The a7S is the third full-frame mirrorless model from Sony. It is a 12MP camera that puts as much emphasis on its ability to take movies as it does on its ability to take still pictures. Even though the a7S can take good photos, Sony has made it clear that video is where it really shines.
The first thing you need to know about the a7S is that it can record 1080p video internally or send 4K video to an external recorder. The 1080p footage shot on the inside of the camera is saved in the XAVC S format, which is a more user-friendly version of Sony’s XAVC system. This is the first camera from the company to use this format. It means that the camera is no longer limited by the bitrate limits of the AVCHD standard.
The a7S, on the other hand, has the same body as its original 24MP and 36MP sisters, the a7 and a7R (the a7 II is a little different), but it has a lot of features and tools to help the videographer. These include the option to record time code and the low contrast S-Log2 tone curve, which lets more of the camera’s dynamic range fit into its video files. Photographers who are more interested in stills may want to know that most of these video features have been added to the newer a7 II, which also has improved ergonomics and image stabilization built right into the body.
- 12MP full-frame EXMOR CMOS sensor
- focuses at levels of light up to -4EV
- Up to 50Mbps of 1080 video (XAVC S)
- A lot of options for capturing movies: Time code, S-Log2, Black Level
- Video ISO Range 100 – 409,600
- Over HDMI, you can send uncompressed 4:2:2 Full HD and 4K video.
- 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
- microphone and earphone jacks
- 720p or 120p for slow-motion recording
- Wi-Fi with Near Field Communication
DSLRs that can take HD video have been around for just under six years. Before the Canon EOS, 5D Mark II showed that you could get near-professional quality video from a stills camera, video seemed to be added to cameras mostly to fill a box on the marketing spec sheet. Since then, it has become an important feature for many users.
Best Sony a7s MicroPhones
1. Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone
Switch from your camera’s built-in mic to the battery- or phantom-powered Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun microphone to improve the sound quality of your videos. It is good for a wide range of productions, from independent films and web series to nature shows and documentaries, because it can be pointed in one direction and doesn’t pick up noise from the building.
The MKE 600’s high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry make it possible to get better sound quality from noisy camera preamps without having to use a lot of gains. The MKE 600 can make speech clear while reducing rumble and other low-frequency noise because it has a natural roll-off at 40 Hz and a low-cut filter that can be set at 100 Hz. Also, its frequency response has a small rise in the treble to make speech sound clearer.
The metal housing is strong and light, so it won’t make your rig heavier but will still be tough. The MKE 600 comes with a shoe shockmount that lets you connect it to a camera or tripod. Connect the XLR output of the mic to an XLR mic preamp, or use the adapter cable that came with the mic to connect it to the 3.5mm mic input of a camera.
2. Rode VideoMicro Camera-Mount Ultracompact Shotgun Microphone
Switch from the mic that came with your camera or portable recorder to the Rode VideoMicro ultracompact camera-mount shotgun microphone for better sound quality and less wind noise without adding weight to your setup. The VideoMicro is a simple, reliable microphone that gets its power from a plug and has no buttons or controls. It works well and is easy to use, which makes it great for mobile journalists, vloggers, and run-and-gun shooters.
This ultracompact and ultralightweight shotgun microphone has a detachable shockmount that mounts directly to your DSLR, mirrorless, or video camera and reduces noise caused by vibrations and handling of the camera. The fuzzy windshield that comes with it cuts down on wind noise, making it a good choice for shooting outside.
The detachable, coiled 3.5mm TRS cable makes it easy to connect to your camera, and the dual-mono output means that your recording device doesn’t have to be set to a specific channel.
3. Rode VideoMic GO II is an analog/USB camera-mount shotgun microphone that is small and easy to carry.
The Rode VideoMic GO II is a smaller, less complicated version of the VideoMic NTG, which is a very flexible microphone. It’s a big change from the first VideoMic GO. The body, shockmount, cable, and other parts have all been made much better.
It gives video content makers, run-and-gun filmmakers, voiceover artists, and podcasters the sound of the well-known NTG shotguns in a convenient camera-mount mic that works with cameras, portable recorders, iOS and Android mobile devices, and USB-equipped computers.
The VideoMic GO II can be used as a traditional shotgun mic for your DSLR, or you can use a separate cable to connect it to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to turn it into a digital microphone. In both cases, it provides focused direction, low noise, and isolation from vibrations from the outside.
When used as a USB microphone, the 3.5mm jack acts as a headphone output so you can listen to the live signal or playback from your host device. The mic is easy and quick to use because it can be powered by a plug or a USB port, and it doesn’t have any buttons or controls.
