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12-16-2014, 11:17 AM - 2 Likes   #16
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I suspect that my LS-7 is going to be similar to the LS-14. Generally, I have found that a volume level setting of "8" on the scale to 30 for output corresponds ideally to around "15" on the scale of 20 for mic in on the K-3. While I agree that the Olympus would be better with an isolated pre-amp (full line-in and line-out functionality), the overall quality of the mics and the low noise of output make for a relatively minor compromise, in my experience. The suggestions given by LensBeginner to take care by starting at low volume, as well as adding the in-line dampener are certainly good ideas.

12-23-2014, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #17
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This won't be the best, but I bought these:

Dot.Foto MIC-109 Pro DV/Camera Stereo Microphone with: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics (fits as-is without any adaptors)
Maybe now stocked as DSTEŽ MIC-109 28cm Stereo Microphone for Camera Nikon: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Hahnel DC100 Windshield for Mk100/Mk200 Microphone: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

I leave the K-3 audio gain on manual to avoid possible ALC/AGC variations (noticed possible automatic gain control ramping up between footsteps?)
12-23-2014, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by PT1 Quote
This won't be the best, but I bought these:

Dot.Foto MIC-109 Pro DV/Camera Stereo Microphone with: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics (fits as-is without any adaptors)
Maybe now stocked as DSTEŽ MIC-109 28cm Stereo Microphone for Camera Nikon: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Hahnel DC100 Windshield for Mk100/Mk200 Microphone: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

I leave the K-3 audio gain on manual to avoid possible ALC/AGC variations (noticed possible automatic gain control ramping up between footsteps?)
Most definitely NOT a fan of auto-gain here...
In the Zoom, for instance, it only goes down and never up, so if someone claps near the mic at a concert you're screwed.
Set levels by hand, depending on bit depth. -12dB for the peaks is ok for most situations.

Sadly I have a feeling that you won't get a much better sound quality than the internal mic with that cheapo... then again, sometimes junk stuff can surprise us...
12-24-2014, 12:13 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Also a good suggestion.
Keep in mind that they serve two different purposes: one (the Olympus) is a recorder with two integrated mics and that's it, the other also offers two inputs with phantom power, and 4-track recording.
You would prefer something like the Olympus if you were to handheld the K-3 the whole day (it's lighter), but you'd go with the Zoom if you wanted more flexibility (for instance, you could hook up an omnidirectional mic and have both a good stereo image and ambient sound; or you could want to have an accent mic to record the soloists in a concert, plus the stereo image of the orchestra etc.)...
Tascam DR-40 is for $99.99 after rebate at B&H now (offer ends on Dec, 31, 2014).
By the way, Olympus LS-14 has the Microphone Input - 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack, 2kΩ impedance. Is this not the same that you described for Zoom and Taskam? Since that, they are all in the same league, aren't they?

12-24-2014, 02:12 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ceremonsen Quote
Tascam DR-40 is for $99.99 after rebate at B&H now (offer ends on Dec, 31, 2014).
By the way, Olympus LS-14 has the Microphone Input - 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack, 2kΩ impedance. Is this not the same that you described for Zoom and Taskam? Since that, they are all in the same league, aren't they?
Tascam DR-40 hasn't got a 1/8" mic input, but you can just use an adapter to 1/4" jack. The functionality of the 1/8" jack on the Zoom is reduced anyway (i.e. it excludes the built-in mics), don't know about the Olympus.
Minor inconveniences I find with the Dr-40 is that it uses three AA batteries and the locks on the XLR jacks don't allow it to sit flat. Minor gripes, as I said.
99.99 is a very good price.

I'll wait for ScooterMaxi Jim to comment on the Olympus line since I have no experience in that regard.
12-25-2014, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #21
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That's a great price for the features you get with the DR-40. It seems like a decent unit, but the mics and noise floor probably aren't quite up to what you'd get with the higher priced units. The reviews have been good on this unit. The idea of getting two recordings - the second one at lower level to guard against peak distortion is especially appealing.

Here's what I found about my LS-7, which probably is going to be roughly similar to the LS-14. For whatever reason, using a 200 ohm mic (such as the old, fat Rode stereo videomic) the K-3 just doesn't get enough signal. That mic works well on the LS-7 (also a 2k mic in). The mics on the LS-7 are pretty close in quality to the Rode - perhaps a tad less depth for music, etc., but at least as good dynamic range. So, I can use the on-board mics and earphone out to the K-3 mic - and tailor the output to an ideal setting on the camera input. Frankly, most of the sound floor noise level comes from the camera - not the recorder earphone output (which is very clean).

Bottom line is that the K-3 mic-in doesn't behave the way a good recorder should. If you can provide a variable signal to the mic-in you can mostly overcome the problem. The result on the K-3 is good, but the original recording on the LS-7 is very good (not a surprising difference). In most cases, using a line out or a 200 ohm mic with no control of the output volume probably is a not a good solution.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 12-25-2014 at 12:08 PM. Reason: clarification of wording
12-26-2014, 03:42 AM   #22
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Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts!
Why should one connect an external recorder to the camera at all, if the camera screws it up anyway?
Isn't it the best way to make a quality sound track with a recorder, and synchronize it with a video later?
12-26-2014, 04:39 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ceremonsen Quote
Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts!
Why should one connect an external recorder to the camera at all, if the camera screws it up anyway?
Isn't it the best way to make a quality sound track with a recorder, and synchronize it with a video later?
Exactly...
Well, if the two tracks are a near perfect match, then synching gets easier.

12-27-2014, 10:57 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ceremonsen Quote
Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts!
Why should one connect an external recorder to the camera at all, if the camera screws it up anyway?
Isn't it the best way to make a quality sound track with a recorder, and synchronize it with a video later?
There is an argument for either way you might do it. If the better mics exist on the recorder, or are attached to the recorder - you have a better recording going into the camera and the sync is all set up for you in post. However, if something isn't right on the recorder (overload or some other fault), that problem gets passed on to camera recording, as well. For professional work, discrete recording with a clapper has you covered. Unfortunately, the only Pentax with stereo mics is the K-01 - and those are OK as a backup (but the 32k bitrate and ruinous AGC implementation are dealbreakers).
01-04-2015, 04:10 PM - 1 Like   #25
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I have a Sennheiser MKE400. It is a big improvement on the internal microphone, and the rubber mount means the camera handling sounds (and focus motor noise) do not get recorded. I really like it.
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