Disclaimer: I help to design products for PhotographyandCinema.com. The article below is information about the new P&C GearBox. There are many other great DSLR style cages available within articles of this blog that you may also want to consider.
There are many High End, Super Heavy, Robust video cages available for the Professional market, but we found a lack of more affordable options for smaller style video cameras such as the Sony NEX-7 or Popular GH2. The P&C GearBox is designed to be simple, lightweight, modular, and of course - affordable.
The GearBox has a solid metal bottom and top bracket with several 1/4-20 mounting options for your accessories such as an LED video light, Portable Recorder, HDMI LCD Monitor, Microphone, Wireless Receivers, etc. To take up minimal space in a bag when packing up or traveling, the GearBox can easily be disassembled with a single Hex driver.
The GearBox will support a quick release plate underneath if you want to mount the rig onto a Tripod. Extension adapters are provided to support taller cameras, or if you want to add a quick release system into the cage unit allowing you easy removal of your camera body. The rubber coated side handles provide a non-slip comfortable grip and are spaced further apart to add stability for hand-held shooting styles. Interested in a Rail System? Soon to be released is the 15mm Rod adapter (sneak peek here).
Windscreen, Wind Jammers, Softies, Dead Cats/Kittens - whatever they call some of these things, they can run you a pretty penny. If you're familiar with Microphone Windscreens then this next product might look very similar to other high end stuff. While the 'other' guys can charge upwards of $280 dollars, an equivalent MiCover Windscreen can run you just about $70 bucks. Not always that great in savings, but normally you'll be looking at 40-50% cheaper than the other brands. Depending on the microphone you have, simple SlipOvers can run you around just $20 bucks.
How well do they perform? I haven't had the chance to test just yet as i've been busy, but I can tell you that it will work way better than the stock foam. The build quality is very nice with a rubber ring at the tail end, internal foam that looks to be of quality acoustic material, and a furry outer coat. If I have time today, i'll run a quick 'microphone against the fan' test. You can find them in a limited amount of online websites, biggest one being eBay. Available in a Puffin or SlipOver for some microphones that are already built in to Pro Video Cameras. A variety of sizes should fit the most popular accessory microphones from Audio-Technica, Azden, Canon, JVC, Neumann, Panasonic, RodeRoland, Sennheiser, Shure, & Sony. You can find more at their eBay store following the link.
I've been researching a cheap affordable solution for a Wireless Lav kit. After doing my own research, I think i'm going to settle on this Azden Wireless LAV / Handheld kit. It's fairly cheap inexpensive and has 37 reviews with almost 5 stars over at BHPHOTOVIDEO.com. I guess I'm not sure how well the handheld microphone is going to perform, but I've heard quality samples coming from the LAV mic. It definitely beats trying to grab the audio from your DSLR in a noisy environment. Hey for the price, you can't complain. It's actually about $10 dollars cheaper to buy this kit from BHPHOTOVideo.com rather than eBay too, so if you're thinking the same, here's the link.
If you're curious about the quality, you can always rent it for as little as $10 dollars now from BorrowLenses.com my favorite DSLR equipment rental place.Click Here.
Here's a true story. At my own wedding the videographer sat at the far end of the Luau table. Spontaneously someone decided to stand up and start making a speech. Me knowing the camera would never be able to grab this audio, I quickly threw my iPhone on Voice Recorder mode and placed it on the table in front of the speaker. It works, try it sometime.
A reader wanted to share this item and thought it might come in handy for those times you need some quality audio recording. The manufacturer 'Blue' is known for making several quality models of microphones and has this product available that adapts to most iPod & iPhone devices. It also has a built in Speaker too for better playback, but you'll probably be on your headphones. More information about the product below.
With positional/directional design and stereo capability, you can record your rehearsals or gigs. Other features include a mono confidence speaker, variable gain control, overload protection, recording status light and up to 1.5 hours continuous recording. It's never been easier to record your world. Meet Mikey, Blue's new iPod recording device that makes recording lectures, voice notes, live music, interviews and more - Mikey can capture it all with audio quality unheard of in a hand-held device. But hey, you'd expect that from a company with years of experience designing and engineering award-winning studio mics! Mikey features Blue's superior quality stereo condenser capsules, 3-position user selectable gain settings, and built-in speaker for playback. You can fine-tune Mikey to record everything from the barest audible sound to extremely loud sources without losing audio fidelity. Mikey's unique user-positionable head swivels 180 to provide maximum flexibility and usability, allowing you to position Mikey towards sound sources in various directions. Record up to 1.5 hours continuously Compatible with iPod nano 2G, 3G & 4G; iPod classic; iPod 5G & most cases
David Richards (Above) throws up this cool little video that explains a bit about Audio on DSLR's. He's using the Panasonic GH1 in this video.
It's no secret that DSLR's with it's built in microphones don't do much for quality audio. Even with special microphones connected to the input of the camera, the DSLR's lack the ability to manually adjust Gain levels. (until new firmware). Now if you're working with long lenses to get that awesome Depth Of Field, you're really putting yourself further from the subject and the audio will really suffer. Here's two of my personal favorite items that go with me on every shoot.