FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones

Started Oct 29, 2011 | Discussions
Proacguy
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FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
Oct 29, 2011

Decided to do a few sound tests with my FZ150 comapring the sound of the in camera microphone to the sound of 3 external microphones:
-Panasonic DMW-MS1-stereo
-Rode Stereo VideoMic(SVM)-stereo
-Sennheiser MKE 400-mono.

The Mic input on the FZ150 is 2.5mm. The connection on the Rode and Sennheiser mikes is 3.5mm, so you will need a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter to be able to connect the mikes to the FZ150.

The FZ150 was placed on a tripod in front the loudspeakers, to form a triangle with the 2 loudspeakers. The room size is 14 feet wide, 22 feet long, 9 feet ceiling, wood floors. The sound system is located on the short wall of the rectangle shaped room. The system used was: Proac tower speakers, Proac ER1 subwoofer, SimAudio amp and preamp, Pioneer Elite DVD-CD player using the excellent stereo analog output.
Used the following music selections:
Music wih female voice:Amanda, Amanda McBroom, Sheffield Lab Crème de la Crème
Instrumental music:Amuseum, James Newton Howard, The Sheffield Jazz Experience
Acoustic Music:Shape of my Heart, Dominic Miller and Neil Stacey, Naim Records.

After you have listened to the different microphones on a good sound system, can you hear a difference between the different microphones?
Which microphone do you prefer?

In Camera Microphone:

Music with female voice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnF2fcScuU8

Instrumental music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgAhJXVzPMM

Acoustic music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P9dILBOsHc

Panasonic DMW-MS1 external microphone:

Music with female voice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDAN2h3efng

Instrumental music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7ov5_k1jsI

Acoustic music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuvLkE7zOfg

Rode Stereo VideoMic

Music with female voice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9eXxYlAZs8

Instrumental music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOvYNWlRLy8

Acoustic music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMGvXbaVlX0

Sennheiser MKE400:

Music with female voice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYua54URg6s

Instrumental music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpfydqWEtKM

Acoustic music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwXE6eMx00o

CANagy
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Reactions to Microphone Tests
In reply to Proacguy, Nov 15, 2011

Thank you so much for running these test and posting the results to YouTube. I just purchased a Panasonic FZ150 camera, partly because I could use an external mic with it, and I am considering the same mics you tested. Your tests have really helped me determine which microphone I like best, and to hear how much better the external microphones are than the internal microphones on the FZ150.

I like the Rode Stereo VideoMic the best overall, because it seems to pick up the subtle nuances of the music (particularly the acoustic guitar piece) better than the others. However, the Panasonic DMW-MS1 is almost equally good. I could probably be happy with either one. Both are noticeably better than the built-in mics.

I was surprised that the Sennheiser MKE400 sounded as bad as it did. It was worse than the built-in mics. I wonder if it didn't get a fair test, though. Unlike the other three microphones, it is a "shotgun" mic. That means that it is very directional, "ignoring" sounds that are not in front of it. When you tested the Sennheiser, did you aim it between the two speakers on your stereo system? If so, perhaps a better test would be to point the Sennheiser directly at one of your speakers (and set your amplifier to "monaural" so both stereo channels will come out of that speaker).

If you pointed the Sennheiser between the two speakers, I would expect that lower frequencies would be emphasized and higher frequencies would be reduced. And, in fact, this is exactly what the Sennheiser recordings sounded like. This would happen because lower frequencies are more omni-directional and higher frequencies are more uni-directional. Thus, the lower frequencies would sound like they are coming from all directions (including in front of the mic so they would be picked up well) while the higher frequencies would sound like they are coming directly from the speakers (which are not in front of the mic and would therefore be ignored somewhat).

All that aside, though, your tests were really helpful to me. Thank you again for posting them.

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October
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to Proacguy, Nov 16, 2011

Rode really is the one that gets the best performance, no doubt.
Too bad it look so huge mounted FZ150.

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kkardster
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to Proacguy, Nov 16, 2011

You should have posted them without identifying the mics for 24 hours as a truly unbiased challenge to the ear!

 kkardster's gear list:kkardster's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 +5 more
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Mirfak
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to kkardster, Nov 16, 2011

kkardster wrote:

You should have posted them without identifying the mics for 24 hours as a truly unbiased challenge to the ear!

I agree. The internal mike didn't sound that bad at all.

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David247
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to Proacguy, Nov 30, 2011

Thanks for those tests. It would have been good if you could have done a voice only comparison as well, but

I think each mike has its place. The Panasonic external is a clear improvement over the built-in, though as built-in mikes go I think the FZ150's built-in is about as good as any I've heard. The external really does improve clarity though and seems to handle medium and higher frequencies well.

Even with my tone deafness, the Rhodes did a great job of handling a much wider spectrum of sound frequencies and was the best by far for recording near proximity music.

The Senheiser also did well but was of course monaural and is designed to reject side and back sounds while emphasizing forward sounds, and would seem to be a very good choice for voice video such as interviews or documentation video, where the primary sounds are related directly to the video and you want the side and back sounds minimized.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Olympus E-510
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Proacguy
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Re: Reactions to Microphone Tests
In reply to CANagy, Dec 1, 2011

Thanks for listening to the tests. The position of the camera with the external microphones was the same for all the tests which was in between the 2 stereo loudspeakers, in a triangular shape. For casual recording, I think the in camera microphone is fine but I record a lot of videos with music and I wanted to specifically hear the differences with different types of music.

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Proacguy
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to David247, Dec 1, 2011

I agree with your conclusions. I only hope with Rode would do a redesign of their Stereo Video Mic to something like their Video Mic Pro.

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stukker
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to Proacguy, Dec 1, 2011

thanks for the test. it's very good test to know the possibility of the mics.
but
an other thing is the possibility of the camera with automatic level recording.

music on every cd is "mastered": the level and the intensity is pushed to a max intensity, like olso by the guitar recording. by quiet placese ( like at 23-24 second ) start to working the automatic level correction.

for me the result is: yes, the rode is the best, but it would be more interesting ( for me ) listen a recording with really accoustic instrument - live, not amplified, because in this case are the level contrasts much bigger, and to listen, what happens after 5 second of quiet. I hope, somebody does it....
http://www.skuta.net

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Stingraynut
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Re: FZ150 Sound Tests, in camera and external microphones
In reply to stukker, Apr 1, 2012

Thanks for doingn these tests- I have been wondering which mike to get - either Rodes or the Panasonic.

Unfortunately by the time I found this post, some of the vids have been removed - I expect because they violated copyright. Sorry after all your hard work. As these weren't videos but sound bites it would have been easier(quicker) to just upload the audio, I'm not sure where, but i expect there is a place for that on the web? and that doesn't check for copyright.

What people hear from your demo's has a lot to do with what sound system they have setup with their computer. Many people just have either built in speakers in a laptop or small twin computer speakers and it is harder to hear the full spectrum of sound with them.

I have a 5:1 Logitech system. It picks up bass especially well but isn't as rounded as my reference speakers in my mini recording studio. I can connect the PC to that system and reckon I am hearing a reasonably 'typical' sound.

The built in mike is very biased towards middle frequencies, it didn't pick up base or high end audio very much. It picked up the female singers voice clearer than the other mikes, as you would expect.

The Rodes definitely picked up more bass and high freq than the Panasonic, but both of them sounded muffled, it was as if they were receiving sound through a cushion. I don't know why that would be?

I'm tempted to get the Panasonic Mike, because it is lighter and not too bad, even though the rodes was better. I'm only recording normal things, not music concerts. (I have a Tascam DR05 o record high quality audio)

Rob

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