Cheap camera mic's on e-bay

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MAGLINK
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I just bought one of these on e-bay and if it is the stock panasonic mic then it is a bit of a bargain, even if it is just a chinese knockoff I will be interested to see and hear what it is like: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Broadcast-Video-Shotgun-Microphone4-Panasonic-Sony-Cams_W0QQitemZ290533337142QQcategoryZ83857QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp5197.m7QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D4%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D7242189995708662507#ht_1005wt_907

I offered $75 for one and they accepted so that works out at £47 delivered.

g3vbl
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JGNattrass wrote:

I offered $75 for one and they accepted so that works out at £47 delivered.

Does that not assume HM Revenue & Customs don't seek their pound of flesh?

Chris (in Yangon)

MAGLINK
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We shall see Chris but every item I have got from china so far has always been import duty free, this is a low cost item so I suspect it will be shipped as a gift or sample.

If it is the genuine panasonic stereo mic then it is an absolute bargain as they retail for a lot lot more: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=127084&A=details&is=REG&Q=
http://www.abelcine.com/store/Panasonic-AJ-MC700-Microphone-Kit/

Yup that is not a typo these are nearly $1,000 so worth a punt and they may be left over from the olympics.

Arthur.S
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Looks interesting. The "low voltage alarm" points to it being battery powered rather than phantom which would be a pain...but it doesn't look like a battery powered mic. Interested to see your thoughts on it once it arrives Gary.

MAGLINK
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I can't find out much about the MC version as it's all in japanese on the web but it may be that you are right, for sub £50 it's worth a punt.

mooblie
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I'd be interested to see how they feed "a stereo sound image with superb clarity" down a single 3-pin XLR connection.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
I'd be interested to see how they feed "a stereo sound image with superb clarity" down a single 3-pin XLR connection.

I spotted that too but it may be that with the cable being so short it is unbalanced to the 3-pin XLR, my sony M/S mics are wired that way too from the 5-pin XLR to the 3.5mm jack for mini disc etc.

We shall see and even if it is just a mono mic I will be interested to hear what it is like.

paulears
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The seller is obviously confused too, but that could well be a plus point. It's 10% of the 'real' price so until it comes, you won't know. Based on my experience, it will probably be rather good!

MAGLINK
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Found a bit more info and the AJ-MC700 is the mono mic and the AJ-MC900 is the current stereo version.

Even better is that the AJ-MC700 is the recommended mic for the HPX300/301/370/371 so it if is a genuine panasonic product it is the matching mic for my camera.

We shall see when it arrives and it is listed on the latest P2 PDF document : http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/sales_o/broch_pdf/P2brochure.pdf

Dugi
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JGNattrass wrote:
I can't find out much about the MC version as it's all in japanese on the web but it may be that you are right, for sub £50 it's worth a punt.

Give me a link Gary and let me know what info you need translated.

g3vbl
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JGNattrass wrote:
We shall see Chris but every item I have got from china so far has always been import duty free, this is a low cost item so I suspect it will be shipped as a gift or sample.

I very much hope you do get it without problems. What really annoys me is that Royal Mail charge me for 'presentation to customs' to make me pay! Having said that, in general I find that mail is more likely to get through than courier, depending on the declaration. Due to the likes of Ebay the volume coming through these days must be enormous.

Good luck!

MAGLINK
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Well I can't knock their com's as I got an e-mail this morning to say it had been shipped, look forward to seeing what it is like and will report back in due course.

MAGLINK
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Dugi wrote:
Give me a link Gary and let me know what info you need translated.

I just did a google search on AJ-MC700MC and it came up with lots of far eastern and russian sites so it may be that this mic model is for those area's only.

