Attorney Videos: Camera Mounted Shotgun Microphone v. Wireless Microphone; What to Use?

Camera mounted shotgun microphone for video cameras and DSLRs.

You may wonder how to get crystal-clear audio when shooting your attorney videos.

The first thing to keep in mind is never, ever use your built in microphone for the audio source.

When you stand 8 feet away from your camera, that built-in microphone will pick up all the ambient noise around you. Your audio will stink. In addition, it will also pick up the internal mechanics of your camera as it hunts to focus on you and will annoy your viewer.

Thankfully, no matter what type of camera you have, there are many options to create great quality audio.

The first is to use a wired microphone. That eliminates the possibility of getting any radio interference but limits your ability to walk around and move freely.

The second is to use a camera mounted shotgun microphone like you see in the photo in this blog post. That works great as long as you are standing directly in front of the camera. The range at which it will pick up your sound will vary depending upon the microphone you choose. Typically if you are within a 5-8 foot range you will get good quality audio.

The best type of audio equipment is a wireless microphone attached to your lapel. It will provide you with crystal-clear audio, as long as there is no radio interference on the frequency that you are using.

Your goal when creating great quality attorney videos is to have the best quality audio possible. Remember, you want your video technique to be transparent so the viewer only focuses on you and your great educational attorney content.

If your audio is distracting, you will have lost your viewer.

My best recommendation is to spend the most you possibly can for the best audio equipment you can afford.

As an example, the camera mounted shotgun microphone pictured above sells for $150. To contrast that, a really good wireless microphone from Sennheiser will set you back $600.

If you intend on creating consistently great educational attorney videos, your best bet is to invest in a great microphone that will last you for many years to come. Do not skimp when it comes to creating crystal clear audio. Otherwise your viewer will wonder “Why can’t I hear you?”


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Gerry – I can’t thank you enough for guiding me through what would have been a disaster had anyone but you been behind the camera. My power point slides somehow disappeared from my laptop when using the hotel wireless internet … or maybe it was my “fat finger.” In any event, I knew the stuff because I had been giving public seminars on the content for years. But I tend to freeze without a visual cue. So, without visual cues, the day could well have been a huge disaster. While my practice niche is Elder Law, not PI or MedMal, you were like a football or basketball coach; despite my usual stumbles without visual cues, you were successful in getting me to go beyond the stumbles to a successful video shoot. Many thanks for your coaching!

Richard Habiger