4. Sennheiser Pro Audio Portable Lavalier Wireless Set, AW+ (ew 512P G4
The Sennheiser EW 512P G4 is a camera-mount wireless lavalier microphone system that adds advanced features to the EW Series. This makes this industry-standard system into a fully professional, cost-effective solution that filmmakers, videographers, and journalists can rely on, even in tough shooting environments like big cities.
The rugged EW 512P G4 has a wide 88 MHz bandwidth, 3520 frequencies, and an RF output level of up to 50 mW for clear transmission and broadcast-quality sound. Depending on where you are, you can use up to 32 microphones in the same area.
For clear sound recording, the EW 512P G4 has a high-quality MKE 2 omnidirectional lavalier mic with a small, sweat-resistant design that makes it easy to hide. A bodypack transmitter and a camera-mount receiver are also part of the package. The system connects to a camcorder, a DSLR/mirrorless camera, or a cinema camera to record clear speech or dialogue for projects like movies, documentaries, wedding videos, corporate spots, and hands-free interviews.
The EW 512P G4 is compatible with older evolution systems, including EW 100 models. This means that you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers or bodypack, handheld, and plug-on transmitters.
5. The Rode VideoMic Pro Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone
The Rode VideoMic Pro camera-mount shotgun microphone is great for mobile journalists, vloggers, low-budget filmmakers, and run-and-gun shooters who want a cheap way to step up to the next level of quality. It’s quieter, more sensitive, and has more settings that can be changed than the VideoMic.
One 9V battery can power the light for up to 70 hours, and a red LED shows when the battery is running low. With a changeable gain and an on/off bass roll-off, it’s easy to get the right volume and tone for a wide range of situations.
This shotgun mic is small and easy to carry. It has a built-in shockmount that you can attach directly to your camera or boom pole to reduce noise caused by vibrations. The windscreen cuts down on wind noise, making it good for shooting outside.
It’s easy to connect to your camera with the 3.5mm TRS cable that comes with it, and the dual-mono output means you don’t have to change the channel on your recording device.
6. Sennheiser EW 112P G4 Lavalier Mic
The Sennheiser EW 112P G4 camera-mount wireless lavalier microphone system has the same combination of dependability, flexible control, and broadcast-quality sound that has made the EW Series a standard for videographers, journalists, and content creators all over the world.
The EW 112P G4 gives you the tools you need to handle wireless problems on set, which will happen no matter what. The frequency scan function automatically finds the clearest frequency where you are, and the transmitter’s input sensitivity can be changed to work with loud voices, quiet speech, and even line-level audio.
The system includes an improved ME 2-II lavalier mic, a bodypack transmitter, and a camera-mount receiver. It connects to a camcorder or DSLR/mirrorless camera to record clear speech or dialogue for things like documentaries, wedding videos, corporate spots, and hands-free interviews.
The EW 112P G4 is compatible with evolution systems from the past, so you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers and bodypack, handheld, and plug-on transmitters. It also works with EW 500-based systems.
7. Rode VideoMic Pro+ Shotgun Camera-Mount Microphone
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is great for mobile journalists, vloggers, low-budget filmmakers, and run-and-gun shooters who need a flexible camera-mount shotgun mic that works well on a boom pole. It’s better than the VideoMic Pro because it has more power options, more tone control, and a new windscreen.
Because it can be powered by either a battery or a USB cable, the VideoMic Pro+ can meet the needs of videographers who work in a wide range of indoor and outdoor settings. It also has a gain that can be changed and a number of features that improve clarity.
This shotgun mic is small and easy to carry. It has a built-in shockmount that you can attach directly to your camera or boom pole to reduce noise caused by vibrations. The new design of the windscreen makes it quieter, so it’s a good choice for shooting outside.
The 3.5mm TRS output and the fact that the cable can be taken off make it easy to hook up to your camera. By sending a duplicate signal at a lower volume, the selectable safety channel makes sure that the sound doesn’t get messed up by accident.
8. The Rode NTG5 is a short shotgun microphone that can handle moisture.
The Rode NTG5, which is shorter and lighter than the NTG3 and has a flatter bass response, is a moisture-resistant shotgun microphone that lets you record natural, uncolored sound indoors or outdoors for your next independent film, TV shoot, or documentary project without making your rig too heavy.
It is great for a wide range of on-location recording situations because it has professional-level features like ultralow-noise circuitry, a smooth off-axis response, and a tight low end. It also has a furry windshield and a pistol grip shockmount that can be attached to a boom pole for more options.
