Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
267 of 271 people found the following review helpful
Essential accessory for the Canon Vixia line camcordersJuly 17 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
So, you bought a Canon Vixia camcorder? The picture is stunning - and it's hard to believe you can get such beautiful images from such a compact camcorder. Unfortunately, there is no way you'll get top notch sound from a compact camcorder, no matter how much you paid for it. This isn't a matter of a design flaw; it has to do with the physics of sound: a directional microphone needs to be long; for best sound the microphone needs to be physically separated from the body of the camera; finally, some kind of muffle is needed to prevent wind and breath from interfering with sound. Canon's DM-100 is designed to achieve all of these things for the sound of the Vixia line camcorders, without overwhelming the simplicity and ease of a compact camcorder. I'm very happy with it.
It plugs in directly to the mini advanced shoe on the Vixia camcorders. When it is plugged in it automatically becomes the mike for recordings - no need to fiddle with settings. Importantly, it is small enough that it doesn't overwhelm the compact size of the Vixia camcorders. Sure, the "Dead Cat" looks a bit silly, but it makes a huge difference outdoors in the wind; and you can take it off for indoor shoots where you want to take advantage of just the directional aspects of the mike. There are three basic settings: shotgun (for focusing sound capture to sounds directly in front of the microphone), 90 degrees and 120 degrees.
ABOUT THIS VIDEO: For this video I only focused on how this mike improves outdoor shooting, and also on showing what the DM-100 looks like on the Vixia camcorders - I have the HF10 and the HFS10, so I took pictures with it on both of these, with the "dead cat" on and off. I also used the HF10 (no mike attached) to shoot me shooting with the HFS10 with the DM-100 mike attached, then I synched up the sound so I could alternate between the sound with and without the mike. For the purposes of shooting myself in my front yard, I didn't think the directional settings would be useful, so I left it on the DM-100 on the 90 degree setting the whole time. I also didn't think there would be any good way to give a real sense for the quality of the sound via this (quick and dirty) video review - but the look of the mike and the wind elimination are obvious. Note that the video starts out with the sound from the onboard mike of the VIXIA HF10, and then I indicate with cool flashing text when I'm recording with the DM-100 (MIKE ON!) or with the HF10 onboard mike (MIKE OFF!). You should note that it's not just wind noise you hear when I'm recording with the on board camera, there's also just a low system hum that is almost completely eliminated when recording the the DM-100. I know the video is quick but I prefer to put most of my review in the text and think of the video as merely an illustration - if you want to look more closely at the pictures, just pause and gander all you like.
FINAL WORD: If you care at all about sound, and especially if you will ever shoot outdoors, you probably need some kind of external mike for your Vixia camcorder. There are better microphones than this one, and even cheaper ones; but you have to remember that if you buy another mike you'll also need some kind of adapter if you want it to mount on top of your Vixia, and it won't power directly through the Vixia, plus you'll have a wire hanging around that plugs into the external mike input mini plug. For most non-professional and semi-professional situations, the DM-100 will give you the sound you need, is easy to use with the Canon Vixia camcorders, and looks good on top of your camera.
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Super microphoneMay 31 2008
S. O. Coutant
- Published on Amazon.com
This mic provides three sound acceptance patterns (shotgun, 90-degree stereo and 120-degree stereo spreads), and comes with an effective windscreen. It fits the new Canon HF10 and HF100 customized hot shoe, making those hi-def cameras that much more effective and professional. Okay, semi-pro. But I like the results. The cameras have built-in stereo mics that work well, but are sensitive to the slightest breeze, which sounds like thunder. This external mic solves the wind noise problem, plus the switchable polar patterns and superb frequency response add depth and dimension not possible with the on-camera mic. Thank you, Canon, for a job well done.
149 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Some reviewers are mistakenJan. 2 2009
Michael D. Kelley
- Published on Amazon.com
First of all, pay no attention to a review written here which suggests that a Rode Directional Videomic is a better buy for this camera. While it may or may not be a better microphone, it is a LOT more expensive (at around $250). Either the reviewer was mistaken or got his off the back of a truck (hint: not legally).
At $150 the Canon DM100 is priced decently for a pretty good sounding microphone. But you have to have realistic expectations for ANY microphone. I've worked in the industry and can tell you there is no such thing as a shotgun mic that actually isolates sound from far away. Even the best directional (shotgun) mic needs to be quite closely situated to get "close up" sound. So if you're thinking you can be across a crowded room and get the same kind of sound you could get from a person in that room holding a microphone, forget about it.
