Many photographers create video content to supplement their photography and they know by now that bad audio is a great way to destroy beautiful footage. They also know that's easy to break these delicate devices as we pack more and more gear into our bags. It was the constant breaking that led me to this shotgun mic which will not break your bank.
I've had bad luck with microphones and I could blame many things, but ultimately it falls on me. Because I'm careless with my gear and often times I won't give myself the extra minute to pack the gear properly. Other times I feel bad craftsmanship resulted in faster wear & tear. Either way, replacements add up and over time a couple hundred here and there total too much!
I had the Rode Pro Mic, it cost about $230 and worked great. Then the battery died and I struggled to open the badly placed battery door and broke it. That's OK, I taped it shut and then I realized that I also cracked the cheap plastic near the hot shoe when I shoved it in my camera bag. Great! For $230 do I send it in for repair? It's expensive enough be upset, but not expensive enough to send it in for repairs.
Then I bought the Seinnheiser MKE mic, it cost me about $200. This was to replace the Rode Mic that I broke. It worked really well! It was smaller and sturdier and was a great option. A few shoots in, the audio started to act up. It went in and out and ruined an interview. NO! Do I send it in for repairs or just buy a new one again?!
Enter the Takstar shotgun mic that cost $27 and supposedly has a similar sound to the Rode. There's no way that a $27 shotgun mic has the same sound as a name-brand mic costing over $200 more! However, at that price I bought it. I looked online for reviews on YouTube, but no one really tested it out in a variety of settings that fit my needs. Well, I decided to buy it and run my own tests, and then decide if it's good as the Rode mic.
Test 1: Take it to a little league game, capture a variety of sounds that are obvious and then not so obvious.
Test 2: Household and life sounds like opening a fridge, slamming a door, tapping your hand, and using a cutting board (also a bunch more).
Test 3: Record myself in a car with the engine running and the A/C on low. Compare it to the iPhone mic. Many of us have the iPhone and this is a good gauge when you compare it to the Takstar mic.
Did it outperform the Rode mic? No, it didn't, but it gave the name brand mics a run for their money. It's close, ridiculously close to what my Rode captured. To the very trained ear, they'll notice a difference. To the majority of people (like nearly everyone on your YouTube channel), it's hard to tell the difference.
What do you think? Would you purchase a $230 Rode Mic or $27 Takstar Mic? Or do you prefer sticking to proven brands?