Because the NTG5 is so sensitive, you don’t have to turn up the gain on your mic preamp to get strong output levels. The NTG5 has a clear sound because of its innovative circular acoustic ports, gentle rise in high frequencies, and attenuation of low bass frequencies, which reduces rumble. There are no buttons or dials, so it is easy to set up. This lets you pay attention to the sound instead of adjusting the mic settings. Even in harsh environments, performance is always reliable when RF bias technology and conformal coating are used.
9. Hollyland LARK 150 Two-Person Compact Digital Wireless Microphone System (2.4 GHz, Black)
With the black LARK 150 2-Person Compact Digital Wireless Microphone System from Hollyland, you can add a pair of small, clip-on wireless microphones to your two-person interview, YouTube video, documentary, or vlog.
The LARK 150 has two ultra-small microphone transmitters and a receiver that work together to offer a portable, cost-effective, all-in-one solution for recording two subjects at once to your camera, smartphone, audio recorder, or any other device with a 3.5mm input jack.
Each of the tiny transmitters weighs less than 1 oz and has a microphone that can pick up sounds from all directions. This makes it easy to clip them to shirts and lapel collars for quick interviews. The design of the built-in mics keeps them from shaking, and smart noise cancellation makes sure you get great sound quality and clear, understandable audio.
You can make the transmitters look less obvious by plugging in the lavalier microphones that come with them into the 3.5mm input ports on the transmitters. With a quick press, the transmitter’s power button can also be used as a two-way mute button.
10. Sennheiser AVX-MKE2 SET Wireless Omni Lavalier Microphone System for Digital Camera Mount (1.9 GHz)
The Sennheiser AVX-MKE2 SET is a reliable wireless microphone system for professional videographers, video journalists, and vloggers. It is very small and easy to carry around. It’s so easy to use that it’s like having a sound engineer on set to help with audio tasks.
This self-configuring digital system was made to be easy to use without sacrificing sound quality. It takes care of time-consuming things like setting up the frequency and adjusting the mic level, so you can start shooting in seconds. Now, you can focus on other important things that need your attention during a shoot, and you can be sure that your camcorder, DSLR, or mirrorless camera will record clear, crisp audio.
This set has a bodypack transmitter, a camera-mount receiver, and a professional MKE 2 omnidirectional miniature lavalier mic. It works well for projects like wedding videos, corporate videos, hands-free interviews, and broadcast TV and documentaries.
11. Rode Wireless GO II Single One-Person Compact Digital Wireless Omni Lavalier Microphone System/Recorder Kit (2.4 GHz, Black)
The black Rode Wireless Go II system is better than the original Wireless GO because it can be used by two people, has an onboard recorder, has a much longer range, and can be used in a variety of ways. It lets videographers, vloggers, and mobile journalists add wireless audio to their setups quickly and with confidence, no matter what device they’re using or how much experience they have.
The system is ready to go with its secure Series IV 2.4 GHz digital transmission, easy operation, and built-in mics (lavalier mics are sold separately). You can focus on getting the shot because you know the Wireless GO II is sending high-quality sound up to 656 feet away.
There are no dials or menus that are hard to use. You only have to turn it on and go. The LCD screen is easy to see and gives you all the information you need. When you’re ready for more, you can use the Rode app to get access to a powerful set of features and more ways to change the settings.
12. Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 Moisture-Resistant Shotgun Microphone
With the Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 moisture-resistant shotgun microphone, you can record great sound in rough conditions for your next professional film, TV show, or location recording. Its sound is ready to be mixed because it has sharp directivity, low noise, and strong output. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any controls, and the MKH 416-P48U3 is reliable enough for high-pressure gigs.
The microphone has a hypercardioid polar pattern at low to midrange frequencies and a lobar pattern at high frequencies. This lets it cut the sound from 125 Hz to 2 kHz by about 10 dB at 90° off-axis points. You can record dialogue, foley, and sound effects with full dynamics and clarity using the MKH 416-P48U3’s wide frequency response, improved consonant articulation, and high SPL handling.
13. Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G4 Wireless Combo Microphone System for Camera Mount (A: 516 to 558 MHz)
The EW 100 ENG G4 is designed to work with many different kinds of tasks. It gives you the tools you need to deal with wireless problems on set and figure out how to fix them.
The system has a bodypack transmitter with an omnidirectional ME 2-II lavalier mic. This is great for interviews where you don’t want to use your hands. Also included is a plug-on transmitter that can be attached to either a handheld dynamic microphone or a shotgun mic for wireless booming (both types of mics are available separately).
The camera-mount receiver can be attached to a camcorder or DSLR/mirrorless camera to record clear speech or dialogue for things like wedding and corporate videos, documentaries, and vlogs.
The EW 100 ENG G4 works with evolution systems from the past, so you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers and plug-on, handheld, and bodypack transmitters. It also works with EW 500-based systems.