E-PL1: optional viewfinder or microphone for video?

Rider

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Since you can't use both a choice has to be made.

I'm thinking to get the optional viewfinder, and then record the sound with an external recorder.

What would you do?
 

bilzmale

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Pretty sure the E-PL1 is mono sound so external stereo recorder would make sense and give better sound. Unless you have a 'silent' lens the AF of most lenses is very audible.

The VF-2 is very useful for still photos too.
 

PeterB666

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Built in microphones are crap and plugging in an external microphne will help enourmously.

As for recording externally, not done that sort of thing since cine camera days - is there any way of locking sync to an external recorder? You will have a lot of "fun" if there isn't.
 

Rider

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The external mic definitely helps for video, but so does the viewfinder. Holding the camera up to your face gives stability. I'm actually kind of miffed that I can't do both at the same time. Which is why I was thinking of getting the best of both worlds and recording the audio on a separate recording device and then synchronizing with the video. To do that, you have to have good audio from the camera to be able to match to the external audio, and it could be time consuming.

There are software programs that will help with synchronizing.
 

PeterB666

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If you want stability, use a tripod. That way you also get the external mic.

Another option is to use a Hoodman Loupe if you want to hold the camera to your face.
 

shoturtle

 
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If you mainly brought the camera for photos, the vf2 would make more sense. If video is the big requirement then the external mic makes sense.
 

bilzmale

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There are software programs that will help with synchronizing.
A tip picked up in another post is to use a sharp noise just before filming starts that is recorded on the internal and external audio. Makes syncing easier. In movies they use a clapper board (although this is probably electronic now).
 

Rider

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Did not like the SEMA-1 external mic

I tried the external mic. When mounted on the hot shoe, it was worse than the internal mic because it magnified the sound of focussing, even with manual focus of kit lens. When taken off the camera, it was ok but not great and not worth the hassle or the cost, or having to give up the viewfinder. I'll be sending it back and looking into an external recorder and learning how to sync when it's really important.

On the positive side, this makes the choice between the mic and the viewfinder a lot easier!
 

Rider

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I tried the viewfinder. I found it not as as useful for video as I hoped. First you can't magnify the image while recording the video. This is whether using the LCD or VF-2. But with the LCD, a magnifying loupe will help a little. Second, you can't switch between the LCD and the VF-2 while recording. This is something I'd want to do while the camera is on a tripod. I still like the VF-2 a lot for photos.
 
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