00:00 On today's show, we're going to check out the new RODE video mic pro plus and compare it to my trusty sidekick, the SHURE VP83.
00:17 Good morning and welcome to PhotoJoseph's Photo Moment, the first live three times a week show here at youtube.com/photoJoseph. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 AM pacific. Incidentally, the Monday show, I'm going to start making that a regular afternoon show. A lot of different reasons for that. But we're going to do the after do the Monday show in the afternoon, starting probably when I get back from India. We'll figure out the time. It might be like a one or two or 3:00 PM. I don't quite know yet, but there's going to shift a little bit. So for those you international will give you hopefully an opportunity to watch the show if this time zone or if this time slot doesn't exactly fit well for you, um, and catch it live and it makes my life a little bit easier as well. So, um, with that said, let's get this thing on the RODE today.
00:53 We are comparing microphones. So this is the SHURE VP83. I've been using this mic for a couple of years now. I did a big comparison comparing this to an older RODE VideoMic and the internal mic on a GH4. That's how long ago it was. It was on the GH4 and the SHURE and the RODE were both great. They both sounded essentially equally awesome. I chose the juror for its form factor. It was a kind of a narrow profile. Smaller mic. Overall, I just, I just kinda liked the feel of it better, but now we skip ahead a few years and RODE has come out with a new microphone. This is not new today. It's been out for a little while, but it's first time I've got my hands on. This is the rode video mic pro plus. This is the newest version of it and it's got some pretty sweet features in it.
01:35 And so I was very intrigued wanting to get my hands on it again and compare it to the SHURE. So we're talking about a couple different types of comparisons here. We're going to compare physical size and weight and so on. We're going to compare features and then we are of course going to compare sound quality as well. So with that said, let me start off with the two negatives. The two downsides that I don't like about this mic and I'm going to start with do downsides because from there it's just all uphill. I spoiler alert, I'm really, really liking this mic, but there are two things about it that I'm not super thrilled about, so let's get those out of the way. Just start. It's the size and you see the size comparison between the two. The RODE is definitely a larger physically larger microphone.
02:15 It's a wider profile even with the dead cat on the SHURE. It is still a larger mic and if I take the dead cat off that it really. The SHURE really does show us it's quite a bit smaller now. I have found that the dead cat is. I don't see a necessity, but it's something that I always like to have on the mic. I never take it off, but here we're taking it off. You can see it's a little bit flacid there, isn't it? Um, but now compare the size. It is a dramatic, dramatic size difference. So that's the first thing. I like this lower profile, smaller microphone, which I'm not going to have any more with this. The second thing is a little bit more important though if you're shooting like, so you're looking at the back of the LCD down here, up here, whatever.
02:56 This next part is a problem. But if you'd like to shoot like this and I actually do shoot with the camera to my eye quite a bit both for video and for still. But if I'm shooting both video and stills with my GH5 or the, G9, whatever, I'm not going to take the mic off because I'm shooting stills, right? I'm still just going to pick up the camera and do this. Well with this microphone. This is no problem, but notice this microphone. Look at the design of it. The plug sticks out the back. Overall the microphone sticks off the back of the camera more even. Forget about the plug for a moment, but as soon as you put that plug on there, now you've got something that I actually cannot get my eye all the way up to the screen now without Kinda Kinda wiggling my way in there and so that I'm, I'm definitely not thrilled about.
03:36 I really, really wished this plug was on the side at least if plug on the side, you know, this one's still bumped my forehead a little bit but it would be okay. But sticking this thing out of the back, that is definitely an issue so I'm not too happy about that, but that's where the dissatisfaction ends. Let's move on with the things that are great about it. So just some straight up comparisons on the weight of the two. When I first got this in my hand, the RODE, I thought this is a considerably lighter weight microphone than the SHURE and I'm taking my tricking myself with it. So I weighed them. It turns out without a dead cat, they're virtually identical. Hundred and 60 grams versus 161 for the SHURE. So one gram heavier for the SHURE. With the dead cat, you had the dead cat, it goes up to 175, so barely, you know, another 15 grand.
