Digicam that can withstand super loud audio during vid captures?
August 27, 2007 8:50 AM   Subscribe

GadgetyLiveAudioRecordingFilter: What brand of inconspicuous small digital camera - if such a thing exists - regardless of price, does anyone recommend which can not only capture video well, but also has a mic that can take reasonably good recordings at deafeningly loud rock shows without a ton of distortion?

Of course when I say "resonably good" I do understand the limitations of a cheap built-in mic, I'm not looking for a pristine noise floor here. I know they exist, 'cause i've seen some video captures online from different people who have done such things... can't find their emails addys, tho. I have a little Canon Powershot sd500 that takes video that's plenty good enough for me, but the mic just can't withstand the battering of the db's handed to it.

I know there are little handheld digital audio recorders I could get now to do such things, with mic pads and such, but I'm really not trying to bootleg peoples' shows. Plus then i'd have to line up audio and video...bah. I just want to be able to capture a small amount of decent video AND audio.

Thank you, mefites of the world!
posted by bitterkitten to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why don't you try the old-school hack of creating some kind of baffle over where the mic is to minimize distortion using tape and foam? Of course, you're going to need some experimentation, and this is less than ideal, but you might be able to save yourself $500+ with $5 worth of stuff.
posted by knowles at 9:30 AM on August 27, 2007

hmmm... that IS a good idea! wonder how to squeeze that in my pocket, tho. : )
posted by bitterkitten at 9:39 AM on August 27, 2007

Still... anyone have something already, unbaffled, out there, they might recommend from experience?
posted by bitterkitten at 7:16 PM on August 27, 2007

The config menus in my Canon S2 IS let me adjust the microphone sensitivity, which I assume is the preamp gain. I've used it successfully at airshows, and I'll post a sample movie for your perusal when I get home.
posted by Myself at 12:35 AM on August 28, 2007

If you can adjust the sensitivity on your camera's mic, and that produces good enough sound for you, Myself has the perfect solution. If you want better audio quality than you can get that way, I recommend combining these two things:

1) a video camera that has an input for an external mic;
2) a tiny-but-excellent mic pair such as the Core Sound Binaurals ($100 or $230 depending on model -- the $100 ones would be great for your situation) or similar.

That would give you great audio that you don't need to worry about syncing. The mics are pencil-eraser size.
posted by sparrows at 4:02 AM on August 28, 2007

Okay, two days late but here goes: Video of an F-86 Sabre throttling up and taxiing, recorded with my Canon Powershot S2 IS at Thunder Over Michigan, August 7, 2005. If that's not high audio level, you're gonna have to introduce me to Hotblack Desiato.

Here's the funny part: When I first got the camera, I was playing with the voice-recorder function, and I set the mic sensitivity to "high". I don't recall ever changing it, and when I checked just now, it was still set that way. So apparently the AGC has some incredible range, and the sensitivity you set is just a limit for how high it'll turn the preamp gain, but it'll go as low as it needs to prevent clipping.

This is the same camera I use for closeup work, nature photography, point-and-shoot highway shots, and tripod-be-damned astrophotography. (Actually, that last one was taken with the predecessor, the S1.) I've been extremely happy with the S1/S2, though I haven't yet found an excuse to upgrade beyond the S2.
posted by Myself at 2:54 PM on August 30, 2007

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