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14 Best DSLR Microphones & How to Choose a Camera Mic

Check out our list of the 14 Best DSLR microphones. We cover how to choose the right mic for your camera & review Rode, Shure and more DSLR mics!
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
December 21, 2021
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Are you looking for a new DSLR microphone, or maybe need an upgrade?

Unfortunately, the built-in-mics on cameras don't match the high-quality video they can capture. For this reason, many content creators, YouTubers, and filmmakers alike use an external mic alongside their DSLR. This means they can get the best of both worlds without having to compromise on excellent audio quality for the sake of their camera. 

Choosing the correct DSLR mic can feel like a tough choice. This article helps you navigate various types, technical language, and varied opinions to find the best DSLR microphone for your setup.

What is a DSLR microphone?

A DSLR microphone is an internal microphone in a DSLR camera. This is what your DSLR will automatically use to record audio whenever you take a video.

Does a DSLR have a microphone?

Yes, all DSLRs have a built-in microphone. However, that doesn’t mean that it is the best quality mic, so we’d recommend investing in an external mic if you have the capacity. 

How do I turn on my microphone on my DSLR?

The exact mechanics of this will vary from camera model to model. However, generally speaking, your DSLR mic will turn on automatically when you start shooting video. 

Why do I need an external mic for my DSLR? 

You may be wondering why you need to make an additional investment when your DSLR already has an onboard mic. It’s not at all necessary to use an external mic, but it’s recommended because of how much this will improve the quality of your audio recording. 

Different types of external mics for DSLR 

Before we look at the best mics for DSLRs, it’s necessary to understand the three main types of external mics available. There’s no superior type because it all depends on your particular needs and preferences: 

Handheld Microphones

When you imagine a traditional microphone, this is what you’re thinking of. This will suit creators who prefer to hold a mic while recording. Remember that handheld mics require additional devices to record with your DSLR, so this might not be the best option for filmmakers on a budget. 

Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier mics (‘Lav Mics’) are discrete mics that clip to the speaker’s collar. They’re incredibly convenient, compact and you can find both wired and wireless lavs. Wireless lavalier microphones are popular with creators because they’re entirely hands-free. Do note, however, that these can become an expensive option if you’re recording with more than one person because you’ll need to have enough on hand to cater to everyone. 

Shotgun Microphones 

Shotgun mics attach directly to your DSLR or, if you prefer, to a boom pole. They’re highly versatile and easy to use, which is why they’re so popular. Shotgun mics are referred to as ‘highly directional.’ This is because their long, tubular shape helps them pick up even distant sounds. 

How to Choose a DSLR Microphone


First, you’ll need to decide how much you are able and willing to spend on your DSLR mic. This will help you to narrow down the options.  

Type & Mounting Style 

Secondly, you’ll need to determine the type of mic that would best suit your setup and filming workflow. For example, if you tend to shoot interviews, then a lav mic is probably the most appropriate for you. 

If you’re opting for an on-camera mic, note that your ideal mic may not suit your DSLR. Ensure to check what kind of connector or mic input your DSLR is compatible with. Most mics connect to 1 / 8 “ (3.5mm) jacks. 

Size & Weight 

You should consider the portability of your external mic. If you’re shooting on location or vlogs on the go, you don’t want an additional bulky piece of equipment. Look for a lightweight and compact mic that packs a punch. 

In the same vein, take a good look at your chosen mic’s build quality and durability. If you're constantly on the go, you may not want a super delicate video microphone.

Battery Life 

Battery life is also a major factor in choosing a mic. You don’t want your mic to die on you mid-recording. So, if you tend to do long shoots away from power sources, then look for a mic that boasts impressive battery life and easy charging options. 

Polar Pattern 

A microphone’s polar pattern tells you about the main direction(s) it picks up audio.  There are three polar patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, and Omnidirectional

A cardioid polar pattern picks up audio from the front and minimizes audio picked up on the sides and rear of the mic. This type of mic is suitable when you’ve got one focused source of audio. 

