When you think of camera shoe mounted microphones, Rode is who you think of. With an inexpensive price tag, lightweight form factor and plug-and-play usability, the Rode VideoMicro is one of the smallest and most portable on-camera microphones out there.
The microphone itself is well-made with a metal construction and is also extremely small, coming in at only 8cm long. The front of the microphone features the grill which will be facing your audio source and there is a 3.5mm output on the back which plugs straight into your camera.
The VideoMicro sits in the included shoe mount which uses Rode’s Rycote Lyre suspension system which helps to reduce unwanted noise from camera movements shocks. The Lyre works well at doing its job and managed to reduce a lot of the shakes and bumps that would otherwise be captured by the standard camera microphone.
The microphone also has a windshield included which comes in particularly useful when shooting outdoors as it will help alleviate any unwanted sound from wind, resulting in nicer sounding audio. The windshield does drop a bit of its hair when it comes new out of the box, but it’s not a huge hassle to pick up a few hairs. The windshield slides on and off the microphone, so it’s quick and easy to attach and remove when needed. My only complaint about the windshield would be that, maybe, it slides off a bit too easily.
Editor’s note (20th January): It appears that I was simply not pushing the windshield onto the microphone hard enough for it to latch onto the lip of the microphone. It takes a little more force than I expected.
Thanks to the smaller form-factor, the microphone is powered by the camera. This means that you don’t need to worry about carrying additional batteries around with you to record audio. Simply plug the microphone into the camera with the included SC2 3.5mm cable and you’re good to go.
If you want to plug the VideoMicro into a device such as your smartphone, you’ll need to get Rode’s SC7 cable, which is around £10, this cable supports the TTRS audio jack used on devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
For the price of the microphone which is currently around £40 to £50, the sound quality is surprisingly good – considering it is Rode’s cheapest and most affordable on-camera microphone.
The audio that the microphone manages to capture is clear with most of the sound of my voice being picked up within the mid frequencies, so there’s not too much bass but if you wanted to boost that I’m sure you could in editing.
I also tested the microphone by playing some music in the room behind the camera and it managed to reject that well and ensure that my voice was still easy to hear.
I haven’t been able to test the microphone in a very loud environment to see how well it picks me up, but with the testing that I have been able to do, I am happy with how it performs.
All of the audio for the video review has been recorded on the VideoMicro, so take a look at that for a sound sample.
If you’re looking for a microphone that provides decent sound quality at an affordable price, look no further than the VideoMicro. It’s portable, lightweight and comes with accessories such as the windshield that make it even better value for money.
I think it provides a good spot between the built-in microphone and the more expensive VideoMic line of products from Rode.