confuse myself here, but i hope you understand.
    – Rod
    Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 9:41

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