Comparing The Rode Stereo VideoMic, Canon ZM-100, Sony 908C,                 
 Sony ZM-157, And Sennheiser MKE-300 Camcorder Microphones 

I compared five camcorder microphones, the Rode Stereo VideoMic, Canon ZM-100, Sony 908C, Sony ZM-157 (as two mono mics paired for stereo, pointed slightly apart), and Sennheiser MKE-300 mono short-shotgun. The Rode came with a "Deadkitten" furry wind screen, the Canon had a home-made foam screen added, the Sony had a Radio Shack foam screen added, and the Sennheiser had a Rycote furry wind screen added. There was no significant wind on the day I compared these, but as equipped here, the Rode, Canon, and Sennheiser are more resistant to wind problems than the others (but the 908C is excellent with a Rode "Deadkitten" added). The Rode and Canon (and Sennheiser and Sony 908C with an isolator added) were more resistant to camera handling noises than the dual Sonys. When checked, on some playback systems some slight hum can be heard on the Canon track, and its gain is low. This may have been caused by a low battery in the custom external box I made to power the mic (the mic has two cords - one for signal, the other for power), or to its being about to die, which it did soon after the comparison. I edited the video (available for viewing at - to try to make the playback levels from the various microphones match as nearly as possible, although this may have resulted in occasional clipping. I find that voice is a good check for general microphone "sound", especially if the voice is a familiar one and the playback system is good. All microphones were connected to a Canon HV20 HD camcorder (please ignore the visuals - I made no attempt to frame well or hold the camera steady...! ;-).

I originally intended to let people come to their own conclusions, but I've had requests to give mine. After experience with these mics (using my purdy good PSB Alphas as computer speakers and some good, but equalized, AudioDynamics speakers for the large HD TV sound), I couldn't hear much difference between the mics except that the Canon had some hum and the dual Sonys were a tad less good. In use, the Canon was a pain to use (it needed a separate battery box for power), but its isolation and wind resistance were very good. The dual Sony mics picked up a lot of wind and camcorder handling noise, and they were the least good sounding (by a bit) of the bunch. The Rode, even with its relatively high mass and rubber band suspension and with its furry "Deadkitten" installed, proved to be still somewhat sensitive to some camcorder body handling "thunks" and to LF wind noise, even with the LF cut filter switched in - and its occasional sibilance on voice bothered me. I liked the Sennheiser MKE-300 in every way (when used on the pair of isolators "stolen" from the dual Sony mics) except that it was quite bulky and it was mono (I have tried simulating stereo with it with moderate success by using the method described at - The newer MKE-400 is much smaller, and stereo/mono - but I know nothing else about it. All of which left the rather nice-sounding Sony 908C as my favorite (with the Rode "Deadkitten" added and with it mounted on the same Sony isolators as the Sennheiser) - and it was also relatively cheap and small (but it has been recently discontinued, of course....).

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