A bidirectional polar pattern picks up audio from the front and rear and blocks audio from the sides. 

Omnidirectional polar patterns pick up sound from all directions. 

You’ll also see hyper and super-cardioid polar patterns. These are just slight variations on a cardioid polar pattern with an enhanced focus on the audio coming from the front of the mic. 

If you want to know more, you can read about microphone polar pickup patterns in our podcast microphone article. 

Condenser or Dynamic? 

The difference between condenser and dynamic mics comes down to two things: their sensitivity and their power requirements. 

Condenser microphones are more suitable for picking up on delicate, high-frequency sounds - particularly in studio settings. A condenser mic is often less durable and robust and requires a power source to work. 

Dynamic microphones capture loud sounds and noises and are suitable for environments with lots of background noise. Dynamic mics do not require a power source to operate. 

Frequency response 

A mic’s frequency response tells you what range of audio or sounds a mic can pick up and reproduce. The frequency response of your microphone will affect the unique sound quality that your mic produces. Most microphones have a frequency response range of between 20 Hz and 20kHz. However, some mics will intentionally cut out lower/higher frequency sounds to improve the audio quality of your overall recording.

Best 13 DSLR Microphones

Best budget shotgun mics 

1.Movo VXR10-PRO

Movo VXR10 Pro DSLR microphone
Movo VXR10-Pro

Price: $49.95

Weight & Size: 3.9”, 2.1 oz

Battery: Plug-in power only 

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 20Hz to 18kHz

Polar pattern: Supercardioid 

Connectivity: 3.5mm TRS and TRRS cables; camera shoe mount with ¼” thread 

Other features:

  • Detachable Rycote Lyre shock mount 
  • Foam & furry windshields to minimize wind noise 
  • Headphone monitoring port
  • Hard shell carrying case

2. Rode VideoMicro 

Rode VideoMicro DSLR mic
Rode VideoMicro

Price: $55.00

Weight & Size: 3”, 1.5 oz

Battery: Plug-in power only 

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 100Hz t0 20kHz

Polar pattern: Cardioid 

Connectivity: 3.55 mm cable, dual-mono configuration, and camera shoe mount with 3 / 8“ thread 

Other features:

  • Detachable shock mount 
  • Furry windshield to minimize wind noise 
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3. Rode VideoMic Pro 

Rode VideoMic Pro 

Price: $149.00

Weight & Size: 6.69”, 3 oz 

Battery: 70-hour 9V battery 

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 40Hz to 20kHz

Polar pattern: Supercardioid polar pattern 

Connectivity: 3.5 mm TRS cable & camera shoe mount with 3 / 8“ thread

Other features: 

  • Integrated shock mount that mounts directly to DSLR or boom pole 
  • A windscreen that reduces wind noise 
  • 3-stage gain control 

4. Sennheiser MKE 400 

Sennheiser MKE 400 DSLR Microphone
Sennheiser MKE 400 

Price: $199.95

Weight & Size: 5”, 3.3 oz

Battery: 100 hours AAA batteries  

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 50 Hz to 20kHz

Polar Pattern: Supercardioid 

Connectivity: 3.5 mm audio cable TRS plug 

Other features: 

  • Integral wind protection 
  • Built-in shock absorption 
  • Headphone monitoring port 
  • 3 stage gain control 

Most versatile shotgun mics

5. Canon DM-E1

Canon DM-E1 DSLR mic for cameras
Canon DM-E1

Price: $239.00

Weight & Size: 5.1”, 3.9oz 

Battery: 1 x CR2032 button-type lithium cell battery  

Type of mic: Condenser 

Frequency range: 50Hz to 16,000kHz 

Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Directional) - but with adjustability 

Connectivity: 3.5mm plug 

Other features: 

  • 3 pickup settings for different recording scenarios (shotgun, 90 degrees, and 120 degrees)
  • Included windscreen

6. Rode VideoMic NTG

Rode VideoMic NTG DSLR microphone
Rode VideoMic NTG

Price: $249.00 

Weight & Size: 6.73”, 3.32oz 

Battery: 30 hour USB rechargeable  

Type of mic: Condenser 

Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20kHz

Polar Pattern: Supercardioid

Connectivity: 3.5mm TRS 

Other features: 

