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02-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #16
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I know I'm a little late to the party here. I made a little video when I bought an external mic. Basically I thought the internal K5 Mic was crap too. Apologies for the poor lighting, and my "errr" dialogue, it was kind of first test/unboxing so I could check to see how much difference there would be.


Part of the problem with all internal mics is that they are non-directional they pick sound from everywhere. This makes everything seem quiet, and it catches all the background noise too. Also I found the gain is set so low that you need to be within a few feet of the camera to pick it up. Amplify the sound and you amplify the hiss too.

With the shotgun mic I bought (not a fancy rode mic for hundreds of dollars but a chinese knock-off) the sound is way better.

Other than the weatherproofing I wonder if Pentax decided that the K5 mic didn't matter as much as cheaper one because they figured if you were serious about it you'd get an external mic? the Kx didn't even have a mic input so it had to have something of a useful mic.

Anyway for $50 including shipping (ebay) you can have a really nice clean microphone. Ive already made videos with it (clamped to a lightstand) but you could also stick it on a boom, pop a dead-cat on it for wind and record on an external digital audio recorder. I doubt I will need a lav mic for anything so this is probably going to be my only mic for a while.

Also FYI there exists free SW that you can download that will strip the hiss/noise from an audio file assuming you have some test noise to sample (a bit of the same audio without the subject sounds just the hiss). Its not perfect but it drops the hiss down a lot.

02-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #17
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The audio on my K-r is terrible. There's constant buzzing/humming, which I read to be something to do with the SR. Though even turning that off, it's still kind of fuzzy. And the K-r lacks an external mic port so I can't do anything about it. Video isn't a big deal to me but it disappoints me that the audio on my old P&S is vastly superior.
02-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
The mic on the K5 is weather sealed, that makes it sound muffled.
Funny how often the obvious is missed.
ps. the ticking is a codec timing issue i believe or the SR
QuoteOriginally posted by sevenarrow Quote
rawr,
Thanks for verifying that your K-5 audio sounds better than mine.
I have made sure my hands or anything else is not covering up the microphone.
So, I feel en-lighted from Anvh's observation. SevenArrow ... have you poked a hole thru the weather-sealing on the K-5 w/a pin or paperclip? (whatever will fit)
02-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #19
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Thanks IndyPhil for your video demo using the shotgun microphone vs. the internal mic. Your audio using the internal mic sounds similar to mine,maybe not so much muffled as it is quiet. The shotgun mic produces clearly much superior audio. However, I think my K-r's audio sounds almost as good as your shotgun mic audio. I still think the K-5's audio should be as good or better than the K-r's.

I returned my K-5 to CRIS camera repair. They are looking at it right now. I have a feeling they're going to tell me that the audio I'm hearing is normal. I'm going to be really disappointed though if that's the case. I didn't spend $1300 for such poor audio quality especially when the much cheaper K-r has far superior audio quality.

02-10-2012, 11:45 AM   #20
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No product is perfect. The K-5 is a great camera. My guess is that this has something to do with the weather-proofing. The audio is acceptable for short candid vids that I want to capture of my kids opening presents or other things. If you want to do serious video work with impeccable audio, just slap an external mic on it and be done.

No matter how great the product people will always find something to complain about. It's not like there's "no-audio"...or "distorted audio"...or "pops or clicks"....your complaint is that it's LOW.
02-13-2012, 02:35 AM   #21
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I'm also in the "sound recorded by internal mic is too low" camp. Sometimes I take a short video of my daughter and the sound is amazingly low. I mean she's standing 1-2 metre from the camera and in the recorded video I can hardly hear her voice, meanwhile my own voice is quite loud - gives me a feeling that Pentax put the mic on the back of the camera... (I know it's not there)
02-13-2012, 11:53 PM   #22
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But... I don't get it.
If you want to use your camera for video, and you can get good results with an external mic, why don't you invest in one?
It's like complaining you don't get pixel perfect pictures with the kit lens.
Have it crossed your mind that all that work by CRIS will affect the camera irreversibly? And for what?

Last edited by octavmandru; 02-14-2012 at 12:39 AM.
02-14-2012, 03:02 AM   #23
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I recently had a video recorded of myself with the K-7 that had no external microphone attached. I put this video together just for you to see how some simple edits in Audacity can improve sound quality.



Also, my youtube channel is mostly done with the K-5 (some K-7 videos in there too). The K-7 and K-5 seem very similar in audio quality to me. Keep in mind that the majority of the video sound was modified in post and used a $5 external Labtec AM-222 microphone instead of the internal MIC.

02-14-2012, 08:12 PM   #24
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octavmandru,

You're right you don't understand the point I'm trying to make. You're comment, "It's like complaining you don't get pixel perfect pictures with the kit lens", is not analogous to my situation. The kit lens is giving the best picture possible for what it is designed to do. So, you're right, you should buy a better quality lens if you are not satisfied with the kit lens. The kit lens you talk about is not defective. It's what you get for the money. So if you don't like the kit lens then you upgrade to a better lens with a higher level of optics. However, my K-5's audio is not performing to the standard it is designed for. It is defective.

I never said I want to use my K-5 as a video camera. I don't. That's why it took me almost a year to realize there was something wrong with the audio quality because I rarely use the video feature. I have an $800 Canon video camera to take serious video.

