The Rode VideoMic Pro is the latest update to their super popular small form factor shotgun microphones.
Like its predecessor the incredibly popular VideoMic…regular, the VideoMic Pro is a compact shotgun with a hot-shoe mount for use with any standard hot-shoe mount point, such as those found on DSLRs. What sets it apart from its predecessor is the high quality 1/2″ super cardioid condenser which is leagues ahead in quality while allowing it to be half the size of the original.
The microphone itself contains a simple 3.5mm mono left-right cloned mini-jack compatible with just about any DSLR, camcorder, or portable recorder input. Unlike its predecessor though, the actual cable is just a fairly short straight cable and not a long coiled one. This proves to be an issue if you use a large hot-shoe rail for multiple accessories, as the cable itself may not be long enough to reach the camera’s jack. On the other hand, having the short cabled integrated as tightly as it is makes for a clean distraction free look.
Powered by a 9V battery lasting 70 hours, the microphone is an active super-cardioid condenser, meaning the off axis sound rejection is superb. On the back of the microphone are switches for power and an 80Hz high pass filter, allowing the microphone to internally filter out handling and low hum environment noise.
The biggest feature of the microphone that sets it clear above its predecessor is the fact it has a built in attenuation and boost functionality to work with a wide variety of situations and equipment. A -10db PAD and 0db settings are great for loud sources or environments where clarity is not an issue. At -10db and 0db, the sound quality is similar to the older model that does not contain any settings. Where the microphone shines is setting it to the level boosting +20db setting, providing a clear and clean boost for poor quality pre-amp inputs such as those found on DSLRs and Camcorders. This allows the user to set the recording levels to a much more moderate setting, meaning a lower noise floor and a cleaner audio signal into your recording.
The microphone itself has a much better designed shock mount than its older version. It’s more compact and less susceptible to movement inertia while being stylish at the same time. The hot-shoe mount itself also contains a 3/8″ socket for attachment to standard boom poles or other mount points.
If you are looking for a small compact microphone to improve the quality of your compact video setups, I would be hard pressed to look further than the Rode VideoMic Pro. Rode has taken the feedback from the older model and have created a product that should be in every portable kit.
And because of its great price point, superb quality, ease of use, and overall usefulness to any videographer, I’ll gladly give the Rode VideoMic Pro a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice Award.
The Rode VideoMic Pro is available from retailers for $230.