I’ve had my Rode Videomic Pro now for around the last two and a half years.
It was bought to give my Panasonic GH2 an improved sound quality when I was out and about videoing. My previous video device, a Canon HF100 has a non-standard hot shoe / accessory slot, so for that I had to get the Canon microphone especially for that camera, which of course was incompatible with my GH2. However I must give Canon their due, it’s a great microphone and did everything that I asked or expected from it.
This Videomic Pro has also been a great device. Although I don’t use it that often it has still suffered a fair amount of misuse and abuse, lived in holdalls and generally travelled around with me, but has always done the business when needed. It has been a bit of an irritation in that the rubber strips which provide the sound and vibration isolation between the microphone itself and its frame often detach themselves from their mounting positions, but I can live with that. As a video camera microphone I like it and I also often put it onto a small tripod and use it as a desktop mic. In this set-up sometimes feeding it directly into my camera, sometimes feeding it into my Zoom H1 and use the Zoom to record the audio.
Its one failure has been out in windy conditions. My Canon mic with its dead cat windshield handled windy conditions really well. I got the Rode made windshield for this Videomic Pro assuming that getting the proper branded item would give me good performance, however I’ve been very disappointed with its abilities to reduce wind noise. Where the microphone was money well spent, this Rode dead cat windshield was a total waste. A shame as Rode usually produce good products. I’ll just have to look elsewhere for a windshield.
It was a while ago when I started looking around for a nice but basic camera. I wanted something a bit better than point & shoot, but did not have the money for a digital SLR, so was looking at one or two of the cross-over type cameras.
I was in the city centre about to go into a camera shop (possibly to actually buy) when by chance I ended up talking to someone I knew a little bit from internet / social networking but had never met in real life till now. In conversation he said he has a Canon 400D dSLR, two years old but hardly used which he was willing to sell. We came to a mutually agreeable price, and so began my love affair with Canon cameras. That was about 3 years ago.
Moving forward a bit, it was about this time last year I started seriously thinking about replacing / upgrading this 400D; the Canon range had progressed from the 400 to the 450 to the 500 and now everybody was raving on about the 550D. My old, second hand 400 was starting to show its age, technology had moved on, especially with the ability of these newer dSLRs to be able to do good quality video too. A 550D was quite tempting.
Then last summer the 60D came out, which though expensive, seriously got my attention. Then earlier on this year, the 600D.
So decisions and arguments with myself last autumn over wanting but not really having the money for a 60D. Then when the 600D came out do I go with it as a cheaper but similar specification alternative to the 60D. More arguments, more procrastination, and an eventual decision to go for the 60D. Physically more robust, a faster focusing system, faster frames per second, better viewfinder and a few other things tipped the scales in its favour. The one thing that made me hang back was its bulk. These digital SLRs are getting bigger and bigger. Compare a current high spec. dSLR to its equivalent spec. old style 35mm film SLR and the size (and weight) difference is considerable.
Then by chance I was looking at the Digitalrev.com site where they were comparing the micro four-thirds Panasonic GH2 to the Canon 60D. Both had their pros and cons, both produced great pictures (and video). The 60D had a slightly larger sensor, but the GH2 had more advanced electronics for processing the sensor data. However the GH2 may be digital but it is NOT an SLR, it does not rely on a mirror to reflect the light up to a viewfinder which then has to be flipped out of the way to let the light get to the sensor. Its viewfinder is electronic, this image being fed directly from the sensor. Eliminating this mirror system really reduces the size and weight of the camera (and lenses) considerably.
This changed everything for me. More research done, more reviews read, more camera shops visited and now I am a happy Panasonic owner.
So a few camera thoughts for you. If someone wants to go the route of a dSLR, then get whichever of those Canon cameras you can afford and you won’t be disappointed. However just remember that there’s more out there than just dSLRs.