Read part 1 form factor here
here is the Canon 5D Mark II's Achilles Heel, sound.
There are a bunch of interesting videos floating around on the web shot on the
MK II. Notice what they have in common? NO ONE IS TALKING. They are silent films, we're talking Buster
Keaton and Fatty
live sound for this video is recorded on the Sony PCM D50 with an Azden sgmx1 shotgun mike watch it on vimeo here
Yes the MK II has an onboard mike -unlike the nikon D90- but the onboard sound quality blows. The onboard mike picks up tons of handling noise and if you are using an image stabilized lens, the servos sound like a lawn mower running in the next room.
Plugging an external mike into the camera's sound port only makes matters worse. There is so much line hiss that the sound is unusable. With any microphone I've tried or any that I’ve heard about it’s the same. Maybe a beachtek or a Field Mixer would take care of the problem but I don't know anyone who has actually tried one (if you have PLEASE write in).
So are we stuck with Buster Keaton? No the solution is to record sound separately and synch it in edit. I use the Sony PCM D50 Laforet likes the Fostex FR-2LE . To do this you'll need a shotgun mike. My AZDEN SGMX1 produces great sound and doesn't need phantom power, but there are many, many others. I secure the recorder and mike to my shoulder support to make things a little less cumbersome.
Synching is a matter of making a sharp noise at the start of the clip then lining the sound spike up in editing software. In this respect and others I’ll get to in later posts the MK II behaves much more like a movie camera than like a video eng. In fact it is a terrible eng. If you are gathering news, turn around times are going to be tight, there is not time to put sound clips and video together, and you sure can’t run around a fire scene or a car wreck slapping a slate together and yelling “take 2, rolling.”
Now a word –or more- about sound drift. Your sound recorder and the Mark II are going to record time differently. They shouldn’t I know. Why one minute to my Canon is different than one minute to my Sony recorder is beyond me. But I found out the hard way that they do.
It is not just with the Sony, people have had the same problem with other recorders. After 12 minutes of a continuous take they are almost a second out of synch!
On a short clip, less than a minute, you are never going to know the difference. But on a long one? It is going to be an issue. If the sound is even a frame off you will notice when people talk and suddenly it looks like you are shooting a badly dubbed Hong Kong fight flick.
Maybe someone can explain why this happens? My assistant thinks it is the compression, I think it’s because we are shooting video with a still camera.
I suppose that you could set the video to play back at 100.02% and get the same result but that requires rendering and who has time?
We’ll talk about editing next. Get ready to spend real money…
Read part 1 form factor here