Even the greatest cameras are only good for shooting videos. You cannot rely on these cameras for quality audio. You have to level up the audio game with a good mic. For video recordings, nothing is better than a shotgun microphone.
With that said, if you are recording a solo podcast or want to cut down on ambient noises, a USB microphone would serve you better instead.
Also Read: – Best USB Microphone
In this article, we will look at some of the best DSLR shotgun microphones for your convenience. We have selected both high-end mics for professionals and some budget-friendly options for the beginners.
Best DSLR Shotgun Microphones in 2020
We have selected the following shotgun mics for your convenience.
PIXEL MC650 Camera Microphone: Shotgun Microphone for Professionals
- Better audio clarity
- Three gain control options
- Comes with all accessories
- Perfect for outdoor shootings
Pixel MC650 is designed to support the DSLR cameras with 3.5 mm microphone input. It’s a directional microphone that captures detailed and high definition audio for your videos, both indoor and outdoor.
The mic features a super-cardioid polar pattern that picks up the sound right from where it is directed. Like all directional mics, it rejects the surrounding noise and provides clear sound.
The mic allows you to process the audio to make it perfect for your videos. It provides three gain control options. The options include +10dB boost, 0dB unity gain, or a -10dB.
Another advantage of having Pixel MC650 is that it brings along all the needed accessories. Whether you need a sturdy shock mount, a windshield, or low cut filter, it covers all your needs.
The mic also comes with an extension cable of reasonable size that even allows you to move the mic from the camera. Overall, it’s a good option to record videos indoors and also perfect for using it in the field.
Rode VideoMic Pro: Best Shotgun Microphone for DSLR Camera Overall
- High-quality mic
- 2-stages high pass filter
- Minimum self-noise
Rode VideoMic Pro is a premium option for professionals. It’s one of the best DSLR shotgun microphones in the market.
The mic ensures good quality audio recording with its 2-stage high pass filter. The filter reduces surrounding noise, both indoors and outdoors, giving better audio clarity.
The shotgun microphone offers a 3-stage gain control that further allows you to enhance the audio production. Along with these audio processing options, the mic also provides a high-frequency boost so you can improve the high-frequency audio with detail and clarity.
The directional mic features an automatic power function that is perfect for on the spot shooting. It automatically turns on and off when attached or unplugged from the camera. It also comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery. Overall, it’s a bit expensive option but certainly a pro mic for professional video makers.
Rode NTG2: Multi-Powered Condenser Shotgun Microphone
- Quality microphone for professionals
- Produces broadcast-quality audio
It’s a premium option for those who need perfect sound quality for their Youtube videos, live programs, and other production industries.
It’s a very lightweight shotgun mic that makes it excellent for working out in the field.
The mic gives a broadcast sound quality that makes it an excellent choice for studio recordings and documentaries. It provides a full frequency response that gives you a lot of leverage while recording any type of videos.
The condenser shotgun mic features a super-cardioid polar pattern that creates a kind of ambiance with your sound. It’s excellent if you are doing live sessions, discussion programs, voiceovers, or podcasts.
The mic promises low noise circuitry, which means better clarity in your audio without any distraction. You will also have the least amount of self-noise with this microphone.
The mic is powered with either phantom power or AA batteries. It can be used in multiple ways. You can mount it on a boom pole to keep it as near to your subject as possible. Mounting it on a camera seems a bit inconvenient as it’s a bit large, though you can connect it with a DSLR camera perfectly well.
Overall, it’s an expensive option but provides good quality and performance. It’s more like a professional choice and a great investment for your online presence.
Comica CVM-V30: Midrange Shotgun Mic
- Battery operated mic
- Super-Cardioid pickup pattern
- Comes with all accessories
Comica CVM-V30 is an affordable shotgun mic for DSLR cameras with 3.5mm Jack. The mic is specifically designed for video shootings, meetings, and live interviews.
It’s a battery-operated microphone that needs a 3A battery. The super-cardioid capsules ensure picking up the sound from the front. The frequency range is also decent.
The mic comes with a low-cut frequency and good gain control as well. The gain control allows you to adjust the sensitivity level of the mic to +10dB. The mic comes with a sturdy shock mount that helps you a lot in recording sessions. It comes with a windshield, shock mount, and a wind muff for shooting outdoors.
Overall, it’s a good choice for beginners. Seasoned professionals may find it a bit incompetent, but it’s an affordable mic for leveling up your sound game on a low budget.
Audio-Technica AT875R: Reliable Shotgun Microphone
- Broadcast quality audio
- Special long shape for rejecting off-axis sound
Audio Technica is another reliable brand when we talk about quality microphones. The AT875R is a good midrange microphone for professionals.
This shotgun mic comes with a rugged build. You can rely on its dependable performance for any type of broadcast or video production.
The slim mic is suitable for modern-day compact digital cameras. Its special elongated shape is designed for picking up sound from a long distance. Its special long and slim shapes help you to reject sound from the rear and surroundings.
One thing to note here is that this mic does not come with built-in batteries and has to depend on phantom power. The mic is also very lightweight and easy to mount or stay on camera.
What we miss in this option are accessories. The mic does not offer any windshield or a shock mount. All it comes with is a mounting clip.
