Pro Videographer & Editor Bradford Hill has had a lot of experience shooting events, music videos & interviews across the nation. His project require crisp sound with clear settings. When Shure shipped both their VP83 LensHopper™ mic and the VP83F LensHopper™ mic straight to ProductionHUB Inc., Hill hooked them up on both the Canon C100 and Canon XA25 to see just how sound these mics truly are.
Shure VP83F LensHopper™ Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone
When it comes to the Shure VP83F shotgun mic, right off the bat the obvious featured benefit was having a built in flash recorder to capture continuous audio while eliminating the pre-amp hiss you normally get while recording straight to the camera. The detachable 3.5mm audio output cable was great for simultaneously recording straight into the camera while creating a high quality backup. Its bright LED screen and easy control joystick were also central for:
- Checking remaining battery & recording time easily
- Adjusting the gain for fine tuning audio (has a 60dB gain range / adjustable in 1dB increments)
- Adding any low-cut filters, for low humming noises like an air conditioning, computers and fans.
- Headphone volume adjustment/monitoring
It's built in flash recorder captures audio in 24-bit 48kHZ onto a MicroSDHC Card and supports up to 32GB which would enable you to record for days on end. Another plus that is specific to the VP83F is the built in headphone jack so you can monitor real time audio straight from the microphone. This shotgun mic comes with a Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting system, a standard camera shoe mount and ¼” base for multiple mounting options. I found the VP83F to be high quality and a great solution overall for those looking to take the extra step up in the audio department. The VP83F MAP is $349.
The down fall is the short battery life. It takes 2 AA batteries and only lasts up to 10 hours in record mode so you will need to have spare batteries on hand if you plan on shooting for a few days or back to back non-stop.
Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone
Shure's VP83 shotgun mic is a perfect fit if you are looking to record significantly cleaner audio than your on-board DSLR mic at an affordable price. The microphone plugs into the mic line on your camera and precisely captures the crisp audio you’re looking for. It only takes 1 AA battery which will power the mic up for up to 130 hours, about 4-5 days, which is awesome for extended trips and multiple days of shooting. The other feature I liked was the durable aluminum body and Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting system, which eliminates jiggling noises you often get from other low grade microphone mounts.
The standard camera shoe mount and ¼” base for mounting was pretty nice too, along with the three step gain control (-10dB Pad, 0, +20dB boost). The durability of your gear is crucial when you are constantly on the move, sometimes setting up shots under the most unfavorable conditions and I feel this mic has what it takes to last for years. The VP83 MAP is $229.
The only thing I didn’t like about this mic was that there was no headphone jack for monitoring direct audio; you need to plug it into the camera or external recorder, which is a bit of a hassle.
Overall, both microphones are a great and affordable solution to replacing on-board Stereo microphones, which take in more ambient/room noise. I encourage users to get the Fur Windjammer® for these microphones; it really makes a difference when shooting events outside.
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