At NAB 2013, Sennheiser showed us their MKE 600 Shotgun mic, designed for entry-level videographers and sound technicians alike.
Coming from the roots of the popular ME66 mic / K6 module series, the MKE 600 combines the best of both to deliver natural sound for photojournalists that need an easy solution. Unlike K6 module mics, which have interchangeable heads, the MKE 600 is a one-piece build with a permanent microphone element and similar battery compartment door. It has a supercardioid/lobar pickup pattern like most shotgun microphones of its class, and a switchable low-cut filter to help remove excess wind or handling noise. This mic is also shorter than the ME66, having an optimal pickup range of 4-6 feet from the subject.
The MKE 600 is powered by either a single AA battery, or by 48V phantom power. This helps especially when a camera cannot provide phantom power, such as popular DSLRs. They also include a windscreen and MZS 600 shock mount, which seamlessly mounts the mic onto any hot shoe.
With its durable metal construction, powering flexibility, low cut option, and a $399 price tag, the Sennheiser MKE 600 brings a solid entry-level shotgun microphone to the lone videographer, filmmaker, or photojournalist on a tight budget.