Like other manufacturers' camcorders, most of the consumer camcorders in the Sony line come with built-in microphones. These microphones can get the job done in many circumstances, but they do not provide the audio clarity or the ability to pick up sound from a distance that you get with an external microphone. Some of Sony's professional camcorders do not have built-in mics and need an external microphone to record audio. The consumer and professional camcorders use two different types of microphone.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Locate the microphone mount on your Sony camcorder. While most consumer camcorders do not provide a microphone mount, Sony pro-level camcorders do generally have a built-in mount that appears at the top of the unit. This mount is usually a circle-shaped piece of plastic with screws holding the sides together.
Attach the microphone to the camcorder using the microphone mount. Open the mount by unscrewing the screws holding the edges of the mount together with a small screwdriver. Once the screws are loose, slide the bottom of the microphone into the mount, so that the part of the microphone that you speak into faces the front of the camera. Tighten the screws until the microphone is snug in the mount.
Plug the microphone into the camera. External microphone inputs provided on Sony consumer level camcorders are usually minijack inputs, which can accept only consumer-level microphones with minijack plugs. Pro-level Sony camcorders generally require an XLR microphone cord that plugs into the bottom of the microphone and then into one of the XLR ports provided on the side of the camcorder.
Tips and warnings
- Even though many Sony consumer camcorders have built-in microphones, if you choose to plug an external microphone into the camera's minijack port to enhance the audio quality, you may want to mount the external microphone to the camera. Sony consumer camcorders with built-in microphones do not generally provide an additional microphone mount, but you can sometimes rig the microphone to the camera by placing the microphone against the bottom of the unit and using masking tape to hold it temporarily in place. This works only if you plan to hold the camera in your hand, because it makes it impossible to attach the unit to a tripod.
- If you prefer to stretch the microphone away from the camera, make sure your external microphone has a cord long enough to reach the distance you want it to reach. The microphone can then be used as a handheld or held in place by a microphone stand.
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