Do you need to get yourself some high-quality audio without having to use bulky equipment? Try some of these best on-camera DSLR microphones for size.
Vlogging cameras are awesome for capturing crisp, clear images and film but let’s face it, the audio on those things can be super lousy.
The problem is that traditional external microphones are quite large. The last thing you want when shooting on the go is extra equipment to lug around. But you still need decent audio.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m deep down a YouTube rabbit hole, I come across SO many videos with appalling audio quality.
They either have muffled, blurry vocals or a ton of background noise, and a quality microphone for YouTube would definitely help.
So, the upshot is that if you want people to keep watching your videos longer than three seconds, you’ve got to have killer audio to go with it. And that’s where the best DSLR microphones come handy.
What Are The Best On-Camera DSLR Microphones?
Are you keen to free up your hands and ready to level up your audio recording sessions? Check out my top five DSLR microphones for 2023.
- Best DSLR microphone for video – Rode VideoMicro
- Best DSLR microphone for interviews – Rode VideoMic Pro+
- Best DSLR microphone for live music – Shure VP83F
- Best Best DSLR microphone for vlogging – Sennheiser MKE 400
- Best DSLR microphone for wildlife – Canon DM-E1
1. Rode VideoMicro
Best DSLR microphone for video
Max SPL: 140 dB
Price: Starting at $49
The VideoMicro is a smart-looking camera microphone at an exceptionally good price. Only weighing 1.48 oz, this compact device can be mounted onto your camera and won’t weigh it down.
The high-quality condenser microphone is perfect for vloggers, filmmakers, and other content creators because you can use it with your smartphone, mount it on a boom pole, and place it on your DSLR camera.
The microphone has integrated Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting, which provides excellent isolation from handling noise plus, you can easily record outdoors thanks to the deluxe furry windshield.
This microphone requires no battery and has been designed for ease of use.
Customers trust Rode as a brand and are impressed with the sound quality, especially considering the price. They feel this is an excellent microphone for beginners.
2. Rode VideoMic Pro+
Best DSLR microphone for interviews
Max SPL: 133 dB
Price: Starting at $299
Another offering from Rode, the VideoMic Pro+, is a premium condenser microphone weighing 4.3 oz. It features extended frequency response as well as supercardioid pattern, which work to achieve warm, directional audio and broadcast quality sound.
The microphone also has a high-frequency boost, three-stage gain control, and a high pass filter which minimizes environmental noise and boosts sound clarity.
The microphone includes a rechargeable battery and USB port, or you can use AA batteries to power it. The auto power-on switch and safety channel are also pretty neat features.
The VideoMic Pro+ comes with Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting and an optimized windscreen to reduce wind noise.
Customers give 10/10 for the sound quality of this shotgun, on-camera microphone and love how light and durable it is despite it being quite large in size.
3. Shure VP83F
Best DSLR microphone for live music
Max SPL: 129 dB
Price: Starting at $299
The Shure VP83F shotgun mic comes with an integrated flash recording, so it’s the perfect microphone to have in dark environments like clubs. Plus, you can store up to 15 hours of audio on an 8 GB microSD card.
The microphone has a lobar polar pattern and highly directional super cardioid sound capture along with ISuperior RF immunity which helps prevent audio artifacts from cellular and RF devices.
The premium quality Rycote Lyre shock mount isolates the microphone from your camera’s noise, while the foam windshield protects from the elements. The backlit LCD display provides you with all the info you need, plus you can adjust the audio gain up to 60 dB
Customers say this video microphone is perfect for capturing live performances and that its build quality is excellent. They love the flash recording feature and say it’s a game changer.
4. Sennheiser MKE 400
Best Best DSLR microphone for vlogging
Max SPL: 132 dB
Price: Starting at $199.95
This highly directional shotgun microphone is awesome for shooting on the go. Compact in size and weighing just over 3 oz, it can be taken anywhere, anytime.
The microphone features internal suspension and integrated wind protection as well as a low-cut filter and 3-step sensitivity switch for complete environmental control.
You also have a headphone jack for audio monitoring, plus you can switch between 3.5 mm TRS and TRRS connectors for use with your DSLR video camera or smartphone.
Customers love how compact this microphone is and how solid its metal construction feels. They also say it’s exceptionally lightweight, easy to operate with superior sound quality.
5. Canon DM-E1
Best DSLR microphone for wildlife
Max SPL: 120 dB
Price: Starting at $249.99
This omnidirectional microphone allows you to switch from shotgun mode to a 90 or 120-degree wide stereo mode and directional controls that allow you to capture sound in large areas, making it ideal for nature recordings.
The camera also features a windshield for easy outdoor recording and a frequency response rate of 50 Hz to 16 kHz. Shock mounts prevent noise from traveling from the camera functions to the microphone.
The lithium power supply is built-in and rechargeable, and the power check lamp allows you to tell instantly how much juice you have left.
Customers love having the option to switch between shotgun mode or a wider directional range. They say this directional microphone works well in an indoor environment as well as perfectly capturing sound source from outside subjects.
What to Consider When Buying On-Camera DSLR Microphones
1. Audio Quality
The audio quality is why you’re purchasing a microphone in the first place. Choose a mic that has plenty of features such as the ability to record in mono and the ability to capture low frequencies (essential for voice recordings).
2. Size and Weight
A DSLR microphone is mounted onto the camera itself. Therefore, you need it to be lightweight and compact.
If the camera mic is too large, you will find it gets in the way and may be too heavy for you to comfortably hold steady for long periods.
Choose a small light DSLR mic for your video recording, as it will allow you to shoot steadily while capturing great sound.
3. Type of Microphone
There are three main types of microphones you can go for:
- Shotgun microphone (AKA cardioid, supercardioid, and hypercardioid pickup pattern): Ideal if you are capturing sound from a single source – say, a person or musical instrument.
- Handheld: These are the types of microphones you see people holding typically during interviews.
- Wireless lavalier microphone: Lavalier mics are the tiny clip-on microphones you see people wearing on live TV shows and other live events.
On-Camera DSLR Microphones FAQs
Are DSLR Microphones Good?
Microphones that are integrated into DSLR cameras are notoriously bad.
If you want to obtain a professional sound quality, you will need to invest in a handheld microphone or an on-camera DSLR microphone.
These types of microphones have a superior sound quality and are best for recording audio with your DSLR.
Do You Need a Microphone for a DSLR Camera?
If you are shooting video for professional purposes, then you should invest in a microphone for your DSLR camera.
Compared to the inbuilt DSLR microphone, it will provide far superior sound quality.
External microphones are also more versatile as they can be used with other devices, such as an iPhone or Android device.
What Should I Look for When Buying a DSLR Microphone
When buying a DSLR microphone, the main considerations should be the size and weight, the battery life, its supercardioid polar pattern, and the frequency response.
You should also consider how much you’re willing to spend on a mic and purchase the best-quality within your budget.