  • Headphone monitoring jack 
  • Shockmount with sliding rail and cable management

Best overall shotgun mics 

7. Rode VideoMic Pro+ 

Rode VideoMic Pro+  DSLR mic for cameras
Rode VideoMic Pro+ 

Price: $270.00 

Weight & Size: 6.69”, 4.3oz

Battery: 100 hour removable battery, AAs or USB 

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz 

Polar pattern: Supercardioid polar pattern 

Connectivity: 3.5mm TRS output cable 

Other features: 

  • On-camera and boom pole mounting 
  • Integrated shock mount that reduces noise from vibrations 
  • Windscreen design that minimizes wind noise 
  • 3-stage adjustable gain control for -10db up to 20db 
  • Automatic power function (turns mic off when disconnected) 

8. Shure VP83F LensHopper 

Shure VP83F LensHopper DSLR microphone
Shure VP83F LensHopper 

Price: $329.00

Weight & Size: 6.6”, 7.6 oz

Battery: 10 hours AA batteries  

Type of mic: Condenser

Frequency range: 50Hz to 20kHz 

Polar Pattern: Supercardioid 

Connectivity: 3.5mm TRS plug 

Other features: 

  • Integrated WAV audio recorder 
  • Dedicated headphone jack 
  • Can record directly to a microSDHC card 
  • Adjustable gain levels 
  • Integrated shock mount 
  • Foam windscreen 

Best Lavalier Microphones for Beginners 

9. Rode RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker 

Rode RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker microphone
Rode RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker 

Price: $399.00

Weight & Size: Receiver - 2.6 x 4.4 x 2” and 6.7 oz, Transmitter - 2.6 x 4.4 x 1.6” and 6.7 oz, and mic weighs 0.04oz 

Battery: Up to 30 hours on 2 AA batteries, and can also be powered by USB or wall power source 

Mic type: Condenser 

Frequency range: 60 Hz to 18kHz 

Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional 

Connectivity: Wireless and 3.5 mm output to connect to DSLR audio input 

Other features: 

  • Transmitter and receiver pre-paired 
  • Up to 8 systems can operate simultaneously in one location 
  • 3 gain adjustments to accommodate all mic levels 

Best Lavalier Microphones for Professionals

10. Sennheiser EW 112 G4 B  

Sennheiser EW 112 G4 B Omnidirectional EW microphone
Sennheiser EW 112 G4 B 

Price: $649.00

Weight & Size: Receiver is 2.5 x 3.2 x 0.9” and 5.6oz, Transmitter is 2.5 x 3.2 x 0.9”, and mic cable length is 5.25’ 

Battery: Receiver -  8 hours (Alkaline), Transmitter has 8 hours with 2 AA, 

Mic type: Condenser 

Frequency range: 50 Hz - 18kHz 

Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional 

Connectivity: Wireless and 3.5 mm cable to connect to your DSLR

Other features: 

  • Frequency scan function searches for cleanest frequency on site 
  • Adjustable input sensitivity to accommodate different mic levels 
  • Shoe mount adaptor included fitting receiver on your camera 
  • Operate up to 12 wireless mics at once in one location 

11. Sennheiser AVX-ME2 SET Digital Wireless Microphone System 

Sennheiser AVX-ME2 SET
Sennheiser AVX-ME2 SET

Comes with a body-pack transmitter, a camera-mount receiver, and lav mic. 

Price: $749.00

Weight & Size: Receiver is 0.8 x 2 x 3.2” and 3.1 oz, Transmitter is 0.9 x 2.6 x 3.9” and 3.1 oz, and mic cable is 5.25’ with mic diameter of 0.41” 

Battery: Transmitter has 15 hours of battery, the receiver has 4 hours. Both can be powered through USB ports.  

