NAB 2013: Shure gave us a first look at their VP83 & VP38F LensHopper hot-shoe microphones designed for the serious DSLR videographer who needs solid audio features on-the-go.
These two new compact camera-top microphones really stood out on the show floor at the show this year, with its fantastic design and neat features built in. Both models have a directional supercardiod polar pattern, and have a more natural frequency response compared to the slightly “tinny” feel of other similar products out today. Both models are hot-shoe mountable, come with foam windscreens, and are suspended by Rycote’s popular Lyre-series shockmounts, which we think is a very nice touch.
The VP83 (shown on the left) is compact yet durable, with easy controls. On the back sits a gain selection switch (-10 dB, 0, +20 dB) and low-cut filter switch. The 3.5 mm cable connects directly to your DSLR or camcorder, coiled in the middle for more stability and less clutter. Combine that with a claimed 130 hours of battery life off a single AA battery, and you’ve got a solid camera-top solution.
The VP83F (on the right) has similar features of its little brother, but with an integrated flash recorder. It records uncompressed WAV files at a 48 KHz / 24-bit data rate, onto a removable microSDHC card (up to 32 GB) independently from the camera audio input. Because most cameras compress and even introduce some unwanted noise into its onboard recordings, having a dedicated high-definition recorder at finger’s reach is a very exciting feature. So users can either record directly to camera, record on both sources as redundancy, or even bypass the camera altogether and sync up the better recording later.
On either side sits two 3.5 mm jacks, one for an audio out to your camera, and the other for real-time headphone monitoring. The menu system is very easy to read, and easily navigable through it’s five-position joystick. With it, you can set filters, mic gain, headphone gain, manage files, and playback options. The VP83F has a rated 10 hours of battery life while recording, off two AA batteries.
With their all-metal construction, sleek design, and surprising sound quality, the VP83 and VP83F are one of the best products we’ve played with at NAB this year. Prices are still TBD, but both of this mics will be available in Summer 2013.
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