Saramonic VMIC Recorder Review / Test
Today we are looking at a product that's a bit different than usual. We are looking at the Saramonic VMIC Recorder. I do need to note that this microphone was provided to me by Saramonic so i was able to review it.
This is a camera top shotgun microphone that can be placed into the camera shoe on your DSLR/Video Camera, or mounted to a 1/4" tripod mount. What really sets this microphone apart is the fact that it not only has an output to connect the microphone to your camera, but it also allows you to record directly to an internal SD card.
If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $200 on Amazon
What's In the Box
3.5mm to 3.5mm Cable
Performance / Features
The construction of this microphone feels very good. The main casing for the recorder is metal, and the front/back plates are a firm plastic. The windscreen is pretty thick and should also provide adequate protection from wind/pops. The display on the back of the mic is bright enough that you should not have any issue seeing it while in direct sunlight. The 3 control buttons under the screen also feel well constructed.
On the front of the microphone, there are two 3.5mm jacks. The top jack is the output that you will use to connect to your camera's microphone input. The bottom 3.5mm jack is an output to connect your headphones to for live monitoring. Directly below these jacks there is the battery compartment/SD slot. The microphone takes (2) AA batteries that will provide you with 8 hours of recording time. As far as the SD card, it takes a micro SD card, and according to the documentation, the mic can handle up to a 32gb card.
The back of the microphone has an LCD screen that shows you battery life, level monitoring, as well as recording time. Directly beneath the screen there are three buttons. The left button is your power button, the right button is your record button, and the center button is a d-pad that allows you to select between input volume, headphone volume, and low cut as well as navigate menus.
The bottom of the camera has a standard camera shoe mount and also allows you to mount it onto a 1/4" tripod screw.
The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 20kHz which is adequate for a camera top shotgun microphone. The mic records 16-bit 48kHz WAV files, and takes (2) AA batteries which will give you 8 hours of record time.
The polar pattern is listed as super cardioid. When directly in front of the mic it sounds pretty good. As you move off axis you start to witness a large drop off of high frequencies, but it does still pick up a bit of noise. As I moved around the sides and behind the microphone, I felt that it picked up a little too much sound as well.
Records to SD Card & Camera
Headphone port for live monitoring!
LCD Screen to monitor levels & battery life
Good build quality
Mounts to camera shoe or tripod
Seemed to have a wider polar pattern than expected
Somewhat compressed sound/tone
Similar to other camera top microphones, I found this microphone to have a similar compressed sound and tone to it, which gives away that it is an ultra compact shotgun microphone. I also thought that the polar pattern allowed for a bit too much noise to make it to the microphone.
Other than that, I think that this thing is a great deal. I love the fact that it is so small and portable. I also like that it provides a screen to monitor the battery life and levels to ensure you're not clipping as well as a headphone port for live monitoring! Another great feature is the ability to mount the mic to your camera or a tripod. My favorite feature on this microphone is the fact that it allows you to record to an SD card as well as output to your camera. This will give you the added security of an audio backup if the camera input is clipping, or the mic input causes too much line noise.
I would recommend this for vloggers who are out and about a lot and require a camera top microphone. It will give you all the functionality you need with additional features to ensure you are getting the best sound possible. If you are recording in a studio setting, I would suggest looking into a full size condenser shotgun microphone because those will provide you with a better sound quality.
If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP.