A reader just asked:
“I just got a T2i kit (18-55mm). I also got a zoom lens (EF-S 55-250mm) and I considering buying some more equipment. I’m a high-end amateur photographer and in the past years fell in love with video editing too. I use to do my short movies on my Canon HV-10, but I always missed some of the more advanced options (such as a mic input). I plan to shoot most of my videos on the T2i now and I was wondering if I should invest in an mic + ext sound recorder or mic + prime lens? The options I’m considering are “Azden SMX-10 + Zoom h2” or “Azden SMX-10 + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II”
Interesting question! Plugging any microphone directly into the Canon T2i is going to result in an audio track that is noisy and poor quality. I’ve tried it and, from my point of view, it’s not usable audio for anything more than a reference track.
Plus, any microphone mounted on the camera will not capture the sound of your talent several feet away. The microphone needs to be as close to the talent as possible. So the Azden SMX-10 into the Canon T2i is not a good choice.
The 18-55mm kit lens and the EF-S 55-250mm will not shoot good video in low light. My recommendation would be to go for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II prime lens for low light video.
For a recorder/stereo microphone I would get the new Zoom H1, which includes a nice stereo mic built-in plus has a 1/8″ microphone input, “VU” meters, and a headphone jack for $99.
I would also recommend a wired lavalier microphone like the Audio-Technica ATR-35S for $29. Plug it directly into the H1 hit the record button and drop the H1 into your talent’s pocket just like you would with a wireless transmitter. You’ll get great sound with no wireless interference.
The Zoom H1, Audio-Technica ATR-35S and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II will cost around USD $240 total. All three for less than the cost of the Azden SMX-10 and the Zoom H2. You’ll get high quality audio and a prime lens for low light video.
Just keep the mic as close to the source of the sound as possible and check everything with headphones or ear-buds.