MAGLINK
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Well it arrived this morning and that is speedy shipping from Hong Kong, no duty to pay but what I got was not as advertised as it is a Panasonic AJ-MC700P mic which is the current Mono mic for the HPX301x371 ser camera's, it also came with full instruction manual and foam wind gag:

OK it is not what was advertised but it is a genuine panasonic mic so for all you cynic's out there have a look at this link to see what the retail price is and then tell me at £47 it isn't a bargain :0)
http://www.dsvideo.tv/panasonic_3055.php

ChrisG
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...and does it work as well? ;)

MAGLINK
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Yup fully working and here is the spec sheet from the manual:

Now installed on my HPX301

Chrome
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JGNattrass wrote:
but it is a genuine panasonic mic

I'm not directly disputing that Gary, but how can you definitively make that claim? There are hundreds of counterfeit consumer (and professional) electronic items coming out of China at the moment; even very convincing Epiphone and Gibson guitars. Can that chart be verified as being that microphone? Just because it says Panasonic and is in a panasonic box, don't make it a panasonic! :rolleyes:

BTW - looking at genuine Panasonics the recycling sticker seems to always have rounded edges.

MAGLINK
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Well I have used panasonic kit for two years now and have seen lots of their camera mic's and it is identical to the ones I have already used.

It certainly sounds as good a genuine panasonic mic's and the silk screen printing on the body and the overall build quality is up to the level of all my panasonic kit, the box and the manual also have the same font and print type as all my panasonic kit. The manual is also a multi page multi lingual one so why would they bother to copy all of it?

As I said I suspect these were sent out with the Olympic camera's and were never used, it came from Hong Kong and as most of the kit we use is made in china these days I have no reason to doubt that it is a genuine panasonic part.

I have seen lots of cheap chinese copies and this is far better made and up to panasonic standards (and far better made than rode btw), I also have seen some of the gibson and epiphone guitars and they are crap and no-where near as convincing as this.

Doubt me if you want but I have just bought two more as general FX mics.;)

MAGLINK
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P.S Just to finally have a look I unscrewed the three small screws at the end of the mic and took it apart, inside is an aluminium ring that the three screws are fitted into and there is a small circuit board about 1.5cm by 2cm and the capsule is mounted beyond that at the correct position at the end of the phase cancellation tubes, I didn't want to pull the capsule out but there are three substantial white cables going from the circuit board to the capsule.

All the inside build quality it what I would say is up to panasonic standards and certainly not what I would call cheap chinese copy, the re-cycle sticker on the e-bay auction is rounded like the one you mention chrome and if you look any reference to panasonic has been removed from the advert pics, I suspect this is to make sure panasonic are not upset by the sale at such a cheap price.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother and should just buy up loads of these and put them out at near full price ;0)

ChrisG
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Mine arrived today, thanks to Gary's heads up, now have to sort out a mixer & phantom power :)

I am grateful as it has been a concern that while picture quality is relatively easy to preserve these days, the audio isn't. This spurred me on to do something about that.

Many thanks Gary, bit of a risk but looks like it was worth it.

Chris

MAGLINK
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If you want a nice little budget mixer for around £100 that is reasonable quality and flexible I use one of these : http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002B.aspx

Also it can run on batteries but they are getting hard to find, a couple of Z7 users I have been mentoring have bought them to expand their location mixing without too much cost.

No it's not a sound devices or SQN but for low cost expansion at the prosumer level it does the job, there are a couple of new ones on e-bay: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BEHRINGER-XENYX-1002B-MIXER-optional-battery-operation-/200567393915?pt=UK_Mixers&hash=item2eb2bf8e7b#ht_3239wt_907

Now no doubt there will be several posts questioning its credibility but I have used mine on several productions feeding ch 3&4 of the P2 camera's ;0)

Tony7
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ChrisG wrote:
Mine arrived today, thanks to Gary's heads up, now have to sort out a mixer & phantom power :)

I am grateful as it has been a concern that while picture quality is relatively easy to preserve these days, the audio isn't. This spurred me on to do something about that.

Many thanks Gary, bit of a risk but looks like it was worth it.

Chris

I just ordered one too.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

Chrome
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JGNattrass wrote:
the silk screen printing on the body and the overall build quality is up to the level of all my panasonic kit, the box and the manual also have the same font and print type as all my panasonic kit. The manual is also a multi page multi lingual one so why would they bother to copy all of it?

Again Gary, I really do hope you've been lucky. But I still doubt it.