Type of mic: Condenser 

Frequency range: 50Hz to 18kHz 

Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional 

Connectivity: Wireless, self-contained system 

Other features:

  • A self-configuring digital system that handles frequency setup and mic levels 
  • Up to 8 of these AVX systems can operate in one area without fear of interference 

Best Budget Handheld Mic

12. Shure VP64A Omnidirectional Handheld Microphone 

Shure VP64A Handheld microphone for cameras
Shure VP64A

Price: $79.00

Weight & Size: 1.5 x 7.9”, 5.6oz 

Battery:  N/A

Mic type: Dynamic 

Frequency range:  50Hz to 12kHz (optimized for speech clarity) 

Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional 

Connectivity:  1 x XLR 3 Pin Male 

Other features: 

  • Rubber isolation mount to reduce handling noise 
  • Water-resistant mesh 
  • Windscreen that acts as a pop filter

Best Mid-Range Handheld Mic

13. Rode Reporter Omnidirectional Handheld Interview Microphone 

Rode Reporter Microphone for Camera
Rode Reporter

Price: $129.00

Weight & Size: 2 x 11”, 9oz 

Battery:  N/A

Mic type: Dynamic

Frequency range:  70 Hz to 15kHz (tailored to speech, with boost between 4 and 10kHz for added intelligibility) 

Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional 

Connectivity:  Output is 1 x XLR 3 Pin Male 

Other features: 

  • Internal shock mount 
  • Internal mesh basket that acts as windscreen and pop filter 
  • Extra-long handle

Best Overall Handheld Mic 

14. Rode S1 Handheld Condenser Handheld 

Rode S1 Microphone for camera
Rode S1

Price: $329.00

Weight & Size: 7.2 x 2.05”, 10.58oz 

Battery:  44V to 52V Phantom Power 

Mic type: Condenser 

Frequency range:  20 Hz to 20kHz 

Polar Pattern: Supercardioid 

Connectivity:  Output connector is a 3 pin XLR male 

Other features: 

  • Integral windscreen that also acts as a pop filter 


What mic is good for a DSLR?

It depends on what you are looking for and what your budget is. All our recommendations above are great options suitable for various filming environments. 

How do I add an external microphone to my camera?

This depends on the type of microphone that you go for. If you go for a shotgun mic, you mount it to the top of your DSLR and connect it up via your camera’s mic input. 

If you’ve got a lav or handheld mic, the way you connect the mic will be slightly different. Either you connect the receiver up to your mic using the DSLR’s audio input, or you’ve got a separate mixer that connects to both your mic and your camera.  

Lastly, if you’ve got an XLR mic, you can easily get an adapter to connect it up to your DSLR. 

Do DSLR cameras have audio?

Yes, they do, but the audio quality is often subpar. If you want to use your DSLR as a microphone, you need to film a video. 

Can you connect a microphone to a camera?

Absolutely. As we’ve seen, there are different ways to connect and mount a microphone to your DSLR, depending on both your camera and your mic. 

How do I connect my USB mic to my DSLR?

Although it’s not super straightforward, connecting your USB mic to your DSLR is possible. You need to ensure that your camera has a 3.5 mm mic input and that your USB mic has a 3.5mm output. Simply connect a 3.5 mm male-to-male audio cable to your mic’s headphone output and your camera’s input, then ensure to power your mic using the provided USB cable via a computer or other power source. 

How do I connect a microphone to my DSLR?

If you’re looking to maximize the quality of the audio you’re able to record with your DSLR, then you’ll need to connect an external mic to your camera. That said, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. This depends on the type of mic and your camera model.

How can I use my DSLR as a mic and webcam? 

It's not too difficult. DSLR video cameras have become a popular way to produce high-quality live streams, videos, and more. The specific setup will depend on your camera model and make. Some manufacturers have made a particular provision for DSLRs as a webcam by including a USB connection. 

Alternatively, use an HDMI connection to a capture card. The capture card will then convert your video 100-hour suitable for digital streaming.

Did you know that with Riverside you can easily turn your DSLR and even mobile device into a webcam. Click here to learn more or sign up to start recording!
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