Instructional Video Production 4(1+3)

Lesson 09: Camera Accessories


There are different kinds of microphones that can be used with a digital camera, including:

  • the microphone built into the camera
  • a shotgun microphone attached to the top of the camera
  • a handheld microphone that connect to the camera
  • a lavalier or clip-on microphone that connect to the camera
  • a boom microphone that connect to the camera
  • wireless microphones (these can be either handheld or lavalier mics)

The microphone built into the camera is good for ambient audio or natural sound - nature scenes like chirping birds or babbling brooks, background noise from street scenes, etc.

It also can be used to record a performance or a speech, although the quality of the audio will suffer because of all the other ambient sound the mic picks up.

The build-in or shotgun microphone is not ideal for doing an interview with someone, where background noise can make the person difficult to understand.
Interviews are best done with lavalier, handheld or boom microphones.

Microphones - Handheld

A handheld microphone is just like it sounds - a mic that can be hold in hand to record one’s own or someone else's voice.
Handheld microphones are particularly good for doing quick interviews with people, such as a "man-on-the-street" interview.
One should definitely use a handheld microphone if they are doing an interview where there is a lot of ambient sound - traffic, wind, or other voices. The handheld microphone will tend to screen out a lot more of that sound than the built-in mic on a video camera.

Handheld microphones usually do not have any batteries or other power source.


Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier microphones, commonly referred to as lav mics, are tiny mics that can be clip onto a person's shirt or lapel to record their voice.
They're especially good to use for a sit-down interview with someone. They'll screen out much ambient sound - traffic, wind or other voices and can hide almost the entire mic and not have it show on camera.
Lavalier microphones often have their own power source - usually a single AA battery (microphones that need a power source are called "condenser" mics).


Last modified: Monday, 23 April 2012, 7:44 AM