My First Day With the Rode VideoMic Pro+

One thing I've found to be of paramount importance to any form of video, cinematic or otherwise, is the quality of your sound. Your movie can have beautiful visuals but if the audio is of poor quality it has the potential to turn away viewers. I started vlogging a few months back and discovered just how important sound was when it came to producing my videos on YouTube. Soon, I realized just how bad the audio was and knew it was time to invest in a proper solution. Enter the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus.

The Australian company, Rode, just recently released their latest upgrade to the VideoMic Pro. And as most of us are familiar with the previous version, we know it's a perfect solution for vloggers, DSLR cinematographers, and pretty much anyone who's sick and tired of dealing with lousy sound issues.

What drew me to purchasing this microphone was the fact that it was versatile in any situation, whether you're out in nature, or at a busy event, or shooting interviews. The mic is small enough to be stored in a little bag with your camera and a lens or two. You can also replace the standard audio cable with a longer length cable should you wish to use it on a boom pole.

It's a beautiful, all-rounded solution to great sound on your DSLR.


What impressed me most were the new set of features on the VideoMic Pro+ and how easy it was to change anything on the fly. The digital switching was easier than ever before. By simply pressing the Gain button, you could easily switch between -10 dB and +20 dB on the right side. On the left, you have your high pass filter, which toggles between 150 Hz and 75 Hz. Pressing both these buttons at the same time activates or deactivates the High-Frequency setting, which boosts higher frequencies above 7 kHz by 5 dB for crystal clear audio when using a dead cat windshield. Pressing the Power and High Pass Frequency buttons simultaneously will activate or deactivate the Safety Channel, a new feature on the Pro+. This will basically lower the output of the right channel of the dual-mono signal by 10 dB. Now you'll never have to worry about audio clipping again.

Another great feature is that the mic automatically senses when the camera is powered on and off (provided the 3.5mm jack is plugged into the mic jack of your camera), conserving hours of wasted batteries life when you've accidentally left the power on after shooting. We've all been there: ready to record and everything's going well until you realized your mic is actually out of juice because you never switched it off. You can now also replace the 3.5mm audio cable with a longer length cable should you wish to use it on a boom pole or in case it gets damaged. This will save many photographers the headache of having to replace the whole mic (which was the case with the older VideoMic Pro). Speaking of battery power, the VideoMic Pro+ uses a lithium-ion battery to power the mic but can be substituted with two AA batteries, or if you require constant power, you can plug in a Mini-USB. The windshield has also been optimized to sound better in windy conditions, and you'll be sure to record crisp audio even when the weather's bad.

In closing, I'm absolutely in love with this mic. Rode really stepped up their game with the new version of the VideoMic Pro. I can see myself using this for many years to come. 

Be sure to check out the video above, if you're curious to hear what it sounds like.

Fred van Leeuwen's picture

Fred van Leeuwen is a South African-based photographer and filmmaker. He operates under The Image Engineer, working on short films, portraits, and landscape photography.

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I don't see the point of an on-camera mic. It's about as useless as the mics in the camera, the audio sounds about as shitty, and you're paying a good chunk of change for one as well. You need to be close to your sound source, and more often that not you're typically too far from your subject when shooting, unless you want that wide-angle, distorted, in-your-face look, which does not look flattering. Lavaliers, handhelds, boomed mics, wireless and/or secondary audio recorders are the only way to get good audio. In a fixed situation, like his talking head here, a mic on a boom or lav would've been the way to go. For run and gun shooting lavs, handhelds, and wireless/secondary recorders are the way to go. On-camera mics are a waste of money.

It doesn't mean that when something does not work for you, it'll be the same for everyone else. He just pointed out why he likes the mic and why he's using one.

Fair enough, and now you know another perspective on it as well. ;-)

Yeah if budget (including labor) is not an issue by all means have a full sound crew, if you can't do that though, this is not a bad option.

Lavs are inexpensive nowadays, as are sound recorders. It's not that hard for a one-man crew to rig up a lav. Depending on the production, a hand held could be used. It's not that hard, I've done it, and I also used to do it when you had to sync manually!

However yes perhaps I was harsh on it, for some I suppose this Røde will be enough.

A good wireless Lav, transmitter and receiver is gonna run anywhere from $500-$700. A field recorder at least another $200. A cage another $50-$100. Or this for $299 out the door.

I didn't say wireless. An Aputure A.lav is $35, An audio-technica ATR3350iS is $30. An Olympus LS-12 recorder is $100. The combo are less than half the price of the Røde, and you still have enough left over to buy a handheld mic, and other accessories. Nowadays you can even use a phone as a recorder.

Whatever floats your boat of course, but it can be done. Quite easily. Quite inexpensively. It works. I've done it.

Whenever I can I will use a VideoMic Pro on camera with a SmartLav on the subject plugged into an old iPhone. You don't need a big budget and the difference can be huge between a lav and on camera shotgun mic depending on the location. Take a look at this example on my Instagram