OM5ii/EM1ii audio quality.

Started Apr 24, 2017 | Discussions
erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
OM5ii/EM1ii audio quality.

How good/bad are the built-in mic's, and especially the preamp on Olympus OM5ll.   has anyone done a real test of review.  (Also, is the EM1ii audio circuitry any different/ better?)

How do they compare to those , those Panasonic G85, which I just got, and which are apparently pretty good.

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59465682

Will the Rhode VideoMic Pro help significantly?  Don't want to add more than that, becaueThis is for highly portable street and candid shooting, for which I want to keep as simple, quick and unobtrusive as possible.

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erichK
saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
http://erichk.zenfolio.com/
http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3
underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

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ediblestarfish Regular Member • Posts: 497
Really depends what you want to do with it.

The omnidirectional stereo mics in the camera I feel are barely sufficient to get a grasp of the environment. Sound can be fairly noisy, and the mics seem to attenuate the poor conditions of the recording area (rooms have a strong echo and resonance, outdoors is very noisy and flat sounding). I mostly use the recording from the mic to sync audio from another mic in post.

Otherwise the built-in mics sound pretty much as you would expect a video shot on a cheap camcorder or phone. You can get away with just the internal mics for some short casual video clips, but for anything more demanding, it's hard to use.

If you're doing interviews, you'll want a shotgun or lapel mic to avoid all the background noise. Otherwise an external mic that has a more neutral sounding recording.

Just my experience.

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OP erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
Re: Really depends what you want to do with it.

ediblestarfish wrote:

The omnidirectional stereo mics in the camera I feel are barely sufficient to get a grasp of the environment. Sound can be fairly noisy, and the mics seem to attenuate the poor conditions of the recording area (rooms have a strong echo and resonance, outdoors is very noisy and flat sounding). I mostly use the recording from the mic to sync audio from another mic in post.

Otherwise the built-in mics sound pretty much as you would expect a video shot on a cheap camcorder or phone. You can get away with just the internal mics for some short casual video clips, but for anything more demanding, it's hard to use.

If you're doing interviews, you'll want a shotgun or lapel mic to avoid all the background noise. Otherwise an external mic that has a more neutral sounding recording.

Just my experience.

I have some experience in audio and recording presentations, events and concerts, for which we have excellent equipment.  It is spontaneous street and other chance events I am concerned about.  That is, kit I can take along easily, often walking or cycling, and set up very quickly.

That would be slipping a Rode stereo videomic pro or a small shotgun into the hot shoe, plugging it in and turning it on.  That's why the internal circutry of the respective cameras is of concern.  Could switch the mics to hi/+20DB putput, but want to avoid having to use and additional pre-amp box under such circumstances.

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erichK
saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
http://erichk.zenfolio.com/
http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3
underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

 erichK's gear list:erichK's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 +25 more
Digital Dick Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Really depends what you want to do with it.

My biggest problem with the internal mic on the E-M5 MII is that it picks up any camera noise (lens zooming, auto focusing, etc.) as well as my breathing if I'm using the EVF. Plugging in an external mic eliminates most of the problems if the external mic has some rubber between the hot shoe and the mic. Most of the time I use a cheap lapel mic with an external Tascam recorder for audio.

Dick

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Jay Siegel
Jay Siegel Senior Member • Posts: 1,319
A complete and critical review of video and audio capabilities of the EM-1 ii

This is a very complete and critical review of the video and audio capabilities of the EM-1ii :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEd3GTxub34&t=7s

by Max Yuryev.  He was very dissapointed in the internal pre-amps and thus felt that the sound even with an external microphone was not up to snuff!

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Jay S.

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abgestumpft Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: OM5ii/EM1ii audio quality.
1

Hi,

I did some quick tests on Audio on the EM1 MarkII when I recognized that the Sound via the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro was much more quiet than with the build in Mic.

The Levels of the build in mics of the EM1 Mark II seem to match the EM1.
But the amps for External Mic (Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db) seem to be around 11db under the Build in Mic (for EM1 it was only around 5db)

Here some numbers from EM1 MarkII:
I played some white noise from my PC and changed the volume of the speakers until I reached -12db on the internal mic (with audio setting to 0 in camera). Then I checked the video clips of the different setups in Adobe Premiere:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -24db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -18db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -15db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -9db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -14db

So to match the Internal Mic (which I think is a good starting point) I set the Rode to +20 and the Camera Amps to -2

I also tested the Noise generated by the different setups:
I recorded in a silent room at home:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -43db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -54db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -51db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -50db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -42db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -47db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -51db

I know this was not a scientific test, but I hope this helps.

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OP erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
Re: OM5ii/EM1ii audio quality.

abgestumpft wrote:

Hi,

I did some quick tests on Audio on the EM1 MarkII when I recognized that the Sound via the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro was much more quiet than with the build in Mic.

The Levels of the build in mics of the EM1 Mark II seem to match the EM1.
But the amps for External Mic (Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db) seem to be around 11db under the Build in Mic (for EM1 it was only around 5db)

Here some numbers from EM1 MarkII:
I played some white noise from my PC and changed the volume of the speakers until I reached -12db on the internal mic (with audio setting to 0 in camera). Then I checked the video clips of the different setups in Adobe Premiere:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -24db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -18db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -15db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -9db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -14db

So to match the Internal Mic (which I think is a good starting point) I set the Rode to +20 and the Camera Amps to -2

I also tested the Noise generated by the different setups:
I recorded in a silent room at home:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -43db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -54db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -51db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -50db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -42db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -47db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -51db

I know this was not a scientific test, but I hope this helps.