04:20 So barely anything. So really the, the mic weights are comparable. This one is a little bit lighter than this with the cat. They're identical without, um, but because it's bigger I guess because it is a bigger object with the same way. I kind of had this illusion that it was a lighter weight microphone so I really had to put them on the scale to figure that out. But um, but yeah, it is. It is the same weight as these two. Sorry, same way on their own. Wow. This was a little bit heavier with the dead cat on. So that's the first one. Um, high pass filter. Both microphones have a high pass filter and we're going to look at how to set all this up on the RODE mic in a moment here. These SHURE has a single high pass filter it, it cuts off at 175 hertz.
04:59 The RODE has two high pass filters so you can choose between the settings. It's got 150 hertz and a 75 hertz option, so you have other options in there. Now I try to do some tests comparing them and I couldn't find the right kind of sounds to cut out. So in the test that we will be looking at in a little bit here, we're not gonna hear any of that, but if you are an audio file person and you know that that certain frequency is better for what you're doing, then that's great. If you know that you've got 50 or 175 or 150 here versus 175 here, that could be good for you to know. I don't have a good comparison for you, but just information, just so you know in that both have physical gain switches on them to go from your standard, we'll call it zero to +20 and –10.
05:38 So both of them have that built into this. So that's where the feature comparison, that's the same kind of ends. Then we get into the things that the RODE has. They're really, really cool. So let's just get rid of this for now and let's start looking at the RODE. First of all, let's take a look at the back of the microphone here. You can see the layout on here. You've got a power button up there and then buttons to enable high pass. Toggle through that and the DB rating to go between the plus and the minus 20. Then if you press and hold the power and one of these buttons at the same time, you can enable different things. So let's go through a couple of these because this is pretty cool. Now, the first major, major feature on this mic that got me really interested.
06:15 There's two major features. The first major, major fetature that got me excited was I heard I had been told that this microphone, when you plug it into the camera, will automatically turn on when the camera turns on. Turns off, when the camera turns off on thinking, well, that is crazy cool, right? Because how many times have you flipped on the mic on your camera? Go for day shooting. You set the camera down, whether it's just for a few hours overnight and you forget to turn off the mic, you wake up the battery's dead or at least way more depleted, right? No bueno, and this happens all the time to me because it's another thing to turn off. So when I heard about that feature and you're was really excited, but then someone on this show said that, no, no, no, it only happens when you plug the mic in.
06:52 That's when it turns on and that would lead you to believe that to turn it off you had to unplug it and I thought, well that's just a total waste. That's silly. It turns out that is not actually the case that mic does turn itself off and on as the camera either goes to sleep or it gets powered off, wakes up or comes back on again. So just show that to you here. I'm going to go ahead and get this back on the closeup and I'm going to turn the camera on. The camera was on. It's been often asleep so it was just turned it back on and boom. See that it just turned on, you saw the mic come on. I did not have to push the power button. I'm going to now turn the camera off and it takes about five seconds or so and then the microphone itself is going to turn off.
07:31 There it goes. So the same thing whether the camera is going to sleep or being powered off, but that right there to me was absolutely huge. So this is a great feature. I'm super excited to have that. Another thing that's related to the power on there is the led light on the back here. So you've got this blue led light and we turned it back on. Power on in a second. There we go. The blue light on there on the power button. When this turns red and you have 10 hours of battery life left 10 hours. When that goes red, you've got a whole day of shooting in front of you. When it starts to Flash, slowly red, you get two hours of battery life left when it starts to flash. Quickly red. You've got 30 minutes of battery life left, so you have plenty of warning and you know how long that warning is when you start to see that.