TAKSTAR SGC-598: Low-Budget Shotgun Microphone
- Affordable price
- Battery indicator
- Offers gain control
- Heart-shaped pickup point
The Takstar SGC-598 is another affordable DSLR shotgun microphone for those who have a low budget. This mic is a practical solution for shooting infield as it would send stereo signals to whatever you are shooting with.
The good thing about this mic is that it has a battery indicator that blinks green when the battery is full. It turns red when the battery is low. The mic is powered by 2A batteries.
The main body of the microphone is made of plastic, so it’s pretty light. But it’s a very cost-effective mic, and you can’t expect a metal construction in this price range.
The SGC-598 has a special heart-shaped picking point for reducing the surrounding noise. It comes with a 10dB gain control that allows you to increase the output level.
The shotgun microphone also comes with a decent shotgun that keeps it sturdy on the camera. Like other shotgun mics, it has to be close to the subject for optimal sound quality. Overall, it’s a good mic in this range, though not a great option for capturing audio from a further distance.
Rode VideoMicro: Best Shotgun Mic for Beginners
- Compact Microphone
- No need for batteries
- Metal build body
- RF rejection
This one is another option from Rode. We already have included a Rode VideoMic Pro in our list of the best DSLR shotgun microphones, but this one is a bit cheaper and also a more compact mic to be used on camera.
Rode VideoMicro uses phantom power that means it will work with the power of your camera and don’t use any kind of batteries at all.
The body of the mic is made of aluminum that is sturdier than plastic. It also gives this mic a better RF rejection.
The mic works well in peaceful surroundings, but for a noisy outdoor shooting, something like Rode VideoPro is more appropriate. It’s a good shotgun mic in this range.
What are Shotgun Mics and How They Are Useful?
Shotgun mics are shaped like a cylinder, and they are also called directional mics. These directional microphones are perfect when you are shooting videos with DSLR cameras, both indoor and outdoor.
Being a directional mic means that they are built to pick up the sound in a direction, rejecting the noise or environmental sounds coming from sides or the back.
But unlike many of us believe, these mics do not reach out to the talent for picking up the sound. Ideally, they have to be as close to the subject you are shooting as possible. It will reject the off-axis sound, but for the clarity of sound, it should be as close to the speaker as possible.
Buying Guide of a DSLR Shotgun Microphone
Here are a few things you should consider while selecting a shotgun mic :
The first thing we can mention is budget because shotgun mics are available in very different price ranges.
You can get a budget-friendly shotgun mic under $100 easily. We have included some budget-friendly shotgun mics on the list.
But if you are here to upgrade your existing sound system, then there are plenty of great options under $300. So select the budget and look for the best available option in that range.
Having a compact mic is always good. It is easy to travel with, especially if you are out in the field.
But not all good shotgun mics are compact. For example, we have in our list Rode NT G2 that is not a very compact option but provides one of the best audio outputs.
A longer interference tube of a shotgun mic will be more efficient in rejecting the off-axis audio. It will also reach out to the subject more easily. Remember, the closer you are with the mic, the better the audio you will get. But again, the longer tube is difficult to manage and carry along while on the go.
So having a compact and lightweight option is something you can look for if size matters, but it is not an indication of a good mic, especially if you compare the metal body or plastic one. Metal ones weigh more than plastic, but it is also a sturdier option.
• Invest in a Boom Pole
A common problem with DSLR shotgun mics is that if you have mounted it on your camera, you better be close to the subject. However,shooting from that close is not always possible. The distance between the camera and the subject can affect audio quality.
The good thing is that you can mount it on a boom pole and keep it as near as possible. You can make use of an extension cable and connect them with your camera and still keep the mic near for better audio.
• Polar Pattern
Shotgun microphones are available with different polar patterns. Knowing them will help you choose the best mic for your needs. The price range goes up as we move from super cardioid to the ultra-cardioid mics.
- Cardioid: These are heart-shaped mics that are designed to pick up sound from the front of the mic, rejecting sound coming from sides or rear.
- Hypercardioid: These mics have a narrow pick up direction. The mic picks up sound right from the front, rejecting off axises sounds. These mics require more accurate positioning. These are the best shotgun mics for recording the dialogues.
- Hypercardioid: Hypercardioid has an even more narrow pick up pattern and an extended rear pickup. These mics are sometimes referred to as mini shotguns.
- Ultra Cardioid: Ultra Cardioid mics have the most narrow pick up pattern. These are extremely directional mics. Even the slightest movement can make them reject the off-axis sound. Mounting these mics on a boom is not a good option as even slight movements can affect the pick up direction.
Shotgun mics are excellent for enhancing the audio quality of your videos. They can be mounted on your camera, or you can use a boom pole to keep them as near the subject as possible for better clarity. Their special shape picks up the sound from where it is directed.
All options are good for leveling up your sound game, but we choose Rode VideoMic Pro as our best choice due to its great performance and reliable quality.
A great microphone is only part of a complete podcasting setup – if you’re new to podcasting and want some tips on picking out the right gear to get started, check out our complete guide to podcasting equipment that covers everything you need to get your podcast up and running.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.