My point is, I spent $1300 on this K-5 so the audio quality better not be defective. If I use the K-5 video feature I will be using it on the fly. It will be an unplanned use. More than likely I wouldn't have an external mic with me. In such a situation, I want the best audio the K-5 is capable of producing using the internal mic. I am not going to buy an external mic for those rare and unplanned occasions when I need to use the video.

I am also looking towards the future when I want to sell the K-5 to upgrade to something else. Defective audio lessens it's resale value. It's also difficult to sell a defective camera.

I've lost count of how many people have told me to just buy an external mic. My point is, that the K-5's inernal mic should be way better than this. It is defective. Plain and simple. My K-r's audio quality is 10x better than my K-5. I find it hard to believe that the K-5's audio quality is supposed to be this inferior to the K-r's.

My original post in this thread asked that anyone who owns both a K-5 and K-r to compare audio from the two. I would expect that their K-5's audio is not defective and that the audio should be just as good as their K-r's audio. That would confirm that my K-5 is defective. So far, no one has done such a test. Isn't there anyone in this forum who has both a K-5 and K-r??

I'm still waiting for CRIS to make a decision about my K-5. It seems to be in HOLD status right now. If CRIS tells me this is normal sound quality then I'll guess I'll just have to accept it. Like I said I rarely use the video. Otherwise, I think the K-5 is the best DSLR on the market.


QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
But... I don't get it.
If you want to use your camera for video, and you can get good results with an external mic, why don't you invest in one?
It's like complaining you don't get pixel perfect pictures with the kit lens.
Have it crossed your mind that all that work by CRIS will affect the camera irreversibly? And for what?
02-14-2012, 08:19 PM   #25
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simico,

Thanks for your response. Your experience sounds similar to mine. It might be defective as well. However, as I stated in my original post, I'm looking for someone to compare audio between their K-5 and K-r. Is their K-5's audio inferior to their K-r's. If so, then apparently the K-5 audio really is inferior.

QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
I'm also in the "sound recorded by internal mic is too low" camp. Sometimes I take a short video of my daughter and the sound is amazingly low. I mean she's standing 1-2 metre from the camera and in the recorded video I can hardly hear her voice, meanwhile my own voice is quite loud - gives me a feeling that Pentax put the mic on the back of the camera... (I know it's not there)
02-15-2012, 09:42 AM   #26
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I contacted someone who has access to both. He works in a camera shop that sells Pentax equipment. Here is the response:

QuoteQuote:
The K-r sounds just like the K-5 (to me) when recording audio with the internal mic, so no the K-r is not going to be any better than the K-5. There are so many variables that can influence the audio aside from things like SR and wind noise such as the size of the room and things in the room that can either deaden or exaggerate the hiss. Since no two environments are likely to be the same getting comments from multiple people with different recording environments isn't super helpful. Other things that will influence the hiss is whether or not the user is holding the camera (the hands can either insulate or muffle the audio or can add to the hiss if there is too much hand movement on the body), or the distance the subject is from the camera or even the direction from which the wind hits the mic.
02-21-2012, 03:19 PM   #27
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sjwaldron,
I'm comparing the K-r and K-5 after taking videos in the exact same room and noise environment within a couple minutes of each other. As I've said many times in this thread, my K-5's audio is, without a doubt, dramatically inferior to that of the K-r, at least that's the case with MY K-5.

I just got my K-5 back from CRIS repair today (2nd attemt to repair the audio problem). This time they completely replaced the internal microphone but the audio is still terrible compared to the K-r. Audio is not one bit better. Still sounds very muffled. However, the video feature is not that important to me. I have a real camcorder for shooting videos. So, I give up trying to fix it. A big disappointment to me though. I expect better from the K-5. Perhaps the weather sealing, as others in this thread have suggested, is the culprit but I am still flabergasted that the K-5 audio is so inferior to the K-r.
02-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by sevenarrow Quote
I just got my K-5 back from CRIS repair today (2nd attemt to repair the audio problem). This time they completely replaced the internal microphone but the audio is still terrible compared to the K-r. Audio is not one bit better. Still sounds very muffled.
Try another one at a local store. If it's still different than the K-r, it is because of the weathersealing part of the design...
Using the internal mic on a noisy DSLR (motors, aperture clicks, etc.) is nuts anyways...they really should leave them off. Even on camcorders, you'd get craploads better audio w/ an external mic...
02-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #29
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I have a final verdict from CRIS Camera Repair and Pentax Support regarding the fact that the K-5's audio quality is inferior to that of the K-r:

Below is the email I just got from CRIS:

"We have been in contact with Pentax for additional technical support regarding the audio for your Penrax K-5 unit. The microphone was replaced in your camera and thoroughly tested and compared to another test K-5 body, the audio was the same quality and your camera met manufacturer’s specifications before leaving our facility.
When comparing your K-5 to your K-R, while they may use the same basic microphone unit, the body shape and body material are different between the two cameras. These differences could account for a difference in the recording characteristics between the two cameras. In addition, for best audio recording quality, the Pentax K-5 has been provided with a connection for an external microphone."

So, there you go. If good audio quality using just the internal microphone is important to you then the K-r is a better choice over the K-5.
10-05-2012, 08:20 AM   #30
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Can you ask them about the sampling rate and about the automatic level?

To me the low audio quality of the k-5 is primarly due to this two factor, even with a external microphone in.
For example to record music the auto level is terrible because all dynamics are eaten by it.

A firmware upgrade should be enough to improve this way (like Canon have done recently with the 7D).
Don't they plan to do this?
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