08:10 So if you see that red light come on, you've still got a whole day of shooting. Obviously you should charge it up when you can, but that's pretty fantastic right there. I'm so. I'm. I'm very happy to see that on there. The indicator on this was, I don't even know what the timing was, but like at one color change and that it and you're done. Speaking of the power on this thing, if you've ever used a RODE video mic pro before, you know that getting the nine volt battery in and out of the scene was an utter nightmare. Why they made the door so hard, but it was really, really, really hard to get into. This now has a much easier door to get open and closed and it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This is the rechargeable battery pack that comes with however it is the exact same size as to Aa.
08:47 So you can power this thing with two double a's or we can use the rechargeable pack if you're using the rechargeable pack, slide that in there, believe that it's in it's closed for those you who have the older version, that's mic. You know how much of a relief that is. There is a Usb port on the side, plug it in, charge it up, so charge from your computer or your iphone charger, whatever. Same thing as any other USB charging devices. So there's that. Okay, let's get this mic back on here and I would have pulled the battery out of it and take the battery out. It definitely turns off. And let's take a look at some of the other settings on the back here. So you've got your high pass filter here. So as you would expect, you push that to toggle up the 75 to 1:50 and off over here, the DB filter between +20 –10 or off.
09:31 Now you'll notice something else here. See that little tiny indicator with the two different size lines on it, and then the green light next to it. This gets into the second feature that I was really, really excited about. Now, as we're going to see when we get into the tests, it's not as critical as I thought it was, but it's still an excellent, excellent feature to have and that is, this microphone will record a safety track. These are mono microphones. When you plug them into a stereo camera like the GH5, you have your mono track split among left and right, so you get the same thing on the left and right channel with this microphone. Will do when you enable the safety track feature is it will record on the left channel, right channel, I forget now which one, but anyway, the alternate, it'll record one at full strength and one at 10 decibels quieter.
10:14 That's your safety track. So there's some big peak, a yell, a clap, some loud noise that peeks out the mic that peeks out your recording. You will have a safety track to go back to. Now, this doesn't mean when you're editing, do you have to go into your idea, your, um, in your editing software and enable it, switch it from Stereo to mono or dual mono, disable the track that you don't want, but so there's a little bit more work, but you have that safety track and having that safe track is absolutely phenomenally huge. To activate that, all you do is hold the power button and this button at the same time. Just press that and you see the safety track is now disabled. If I do that, again, it will be enabled incidentally, the sleep, the auto sleep, you can turn that off as well.
10:54 So if you don't want it to automatically go to sleep, you can turn that off as well. Okay. I think that's everything on the physical features that I wanted to go into this. A couple of little things about it, but that's the critical stuff. Now let's get into an actual audio comparison. Before we do that, I want to remind you guys that the way that we operate on the show is by what we call a value for value proposition. That means if you feel like you have learned something today on this show, I would most certainly appreciate it if you consider putting some value back in, you can do that by going to photojoseph.com/support. You can see all the different ways that we do that. They're including becoming a member of photojoseph.com As a member of photojoseph.com. You have access to unlimited streaming of all the live training, discounts and other stuff in the store as well as the business of the business interviews, which number three I promised is coming up very, very soon.
11:37 And also access to a private facebook group where only the members have access to and it's just a way to communicate with a much smaller group of people and with me directly as well. So with that said, let's move on. Okay. So now we're going to listen to the comparisons. So let's, I'm going to keep switching back and forth between my camera here and uh, this video that I've prepared and explain what's going on. So comparing the sound quality between the [inaudible] and the rode video mic pro plus first test, both mics and cameras have the same settings. Now the RODE just as it is, the RODE is recording about six decibels quieter. Just setting everything equal. The RODE is about six DB quieter. So throughout this test I have leveled out the levels in software adjustment again and software to make SHURE that the dialogue was at a consistent level.
