These days, DSLR cameras are the preferred choice when doing a recording, be it done by an amateur or professional. This, in turn, drives the need for a better microphone when using the DSLR camera as a recorder due to the bad quality of the built-in microphone, with the usual case of the microphone recording the noise from the camera, making the audio quality degrade. This can be simply resolved with an external microphone attached to the camera with the shotgun microphone becoming the preferred choice. Today, we will review and compare two of said shotgun microphones, made by two experienced manufacturers, Rode with its Rode VideoMic Pro Plus and Shure with its Shure VP83 LensHopper™.
Rode VideoMic Pro Plus
First, let us talk about the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus. This microphone is a shotgun microphone. It means that you have to aim your microphone to the source of the sound, otherwise the recorded sound quality will be bad. If you previously use any other type of microphone, you better remember that well. Read also: Blue’s Spark SL vs Blue’s Bluebird SL.
Although the VideoMic Pro Plus looks like it is heavy, due to the sheer size of the microphone, it is actually quite light in weight. The Pro Plus actual microphone can be considered as short, as the length is only 5.6 inches or 14 cm long, and only when you add a foam windshield that it will become longer at 7.2 inches or 18 cm long. Talking about the windshield, The VideoMic Pro Plus also comes with a foam windshield, so you do not have to buy a new one if you yet to have one.
|Rode VideoMic Pro Plus||Shure VP83 LensHopper|
|Product Dimensions||4.3 x 6.69 x 2.59 inches||10 x 4.2 x 5.2 inches
|Shipping Weight||4.3 ounces||11.7 ounces
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
The Rode VideoMic Pro Plus is an upgrade from the previous VideoMic Pro series. In the Pro+, the microphone has the ability to turn itself on and off following the camera or the device that you connect it to. Other than that, the VideoMic Pro Plus has a better frame to hold it compared to the previous Pro series, giving it better stability when moving or being shaken. It also increases the battery life to around 10 hours making it suitable for a long duration of run ‘n’ gun filming.
What is interesting from the VideoMic Pro Plus microphone is the advanced audio option this microphone has. At the back of the microphone, you will see a few buttons to set the microphone in the manner that you would like it to record. In the Pro Plus, you can gain the microphone between +20 to -10. It also has a safety channel, which will help you a lot if you plan to record your audio outside with plenty of noise from vehicles or such. The Pro Plus recording frequency range is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with the maximum sound it can record is in 133 dB SPL. This is quite high for a shotgun microphone. The microphone itself can be said as quite with it only generating 14 dB of self-noise, making it close to those microphones used professionally.
Shure VP83 LensHopper
Now, let us take a look at the Shure VP83 LensHopper. The VP38 LensHopper is a shotgun microphone that aims at a DSLR or digital audio recorder users who want better audio quality from their recording device.
The Shure VP83 LensHopper is a sturdy shotgun microphone, with it being constructed entirely from metal, or aluminum alloy to be exact, the microphone can surely handle a little bit rough treatment than other microphones. Add to that, the use of a shock mount to hold the main body of the microphone makes it very steady when being used. In the body of the microphone, there are only two knobs. The first one being the on and off knob, while the other one is for audio gain. The VP83 LensHopper only supports +20, 0, and -10 audio gain. Even so, the VP83 LensHopper can be said as a lightweight microphone compared to the other similar microphone with its weight being at around 4.7 oz or 133 g.
The VP83 LensHopper power also last quite long, making it very suitable to be used when there are not any power outlets available immediately near you. Depending on what type of battery you use, the VP83 LensHopper can last from 108 to 130 hours of continuous use. This can be achieved by using only one AA battery to power this microphone.
The VP83 LensHopper also supports the use of accessories such as foam windscreen or windjammer. Shure itself is selling these two accessories in their store. However, by default, you will receive the foam windscreen when you purchase the VP83 LensHopper microphone.
How about the performance then? Well, the VP83 LensHopper has the capability to record audio in a range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz with ease. In addition to that this microphone can record audio as loud as 129 dB SPL. This can be said as the bad point of the VP83 LensHopper, as there are many other microphones with the same price able to record louder audio than what it can. Another bad point of this microphone is itself-noise. The VP83 LensHopper has a self-noise of 17.4 dB SPL-A. This can be said as a high self-noise if you plan to record clean audio without the disturbance of the noise from the microphone working.
Rode VideoMic Pro Plus vs Shure VP83 LensHopper
If you are looking for a good quality of audio-only for a short amount of time, then the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus might be the best choice for you. Its ability to record louder noise while maintaining a near-professional level of self-noise is great if you want to have the best audio quality you can get. However, if what you aim is to record for a long period of time, then I suggest you take the Shure VP83 LensHopper. Even though you will sacrifice a small amount of sound quality, your microphone will last until you finish recording, making sure that there will be no audio loss due to the microphone loss of power.