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Forums Audio Engineering Wired lav mic for use with 5DMKIII/Zoom/Tascam

  • Wired lav mic for use with 5DMKIII/Zoom/Tascam

  • Jonnie Lewis

    January 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Hi all,

    I’m looking for some advice on buying a wired lav mic for use with my 5D3.

    To begin with, I want to be able to plug it straight into the camera. Later it’s likely that I will want to plug it into a Zoom or Tascam external recorder to both improve my audio quality and enable me to essentially use my wired lav wirelessly (by placing the external recorder somewhere on my subject).

    The wired lav will need a 3.5mm cable/jack to plug into my 5D3, but I’m aware that XLR cables are better in terms of audio. The Zoom H4n accepts both XLR and 3.5mm inputs, but the Tascam DR-40 only accepts XLR.

    Are there any wired lavs that I’ll be able to use with 3.5mm cables just now but with XLR cables later?

    Any advice or tips appreciated.


  • Eric Toline

    January 18, 2013 at 12:35 am

    The Canon DSLR cameras do not provide the 1.5-3v powering you’ll need for the microphone so you’ll need a lav that is self powering (battery). While XLR connections are preferred and required for a balanced connection you’ll do fine going into a 3.5mm mic input.

    I would not recomend using a 3.5mm jack to an XLR-M to feed the DR 40. The chance of the connection becomming undone is a bit risky. You should be able to buy the mic with a 3.5mm plug on it. Search for self powered lav mics on Google. If all else fails, Radio Shack sells self powered lav mics for about $30. Keep in mind you get what you pay for.


    “I push the RECORD button and hope for the best”

  • Jonnie Lewis

    January 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I seem to be leaning towards investing in a wired lav for the meantime, and an external audio recorder later.

    If I stick to 1/8th cables/jacks, am I able to safely run these along side each other without fear of interference? And do you know if the Tascam/Zoom external recorders can accept multiple 3.5mm inputs?

    Many thanks again,

  • Mark Shepherd

    January 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I use the sony ecm-44b lavalier mic for interviews. It is powered by a AA battery and is connected to the Mark3 with the additional XLR to mini stereo adapter (right angled) It is a professional quality mic that can always be used with an external recorder or an external mixer.

  • Jonnie Lewis

    January 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    That seems like it could be pretty perfect for my needs. Thanks a lot!

  • Al Bergstein

    March 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I use the Rode wired lav on my Mkiii, I don’t understand what Eric said at all. I don’t have any power to my lavs that I plug into the Mkiii. I have an extension cord to get the lag just far enough away so that I can do head and shoulder interviews, and I get darn good sound out of it.

    This is a short video I shot in two days for a volunteer group I work with. They just wanted to highlight a few of their members. These were shot with a wired, unpowered lav directly into the Mkiii. I think that while the storyline isn’t exactly thrilling, the audio quality is fine.


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