It certainly does.  And it looks like I should be able fairly acceptable sound by mounting the Stere Rode Videomic pro , set to +20 onEM1ii.

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erichK
saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
http://erichk.zenfolio.com/
http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3
underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

 erichK's gear list:erichK's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 +25 more
OP erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
Re: A complete and critical review of video and audio capabilities of the EM-1 ii

Jay Siegel wrote:

This is a very complete and critical review of the video and audio capabilities of the EM-1ii :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEd3GTxub34&t=7s

by Max Yuryev. He was very dissapointed in the internal pre-amps and thus felt that the sound even with an external microphone was not up to snuff!

I did see his review.  it was a bit better than some of the YouTube stuff, but I continue to be amazed at crude methodologies and lack of consistency, let alone rigour or actual measurement, in such "testing."

-- hide signature --

erichK
saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
http://erichk.zenfolio.com/
http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3
underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

 erichK's gear list:erichK's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 +25 more
3dwag
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,495
Re: A complete and critical review of video and audio capabilities of the EM-1 ii

erichK wrote:

Jay Siegel wrote:

This is a very complete and critical review of the video and audio capabilities of the EM-1ii :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEd3GTxub34&t=7s

by Max Yuryev. He was very dissapointed in the internal pre-amps and thus felt that the sound even with an external microphone was not up to snuff!

I did see his review. it was a bit better than some of the YouTube stuff, but I continue to be amazed at crude methodologies and lack of consistency, let alone rigour or actual measurement, in such "testing."

ErichK,

I agree with you.  I watched that video the day Max released it, and it was not clear to me if he was using the default settings (limiter on, and I have not test so don't know if that also includes a compressor, both can cause problems, and I don't know if/ how he tweaked the input level control).

I can understand how low noise floor, high dynamic range, low distortion analog circuits, and high-accuracy/ linearity ADC circuits are preferable, and the simpler the kit for vlogging and casual use the better, but I never expect much of the built-in mics and little better of plug-in analog mics on these cameras.  For good audio, unless you have an add-on ADC converter such as for the GH5's hot shoe, I use the on-board mics or analog input for reference only, and use an external recorder (or mic-recorder) for anything more serious.

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3dwag
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,495
Re: OM5ii/EM1ii audio quality.
  1. abgestumpft wrote:

Hi,

I did some quick tests on Audio on the EM1 MarkII when I recognized that the Sound via the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro was much more quiet than with the build in Mic.

The Levels of the build in mics of the EM1 Mark II seem to match the EM1.
But the amps for External Mic (Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db) seem to be around 11db under the Build in Mic (for EM1 it was only around 5db)

Here some numbers from EM1 MarkII:
I played some white noise from my PC and changed the volume of the speakers until I reached -12db on the internal mic (with audio setting to 0 in camera). Then I checked the video clips of the different setups in Adobe Premiere:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -24db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -18db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -15db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -9db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -12db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -14db

So to match the Internal Mic (which I think is a good starting point) I set the Rode to +20 and the Camera Amps to -2

I also tested the Noise generated by the different setups:
I recorded in a silent room at home:

Internal Mic / Camera Amp set to 0: -43db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to 0): -54db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +5): -51db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to 0db / Camera Amp set to +10): -50db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to 0): -42db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -2): -47db
Rode Stereo VideoMic set to +20db / Camera Amp set to -4): -51db

I know this was not a scientific test, but I hope this helps.

That is very helpful.

The next level of testing would be to see if turning the limiter off and on affects your measurements (the limiter may react to different parts of the frequency spectrum with different weighting, and at different volume levels), then repeat wih playing back speech and music.

It is also possible that the limiter includes a compressor, as well as some level of AGC (automatic gain control.

Also see my comments here to ErichK.

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OP erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
Re: A complete and critical review of video and audio capabilities of the EM-1 ii

3dwag wrote:

erichK wrote:

Jay Siegel wrote:

This is a very complete and critical review of the video and audio capabilities of the EM-1ii :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEd3GTxub34&t=7s

by Max Yuryev. He was very dissapointed in the internal pre-amps and thus felt that the sound even with an external microphone was not up to snuff!

I did see his review. it was a bit better than some of the YouTube stuff, but I continue to be amazed at crude methodologies and lack of consistency, let alone rigour or actual measurement, in such "testing."

ErichK,

I agree with you. I watched that video the day Max released it, and it was not clear to me if he was using the default settings (limiter on, and I have not test so don't know if that also includes a compressor, both can cause problems, and I don't know if/ how he tweaked the input level control).

I can understand how low noise floor, high dynamic range, low distortion analog circuits, and high-accuracy/ linearity ADC circuits are preferable, and the simpler the kit for vlogging and casual use the better, but I never expect much of the built-in mics and little better of plug-in analog mics on these cameras. For good audio, unless you have an add-on ADC converter such as for the GH5's hot shoe, I use the on-board mics or analog input for reference only, and use an external recorder (or mic-recorder) for anything more serious.

As I hope I already mentioned, we are also operating a whole professional-level digital  (according to CBC recording engineers) at any concert.  The audio from that is usable for CD's and soliciting grants and concerts.  Even the concert video, for which I can use a good ($800) AT shotgun and Saramonic preamp box, is for website and possible VIMEO clips.  Post synch with the 96kHz 24 bit audio recording is also a possiblity, if my video get's good enough to justify that.

The main concern is for more casual street and hapstance recording,, where anything more than slipping on and plugging in a mic, and perhaps earbuds would be problematic, or by a PITA to take along, by foot or on a bicycle.

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erichK
saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
http://erichk.zenfolio.com/
http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3
underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

 erichK's gear list:erichK's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 +25 more
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