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Canon USA BP-512 Directional Stereo Mic DM 50 for Camcorders with Advanced Access Shoe

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • Directional stereo microphone^Fits onto Canon camcorders equipped with advanced accessory shoe
  • Directional stereo microphone^Fits onto Canon camcorders equipped with advanced accessory shoe
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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.7 x 7.4 cm ; 249 g
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: BP-512
  • ASIN: B00005LD4W
  • Date first available at June 14 2010
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

Get near-professional quality sound for your movies with this shotgun stereo mic. Select from pure shotgun or shotgun + surrounding sound modes. Since the mic is powered by the camcorder's power source, you remain cable free.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa409b030) out of 5 stars 55 reviews
237 of 238 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3c44870) out of 5 stars Decent and flexible. Not great. Aug. 10 2007
By G. Katsoulis - Published on
Verified Purchase
The build quality is better than expected. It feels solid in your hand and well put together. The DM-50 fits well onto the camera and is nicely balanced. It runs a little less than the length of the camera, so it does not overwhelm the camera's profile. This is not a big issue, but it does mean the microphone should not get in your way under normal shooting conditions.

The microphone itself has some play, presumably to cushion it from camera noise. If so, it does not do a perfect job - more on this below.

To discuss the audio quality, I have to discuss the three modes, "Shotgun", "Stereo 1" and "Stereo 2".

"Shotgun" mode captures audio primarily from directly in front of the camera. While I have done no scientific tests I would guess it's main balance is at about 35 or so degrees. This mode captures sound in mono from a single element at the front of the unit. In this mode the audio quality is not great. There is little low-end response and the quality and the sound has, for lack of a better term, a slightly plastic quality to it. It is surprising when compared to the sound recorded from the side elements, which seem warmer and more dynamic.

"Stereo 1" mode seems to capture sound at about 90 degrees, combining both the front element and two separate elements along the side. The overall perceived quality of the sound is much better than using the shotgun alone. There is more warmth and richness in this mode, and it provides a nice balance of front centered sound, with some ambience from the sides.

"Stereo 2" mode captures sound at more than 180 degrees. The rear facing element seems to be designed to capture nearby sounds, but not more distant sounds. This could only be my perception, but if not, it seems like a nice way to allow commentary from the camera operator. However, the "Stereo 2" seems to be a little too weighted towards capturing sound from the sides at some expense to the front element. As a result, the sound quality itself is a little better, but the mix appears slightly off.

In all three modes, the isolation of sound it not perfect. Because the provided documentation says almost nothing about how the DM50 is designed, it is difficult to know how many elements are present and in what combination they are recording sound in each mode. It seems that even in "Shotgun Mode" the left and right front elements are still slightly present, but mixed in mono with the front facing mic.

In terms of eliminating motor noise, the DM50 does a better job than the on-board microphone, but the sounds of the motor and any manipulation of the controls are still present. In "Stereo 2" mode, the motor noise is cut in half from what you hear from the on-board microphones. In "Stereo 1" mode the noise is down to about a quarter and in "Shotgun" I would estimate it is about an eighth.

With the Canon HV20, the most common sound issue I find is with clicking the function button while shooting to gain control over exposure (usually a three click process). The DM50 does not eliminate this sound. In "Shotgun" mode the DM50 does the best job of reducing the problem, but even with the rubber rings in which the microphone rests, some of that sound it transfered up the camera.

The DM-50 promises "near professional" quality sound and that is what it provides. For professional sound you will need to find a more dedicated microphone, such as the VideoMic or Stereo VideoMic, or perhaps both if you wish to have coverage for the same theoretical range as the DM-50. However, the DM-50 provides excellent flexibility that it's competitors do not, so you should consider what your shooting needs are. The DM-50 also does not use batteries, but draws power from the Camera's battery. This can be either an advantage or a disadvantage depending your preference, but it is something to keep in mind when purchasing.

