- Having the time to prepare the right kind of equipment to record one special kind of event using as much and as specialized gear as I find necessary and practical.
- Recording ambiance and B-roll with whatever I have in my pocket at that time.
It would seem natural to use the H4n with it's great internal microphones to collect B-roll. It it nearly perfectly suited for this job. Just place it in a corner or on a camera with a wide angle lens and keep rolling.
Why would I choose not to?
Because it is inpractical and with time you tend to avoid inpractical things.
- It is large and heavy.
- When used before, it's batterys are often quite down already.
- You need to sync the sound to the camera later. (Syncing is trivial but identifying what sound belongs to what picture takes time and organisational effort.)
The purpose being to have it on camera for wide shots to capture ambience right in the camera. This need not be B-Roll. It can very well be a sound performance or a groups of people standing close together. Anything that does not require a directional pattern.
So what did I find?
- It is lightweight and small enough to just keep it on the camera. It doesn't even affect the center of gravity even of a small mirrorless camera like the GH1 and GH2.
- Contrary to the H4n it is practically unaffected by wind. The 2 microphones are mounted inside a round blimp below a foam cover. I did not even feel the need to unpack the deadcat I got for it.
- It picks up lower frequencies much better then the H4n. I'm not sure yet that this is a good thing or if they are overrepresented.
- The low-cut is useless. Even the lowest frequency rumbling of a bus you're sitting it are reduced at all.
- I still have to test the +20dB gain on the GH2 and GH1 cameras.
- The hotshoe has an incompatible threading. It's 1/2" microphone threading and not 1/4" as for camera equipment. This would be fine for booming except that an purely omnidirectional on-camera microphone with a 3.5mm stereo-jack is not reasonable for booming at all.
- Photos (coming soon)