Rode NTG2 Microphone
Rating: 7 out of 10
For outside work the Rode NTG2 is one of the best mid-priced shotgun microphones around. The Rode NTG2 was just about within my budget for use with my Zoom H5. But it can also be mounted on top of a camera even though a little large for that application, unless it is a professional video camera.
It has been very good so far and lived up to expectations. A directional microphone that allows you to plug into cameras with no phantom power, because it has facility for one AA battery to provide power. But in this situation one AA battery will not last a long time. So I never use this option and prefer to use this microphone straight into a Zoom H5 recorder.
From my experience of supplying this mic with 48v phantom power. Two AA batteries in my Zoom H5 would last not much more than two hours at most with this microphone. In general usually only an hour. I do use the phantom power in my Zoom H5 recorder when using it ‘off’ the camera which is the method because I do a lot of recordings this way. This way is a much better option by far in the use of this microphone.
It is the best way for a few reasons because you are not deleting your camera battery and you can keep an eye on power reserves with your recorder. Then you do not run the risk of losing a recording from the microphones internal battery running down/out with no way of monitoring it. Of course editing takes a little extra work. But the sound is of a far better quality.
By using the microphones own 1 x AA battery power supply method. You have no way of knowing how much power you have, because there is no battery power indicator on the microphone. Neither is there an ‘on/off’ switch for the microphone.
Weighing in at only 161 grams (without shock mount etc) it is lightweight and quite a sensitive microphone. This will allow the gain to be turned down very low and limit any other back ground noise that may be around to save on processing time.
Of course the higher the gain. The higher the ‘other’ noise this type of mic will record. Turn the gain up and it will pick up people talking hundreds of meters away. It is really that sensitive. So note any background noise source before you start recording. Remember this, as this microphone will pick up any and ‘all’ noise that is in front of it. This will be your subject to whatever is behind your subject for many hundreds of meters. All this becomes glaringly obvious when you start to process your recording. Those background noises can ruin your recordings so gain levels and direction of this microphone are essential because of it’s sensitivity.
This shotgun microphone also has a ‘high pass’ filter. This filter is set at 80hz and can be switched on via a tiny switch half way along it’s body. This is to help remove some of the lower frequency ‘rumble’ from your recordings. Of course if you activate this it will affect the overall recording as well. To switch it on it require a pen or something small enough to poke into the recess and slide the switch across.
The sound is very good. Clear and crisp so it lives up to the usual Rode reputation. For the applications it is used in, the sound quality cannot be faulted. Would you use this in a studio sound booth application? Possibly, but then the Sennheiser MKH 416 has the reputation for the all rounder and even a sound booth mic. You get what you pay for. Would this £200.00 Rode be as good? Probably not, but it will get the job done. And probably only you would know the difference.
It is perfect for an overhead recording application. It is a great professional studio/stage mic. Again perfect for outside overhead controlled recording. It cannot be faulted in that application and will most likely fit your budget.
But when outside pointing it at a subject in any other way where the gain can’t be low, it runs the risk of the problems noted above. Is it any worse than other shotgun microphones for this problem? Your expertise will ensure it is limited.
It measures just 11″ – 280 mm (fairly compact) and connects with a 3 pin XLR. Plus it has a 10 year guarantee.
It comes with a foam muffle/wind shield, microphone stand clip and pvc protective bag. I purchased my Rode NTG2 with the extra camera mount shock mount. This you need for on-camera applications. Also I purchased the ‘furry dead cat’ wind shield which gives possibly better wind noise reduction in only very light breezy conditions.
To be honest I found the Rode dead cat for this microphone completely useless in anything but the slightest of a breeze. And I mean slight. In any other wind forget it, as you would need a professional Blimp and Dead Wombat application.
Fitting the NTG2 to your camera and then putting on the Rode Dead Cat onto this microphone does not make it suitable to venture outside on a windy day. The NTG2 is too sensitive a microphone for that. So in other words, the right tools for the Job.
Conclusion. It is great outside microphone if used with a Blimp and you have the expertise to use it that way. It is a great overhead microphone. But I wouldn’t bother with the ‘dead cat’ application.
Pros: Internal and Phantom power facility. Just about small enough for camera mounting. Very sensitive and clear. Great overhead microphone.
Cons: No on/off switch for internal battery power. So when not in use the battery if installed just runs flat.
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