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08-30-2019, 06:23 PM   #1
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K-1 II/K-3 II or Sony a6000 for basic "studio" work

Long story aside, a friend visiting, who's a professional actor, needed to do some video auditions that came in while he was here. I have basic lights etc, so I was able to setup on a solid tripod with lights and backdrop. I started off with my K-1 II, and the video looked good, but the sound was terrible. The sound situation is exacerbated by the fact that I am reading other lines for him to play against, so I'm behind the camera. This is only marginally important, as it's about him, not me, but this is the overall layout. So, after dismal audio and no mic to hook up, we switched to my Sony a6000. The audio was definitely improved, and we went with it. Our results were good enough that we want to do more of this, and off I went looking for an external mic. To my chagrin, the a6000 only has a blasted proprietary Sony multifunction blah blah blah port on it , and I'm limited to two choices, a marginally reviewed mono shotgun mic and a better, but not greatly reviewed, stereo one, which is on sale until the end of tomorrow at B&H etc for $107: Sony ECM-XYST1M: Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone ECMXYST1M B&H Photo Video

With the thought that I might want to shoot video of something else which perhaps has motion/is in a less controlled situation than on a tripod with lighting etc., but I don't feel like shelling out any more than about $100 on a mic, is this one where you put your love of Pentax aside and just go for the Sony combo, or should I be looking at some other $100 mic that uses a standard mini jack and press on with my K-1 II?

EDIT: I also have a K-3 II to toss into the mix.


Last edited by clickclick; 08-30-2019 at 06:29 PM.
08-31-2019, 02:40 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
Long story aside, a friend visiting, who's a professional actor, needed to do some video auditions that came in while he was here. I have basic lights etc, so I was able to setup on a solid tripod with lights and backdrop. I started off with my K-1 II, and the video looked good, but the sound was terrible. The sound situation is exacerbated by the fact that I am reading other lines for him to play against, so I'm behind the camera. This is only marginally important, as it's about him, not me, but this is the overall layout. So, after dismal audio and no mic to hook up, we switched to my Sony a6000. The audio was definitely improved, and we went with it. Our results were good enough that we want to do more of this, and off I went looking for an external mic. To my chagrin, the a6000 only has a blasted proprietary Sony multifunction blah blah blah port on it , and I'm limited to two choices, a marginally reviewed mono shotgun mic and a better, but not greatly reviewed, stereo one, which is on sale until the end of tomorrow at B&H etc for $107: Sony ECM-XYST1M: Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone ECMXYST1M B&H Photo Video

With the thought that I might want to shoot video of something else which perhaps has motion/is in a less controlled situation than on a tripod with lighting etc., but I don't feel like shelling out any more than about $100 on a mic, is this one where you put your love of Pentax aside and just go for the Sony combo, or should I be looking at some other $100 mic that uses a standard mini jack and press on with my K-1 II?

EDIT: I also have a K-3 II to toss into the mix.
I use a Rode microphone on my Pentax SLRs when I do video and I've been pretty pleased with it. Something like this: amazon.com: Rode VideoMic Camera Mount Shotgun Microphone with Rycote Shock Mount: Musical Instruments?tag=pentaxforums-20& (but way older). The other thing to do is just use some type of external recorder and sync your recording up after the fact. I think that's what professionals tend to do, but I'm anything but...
08-31-2019, 06:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I use a Rode microphone on my Pentax SLRs when I do video and I've been pretty pleased with it. Something like this: amazon.com: Rode VideoMic Camera Mount Shotgun Microphone with Rycote Shock Mount: Musical Instruments?tag=pentaxforums-20& (but way older). The other thing to do is just use some type of external recorder and sync your recording up after the fact. I think that's what professionals tend to do, but I'm anything but...
Thanks for the link. I've been seeing references to Rode mics and wondering about them. Are your subjects typically stationary or moving? I'm wondering how focusing has been to deal with. When I look at things like AF while filming, I wonder if the Sony isn't the better direction, even with the limited mic selection. I've also read about making a separate audio recording. I don't see going to this level, but I want to make the best out of what I do have.

