Does the D610 internal mic really sound this bad?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Xícara de Café, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Hi Forum, I was here a little while back about a D610 that I bought used with a non-functioning internal mic. In the end and after negotiating with the seller, I took it to get fixed. The mic now works but I find the sound quality really appalling. I sent a message to the technician who said that this is normal but that I could bring the camera back.

    Here is a link to the video test that I sent to the technician. Can the internal mic really sound this bad?

  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sorry, I am unable to determine the quality of the sound from your very short video.

    However, music is far more demanding on the quality of the microphone than human conversation, which tops around 3400 Hz. I hope the following video on FaceBook is visible to everybody. I used my Nikon Z6 in that occasion. Since I wasn't planning on shooting video that day, I didn't bring any external microphone so that all I had was the built-in mic on the Z6. It is certainly not great sound, but it is ok especially that was in a noisy street corner in San Francisco. A dedicated external microphone would have given much better results.

    How does your D610 compare?
  3. Thanks. Well that sounds much better than what I'm getting.

    It's been well more than 30 years since I played with any regularity but I happen to have a violin lying around :)

    I think something is definitely wrong with the mic. Perhaps it got wet at some point.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you want better sound, an external mic is a must. There are many choices, but I happen to have these two:
    • Sennheiser MKE 400. A Nikon rep recommended that to me about 10 years ago for my D7000. At the time Nikon didn't have their own brand mics.
    • Rode VideoMic Pro Plus, Nikon packages that in their Z6 film-maker kit
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    mag_miksch likes this.
  5. The camera mic is somewhat directional. You are behind the mic and very close, which in combination with the proximity effect* makes your voice sound boomy and indistinct. I have obtained better audio from an iPhone than from a camera mic. In fact, I can get nearly professional music quality from a small Zoom mic that plugs into the Lightning port. I did that because the Klein competition in San Francisco required that particular combination. It's all about distance, and the optimum distance for a microphone from the subject is never the same as for the camera.

    The camera mic should be considered a matter of convenience, that is always there when you need it.

    * The proximity effect is an attribute of directional microphones, which operate on a principle of subtracting sound from the rear of the capsule. It boosts frequencies below about 200 Hz, which DJ's and pop singers use to their advantage.

    If you would like to know more, check out Sound for Video
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  6. Thanks to you both. Yes, I have actually tested the mic recording directly in front and at various distances - the results are much the same although worse of course from behind. Yesterday evening I spoke on the phone with the technician and he assured me that this really is the sound the these devices produce. So I will live with it (although my mobile phone does a much better job!) and it comes as something of a relief to know the camera is working as it should. I have a project coming up that involves video and it's the first time I'll be doing the video capture for such a project myself - although not sound, which I've worked with for many years. I have DPA lapel mics that I'll use for this project and a Tascam DR-680 for audio recording. I plan to use the inbuilt mic of the camera as a register to help with post-synchronisation. I'll delete the video clips that I posted above.

    All the best,
  7. My wife's daughter needed a video of her playing the bass for a college application, so on the advice of others I bought a Rode external mike for my D600. I did a test with both the camera mike and Rode version and when played back through the camera the results were virtually indistinguishable. Once the camera was hooked up to an external Bose radio/CD player, the difference was night and day.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Of course. The built-in speaker on the Nikon cameras is tiny. It is there so that we can verify that our recordings indeed have sound, but their sound quality is poor just like the built-in microphone. However, I sure am glad that the mic and speaker are there.

    This the Rode I have. Again, Nikon includes that in their Z6 film-maker kit, so that I am sure its quality is decent. It is quite big if you use it on the hot shoe, though.
    Rode VideoMic Pro+ Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone

    There are a lot of choices for microphone at drastically different price range.

Share This Page