But many fakes are now highly convincing and copied down to the smallest details including the full manual and packaging (read the end of the third paragraph here). They're known for producing Sure and Audio Technica mic copies, and they make millions of counterfeit Panasonic batteries so why not a Panasonic microphone? Is the three-pin XLR a Neutrik? I understand that's fitted as standard to these mics; if it's not its a good chance it's a copy. The recycling label in the advert is irrelevant, as that may well be the real thing, but yours does not have the same sticker.

Read this
and this

It's been pointed out many times on this very board... If it looks too good to be true...

MAGLINK
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You can say what you like Chrome but I have over 30 years experience in audio and have some copy SHURE SM57's so I know what a fake is!

According to you this must be a fake as it doesn't have a Neutrik connector: http://www.dsvideo.tv/panasonic_3055.php

If you are not interested in them then that is fine but as far as I am concerned the mic I have is a genuine panasonic part and is identical to all the one's I have used over the past two years, it is also the same as all the pictures on the internet and sounds as good as the genuine mic as well.

I agree that sometimes things may be too good to be true but my experience has told me that it is not that way in this case.

Nigel Longman
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Nice little mixer
JGNattrass wrote:
If you want a nice little budget mixer for around £100 that is reasonable quality and flexible I use one of these : http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002B.aspx

Gary

I remember your original interest in this little mixer back in 2008 in this thread.

I gave it the thumbs up at the time and so I'm pleased to see that a man of your experience found it to be a good, versatile little mixer and excellent value for the money :) . Little point in buying a Rolls Royce if a Mini will do.

Nigel

MAGLINK
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Thank's Nigel it is my main location mixer for indie and charity work where I need extra channels, I have also used it for static pro work direct to ch 3+4 on the camera, if I need more or portable soloutions I have a sound bod come in with his kit.

I got rid of my sign 44 ENG mixer so thank's for the thumbs up on it.

paulears
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Mine arrived - oddly badged as a Sony!

Gavin Gration
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Brilliant! Maybe I'll get the JVC badged version...hmmmm...bad feedback and a refund to be claimed.

Looks like they've edited the listing and photo.

MAGLINK
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Gavin Gration wrote:
Brilliant! Maybe I'll get the JVC badged version...hmmmm...bad feedback and a refund to be claimed.

Looks like they've edited the listing and photo.

If you read the advert it says mic for panasonic or sony, he had 30 of the panasonic ones and last week a further 50 went on the site and I suspect they are the sony branded ones, the sony number is correct and it is the mic for the DSR cameras, I suppose if you aren't happy you just send it back for a refund!

Gavin Gration
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Yes Gary you are probably right :(

As was Steve me thinks..... ;)

If it IS a decent performing mic it'll be reet anyway for the money :D

BTW I just had a look at a 10 yr old Sony ECM-NV1. It looks nothing like the one shown in paulears photograph.

MAGLINK
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paulears
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I suspect that these are all the same product, and are just re-badged to appear in the different guises - as far as I can tell, this is identical to the Panasonic original visually - but not the Sony.

Doesn't matter to me - the performance is as expected - It sounds very similar to the worn one on my old Sony Betacams - in that there's a pronounced narrowing of the pickup pattern at higher frequencies, with lower ones much more like a normal cardioid - exactly what you'd expects from a short interference tube.

Bearing in mind that the original manufacturers frequently used OEM sources for accesssories, these could be good copies, or original stock being sold off. They're available on a few Chinese B2B sites - but not the usual ones for supply to the English speaking world.

For what they cost, they're easily worth the money we paid.

MAGLINK
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I agree Paul and this echo's the sprit in which I posted the original link, as we know camera mic's are not the main source for most pro audio and a lot of the time are just there to pick up some form of sound effects that could be useful.

For £47 the mic I got matches my camera, is of good enough quality for such an effects mic and now allows me to free up the mic I was using to do more useful sound capture closer to the source.

Tony7
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Mine arrived on Thursday past, thanks Gary.
For £47 couldn't be bad to that.

Tony.
Asrock Z68 Extreme7 --i7-2700K --Edius Pro7--HDStorm+ --16GB Kingston HyperX--GTX 560Ti--AX850 PSU--MxM PCI-e Reader--Win8.1 Pro 64bit

MAGLINK
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Thanks Tony and glad it is Ok for you, now anyone want to know how to get an AF101 for less than £500? ;0)

Pete Allen
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I also got one of these, the Panny version, arrived yesterday, tested it this morning.

