Aputure V-mic D1 (7 of 8)

Audio is a pretty important part of film making and there are a lot of different approaches when you’re trying to achieve good sound on a budget. In the past I’ve talked about audio adapter boxes and camera microphones like the Rode Videomic pro but what if you want to save a little money on a lower price alternative? Over the next week or so I’ll be taking a closer look at the Aputure V-Mic D1 on camera microphone. At a price of just $115 ( $110 less then the Rode Videomic pro) it could end up being a very affordable alternative. After all price doesn’t always dictate quality, for example the cheapest boom mic on the market sounds pretty decent for a $35 microphone.

Aputure V-mic D1 (1 of 1)

Unlike the Rode VideoMic Pro, the Aputure V-Mic comes with an independent shock mount. The microphone can be inserted into the shock mount by removing the foam windscreen.  The shock mount feels a little more sturdy then the one used on the VideoMic and with the Aputure design you don’t have to worry about little nubs of rubber slipping out of their cradle.

Aputure V-mic D1 (2 of 8)

Another thing the Aputure V-Mic includes in the price is a full windscreen. Most microphones require you to buy one sprightly at a price of $30 or $40. It’s a nice bit of value added to the microphone and I wish more manufactures would include it in the price.

Aputure V-mic D1 (3 of 8)

The Aputure V-Mic runs on two AAA batteries. The battery compartment is easy to reach and the two batteries do a good job of balancing the microphone out when it’s attached to the included shock mount adapter.  You’ll also notice that the cable is made of a braided material which adds to the build quality. The design feels solid in the hand and seems like it might hold up better than ultra thin cables used on other mics.

Aputure V-mic D1 (2 of 1)

When you set the Rode VideoMic Pro next to the Aputure V-Mic, you’ll notice that they are both about the same size and profile. You’ll also notice that Aputure included a removable swivel base, while the VideoMic Pro has a stationary mount. Sometimes you need to mount a microphone like this to an arm or place it at an odd angle. With Rode’s offering any mounting position besides up and down can cause the microphone to knock up against it’s cradle, while the Aputure V-Mic can easily be readjusted to the proper position using it’s swivel base.

Aputure V-mic D1 (5 of 8)

The other nice thing about the shock mount system used on the Aputure V-Mic is that the cold shoe and swivel mount can be removed from the shock mount. This leaves you with a female 1/4 20 mount for attachment. It also reduces the profile of the mic by about an inch and half.

Aputure V-mic D1 (8 of 8)

The windscreen, covers the entire microphone and leaves you a single opening at the bottom for the microphone cable and cold shoe adapter. Just like the Rode VideoMic Pro, the windscreen slides over the top of the foam windscreen you’ve seen above. To cover up the back end of the microphone Aputure actually gives you a second section of windscreen to slide over the back of the unit. The look and quality of the windscreen seems to be very decent and when you consider it’s included in the price of this $115 microphone, the Aputure V-Mic starts to look like a real bargain.

I have a shoot coming up tomorrow in Omaha and I’ll be bringing the Aputure V-Mic with me for testing. From the schedule it looks like I’ll have an hour or so of down time while the makeup artists is getting things setup. When I get a chance I’ll sit down with one of the actors or actresses and shoot a couple of quick audio tests. If everything goes well I should have some audio samples up for you to check out on Saturday. Until then, more driving and more filming. I’m starting to miss my weekends.

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