12:23 This is just a very real world type of a test. I'm not saying, Oh, this camera records quite, that doesn't this micro course credit. That doesn't actually matter. What matters is once we get them level, how the background noise is, how many peeking clipping and so on might be. Um, Oh, incidentally I forgot to say if you're watching live, we are going to do the q and a at the end. Of course, if you're not watching live, then once you get to the end, you'll have access to the q and a video. You'll see where that's linked to. If you've got questions, make SHURE you put that or Joseph in front of them. And we'll get to those momentarily. Okay. So back to this. So the RODE records about six decibels quieter. So I have raised the RODE 60, B or wherever it needs to be throughout this video test to compare. Alright, let's have a listen.
13:00 This is a test comparing these. SHURE VP83 three, which I've been using for a couple of years in the new RODE video mic pro plus. So a couple of things we're testing here. First of all is simply audio quality. How does it sound? Both are set to their neutral zero point. Both cameras are within arm's reach of me. So as if I was vlogging and holding the camera out in front of me. And the limiter is enabled on both cameras. Currently the RODE is not set to record audio separately onto different channels at a different level with the safety truck. We'll test that out in a moment, but for now we're just listening to the straight up audio quality.
13:34 Okay. So there you're just hearing the two mics compared. You can form your own opinions obviously for my use, I kinda think the RODE sounds better. Um, I think it's a little bit less background noise. It's a bit better isolating. It has a little bit more rounder tone to it. It's just, I just think it sounds a little bit better. So I was very pleased to see that. It's just nice. It sounds a little bit better. All right, let's move on. So this next one is with the safety track. This is a safety track test. So we're recording both to the standard and to the –10 db on the other side. The limiter and the camera is still turned on. So in your camera, and this, this applies to basically any dslr. Obviously I'm using the GH5 here. You have a built in microphone limiter, which is ideally going to prevent your microphone track from peaking.
14:17 Even if your audio does peak and the mic isn't limiting it, hopefully it's going to get limited in software in the camera. That's the idea behind it. So for the moment we have the limiter still turned on in here. I also, in the edit, I switched the RODE track to dual mono so I could grab these single track that I needed. One of the things that, that means when you go to dual model and then you disable one of the tracks as you have to gain up that track because you no longer have two tracks playing back. You have to, you only have one, so right up you're gonna have to raise it up, another 6db. That's fine. That's just the way that it is. Um, so again, as stated before, the levels on these tracks are level raised or lowered to make SHURE that they are even. So the dialogue that's coming through is hitting the same audio levels. What we're listening to here is for peaking or clipping in the soundtrack.
15:01 This next test is about these safety track. So on the RODE right now we're recording with the safety track meeting is recording one channel at 10 decibels quieter. Whereas on the SHURE we don't have that feature. The audio limiter is still enabled in both cameras. So now we're gonna find out is if I get loud, if I get too loud, if I shout too loud, if I get loud. If I get too loud, if I shout if I get too loud, if I get loud. If I get too loud, if I shout if I get too loud. Is the SHURE mic that has the limiter on the camera able to save us? Or do we need the safety track? That is on the RODE.
15:40 So what we just heard there was there was no peaking so we didn't hear any peaking, any distortion. Now this can be a combination of the limited that's built into the camera or maybe just the mic wasn't quite loud enough. So what we're looking at now is the safety track test with a camera limiter is off. So I've disabled the here. So the limiter was kicking in before. Now the limiter is turned off and we have that safety track enabled. So we're going to play this back and you're going to hear that there is no actual peaking your distortion. So this isn't a test is going to show as much, but this is just what it sounds like with the limiter off.
16:16 Now the limiter has been turned off in the camera. I can see both microphones are getting close to the top but neither of them appear to be peaking. So I'm going to go ahead and crank them both up to +20 and repeat this test.