Can't help but wonder what our next Pentax APS-C will be for capabilities and when it will be released.
08-31-2019, 08:07 AM   #4
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If it was me, I'd talk to the folks at Sweetwater - https://www.sweetwater.com/

I can safely say this is the best company I've ever dealt with as far as customer service goes, period. It's simply outstanding! No, I don't work for them, never have, and don't personally know anybody who does. I'm just a super big fan based on my experiences with them over the years. They are the gold standard.


They sell Rode and everything else related to audio. They are staffed with professionals who have worked in the industries they service. If you explain what you are trying to accomplish, they probably have somebody whose been there, done that, and has good suggestions. He'll become your assigned rep. And once you talk to them once, they remember you forever. The next time you call, your rep will say "Hi [clickclick]. How did the actor's audition go?" They remember things about me that I've forgotten! Whatever their system is, it's exemplary.



Their folks are highly trained, very knowledgeable, and super helpful. Their prices are competitive, and their support isn't 5 star, it's 10 star. I don't spend much with them, and not very often, so I'm a nobody. But they happily sent me a $300 piece of gear at no charge to try out, and happily took it back no questions asked when it wasn't quite what I needed.


If there's a good solution to your problem, they will have it.

08-31-2019, 10:33 AM   #5
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Video is definitely a weakness of Pentax when compared to other ecosystems. If you are looking to get more into video then look into a Lumix body or something like the Fuji X-T3. Their capabilities are very impressive. I see a standard looking 1/8” mic and headphone jack on my X-T3.

I recently shot some high frame rate video with the Sony RX10 IV and I agree with your displeasure of Sony’s proprietary jacks.
08-31-2019, 02:50 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Video is definitely a weakness of Pentax when compared to other ecosystems. If you are looking to get more into video then look into a Lumix body or something like the Fuji X-T3. Their capabilities are very impressive. I see a standard looking 1/8” mic and headphone jack on my X-T3.

I recently shot some high frame rate video with the Sony RX10 IV and I agree with your displeasure of Sony’s proprietary jacks.
Clickclick has already said the K-1 video was great, and its microphone options better than the Sony.

So all that's required is an external microphone - and this is recommended for all video making. A lavalier if the scene permits or a directional mike on a stand if not.

Simply, you don't record sound from back where the camera is.
08-31-2019, 04:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Clickclick has already said the K-1 video was great, and its microphone options better than the Sony.
Video was good with the K-1 II, but I'm put off by the lack of AF while recording and concerned my results were as good as they were only because the environment was so controlled.. I'm a total noob when it comes to video, and really don't have any idea how much I might potentially do if I start accumulating some extra equipment, like a mic. I'm concerned that while the K-1 II was fine on a tripod with a subject that is not particularly moving, that as soon as I have movement and need to refocus, the Sony will blow it away, and if I have to hand hold it and need image stabilization, the Sony will once again be the one, but perhaps I'm wrong on this and just need more experience. Once I have a mic, I wonder what else would I want to take video of, and I think this is where I'm getting wrapped. Is reality that I'm going to just get more versatility/better overall quality going with the Sony and should just suck up buying their mic, knowing that if I got "serious" about all this, I'm probably off for a third camera purchase anyway?

Thanks everyone for any and all input.

Last edited by clickclick; 08-31-2019 at 05:49 PM.
08-31-2019, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I'm a total noob when it comes to video
Yeah, look, real film making is done with manual exposure and manual focus.

That's because it's not still photography.

In video, there can't be accidental changes in brightness or points of focus when you move the camera or objects in the scene move. In any clip worth watching, one or the other happens.

Nor do they use internal sound recording because the quality achieved with even a modest external device beats what's inside a camera, Pentax or Sony.

So sliders, rigs and gimbals are used for camera movement once off the tripod because movement has to be intentional or it looks crappy in a scene, like a missed spot of paint on a wall.