The DM-50 is best suited to users who want a single, trouble free microphone that can carry them through a variety of situations. In "Stereo 1" mode, the microphone is at it's best, providing a good balanced sound, though I wish sound from all around the microphone were captured in even quality. This disparity is perhaps the biggest problem with the microphone.
116 of 116 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3c44a98) out of 5 stars Perfect All Around Mike For Everyday Use May 10 2008
By Stephen W. Worth - Published on
Verified Purchase
I recently bought a Canon HV30, and after reading the reviews, I determined that I would need some sort of external mike. It's too easy to pick up the sound of jiggling controls with the lightweight plastic housing on Canon camcorders. I had trouble picking a mike from the various candidates at first, but after doing a little research, I realized that the Canon DM-50 is the best choice. Here's why...

First and foremost, this mike doesn't add much size to the camcorder itself. The other mikes I looked at were as big or bigger than the camera. With a camera like the HV30, size is important. If you put a giant furry mike on top of it, you'll never get away with casual shooting in a public place. Everyone will see your camera from a mile away and either hide or mug for the camera. I like to keep my camera tucked in a big pocket in my jacket, so I can pull it out to shoot inconspicuously. This is the only mike that comes close to allowing me to do that.

Secondly, one type of mike doesn't cut it for all purposes. For dialogue, you need a mono shotgun. For ambient sound, you need a stereo wide dispersion mike. It makes no sense at all to get a mike that only serves one purpose. You just need to carry two mikes around with you and switch all the time. The Canon DM50 does either or both with a simple flick of a switch.

Thirdly, this mike is self powered. No need for an additional battery. This mike puts very minimal drain on the camera's battery. That is much better than carrying around the added weight of a bunch of AAs or a 9 volt.

When I got this mike, I did some tests, shooting in difficult situations... I shot music at a loud piano bar, ambient sounds at a quiet coffee house, and dialogue above the clatter of dishes at a busy restaurant. The Canon DM50 performed well under all of these conditions. There isn't a terrific amount of bass in this mike, but that is to be expected for a microphone of this type. It's enough, however, to put across music well without sounding too tinny. I experienced no camera noise in any of my tests. This mike does the job.

If I was a pro shooting movies for theaters, I'd want a really good mike on a boom. But I'm not a pro, and the Canon HV30, good as it is, isn't a pro camera. I'm shooting off the cuff vacation movies and documenting panel discussions for my work. This mike is perfect for that. No need to hesitate to get this mike if you can afford it. It's all you need.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3c44cfc) out of 5 stars Nice Shotgun Mic for the money. April 21 2008
Verified Purchase
Nothing worse then dropping a chunk of coin for a high dollar 1080i camera and the sound is crap... (see Canon HG10). The DM-50 in the hot shoe cured that woe and nicely I might add. I use the #2 setting (Stereo forward).. #1 is Mono forward and #3 is stereo wide 180 degrees.
The sound quality of my live music recordings is important to me and the camera mic alone left me with tinny sounding flat audio. This mic adds clarity and bottom end. Warning this sucker is driven off the camera's battery.... BUY a bigger battery, but 2 just in case.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6810048) out of 5 stars Works for me March 6 2007
By Bakari Chavanu - Published on
I've been using this directional mic for almost three years and have never noticed camera noise. It's compact and provides a good reach for most ambient sound situations.
67 of 81 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3c44b7c) out of 5 stars Not Good for the Optura 20 June 14 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Although you can't get this item through Amazon directly, I thought I'd submit a review since I found it fustrating not finding anything on this microphone. After ordering it from BH Photo, I tried it out on my Canon Optura 20. The main reason I purchased an external microphone was to get rid of the annoying motor buzz noise. I thought the DM-50 having been made by Canon would have been very compatible with the Optura 20. I was wrong. The intelligent hot shoe worked nicely as it was convenient not to have to worry about turning the microphone on. The sound quality was horrible. It got rid of the motor noise somewhat but you can still hear it. What was bad was that the microphone produced an ambient annoying hissing, dirty noise, even with the wind sock. I thought it was perhaps picking up motor noise from nearby appliances but did not turn out to be the case. The microphone also picked up the hum from the zoom when zooming quickly, however this was the least annoying.
I ended up getting the Sony ECM-MSD1. It was cheaper, got rid of the motor noise and produced no noise artifacts. It does pick up the zooming noise though, but this might not be a problem since the zoom shouldn't be used that often anyways and usually at a slow speeds.

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