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Old Dec 1, 2008, 2:39 PM   #1
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After hearing about how great the Sanyo VPC-CG6 audio is supposed to be, I decided to put the two (2) Sanyo VPC-CG6 models that I donated to my local university to the test.

I positioned two people in front of the camcorders in chairs. They talked to each other. And I recorded from a distance of about ten (10) feet. The resulting audio was noisy... overwhelmed with hiss... and it was clear listening to the result that these onboard microphones really are terrible for the purpose of picking up dialogue. They're just awful.

Want to know the funny thing about this test? The Sanyo audio is, indeed, better than the audio recorded by many other hybrids!

Overall, the audio from these hybrids is the biggest problem with them, in my opinion. That's why I'll be very interested to find out if the newer models... such as the Aiptek Action HD GVS with external microphone input... really will give us better quality audio recording.
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Old Dec 1, 2008, 2:47 PM   #2
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would the ext mic improve sound, or would the internak sound board be the Culprit?
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Old Dec 1, 2008, 2:55 PM   #3
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That is the correct question, Fishy.

The fact that the Aiptek Action HD GVS has an external microphone port does not necessarily mean that the internal circuitry will perform in an acceptable manner when an external microphone is plugged into it.

In the interview situation I mentioned, we really needed an external shotgun microphone such as the Audio-Technica ATR-55 ($48 on Amazon):

http://tinyurl.com/635wts

Our situation was such that my interview subjects did not want to "wear" a microphone. So that ruled out the use of lavalier microphones. The best compromise would have been to use a shotgun.

It will be very interesting to find out if the external microphone input on the Action HD GVS will actually perform.

By the way, the picture quality of the Sanyo VPC-CG6 models was good enough.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 9:07 AM   #4
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I have to be a little defensive of the Sanyo here.. I've been involved in several arguments in these forums about the quality of the Sanyo CG6 audio. Like you, I believe it to be better than the typical low-end hybrid camcorder. However, to say it is "terrible" at 10 feet for recording dialog is sort of meaningless. In my experience, I have never been able to record decent sounding dialog at 10 feet with any camera or audio recording device I've tried. For a Sanyo model to have good sounding human dialog, you'd need to be about 2 to 3 feet from the camera. I would say that to be true of most any camera, especially if you are indoors. Indoor audio is very difficult due to the echo you will receive from walls and such.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 9:25 AM   #5
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Absolutely not true. I worked in television news broadcasting for more than a decade and I can tell you -- based on doing literally thousands of dialogue interviews -- that shotgun microphones do work.

What is a shotgun microphone? Read this excellent explanation by Ken Stone:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...tgun_mics.html

Shotgun microphones *do* work -- and very effectively -- at distances of ten (10) feet!! So how does this relate to hybrid camcorders? You can get far better audio using a Panasonic SDR-S10 than you can get with a Sanyo VPC-CG6. Why? Because the Panasonic SDR-S10 features a "zoom" microphone, which is -- in reality -- something that every hybrid should have in the absence of a dedicated external microphone input!

If you've never worked with a camcorder equipped with a zoom microphone or if you've never worked with a shotgun microphone, then I wouldn't expect you to believe that good dialogue recording is possible at distances of ten (10) feet.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 12:09 PM   #6
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Is it possable that every room is different, for example:

Tv in store, at home sounded totally different?


thought I say let the dawg speak for himself

[flash=320,256]http://www.youtube.com/v/47G50HnYgkE[/flash]
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 6:49 PM   #7
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Good one, Fishy. :G
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 9:47 PM   #8
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Private Idaho wrote
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If you've never worked with a camcorder equipped with a zoom microphone or if you've never worked with a shotgun microphone, then I wouldn't expect you to believe that good dialogue recording is possible at distances of ten (10) feet.
You may find this difficult to believe, but I haved worked with shotgun mics before. In fact, I bought one for a Sony Digital-8 camcorder I used to have. It was expensive too. In the end, I found it useless. I tried using it for recording interviews in my home instead of making people wear lapel mics. It didn't work. The speech still sounded distant and had echo that was unacceptable to me. Maybe it was just that one mic, or maybe it is my house. But in my experience I have not been able to get decent audio of speech without a microphone within 3 feet, preferably 1 foot of the speaker's mouth.

Still.. that is more or less not relevant. After all, we're talking about the audio on hybrid cameras. Most of the ones we discuss here are priced under $300 and I am fairly sure none of them are going to have a zoom microphone, and if they do it probably wouldn't work worth a darn.
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Old Dec 3, 2008, 8:55 AM   #9
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C'mon, you've seen numerous TV dialogue recordings and you know as well as I do that good quality shotgun microphones work fine. They're used every single day by video production crews all over the world. I was a TV newsman for years and I used them routinely at news conferences where we couldn't clip a lavalier microphone onto our interview subject because the nature of some news conferences was such that the interview subject was positioned several feet away from our TV news cameras. The shotgun model you used, perhaps, was just a cheap model. But even some relatively low-priced shotguns microphones work quite well. I own an Audio-Technica 835b and it only cost $200, as I recall. It works effectively at ten (10) feet. There are far more expensive shotgun microphones that work exceptionally well.

1. Clock Audio makes the ($500) C850E:

http://www.clockaudio.com/tabid/216/...4/Default.aspx



2. Sennheiser makes the ($1,200) MKH416:

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite...transid=001511



3. Rode makes the ($700) NTG-3:

http://usa.rodemic.com/microphone.php?product=NTG-3



These are all decent performers.
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Old Dec 3, 2008, 9:11 AM   #10
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By the way, your comment that low-cost zoom microphones don't exist in hybrid camcorders is also not true.

Examples of hybrids with zoom microphones:

1. Panasonic SDR-S10P1 ($200 - $300) features a stereo zoom mic:

http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...702#tabsection



2. Sony's HDR-TG1 (around $600) features a stereo zoom mic:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665400969



I own the Panasonic SDR-S10P. I've tested its zoom microphone. You claim it probably "wouldn't be worth a darn." I disagree based on my experience with this particular model. The zoom microphone offers much improved audio over the audio of my Sanyo VPC-CG6. Much improved. Again, I have both models for testing.

In the absence of dedicated external microphone inputs that work, I would hope that very low-end hybrid camcorder manufacturers would begin to offer zoom microphones to improve on their horrible audio recording capabilities.
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