Gain is a term you’re likely to meet in video rather than stills photography. It basically means turning up the input signal strength to record a decent value. Videographers are more likely to talk about increasing the ISO setting rather than the ‘gain’, though it amounts to the same thing. It’s still used for audio […]
This is a small microphone designed to attach to a speaker’s clothing for interviews or presentations, for example. They’re usually small and unobtrusive, they’re hands-free and they help exclude other background noises. They may also be called lapel mics. Some are connected to the camera or sound recorder by wire, others work wirelessly.
A shotgun mic is a highly directional microphone usually used to capture audio from a subject a little way from the camera. They’re popular for on-camera use when it’s not possible to place a microphone on or near your subject. Shotgun mics are ‘unidirectional’, which means they capture sound from one direction only over quite […]
A boom is essentially a horizontal pole used to position a microphone or other accessory closer to the subject but just out of shot. It’s used widely when shooting movies or videos.
A feature on some microphones that attempts to cut out loud roaring, whistling noise that you might not notice when shooting but which spoils the sound quality. It can be effective, but it’s even better to use a muffler on an external microphone.
Any camera which shoots video will have a microphone built in, often stereo mics. For serious video work, though, an external microphone is needed. Some types plug into the camera’s hotshoe, others are used on the end of a boom or clipped to a presenter’s clothing (lapel mics).