Test of two popular microphone systems.

I got the Zoom H1 in for review, I love it’s small size. I wanted to compare it to the mic I have been using for the past two year the Rode Videomic.

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Zoom H1

Rode VideoMic

rode-videomic

5D Mark3
5D Mark III

30 comments

  • Have a friend who uses both the rode and the zoom H4N, and he says the rode doesn’t work too well if there’s a lot of ambient noise, and sometimes its better to combine the sound from both the rode and Zoom to get a better overall audio, what do you think about combining both Dave?

  • I did a test recently for a blog test I was working on to see if I could use any of the mics I have around for an ENG style rig (including the RodeVideo Mic, a shotgun and a voice over/studio mic) by plugging them in directly into my T2i…the results were terrible, so bad I am not sure I am even going to release the video now. The main issue was the “hiss” caused by Canon’s poor audio circuitry. The only fixes I know of that might work was using something like a JuicedLink or BeachTek pre-amp box but in the past I found those made my rig too unstable for handheld work…so, for now, no ENG style work for me. In fact I recently had to turn down some work from a good client of mine because of not really having a “run and gun” type of rig.

  • How do you find the videoquality on the markIII?, I can’t see any improvements over the markII, yes aparently moire is almost gone but at expense of sharpness, am I right?

  • I don’t like the H1 sound. (it picks up too much) maybe with a little EQ work it would be better.

    I use an Azden shotgun and run it into a ZOOM H4n then to my T2i (running Magic Lantern)

    I found that on-board ZOOM mics pick up everything (too much)

    I would like to see the green screen set up that your using.

    Are you going to do a review on the 5D?

  • I use the H1 with a red head wind screen and it sounds great. However I like my azden shot gun better when I want to focus on a subject and not get the surrounding environment sounds. Dave are you going to just hand hold your iphone. I know you dont have time to make any iPhone rig before you go but later you can check my DIY iPhone rigs at my web site for the next time you use your iPhone. Have fun at NAB.

  • Good review Dave. I am listening to lots of hiss coming from the Rode Video Mic, which I am surprised about. The H1 is giving good sound for voice with a nice warm tone to your voice. I am not an expert in audio but I would probably plug a rode mic into the Canon 5D and still get separate audio with the H1. I currently use a Tascam DR 05 and this works fine for me.

  • I am over liked the sound of ZoomH1. Because there was no background noise and the sound was clear. If you are using a microphone Rode, I heard background noise.

  • The sibilance thing – I’m guessing that was because the Rode has a foam windscreen on the mic, and the Zoom was not covered. If you had put the foam ball do-dad on the H1, I’m guessing that problem would have gone away…

    Nice comparison!

  • I use a Zoom H4n and LOVE it! It’s the best audio I have recorded. Of course it does come at over $300 price tag but it was worth it. It has made a massive difference. Your H1 could sound better with a cover but I still preferred the H1 sound over the Rode.

    Keep up the great videos!

  • Good post Dave… but I found very little difference in the 2 recordings in a controlled space. I think you’ll find greater differences when you open the space up and include ambient noise. You are right in stating the differences in sibilance though.

    To anyone who doesn’t know, there is a great audio application called Audacity that has a noise reduction function that I use on all of my interview audio. I use an H4N for my recordings and a lav mic whenever possible.

  • Dave,

    What kind of lighting are you using? The lighting looks great. I am looking to buy a set of light shooting videos and not so sure what to get. Can you recommend something?

    Thank you,

    Tam

  • Hey Dave. The Zoom H1 Accessory Kit comes with a foam wind shield, which does take the edge off the treble. BTW, if you removed the wind shield from the Rode Videomic, you’d probably get more sibilance.

  • Don’t like to record audio on-camera. Will only use it for reference.

    Instead, I use the H1 with a lapel mic. Sounds FANTASTIC. Give me much more control over the audio.

    Just be sure to slate your takes so syncing up the audio is easy.

  • Hi Dave

    Enjoy your trip – look forward to seeing posts of some of your experiences. I have both the Rode and the H1 – sometimes the Rode picks up to much ambient noise especially if I am filming (550D) in a crowded room. Joe’s suggestion of using the H1 with lavalier sounds good.

  • Hey Dave,

    I have both of these mics in my arsenal, and I find myself using the H1 more and more. Its cross-pattern mic setup goes a long way towards minimizing background noise, and being as inexpensive as it is, I have actually purchased a second one, and a pair of Audio Technica Lav mics to set up a VERY inexpensive set of body packs. I then mount the Rode on my T3i, just so i have a relatively clean track to sync up the audio in Final Cut Pro X.

