32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Not for everyone but suits me fine,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone (Accessory)
I bought this product because after doing an interview with the Canon HF200 using the built-in microphone, it became very obvious that the standard mic is just... pants.
I was nearly put off by the negative reviews which talk about the build quality (n.b. not just on Amazon!). Okay, so the docking foot is plastic and easily broken: this is true. Canon could have easily given the DM-100 a metal foot like the Speedlite 580EX II. But they didn't, and you just have to treat the product accordingly... extra care needs to be taken when docking, un-docking, and storing. Extra care should also be taken not to lift the camera by the microphone, or to pull the mic off the camera by the main body, as either of these could damage the docking foot, the shoe itself, or the shock absorbing collar on the microphone's stalk.
The sound quality is simply in a different league to the built-in mic. Using the shotgun mode, noise from the periphery of the shot is cut down dramatically, and the sound from the subject is richer and less tinny. Operator noises are also negligible. The 90 and 120 degree modes actually do give a noticeably different experience (I was cynically expecting them to be indistinguishable from each other), and the wind sock DOES make a huge difference.
Be advised that the frequency range of this mic is ONLY 100-10,000Hz. If you need to record frequencies outside that range, consider another model!
One reviewer stated that the wind sock was useless; this has NOT been my experience so I can only assume s/he was in very high wind that exceeded the ability of the wind sock to mitigate the noise. The wind sock has limitations because it obviously has to let SOME sound through, so it will not top ALL air movement toward the mic. The only way you can say it is "useless" is if you have recorded with a protected mic and an unprotected mic simultaneously, and found no difference in the recorded wind levels.
Once docked the DM-100 shares the same controls as the built-in mic. That is to say, choosing auto or manual volume control from the functions menu, and changing the recording level in manual, apply to the DM-100. You will know when the DM-100 is operating because an "S" icon appears in the bottom middle of the on-screen display indicating the mini advanced shoe is engaged. Something else I also like is that the clearance between the camera and the mic leaves plenty of space for you to hold and operate the camera without knocking the DM-100 or brushing the fibres of the wind sock, which could create unwanted noise.
Overall I am pleased that I bought this mic as it allows me to achieve the kind of sound quality that I want with my HD videos. There is a maxim that viewers are more forgiving of poor quality video than poor quality sound, and this mic lets you even up the odds as far as that is concerned.
One IMPORTANT CAVEAT: a shotgun microphone is often used on a boom pole pointing downwards, to eliminate sounds coming from behind the subject (e.g. rustling leaves if you are filming outside). You cannot do this with the DM-100 as it can only be used mounted on the camera and pointing straight forward. If you need to use an off-camera mic, then buy another product such as the Rode Videomic.
I rate this product four stars: the expense/brand lock-in, and the fragility of the docking foot are responsible for that missing star.