Nikon to announce a new ME-1 microphone

Some of you have already noticed the microphone-like object on the Nikon D5100 box. You were right - with the D5100, Nikon will announce a new external unidirectional stereo microphone ME-1. The price should be around 140 Euros.

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  • I wonder what the quality will be like compared to some “inexpensive” external recorders. I’m wanting some kind of external mic for my D7000, so this might be the ticket.

    • SZRimaging

      My guess it is overpriced for the quality and you would be better served getting a Rode or Seinheisser shotgun.

      • Couldn’t agree more. Audio is too important to try a plasticy Nikon mic. I’d also like to point out that Nikon’s preamps so far aren’t that good either. A simple digital recorder often has less noise and better sound quality.

      • PHB

        There is a catch to using a decent Mic on consumer camera: they don’t have XLR inputs.

        This is no problem for me in the studio. I have a Beechbox adapter that cost about $300 and will happily support two XLR Mics with phantom power. I have that paired with a Sennheiser K6/ME67 and a K6/ME64.

        But this is a bit of a kludge to be honest. In the first place the Beechbox costs almost as much as I just paid for a HD camcorder. And not a crappy one either, weird as it sounds you can get a top quality HD camcorder that is as good as anything else that is portable for $350 or so. This is a consequence of the pro-video market having frozen as Canon gets their EVIL story straight. So the upper end is still filled with tape based junk and most pro crews seem to be carrying DSLRs round on frames at the moment.

        The other problem with the Sennheisers is that even the small one completely dwarf’s the camera. OK so you are probably going to have a separate boom op using that type of kit. But the ME67 is going to look completely stupid on any DSLR rig. Mine never leaves the studio.

        So most of the time, I take the Cannon out, I use the $150 accessory mic that slots into the accessory slot. It is not as good as my professional mics, but it is way better than the built in and it takes no configuration. I don’t have to tweak the mic gain at the adaptor.

        This is an area where the microphone makers need to get a clue. I don’t want to have to buy an adaptor. Just give me a clean way to connect a K6 series mic over a short cable into a standard Mic input. If I could buy something like that for $150 I would instantly buy 2. Yes, I do know that there are passive cables that sometimes work between certain gear, but why can’t I have that built into the K6?

        XLR is a fine standard for a studio setup, but its overkill for connecting a mic to a camcorder a few inches away. I do not want to pay $5000 more for a camera that weighs 2Kg more just for the benefit of 2 XLR sockets, nor do I want the Beechbox to be required.

        So the ME1 looks like a pretty useful accessory to have round. Nikon should be able to deliver a decent mic for that price. It is not going to be top quality, but its going to be a lot less hassle. And maybe it will force the professional mic companies to get a clue.

        • SZRimaging

          There are some pretty good shotguns out there that don’t use XLR inputs. The Rode VideoMic Pro comes to mind. For $229 you get a mic that is rumored to do really well for the run and gun types, hot shoe mount and 3.5mm plug, I believe.

        • SZRimaging

          I should add, that the Rode VideoMic Pro is probably not as good as half the mics you mentioned, but more than likely better than the one from Nikon. The only way this one could be competitive is if it is priced well under $100.

  • C

    Good job NR. Can’t wait to see the D5100 tomorrow! Hopefully there would be some FX lens launch…

  • Sek

    Wait a minute… A lot of guys said the picture of the D5100 Box (with this Mic on it) was fake, photoshopped, invented and this microphone doesn’t exist!


    • if someone did, he did a good job on making that product pic lol

    • that happens all the time 🙂

  • Glenn

    that seems awfully pricey. I have a little clip on stereo mic that I got for something like $40 which seems to do the trick. I guess it depends on what sound you are trying to capture though. If you are narrating the scene like a vacation video I would think that style works best. But if you are trying to capture the sound of the scene you are video-ing then this sort of hotshoe mounted mic is probably more sensible. Wonder what sort of range it has…and will it be subject to the same focusing noise as the built-in mic?