Absolutely fine and, a bargain at that price.

Thanks Gary ;)

I drink to steady my nerves. Last night I got so steady I couldn't move. Wedding video essex

MAGLINK
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You are welcome Pete, I see that they now have 35 left, I tried a cheeky bid at $35 for some but it got declined so $75 seems to be the acceptable bid for them!

Pete Allen
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Yes, I tried an offer at $70 and, that got declined.

I think I got the haggle bug from my prospective clients, it really annoys me when almost every call is to ask how much discount they're going to get.

That smacks of double standards I know but, it's different when I do it :D

I drink to steady my nerves. Last night I got so steady I couldn't move. Wedding video essex

MAGLINK
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That's an easy one Pete put your prices up by 20% and then give them a 10% discount!:D

ChrisG
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2nd order has taken longer by a number of days (i.e. not arrived yet) Any other 2nd order experiences?

Dave cross
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Hi Guys, mine arrived this morning badged up as "panasonic". I dived in if i'm honest hoping it would pick up phantom power from my beachtek DXA-4p but unfortunately it won't and I can't get a peep out of it :( So, if anyone would like one you can have this its un-used :D
baot0

MAGLINK
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Emmm according to this page the beachtek you have doesn't have phantom power so it won't work! http://www.beachtek.com/dxa4p.html

Send it back for a refund if you aren't happy or post it to me and I will find a use for it! ;0)

Arthur.S
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baot0 wrote:
Hi Guys, mine arrived this morning badged up as "panasonic". I dived in if i'm honest hoping it would pick up phantom power from my beachtek DXA-4p but unfortunately it won't and I can't get a peep out of it :( So, if anyone would like one you can have this its un-used :D
baot0

Is that 'free to a good home'? :) If not, how much do you want for it?

Dave cross
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well, like everyone else it just cost £47 delivered but bearing in mind its no good to me I would be happy with £45 and i'll post it first class for free :D
baot0

Arthur.S
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Sounds good to me ('scuse the pun :o ) PM me your address, and I'll post you a cheque, or bank details, and I'll pay into your account direct.

Dave cross
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PM'd you Arthur....

Dave cross
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I got too excited Gary, I could see how enthusiastic you all were and couldn't help myself I thought I was getting a bargain :D Well I was if I had phantom power lol I don't know no fool like an old fool eh ;)

Arthur.S
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baot0 wrote:
PM'd you Arthur....

And me you Dave...:)

MAGLINK
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baot0 wrote:
I got too excited Gary, I could see how enthusiastic you all were and couldn't help myself I thought I was getting a bargain :D Well I was if I had phantom power lol I don't know no fool like an old fool eh ;)

No you certainly aren't and the advert doesn't really help as it originally implied that it runs on battery power but that is why they are such a bargain if you do have phantom power but it also covers people if they aren't happy as they can send it back as the description leaves a lot to be desired.

ChrisG
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Well the other mic sold on that site - the panasonic em-2800a, arrived today, works, difficult to find info on this model apart from the fact it is also retailed as a Yoga em2800

It is about 14" long with off/omni/zoom switch and internal battery.

All signs of Panasonic blacked out on box but the mic itself appears new and has a decent weight to it. Anybody know about this model?

Arthur.S
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Arrived today Dave, thanks for the swift delivery. But....have to say, not very impressed with it. Loads of background hiss. Tried playing with levels etc, but to reduce the hiss, you lose the vocals. Anyone else got any tips? (Clutching at straws now :( )

Dave cross
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Oh no !! Sorry Arthur, thats strange though as all the other guys said it was fine ? I never got a peep out of it so I wouldn't know but I'm really sorry if its rubbish :confused:
Dave

MAGLINK
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Mine are nice and quiet and I have the gain on my camera set to -50.

paulears
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I'm getting bit confused - we were talking about phantom powered, short interference tube camera mics of the design typical of the supplied mic from Panasonic, Sony etc - now we're looking at a budget camcorder add on style mic that isn't an interference tube design, has 3.5mm jack output and uses (I'm pretty certain) two elements to give cardioid, or by side cancellation, a 'zoom' polar pattern. Two very different designs?

