Great Gear

An Affordable Microphone to Record Audio on your SLR

So you have that nice Nikon or Canon SLR and you like shooting video? But let’s face it, while the technology in these cameras is amazing, the sound coming from that internal microphone is lacking.

What’s the point in shooting HD quality video and spending all that time editing if the audio is lackluster? Any serious videographer who shoots video needs to invest in an external microphone. However, the problem is they are expensive. Many microphones cost several hundred dollars.


There is a microphone available at a reasonable price that provides good audio and value. For four years, I have been using the popular Azden SMX-10 with my Canon T2i (EOS 550D). No, it cannot replicate the surround sound of the Holophone PortaMic 5.1 Pro Surround Microphone, but it also costs a lot less. This little Azden microphone only costs $68. I can report that it does a fantastic job for the price.

The Azden SMX-10 is a directional stereo microphone, and it certainly delivers professional stereo capture and overall audio quality at a nice price. I can easily fit it in my camera bag because it only measures 6.96″ (177mm) in length.

Remember, since this is a directional microphone, it will capture audio in the direction where you point it. Occasionally it will produce a little feedback near other electronic devices, but it does a great job overall in rejecting off-axis noise. Just plug the stereo 1/8″ (3.5mm) TRS mini connector into your audio jack on your camera. It’s powered by one AAA alkaline battery that lasts up to 400 hours. I recommend you take the battery out when traveling because it’s easy to switch on accidentally during transit.

What’s great about the Azden SMX-10 is it comes with a hot-shoe mount so you can secure it to the top of the camera. It also comes with a handy windscreen to reduce wind noise. This was particularly helpful on a safari video I shot in Tanzania.

Watch a review on YouTube. You can order one from New York’s B&H Photo Video here. And did I mention it only costs $68? I highly recommend it! (Disclaimer: I have received no payment or benefit from this review.)

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4 replies »

  1. You can come across these diamonds in the rough from time to time. $68 for a good sounding microphone is amazing! I use a Rode NTG-1 condenser shotgun microphone and have always liked the sound it makes for my voice over work.


  2. Hi Natalie, you have an interesting blog. Thanks for the comment. That Røde model looks like pretty nice and it’s probably superior to this Azden microphone. I know they make great microphones that some of my videographer friends use exclusively. I was going for value and was surprised that this little $68 wonder actually works well.

    I saw you live in Middle Tennessee. Nashville is a great city with fantastic people, amazing dining, a pleasant climate and fantastic nightlife! I previously lived not far from there, so I know it well.


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