Why does audio on many cameras still suck?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Simon97
OP Simon97 Senior Member • Posts: 2,656
Re: Why does audio on many cameras still suck?

I don't buy the other comments that say it is cost. For example, my Nikon N1 S1 has an auto mode setting for audio which just puts the AGC in full control. It also has three recording levels which turn down the effect of AGC. Recorded music sounds good when setting the level to medium or low. Bass is also captured nicely.

I tried a $75 Samsung P&S years ago. Although not stereo, it had very nice audio recording that was dynamic and contained good bass. Unfortunately the rest of the camera was poor so I didn't keep it.

Canon seems to be doing it right. On many of their SLRs, like the SL2, you can turn the AGC off (limiter I think they call it) and fully adjust the recording level. It captures bass well and even has a mic jack.

OTOH, several modern cameras have really mediocre to lousy audio. To give a couple examples, one is the Nikon B700 bridge camera. Certainly not a cheap camera but the audio is the worst I have heard lately. There is faint back ground hash noise, heavy AGC and some sort of noise reduction that makes your voice sound like your under water.

Another camera I tried that has okay audio, but could be better is the Panasonic GX85. It has four levels of sound recording. It seems to me to be more of a AGC level setting than actual volume levels. Setting the mic to level one reduces the effect of AGC the most. It just fails to record bass very well and is a bit tinny overall.

So, it is not cost. It is simply how the manufacturer implemented the audio recording on a particular model. I've seen good audio on cheaper cameras and worse audio on more upscale models.

 Simon97's gear list:Simon97's gear list
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS Olympus PEN E-PM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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