Focus is worked out beforehand, and because the actors hit the mark, it all works even in a fight scene because it's manual focus, people entering the scene closer to the camera or even obscuring the subject briefly don't frustratingly get chosen by the camera to focus on!

All those YouTube vloggers, there's no one else filming them, they're in their mom's basement with manual focus, that's why they don't get out of the chair.


Last edited by clackers; 08-31-2019 at 05:59 PM.
08-31-2019, 06:45 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yeah, look, real film making is done with manual exposure and manual focus.

That's because it's not still photography.

In video, there can't be accidental changes in brightness or points of focus when you move the camera or objects in the scene move. In any clip worth watching, one or the other happens.

Nor do they use internal sound recording because the quality achieved with even a modest external device beats what's inside a camera, Pentax or Sony.

So sliders, rigs and gimbals are used for camera movement once off the tripod because movement has to be intentional or it looks crappy in a scene, like a missed spot of paint on a wall.

Focus is worked out beforehand, and because the actors hit the mark, it all works even in a fight scene because it's manual focus, people entering the scene closer to the camera or even obscuring the subject briefly don't frustratingly get chosen by the camera to focus on!

All those YouTube vloggers, there's no one else filming them, they're in their mom's basement with manual focus, that's why they don't get out of the chair.
Thank you! I needed this perspective adjustment, if you will. Makes sense. Getting some basic orientation helps figure out what makes sense.
08-31-2019, 07:01 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
Thank you! I needed this perspective adjustment, if you will. Makes sense. Getting some basic orientation helps figure out what makes sense.
No worries, ClickClick, video making is very different from stills despite having a camera in common. In particular, it is much harder to make interesting. Stills can capture moments, but in video we want a pleasing sequence of compelling shots forming a narrative.

I think most people are no good at it, what they do is utterly boring and shouldn't be inflicted on anyone except possibly to the people in it, and I probably include myself in that category!

Last edited by clackers; 08-31-2019 at 07:39 PM.
09-01-2019, 02:47 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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There is a big difference between making a film and just grabbing quick video clips for home movies or whatever. I do think that mirrorless cameras make the second thing easier, but for an actual film, as Clackers says, it requires a lot more planning and effort -- both with getting the needed shots as well as the editing (including sound) after the fact.
09-01-2019, 03:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is a big difference between making a film and just grabbing quick video clips for home movies or whatever. I do think that mirrorless cameras make the second thing easier, but for an actual film, as Clackers says, it requires a lot more planning and effort -- both with getting the needed shots as well as the editing (including sound) after the fact.
Yep, and you will want to edit the audio as well as the video. In fact, the sounds of doors closing, footsteps, the phone ringing etc may not be up to scratch when recorded on location and will require dubbing in re-recordings.

I do think it's a higher art form than stills photography, because unlike scrolling through an Instagram feed, you make your viewer a captive for the time they're looking at your video, so you'd better be 'up to it' quality wise.
09-01-2019, 03:24 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yep, and you will want to edit the audio as well as the video. In fact, the sounds of doors closing, footsteps, the phone ringing etc may not be up to scratch when recorded on location and will require dubbing in re-recordings.

I do think it's a higher art form than stills photography, because unlike scrolling through an Instagram feed, you make your viewer a captive for the time they're looking at your video, so you'd better be 'up to it' quality wise.
Most of those videos are uniformly terrible. Video bloggers make a go of it if they have something worthwhile to say (most don't) but otherwise there is no real editing or high quality footage there. 4K video of crap is just slightly higher quality crap...
09-01-2019, 03:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
4K video of crap is just slightly higher quality crap...
Ain't that the truth!
09-01-2019, 07:10 AM   #15
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Appreciate the input. I can see defining the objective is pretty important to keep from getting sucked down a rabbit hole here. Been thinking of what else I might want to do, and outside the equivalent of a family Super 8 clip here and there, perhaps grabbing some video at a road course I get up to occasionally. At some level, I can see grabbing the Sony mic for things like that and chasing the dog etc., and perhaps something like the Rode linked above for the K-1 II for my limited "studio" clips and whatever else comes down the road from Pentax.
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