    As Kevin mentioned – the Rode catches a lot of background noise, even with the automatic gain control disabled in my T3i, it still hisses too much.

    At the end of the day, I still think it’s better to have a recording of the audio you want that needs a little EQ-ing, than it is to have a recording with background noise that I will have to waste time and quality to remove.

    Thanks, and keep the videos coming!

  • @BigTony

    I agree. The cleaner the audio the better. It’s easier to work with EQ.
    For those of us who have more time than money 🙂

    What model of Lac mics are you using?

    You should check out the audio sync tools in Adobe CS6.

  • @John-Mark

    Audio Technica ATR-3350. Less than $20 each through Amazon.

    As far as Audio Syncing goes, unless CS6 automatically groups and syncs audio on import, I think I’ll stick with FCPX’s on-board tools. It analyzes all of the audio and video on import and matches them together. All I have to do is go tell it what tracks to merge together, and start editing.

  • Thanks for the info.

    Sorry I can’t answer your question on CS6 yet. I can say that it auto syncs tracks.

    Glad that FCPX automates all that for you. The less labor to get to the editing, the greater supply of creative energy to apply to a project.

  • I use an H1 simply as am audio recorder connected to a shotgun mic with a foam screen and a deadcat. Have used it on lost of shoots and always sounds good. Have not had the opportunity to try the Rhode mic. As for your side by side test Dave, I could not really tell a difference, maybe it is my computer speakers but they both sounded very similar.

  • Dave was in a very controlled environment. The H1 really outpaces the Rode in a loud and/or uncontrolled environment. Heres a great demonstration: http://vimeo.com/15147975

    The cross mic pattern on the Zoom makes it so that it needs to be closer to the subject than the Rode does, but when it is, your subject with be far more present in the audio mix. I find that running both mics on a single subject gives me the ability to dial in background noise to taste.

  • Why would you ever use these two tools separately or ever run anything through the poor on-camera sound when you have an excellent high quality audio setup right in front of you? Run the Rhode into the H1 and simply capture excellent audio. No one who’s serious about stellar audio ever uses the on-board features on an HDSLR; they’re horrible when compared to the clean audio you get from an external device like the H1 coupled with a decent mic, which you have in the Rhode. Your audio should always be external and then synced later in post.

  • Hi Dave

    I am about to shoot an Interview, and I am asking if it’s better to use the Zoom H4n alone, or use a Rode videomic pro plugged with a 3.5 mm into the Zoom H4n, is it normal to used an 3.5 mm extension from Rode to Zoom H4n or or it will get a lot interference, What’s the best Setup using a Rode videomic pr + Zoom H4n + Canon 60D?

    thanks for the post

  • ohh thanks,, you’re so kind, it was a so quick.. another quick question: Does an adapter 3.5 mm XLR make quality better if I use it, or just plug the rode into Zoom H4n ??

    Thanks a lot

  • @Younes, no because the signal is already unbalanced, just don’t run it more than 20 feet or you will lose quality.

  • Hi
    I have both the Zoom H1 and the Rode VideoMic.
    I use the Zoom. This way I can also lug in my headphones to monitor the audio. I find it works great. I also let my Canon 60D record audio as a back up and guide track for syncing up in post. Sometimes i mount the Rode video mic on a boom pole and run the line into the Zoom, which is also mounted on the pole, these 2 tools give me a lot of flexibility.

  • First I am very thankful to Dave for his advice.
    I used a Rode videomic pro connected to Zoom H4n,for my documentary interviews and I mounted both of them on boom pole and I used the built in mic for the 60D, to get audio to Sync them lately, Honestly I got really a pro quality, I used High pass filter on the Rode and I put the Zoom H4n on 50 as recording level, the Rode was less 1 foot above the interviewee Mouth directed to the floor to avoid catching room noise (tone). I used Sennheiser EH 150 pro to monitor the sound.

    Cheers

  • Hi Dave, thanks for your informative videos.

    In the insert you refered to a Rode Mic with a built in recorder, are you able to supply the model number of this unit?

    Thanks

    Al

  • Forgive my ignorance on this but I am new to shooting video on DSLRs – I’m a video guy by trade. Was there any syncing that you had to do when you were using the Zoom? If so, how difficult was the process?

  • One of my colleagues uses the H1 exlusively, either with a shotgun or a lavalier and it seems to be fine, especially at its price point.

    He uses both mics for specific scenarios and has told me he tends to champion the H1 over the RODE in terms of quality.