RØDE just announced the latest addition to their lineup of on-camera microphones: The RØDE VideoMic NTG. Both terms sound somewhat familiar, VideoMic for small, on-the-go mics, NTG for RØDE’s professional line of shotgun microphones. Well, the new VideoMic NTG aims to unite both concepts in one sleek product.
I personally own one of these tiny RØDE VideoMicro on-camera mics. Its performance is OK (in relation to its size) and I use it mostly for recording better scratch audio when deploying a gimbal. However, I just recently had to attach this mic to a smartphone and here I ran into issues: You need to adapt the TRS connector of the VideoMicro to a somewhat weirdly wired up TRRS plug so that the smartphone recognizes the mic as an audio input. I soldered that cable on my own but as you can imagine the result didn’t look very professional. If only I had this new RØDE VideoMic NTG handy, I wouldn’t have had this kind of problem, since it really solves many issues you might have with currently available on-camera mics. Plus it offers greatly improved audio performance, obviously.
RØDE VideoMic NTG
So what is special about this new microphone? As RØDE founder and Chairman Peter Freedman AM puts it:
It’s in the name. The VideoMic NTG is a hybrid microphone that brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of our NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.
Since it bears NTG in its name, this new mic offers the same annular tube technology as the NTG5 shotgun microphone. According to RØDE, this design offers natural, uncoloured sound and high transparency. Along with the new mic, RØDE offers a new shock mount with cable management and sliding rail to balance the mic on the camera. The new shock mount is included when purchasing the VideoMic NTG.
It features an auto-sensing 3.5mm output, so it works seamlessly with both, cameras and smartphones. No frankensteined (or purchased) TRS-TRRS adapter needed.
Furthermore, it features a USB output for connecting the VideoMic NTG directly to a computer (or tablet). When using that USB output the freed-up 3.5mm port can be used to plug in a headphone for monitoring.
With both analog and digital outputs, it becomes very clear that this VideoMic NTG is more than just a microphone. It sports a build-in ADC (analog to digital converter), a variable gain control for everything from mic level to line level, a built-in preamp with a dB peak warning light and, in order to power all this, a 350mAh lithium-ion battery which lasts for 30+ hours.
Polar Pattern and Frequency Response
This is a classic supercardioid on-camera microphone, since it is meant to be used as a on-the-go shotgun mic. It uses the pressure gradient electret condenser principle to translate acoustic waves into electrical impulses.
Here’s a list of acoustic specifications:
- Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Frequency Response: 35Hz – 18kHz ±3 dB
- Output Impedance: 10Ω
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 79 dBA
- Dynamic Range: 105dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Equivalent Noise: 15dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Sensitivity: -26 dB re 1V/Pa (50mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 1dB @ 1kHz
- Input SPL at 1% THD: 120dB SPL
- High Pass Filter Frequency: 75Hz, 150Hz
And a list of general specifications:
- Battery Life: 30+ hours
- Battery Capacity: 350mAh
- Output Connection: 3.5mm auto-sensing (TRS <-> TRRS), USB-C
- Bit Depth: 24-bit
- Sample Rate: 48kHz
- Weight: 94g
- Dimensions: 21.6mm (diameter), 171mm (length)
The VideoMic NTG offers an auto-on mode in which it will automatically power on once the host camera is switched on. That way, you don’t need to worry about battery life since the mic will also automatically power-off once you switch off the camera. battery life is 30+ hours and you can recharge it within 2 hours using the USB-C port.
The correct output level can be dialed in using the gain control on the rear of the microphone.
Pricing and Availability
At time of writing this article, there’s no intel about pricing, unfortunately. I’ll update this article once the information is available. Same goes for availability. UPDATE: The VideoMic NTG will cost $249 US and shipping should start very soon.
This new VideoMic NTG seems to be much more than just a microphone. Use it with a camera, or a smartphone, or a computer using USB. Your choice. All the built-in tech is here to help but you really don’t need to worry about it, it just works. 3.5mm auto-sensing, automatic power-switching, built-in preamp, headphone out when using USB-C, variable gain control, high-pass filter, built-in ADC. When reading this, it could be the description of a dedicated audio breakout box, but it’s just a microphone. Pretty neat, I’d say.
Link: RØDE website
What do you think? Could this be your next on-camera mic? Share your thoughts in the comments below!