16:27 Okay. So as I said earlier, we're going to be repeating that test because when I just turned off the limiters and the mics are both set to zero, it just wasn't really loud enough to get any peaking in here. So for the next test I take the microphones up to +20 and we still have a the limiter off. So here both mics are at +20. Now
16:47 both microphones are now recording at +20. I can definitely see that the SHURE is peaking. The limiter of course is off on the camera. Meanwhile, over on the RODE mic, the right channel is peacie or rather the left channel is peaking while these safety track on the right channel is not. Meanwhile, over on the RODE mic, the right channel is peacie or rather the left channel is peaking while these safety track on the right channel is not.
17:09 Alright, so here we learned a couple of things. First of all, the RODE mic with the non safety track, the standard track compared to the. SHURE mic, the clipping that was happening was much less dramatic. It was a much softer. That was still clipping, but it was a much softer clipping. Second, we learned that these safety track absolutely saved our bacon here because the safety track, that was the third one that we heard sounded absolutely perfect, so we had that there as a fallback. But what I think is really interesting is that the hardware limiter that was built into the camera was doing such a good job before then. Now we want to find out, well, do we even need to have the safety track or is the limiter that's built into the camera again here we're testing on the GH5, so I can't vouch for any other camera out there, but is the audio limiter this built into the GH5? Good enough. So I don't have to worry about the safety truck. Let's find that out next. So the limiter is turned back on and both mics are still at +20.
18:04 We are still at +20 on both microphones, however, have reenable the limiter on the camera. So we are now really finding out how good the limiter on the camera is. Is that enough to save the SHURE that should be peaking. Whereas the RODE of course has its own safety track that we can fall back on.
18:19 So in there I didn't even need to fall back on the safety track. Both microphones. We're at +20. Both cameras had the hardware audio limiter enabled and that basically what that meant was we didn't need the safety truck right. The levels, the peaks that were, should have been so loud there were so distorted on the previous test. We're no longer there. So the hardware limited did an amazingly good job in the camera. That is phenomenal. The drawback, what we lost from this or will gain technically is the noise floor came up. So there's a lot more background noise. The good news is though that we don't have the distorted peaks. So what I would say to that is that you still don't want to just leave your camera +20 all the time, your microphone a +20 because then like I said, your, your background noise gets raised up quite a bit more, but if you do have it at +20 accidentally, as long as you have your hardware limiter turned on in the camera, you may not have any peaks. You may not have a problem. That's pretty fantastic. So I thought that was pretty special. Okay, let's move on. So now a wind test.
19:18 This next test is a wind tests. Now neither one of the microphones has a dead cat on them right now. We're going to find out how good the foam is, the built in foam, and then we'll compare that to the dead cat. Unfortunately, we do not have a windy day. We do whoever have cardboard. So here we go. And now for test to part two for the wind. These SHURE now has a dead cat on it. The RODE still does not because the people that rode say that the foam is dense enough that you shouldn't need one unless you're in a really, really windy situation. So let's give it a try. It's funny, I can really see the for moving on the dead cat
20:08 again. I think a very interesting test when neither microphone had the dead cat. We heard, definitely heard more noise, more wind noise on the SHURE. Once I put the dead cat on the SHURE and compare them. It sounded the same. So I'm going to say that the RODE without a dead cat is just as good at blocking noise as the SHURE with the dead cat. Now you can get a dead cat for the RODE, of course, making it even better. And another cool feature that this has is when you do that, when you put a dead cat on the, you tend to lose some of the really high frequencies. So there is a high frequency booster in here. So if you put the cat on there, you can boost up the high frequencies to make up for some of that last higher end sounds. So that's cool.
20:47 So what this tells me is, again, I'm going to go out now with this without the wind sock. We're here. I needed it and um, I think I'm going to have just as good audio and in many cases I think actually better, like I said earlier, I think I think from my years, but it sounds a bit better. Very, very interested to hear what you guys think, which is exactly what we're going to talk about in the q and a. So we're about to start the Q and a. So for those of you watching live, as you know, just hit that, hit the chat in there, put up photos in front of it. So I know that there is a question or something to talk about and we will get you up on the screen.
21:16 Come on.