What you will get with this mic (or any such mic) is the ability to keep sounds nearby the camera from interfering as much. It's very apparent when this mic is on that sounds of the camera person (or any directly in back of the camera) are faint if heard at all, compared to the quite noisy sound of the built-in mic of the HF10.
I'd also suggest using this mic on the stereo 90 degree setting rather than the "shotgun" monaural setting, unless your sole purpose is to capture a person talking (like a lecture). The sound separation is very good at 90 degrees and yet still very directional (keeping sounds near the camera and behind almost unheard). And the quality of the sound seems much better to even these old ears.
Truthfully, if synced sound is necessary to you (and there are many times it isn't -- for home movies either "wildcatting", using recorded sound(s) which aren't necessarily synced up, or putting background music is often times a better choice, and even when using synced sound a background music mix can cover a multitude of sins) then this microphone is almost perfect. The ease of using it (slipping it into the shoe, no other power source needed, fits camera perfectly in terms of size and weight) far outweigh any slight advantage you might get by spending hundreds more.
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Canon DM-100 DM100 MicrophoneDec 18 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
First up, I had a very difficult time locating spec's for this mic so here they are taken directly from the enclosed paperwork:
Made in Japan
Type: Back electret stereo condenser shotgun microphone (Same type of condenser as used on the Rode Stereo Video Mic)
Directivity: Super Directional/Unidirectional stereo
Sensitivity: -36.0 dB (Shotgun, 1 kHz, 0dB = 1 V/Pa)
Frequency: 100 - 10,000Hz (Shotgun)
Output Impedance: 200
Operating Temp: (32 F to 104 F)
Dimensions: 32mm x 80 x 120 (1.3" x 3.1 x 5.1)
Weight: 77 g (2.7 oz)
Shock Mount Flex/Travel: About 3/4" vertical or horizontal
Connection: Mini Advanced Shoe (Canon design)
Mounts 2.5" (to center point of mic) above the top of the camera body.
Mic does not extend beyond front of lens but is recessed about 1/2"
There is no case.
Wind Cover: "Dead cat" but looks more like an oversized rabbits foot to me. off white with mix of grey/black hairs. Does not extend beyond the front lens cover so shouldn't interfere with image.
Compliments the camera's appearance very well.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great Microphone--Far Exceeded ExpectationsJuly 4 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I purchased a Canon VIXIA HF11 High Definition (HD) camcorder to take on a once-in-a-life-time 15-day family vacation to Hawaii. I needed to minimize the risk of capturing bad video/audio because I'll probably never be ever to afford to vacation in Hawaii again. This camcorder picked up a lot of wind noise while testing on a windy day. Wind noise can be very distracting to viewers, so I wanted to minimize this problem as much as possible. The Canon DM-100 directional stereo microphone had mixed reviews, but I thought it was worth a $150 gamble to dramatically improve the quality of audio captured on my family's Hawaiian vacation.
As usual, Amazon.com provided great service in fulfilling my order as I received the mic within just a few days. The mic looks huge when mounted on the camcorder. However, both the mic and its windsock cover appear to be made of high quality materials.
We spent 15 days in Oahu visiting all of the major tourist attractions (e.g. Pearl Harbor, Kualoa Ranch, etc.), Waikiki Beach, and Turtle Bay up on the North Shore. I used the Canon DM-100 mic on at least half the scenes taken, and forgot to use it for several other scenes. Three days after returning home from Hawaii, I took the camcorder and DM-100 mic with me on a trip to northern Minnesota, and recorded some scenes of my Dad on his bass boat fishing.
After I returned home from Minnesota, I tranferred all of the captured video to my video editing computer. Bottom line, it was absolutely amazing to hear how effective the DM-100 mic was. Several scenes taken without it contained a lot of wind noise, while scenes captured using the mic contained little or none. For example, I could clearly hear the crashing waves while viewing beach scenes, and the noise of the waves made by my Dad's fast-moving fishing boat (as it traversed across the lake)--with little or no wind noise.
Bottom line, the Canon DM-100 mic was well worth $150 Amazon purchase price, and I highly recommend it to those who will be using their Canon HF/HG series camcorders extensively outdoors.