So Mister Metric LIVES!!! Huzzah!
It has taken 4 weeks of working on getting the various components together and make work. This was a lot of trial and error, lot of trying out equipment and working out what works on a limited budget of sub £1000. So here’s the technical list of components.
The set up is this
Nikon D5200, 18-55 standard lens – £300 (we did a PX on our old D3100)
16gb Sandisk Ultra 30M/Bs SD memory card – £20 (a good card is a MUST!)
Alesis Multimix 8 USB – mixing desk – £80 (first one had to go back)
2 X Lavalier Clip Mics – XLR connectors with phantom power £80 (nearly a week trying and testing to get the right mics)
Backdrop – with green/black and white drop – £40 (ebay is awash!)
2 static lights – using 4 bulb heads 1300W – £75 (again, ebay is your friend here, ensure you get light heads with protected bulb holders)
Mini jack to headphone jack (3.5mm to 7mm) cable from mixer to camera – £15 (good quality cable/connectors is a must)
Sony Vegas Pro 13 (64-bit) – £250
£860 all in – inc vat but not including time to get some of them and driving to places. So factor in a further £50 for travel and we top out around £900 pounds (circa $1400)
Note: This camera only records 20 mins max – due to file size write size (3.5gb) however you can simply strat videoing again and it gives another 20 mins. Remember this is a DSLR – a camera that is used for videoing, not a VIDEO camera. BUT it’s what they record things like Dr Who on as it is a huge digital light sensor at 24megabits it’ll handle a lot of different lighting situations.
You can go straight into the camera with a lavalier mic into a mini jack – they are about £20-£40 and will save on the mixer but I have me and Jonny that will be on screen or a guest to be interviewed as well as mixing in people on Skype on the TV/Computer – that’ll save you about £120.
Now the phantom powered, XLR jack, lavalier mics will do a strange thing – as you noticed. They are double up mono NOT stereo, mobile phones and ONLY mobile phones cannot handle this through their speakers as it sets up a cancellation effect and it sounds weird. So in Sony Vegas you simply mix the two tracks and force them out one channel – the result is mono sound from both channels (left and right). Takes 10 seconds to fix in the software, took me best part of 5 hours to find and fix. There just saved you 5 hours!
Go here for Mobile Phone Editing Audio Issues for XLR Mics – and watch the explanation by someone else who figured out the problem. The fix “how to” in Sony Vegas happens at about 6:00 in and lasts for 90 seconds.
This issue MAY not affect a mic plugged straight into the camera, using a minijack. If you are using the camera to just record YOU I would suggest a single lavalier mic using a mini jack for “talking head” inside shoots. And a Rode VideoMic-R Short Shotgun Microphone camera mounted for external shoots or shoots with multiple people in it in a “bigger” environment.
Remember this though, people will watch crap visuals with excellent sound but they will not put up with duff sound and great visuals. It’s why good film and TV directors spend as much time with the sound guys/gals as the camera guys/gals.
So there you have it, this is what powers Mister Metric TV, and we will be adding and upgrading as we go.