Minimizing Servo Noise

Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
48
Location
Frisco, TX (Dallas, TX suburb)
Hi all -

I have a Canon camcorder that I use for shooting videos but would like the option of shooting videos with my D7100 if the need comes up.

I've done sample recordings with the onboard mic as well as with on accessory microphone (Zoom recorder whose output is plugged into the D7100's mic jack) shoe-mounted with a cold-shoe adapter, and both pick-up the lens servo noise pretty easily. Granted if the audio being recorded is loud enough, the servo noises are not as apparent, but they're still there.

Are there specific mics out there that do a better job of minimizing or even eliminating the servo noises altogether? I don't really want to go as far as using an offboard recorder to get the audio. :)

Thanks!
 
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
I find recording a little "hot" and pointing my VideoMic PRO backwards really reduces the noise of AFS lenses. However, I tend to use single focus with AFS lenses and MF with my D lens with a good LCD magnifying hood. For run and gun stuff I use a 12-24 on manual focus set at 12mm at 5.6 or 8 and hyper focal it. With just the LCD Hood (can be a cheap one or a Zacuto) I seldom have to use Mercalli PRO or other software stabilization to get good footage and of course the sound is good (better with a recorder but the 7100 is pretty good).
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,389
Location
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Which Zoom do you have? I don't plug the Zoom H4n into the camera; I make sure it's far enough away to not get camera noise and then replace the camera's audio track with the Zoom audio when I edit the footage later. Unless you're focusing manually, it's near impossible to not get some camera or operator noise.

Sean
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
48
Location
Frisco, TX (Dallas, TX suburb)
Thanks, Jeff and Sean!

Sean - I have the H4n as well that I've borrowed from a friend. Do you have any experience with any shotgun mics? I'm wondering if there are any that are best able to ignore the servo noise.

I tried things out today shooting video of some high school jazz band performances. I had my Canon camcorder shooting the wide shot A roll and used my D7100 to shoot close-up B roll (with an 18-200mm zoom). Overall, I was fairly happy with the audio from the D7100, but then again, the band was fairly loud so the servo noises were drowned out for the most part.

What I found to be the biggest issue was the focusing performance of the camera. I've read of folks preferring to manually focus when shooting video, and I didn't realize autofocus was so bad until I experienced it myself. The continuous hunting was frustrating!

Jeff - thanks for the info on your focusing strategy. In reality with me being about 30 rows back, I probably could have just set my focus fixed and I would have been fine. The problem I have with manually focusing is not being able to see the LCD well enough to be able to focus, but I didn't think of using an LCD hood - I might have to look at getting one!
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,389
Location
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Thanks, Jeff and Sean!

Sean - I have the H4n as well that I've borrowed from a friend. Do you have any experience with any shotgun mics? I'm wondering if there are any that are best able to ignore the servo noise.

I tried things out today shooting video of some high school jazz band performances. I had my Canon camcorder shooting the wide shot A roll and used my D7100 to shoot close-up B roll (with an 18-200mm zoom). Overall, I was fairly happy with the audio from the D7100, but then again, the band was fairly loud so the servo noises were drowned out for the most part.

What I found to be the biggest issue was the focusing performance of the camera. I've read of folks preferring to manually focus when shooting video, and I didn't realize autofocus was so bad until I experienced it myself. The continuous hunting was frustrating!

Jeff - thanks for the info on your focusing strategy. In reality with me being about 30 rows back, I probably could have just set my focus fixed and I would have been fine. The problem I have with manually focusing is not being able to see the LCD well enough to be able to focus, but I didn't think of using an LCD hood - I might have to look at getting one!
Yes, I have an Audio Technica AT8015 shotgun mic, a wireless lav mic and a few others. It's nice to have so many possibilities to plug into the Zoom. I treat DSLR video as cinema style shooting and manually focus everything - obviously I don't shoot a lot of sports!

Sean
 
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