ChrisG
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Paul

My post is the o/t one. The same sell er has this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Super-Uni-directional-Electret-Condenser-Micphone-4-Cam-/290537149894?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a55d15c6 selling as well. It is technically a Panasonic em-2800a. I took a gamble as it saves on the phantom power requirement. It doesn't fit the camcorder bolt on mic spec as per size -- v.long!! I have only had limited time to test it - apart from the fact it works cannot comment further yet. Arthur etc. comments relate to Gary's original killer find.

paulears
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It makes sense now, I've actually got 4 of the older version of these, and I can see where the duffspec comes from - because they are very wierd mics. When you open them up you find two elements, spaced in front of each other - the word above confuses - they are behind each other on the microphone axis. They're small electret elements and the zoom facility simply turns both on, so they act like noise cancelling designs where sound sources from the side arrive at the same time, but as one element has the polarity reversed, side sources cancel out to a degree, but the front sound arrive at the front element, but as this element physically prevent direct sound arriving at the rear element - the cancellation doesn't happen. So it does work, BUT downside is increased noise, because the preamp gain has to be a little higher to compensate. In practice I tried them as short shotgun types on the stage edge in preference to conventional boundary mics. They worked - but two problems. The cancellation produced gives them a rather thin and weedy sound, and they don't really have much reach. They are 100% mono, absolutely NOT M/S in any shape or form, and they are a bit noisy if you want to work a way away from the mic. Price wise, it's not bad as it does have an XLR - there is a virtually identical Audio Technica, but that has a permanently wired cable.

ChrisG
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Paul - that makes absolute sense - in that the "zoom" appears to be almost a gain boost and alot noisier rather than narrowing field of sound - just about to review the audio captured today.

You can find what I assume is the same model for less than £30 at Maplins I believe.

Arthur.S
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baot0 wrote:
Oh no !! Sorry Arthur, thats strange though as all the other guys said it was fine ? I never got a peep out of it so I wouldn't know but I'm really sorry if its rubbish :confused:
Dave

Well, you're not to know if you can't test it eh? ;) Can it be returned?

There's no 'zoom' option on mine, but the background noise sounds just like a cheap mic on the zoom setting. Taking the gain down doesn't work, as by the time the hiss is acceptable - you can't hear vocals. :(

MAGLINK
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If you want me to compare it to mine pop it in the post to me, then at least if it can be returned for a refund as faulty goods.

Dave cross
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Nice one Gary at least we'll know one way or the other and if it is faulty Arthur i'll send it back to them :rolleyes: really sorry
dave

Arthur.S
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Sounds good (that durn pun again). Can you PM me your address Gary?

MAGLINK
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baot0 wrote:
Nice one Gary at least we'll know one way or the other and if it is faulty Arthur i'll send it back to them :rolleyes: really sorry
dave

Hi Dave the mic arrived this morning and it is faulty and very noisy as Arthur says.

As soon as I plugged it in I could tell it was not good and compared to the other ones I have it sounds like a dry solder joint or that the capsule is not getting its phantom power correctly.

It is identical to all the other ones I have so you need to flag it on e-bay as being faulty and no doubt they may ask you to send it back or just give you a refund.

Tell me where to send it next or if I need to wait until they say what they will do to rectify this for you.

Arthur.S
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Many thanks for taking the time to do this Gary - very indicative of the forum members here.

Dave, is it OK for Gary to send it back to you for replacement/refund? If so, could you PM him your address. Also, Gary, if you PM me your bank details, I'll refund any postage that you've spent.

MAGLINK
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Arthur.S wrote:
Many thanks for taking the time to do this Gary - very indicative of the forum members here.

Dave, is it OK for Gary to send it back to you for replacement/refund? If so, could you PM him your address. Also, Gary, if you PM me your bank details, I'll refund any postage that you've spent.

No problems and glad to help out and confirm that it was faulty, these are good mic's for the money but it's a shame that this one is kaput.