    • WoutK89

      It is the same as goes for hotshoe flash, the further away from the lens, the better the quality, so my guess is no, you will not hear it.

    • Bryan

      If the quality is on par with the Rode videomic, then it’s not too pricey and option. Wish it was shock mounted though to reduce vibrations

  • Alex

    I can’t take any mic seriously when it has a 3.5mm jack. I hope the D800 will have some way of connecting balanced mics, without converting to an unbalanced signal. I need to fully utilize the quality of my Sennheiser MKH-416.

    • Ben

      Haha, great!

      Hopefully it can do uncompressed 96KHz stereo, and has a mixing knob and a monitor jack. Then a pair of balanced inputs would be great. Hell, it’s really hard to take seriously a camera that can only record stereo audio–how are you supposed to connect all your instrument mics? 🙁

      Now if only Nikon could make the camera about three times as big and heavy and 10 times as expensive. Keep your fingers crossed for the D4! 8 channel audio and a built-in mixer! But on the D5200 the mixer will probably be buried in menus anyway 😉

  • Hanzo-Photo

    I have a Rode Video Mic for analogue recording of wildlife, never used it with my D7000.

    This ME-1 looks a bit suspect, line too close to the front, if powered and at 140 euro it should be, it will pick up every sound from the camera and user.

    • Daniyar

      The whole point of external mic is not pick up the camera noises. I seriously doubt Nikon is stupid enough to make an external mic that will be just as bad as the internal one.

      • PHB

        Err, what camera noises?

        Off camera mic was essential when we used tape. But moving the microphone a couple of feet from the body has almost no effect with sound, its not like a flash gun.

        There is no reason that a camcorder or a DSLR should be making any noise while shooting video. the only thing that is not solid state is the lens focus and zoom. And neither should be moving fast enough to pick up while in mid shoot.

        A good shock mount is useful. And, it looks to me as if this might have something of the sort. Vibration from the hands/tripod is likely to be more significant than motor vibrations.

        But the other merit factor is ease of use. And while a decent shotgun mic can give terrific performance, I don’t think many people want 18″ of mic on their DSLR.

        • DarkFiber

          I have shot video with a Nikon D90 and now a Nikon D7000. When shooting video using the built in mic (which is right next to the lens in the front of the camera) sound from when the lens is focusing and when the VR (vibration reduction) in the lens is activated is picked up. It sounds REALLY bad.

  • John

    useless without a shock mount

  • GS

    Sony makes an exceptionally good and relatively inexpensive M/S stereo mic that I’ve used in a wide variety of situations; however, it is NOT a “shotgun” mic designed for significant distances that might be encountered when recording video.


  • GS

    Well, that didn’t work . . .

    Here: Sony ECM-MS957 Stereo Microphone

    • patrick

      I have the Sony MS907 stereo mic and was wondering if there’s a hot shoe adapter for it? Assuming it would be the same as for the MS957.

  • NiknWontRepairMyGray

    Not worth buying but atleast it’s a good indication that Nikon is taking the video function a little more serious.

  • Elk Haven

    It is not difficult to make a very good small diaphragm condenser for a few dollars. Even the high-end Earthworks mics used the same Panasonic capsule that was used in answering machines, which costs about $3 in qty. Engineering the housing and electronics is straightforward. That being said, you’d rather have a Schoeps if you can afford one.

  • Hanzo-Photo

    John, yes shock mount … ….

    Having tried to record wildlife with a powered mic, on a shock mount, getting it a few feet from the top of my D7000 in the field, possible with an assistant.

    I always wondered who the dude was with the big furry sausage was, turns out he was the sound man!

    Slightest puff of wind and that ME-1 is as useless as my Rode

  • Phil

    Microphone technology has advanced to the point where mass-produced mics sound great. This mic will be fine. The whole shtick of XLR connectors is a joke too. You only need balanced lines when running long cable lengths. Anything under 5 feet is not going to suffer, especially when it’s as long as the cable you see on that mic! There’s nothing wrong with using mics with 3.5 inch jacks, unless you’re just using them incorrectly!

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