When you first make a leap into the world of filming, let it be home videos of your family or the beginning steps of someday becoming a professional videographer, you quickly find that it isn’t always an affordable endeavor. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to start with a lower cost point, but it does mean doing a lot of research sometimes to get there. Thankfully, you have people in the news like us to do some of the heavy work for you, and this story might be one to consider.
For those looking for an affordable shotgun option, Comica makes a tiny little directional condenser mic (CVM-VM10 II) that falls around just $50 MSRP, and is made for various types of devices, including smartphones, tablets, cameras and even your PC/laptop if you want. It’s about a 10th of the weight of a modern smartphone (or less) and can pick up a lot of audio for its size.
It comes with a number of accesories, which is not bad at all for the price tag and you pretty much have everything you need, right out of the box (unless you find you are in need of something really specific, like a longer cable or something).
You get both a foam windscreen for normal conditions and really light breezes, as well as a faux fur windscreen for when it’s a bit more windy out (or you simply want to look cool outside I guess). The inclusion of a fur windscreen seems to be a more common thing popping up more often these days, which is always a plus (one less accessory to have to pick up later).
You get two different cables, already opening up the many ways you can use the microphone. One cable is your typical 3.5mm aux cable for most cameras and basic mic-only aux connections. The other is a 3-ring TRRS cable for devices that pass both headphones and mic using a single jack. This includes smartphones, tablets, and modern laptops (and sometimes computers as well).
It comes with a shockmount that provides a little protection from noise caused by vibration of your movements. It may look like a basic solution for a shock mount, but it beats the static option that don’t provide any absorption, which you can find to come with certain mics (those mouse are best used for static situations like mic stands and not a situation where it might be moving, like on a camera).
The mic itself performs quite well. It is a supercardioid shotgun condenser mic, which means it is focused more on what you are pointing it at than anything else. It rejects some of the sound coming in from the sides, but it will also pick up sound directly behind it as well (so if you don’t want to hear yourself in the mix, you have to try to keep as quiet as possible).
It picks up a lot of audio, giving you strong levels, kind of similar to a lav mic, but not as clear or warm as some of your lav options. It definitely sounds like a shotgun solution. It reminded me a little of a few of Sony’s small shotgun mics they make for some of their handheld camcorder options, like their ECM GZ1M (only this might honestly sound a little better). I’ve never really been a fan of (most of) Sony’s mic options.
It doesn’t mean it is perfect, as it does still pick up a lot of room noise compared to a more expensive and common shotgun solution, but then again, this isn’t one of those. This is an affordable entry-level shotgun mic that actually sounds pretty good. Not perfect, but good! For it’s price, you can’t ask for much more than that.
The following recording is a sample taken from our main video presentation/unboxing of the mic, where we captured some of the audio using it. You can hear more in the video itself below under the conclusion, including a demo of it being within 2-5 feet from the subject being shot.
Again, not perfect, but still good. Good enough to take into busier environments and try to get better audio than the camera’s own built-in mic might have to offer. Especially when you are trying to focus on someone or something vs pick up everything at once within a room/location.
We also recently shot a test video of the 2018-2019 New Year’s firework show in Las Vegas, and threw on the mic just to see what would happen. It isn’t an example of a normal use for this specific microphone obviously, but it was a fun abstract test to make nonetheless. It was attached to a camera that was shooting the fireworks display from around 5 miles away. So it is just picking up distance sounds as they make it to the location of the camera, as well as noises in the immediate environment as well, including fireworks and people that are closer.
The mic is available in two different color option, including black and red, with the mic always being black. Color difference is all in the shock mount itself and nothing else.
It was a pretty impressive mic for how small it is, and the small price tag as well. It doesn’t beat out the larger brands with big price tags of course, but it seems to hold its own within its own range of cost. It has a lot of volume to it, and picks up a lot. It picks up a little more of the room than we’d like, but that seems to be a bit common for this price range. It comes with a lot of great accessories, so you are ready to go as soon as you open it, and it functions with all sorts of recording devices, covering both mobile devices and cameras alike. With a little post edit, you can really clean things up and make something out of this mic, making it a great entry level option for those that aren’t wanting to spend too much just yet.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Transducer Principle: Back Electronic Condenser
- Signal to Noise Ratio: equal-to-or-greater than 58 dB
- Max. SPL: 100 dB
- Frequency Range: 80HZ – 16000HZ
- THD: equal-to-or-less than 1%
- Output Impedance: 2.2 ±30% kiloohm
- Dynamic Range: 100 dB
- Sensitivity: -34±3db
Inside the box:
- 1x Mic Body
- 1x Mic Shock-Absorbing Stand
- 1x Mic Windscreen
- 1x Mic Wind Muff
- 1x 3.5mm Smartphone Audio Cable
- 1x Camera Audio Cable
- 1x Carrying Case
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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