The audio on a DSLR is not great, probably the worst thing to deal with. This is a good source of info at Canon 60d review. For some popular DSLR cameras like the 7d there isn’t even a manual audio option, so you have no way to turn off those nasty AGC amps built into the camera, meaning you will get really bad semipro sound results, you need DSLR accessories like a preamp.

To get the best possible sound and overcome the AGC a low-noise preamplifier is desperately needed. You can use XLR mics on some of them, or a 3.5 mini jack on other models, but you should use them even on cameras like the 60d that has manual control.

How come?

A low-noise preamplifier will do just that: give you low-noise, and increase production quality. You can manually adjust levels with external knobs while looking at external meters that match your internal ones exactly, so the sound guy will have more control, you can monitor the sound with headphones, and use pro microphones like the Rode, with XLR, or minijack.

There are high-low gain settings on most, and usually each channel (left and right) have individual potentiometer control. A preamp will give you an amplified mic level, which means this is right for driving the mic inputs on cameras and recorders. You can normally calibrate levels, and Calibration is important because different cameras and settings will require different calibration set points.

A DSLR is not a video camera. It just happens to offer an amazing HD video output that no one ever thought possible a little while ago. So a preamp turns your DSLR into a pro HD video camera. Headphones are important too and you can listen to both channels through amp jack.

Like I say for cameras that are lacking manual audio control, most preamps will Disable AGC meaning it will throttle back the noisy amplifiers, to be able to achieve better signal-to-noise performance from the camera.

If you don’t do this the camera’s AGC will increase the gain and noise during the quiet periods of the recording, and that does not sound good. you will need DSLR accessories like a preamp.

If you want great sound with a DSLR you need a preamp. Good Canon 60d accessories are not always expensive. There are lots of ways of improving your sound on set that go beyond quality cheap gear.

Here is a list of things to do if you do not have the luxury of shooting in a proper sound studio:

1: When the microphone is close to the actor it is good, the closer the better
2: Refrigerators and any loud appliances must be shut off
3: Close doors, put blankets over them, stuff cracks
4: A lot of noise comes through even closed windows so cover them with blankets too
5: using top quality mics is important
6: Airplanes, sirens, loud vehicles, loud people, barking dogs are common sounds so don’t ignore them because you hear them all the time
Be careful not to make excessive boom pole noise.

Have fun!

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