Dave cross
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Hi Gary, Arthur,
I have sent a message to let them know the mic is defective and that I would like a refund or a replacement. I read the refund/returns policy at the bottom of the sale advert and it states all refunds or returns must be notified within 7days of receipt of goods :eek:

If they won't replace or refund Arthur don't worry I'll do it myself but just hang on you never know they may send another, and Gary if you don't mind hanging on to it until they contact me I would appreciate it.

I don't know if I fell in a barrel of boobs I'd come up sucking my thumb :rolleyes:

Dave

MAGLINK
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Just be up front with them and say I had to test it for you as their description made you think it was battery powered.

Paypal will not allow you to open a dispute until after 7 days so that is your next option and go to town and say it wasn't as described and you have had to pay additional costs to get it tested.

If they give you a refund and don't want it back I could always try and repair it and see if I can salvage something useable out of it.

it may be just a bad solder connection on the XLR but see if you get your money back or replacement before I start taking it apart.

Dave cross
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Hi Gary, they just responded wow that was quick !!!
Anyway, they have told me to send it back and i'll get a full refund :) ....
If you could please get it back to me i'll pay the postage and then send it back to china with the original invoice etc hahaha what an how do you do lol
Thanks gary,
Dave

MAGLINK
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baot0 wrote:
Hi Gary, they just responded wow that was quick !!!
Anyway, they have told me to send it back and i'll get a full refund :) ....
If you could please get it back to me i'll pay the postage and then send it back to china with the original invoice etc hahaha what an how do you do lol
Thanks gary,
Dave

Can you PM me your address thanks and I will get it in the post asap.

Dave cross
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Arthur, PM your bank details sir and i'll refund your dosh sorry about that,
Dave

Rob2882
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ChrisG wrote:
Well the other mic sold on that site - the panasonic em-2800a, arrived today, works, difficult to find info on this model apart from the fact it is also retailed as a Yoga em2800

It is about 14" long with off/omni/zoom switch and internal battery.

All signs of Panasonic blacked out on box but the mic itself appears new and has a decent weight to it. Anybody know about this model?

Bought one of these 'yoga' mics from Maplins a few years back. It works and does a half decent job for which it was intended.
I remember it was a half price sale item and was around £15. Thought it was a bargain at the time

Dave cross
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Hi Gary & Arthur, Sorry fellars I've been away in London but I've PM'd you both.
Regards,
Dave

ChrisG
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Quick update this: http://friends-of-tfc.blogspot.com/2011/04/mustang-snarls.html was recorded with the cheaper 3.5mm output mic with a suitable dougal via a Canon HV30.

Still experimenting with levels but quite pleased with first 10 seconds compared to previous windy airfield efforts.

Arthur.S
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Sorry Dave - I completely forgot to get back to you! :o The new mic is fine. Noisier than my NTG-2, but very acceptable for the money. :)

ChrisG
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Joined: Apr 10 1999

Had a chance for a quick play again today. Use with juiced link and HV 30 - challenging light but pleased with the sound. I now need to work out a way of balancing audio as there are large differences in levels on today's material - not the fault of the mic - more my learning curve.

http://fighter-collection.com/hawk2011-video.html

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Some mono footie sound effects from last week recorded with one of these mics:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66oTdtBrAxE

steve5
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Joined: May 20 2006
Mic

Hi Gary
Now you have had time to play with your new Chinese mic how do you rate it against those ATR,s you use, I have an Rode NTG 2 and was wondering how they compare, noise, pick up pattern etc.
Cheers Steve

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Hi Steve they are OK but I still prefer the AT 875R as is has a more focussed sound and is better for dialogue. I use the panasonic mic on the camera as a general fx mic and it is fine for that, it is probably closer to the NTG1/2 as it is of similar design but with a shorter phase cancelation tube. Noise and pick-up patterns are OK for fx etc but the AT875R has more gain and is a better boom mic.

Hope this helps, the AT875R and the sony mic that comes with the Z7 and S270 are very similar and are pressure gradient design rather than phase cancellation tubes and to my ears they are a very good general purpose mic but these cheaper ones from china are ideal as low cost short cam mic's and as gen purpose sound fx mic's.

Don't know if you heard it but here are some footie fx recorded with the chinese mic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66oTdtBrAxE