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Rode & Tascam Announce Budget DSLR Microphones

By Anthony Thurston on November 19th 2013

As more and more people start to use their DSLR cameras for video as well as still the need rises for quality audio. Your on camera microphone may get you usable audio an a few situations, but 9 times out of 10 it will be completely useless for professional uses.  This means that in order to get the most out of the video from your DSLR you will need to purchase some sort of external microphone.

In the past this meant either shelling out for an expensive option like the Rode VideoMic or skimping on quality for cheaper options from companies like Audio-Techinica which quite honestly are not big steps up from your on camera mic. To fill this cap both Tascam and Rode have announce new budget options for people looking to get great quality audio without the need for the extra bells and whistles (or price) of something like the Rode VideoMic Pro.

Rode VideoMic GO

Rode VideoMic GO

The Rode VideoMic GO is priced in at $99 and is meant to be a budget solution for people who just need good clean audio without wanting to fuss too much with it. The unit is powered by the 3.5mm stereo connection to your camera so there is no need for extra batteries. It also come mounted on a shock frame to prevent noise from movement or handling the camera.

To me this looks like a great option for someone who just needs clean audio without a ton of fuss. It is small, lightweight, and needs no batteries so you never have to worry about keeping them charged. The obvious downside here is that you also miss out on the extra controls  and fine tuning that you can do with something like the Rose VideoMic Pro. That said, for a budget “just need clean audio” option this looks to be about as good as they come.

You can pre-order the Rode VideoMic GO from B&H for only $99. The Mic is set to be available and shipped out starting November 26th.

The Tascam TM 2X

tascam-TM-2x

The Tascam TM 2X is also designed to be a budget option for DSLR video shooters who need a cheap but quality audio solution. It comes in a little more expensive than the Rode VideoMic GO at $129.99, but it also has a few features that the Rode does not.

Tascam TM 2X Product Highlights

  • Camera-Mountable
  • Swivel by 180-Degrees
  • XY Stereo Pattern
  • Switchable Sensitivity
  • Low-Cut Filter at 130Hz
  • Plug-in Power Requires No Batteries
  • 120dB Maximum SPL
  • Includes Noise Isolation Arm
  • Includes Fur Windscreen

You can order the Tascam TM 2X from B&H for only $129.99. It is available for shipping right away.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

7 Comments

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  1. JimE

    So which one is the better option for use on a Canon 60D and why?

    it will just be used for band shots and home use.

    Thanks.

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  2. Diego Pérez

    Everyone is talking bad about the Audio Technica mic, and I’m guessing the conversation is about the $50 – $90 full-sized shotgun mics, which just are not able to sound descent.I reciently buyed the TASCAM tm – 2x looking for an upgrade to my microphone (an old sennheiser MKE – 400). I’ve worked with TASCAM before, their recorders built-in mics sound better than ZUNE’s, but I was pretty disappointed, I don’t know if my t2i just can’t handle the phantom power needed, but while it did sound somewhat better, it just is not an upgrade for my old mic, and the MKE-400 has recieved very, very harsh reviews. I returned to the store and bought the small shotgun-like Audio technica pro 24 cm stereo mic, huge, huge upgrade. I’ve also worked with the go, it doesn’t sound too bad, but it records too many info that you are not hearing. With a little bit of post that mic is a beast.

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  3. Jim Kopriva

    Excellent options. The best option is almost always off-camera, but these are ideal for establishing a reference track without the additional weight, size, and battery issues.

    Really excited about the Rode in particular, but I’d bet that the Tascam’s arrangement provides vastly superior environmental sound to the in-camera mics, which might actually be preferable for ambient in the reference track. Directional sound might be more prone to jumps cut to cut.

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  4. Nathan Okuley

    Would you recommend either of these as mid-level microphones for people that are shooting basic footage on a DSLR? I’ve used a basic Audio Technica shotgun mic for a few years and its been a terrible experience. Any insight based on what you’ve used?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I too used an Audio-Technica, and like you it was a very bad experience. The audio WAS better than the on camera mic, but only barely. These are two options that I would say are good options to replace that.

      I obviously have not had a chance to test either of these out yet, so I can’t give a recommendation. But i would say that if your camera supplies the power needed (older DSLRs may not) to power these mics then they would be a great option.

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  5. Nick

    I’m going to have to disagree with you, Anthony. Audio with an Azden mic is a HUGE step up from the camera mic.
    HUGE!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      You know what, I think I flubbed. The brand I meant to name off hand was Audio-Techinica. The lower end stuff (cheap) they have available on Amazon for DSLR shooters is very very sub-par (I know because I bought one and used it).

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