Sony ECM-HW1 Bluetooth Wireless Microphone
If you have a Sony camcorder, one of the best things you can do to improve your home movies is to invest in the Sony ECM-HW1 wireless microphone. People are much more likely to watch video with great audio than they are video with mediocre audio. The biggest limiting factor in getting great audio for video is the proximity of the microphone to what you're trying to record. The ECM-HW1 solves the proximity problem for Sony camcorder owners because it's a clip-on solution that puts the microphone where the action is - not where the video camera is.
The actual microphone body is just larger than the two AAA batteries used to power it, which makes it a little clunkier than a traditional lavaliere microphone. The bulk of the microphone body is more than made up for by a lack of wires you need to run through someone's shirt. What makes the microphone interesting is the wireless used is Bluetooth, which seemingly translates to better range and less noise than I get from traditional radio frequency wireless microphones. Another key advantage is the integration of the receiver with the camcorder. Normally a wireless microphone receiver is a bulky affair involving a power pack that gets wired into the microphone line in on the camcorder. The wireless receiver for the ECM-HW1 fits neatly in the hot shoe found on most of Sony's camcorder line, with no additional wires required. I picked up one of these microphones around the same time I got my Sony HDR-SR1 hard drive camcorder and find it to be indispensible. The wireless microphone works both for stereo audio and the 5.1 surround touted on many of Sony's camcorders. The only word of caution here is that the 5.1 surround on most of these camcorders is typically AC3 audio, which isn't supported by several of the consumer video editing suites. List price is $199.00, but you can typically find the ECM-HW1 for less with some thrifty shopping.
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