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09-23-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
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k7 external mic info required

Hello.

Im looking at getting a k7 for some video work. And i wonder what sort of connection the external mic uses?

I would assume it uses a 3.5mm jack, but is it balanced (3 pin) or not?

and does anyone sell mic's that perhaps slot into the hot shoe or some such arrangement?

09-23-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
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From the user manual (p162), the mic jack is a 3.5mm / 1/8th inch stereo mini plug.

There's quite a few hot-shoe mountable stereo microphones available. Pentax has demonstrated the camera with a Rode Stereo VideoMic, but really your choice will likely come down to personal preference.
09-24-2009, 12:01 AM   #3
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it's an unbalanced stereo input. Good, but I'd say if what you're doing is really critical then record externally and sync.
09-24-2009, 05:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Im looking at getting a k7 for some video work. And i wonder what sort of connection the external mic uses?
Please, consult the new video subforum. Plenty of information. Esp. in https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/video-forum/61898-k-7-movie-sound-primer.html

09-24-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
I would assume it uses a 3.5mm jack, but is it balanced (3 pin) or not?
?
While I've seen 1/4" TRS plugs used in a mono balanced configuration intead of in an unbalanced stereo mode, I've never seen a 3.5mm stero plug used this way. It could be done, but since the 3.5mm plug is not very robust and the 3.5mm socket is not very reliable, its usage in a "professional" balanced mode never caught on.
09-24-2009, 05:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jptreen Quote
it's an unbalanced stereo input. Good, but I'd say if what you're doing is really critical then record externally and sync.
How are you going to sync when iirc the K7 doesn't output timecode? Best you can do is lay it on the timeline and pray that you don't drift (which should be fine for short clips). It also depends on how you pull the footage in - some have run into the 30 vs. 29.97 issue and have to timestretch the audio by 0.01% to match.
09-24-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
How are you going to sync when iirc the K7 doesn't output timecode? Best you can do is lay it on the timeline and pray that you don't drift (which should be fine for short clips).
Not hard - you sync at or near the the start on a loud transient accompaning a visible event (remember clapper boards?) and then check at or near the end for another distinctive sound/sight event. I've been doing this for years with mini-DVcams. Get's more interesting when you have multiple stops (to conserve battery power), multiple cams (I do 3 cam shoots), multiple ext. audio recorders (I use a Zoom H4 SD recorder, Sony Hi-MD & Sharp MD - some of which have non-linear drift). Then again I'm syncing over a duration of 90-300 mins.
09-24-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
some have run into the 30 vs. 29.97 issue and have to timestretch the audio by 0.01% to match.
0.1% ten chars

09-24-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
0.1% ten chars
eh, what's an order of magnitude between friends...

It'll be interesting to see if/when timecode gets added to dSLRs - or maybe they'll not do it, depending on the ability of the NLE software to deal with sync.
09-25-2009, 08:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for that, I think ill do a test with the k7 and see if it is acceptable for what i am doing, it probably will be. If not the external recording option is always there.
09-25-2009, 08:14 AM   #11
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So, no ebay mics available to k7 ?

I'm shocked lol
09-25-2009, 08:29 AM   #12
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going to grab one of these

Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone Discounted Now at Camerastore.com.au
09-26-2009, 06:53 PM   #13
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Watch out that you're getting the right version, Werticus. I believe the Rode mic comes in monaural and stereo versions, the latter of which I linked to previously. I can't get the specs page on camerastore.com.au to load; the description page does mention a stereo mic jack on the camera, but they don't list "Stereo" in the name. If you're wanting a stereo mic (which I'd guess you probably are), might want to confirm with them which model that listing is for. Here they both are on Rode's site:

RØDE Microphones - StereoVideoMic
RØDE Microphones - VideoMic
09-27-2009, 11:27 AM   #14
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I've been doing some more digging on this myself, as I'm considering getting an external mic for my own K-7. Must admit I wasn't very familiar with the options, beyond having seen the Rode Stereo VideoMic as recommended by Pentax USA.

What I found that seems interesting is the Sennheiser MKE 400, with similar pricing to the Rode ($50 cheaper with no 'dead cat' cover):

Sennheiser USA - Camera Microphone, camcorder microphone, MKE 400 - Professional Audio

It isn't perfect, certainly. For one thing, it's monaural - and I must admit that while for speech mono suffices just fine, I would prefer a stereo mic. The sound quality (according to my own reading of a bunch of user reviews / watching test videos) is also not quite as good as the Rode. Some people suggested sound isolation from the camera body wasn't as good due to the less sophisticated antishock design, too.

It also has some significant advantages, though. For one thing, it is much, much smaller and lighter than the Rode mics (both monaural and stereo). That's pretty important to me - one of the advantages of the K-7 in my opinion was its compact size, and a huge mic rather destroys that. It also looks less likely to get in the way of the lens / stop me using the viewfinder when mounted directly on the hot shoe. Also, it's apparently rather more focused directionally than the Rode, which I can see being a positive or negative depending on the shooting situation - but I saw several mentions of the Rode mics picking up noise from AF motors on camcorders etc., so I'd say on balance, having a more focused pickup that avoids this is probably an advantage.

I'm curious - has anybody tried the MKE 400 with the Pentax K-7 yet? If so, your feedback / examples would be greatly appreciated, as would pics of the microphone on-camera. If I crack and buy it before anybody else does, I'll see what I can get together to let others judge for themselves. Right now I'm trying to decide what my next purchase is though, and I'm thinking microphone is probably further down the list than an external strobe (tending towards the Metz AF-1) and maybe a video light too (Comer CM-LBPS900, 1200 or 1800 seem interesting there).
04-09-2010, 09:48 PM   #15
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i need something that is cheap but gets the job done. the internal mic is noisy during zooms and other operations

**edit i realized that turning SR/IS off allows for silent operation =) and i found some cheapo mics on b and h

Last edited by kickboxingpenguin; 04-09-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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