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Audio-Technica AT822 Stereo Microphone

Left Side Front Right Side Back
This is not exactly a camcorder mic, especially for a compact camcorder. It is on the heavy side, at 5.8 oz. (165g), probably due to its' all metal body. Not like the other mics I own, including the MKE-300, where the body is all plastic. This mic is solid, and, for an amature videographer (myself), expensive.

The entire package. Uses 1 AA battery. Low-roll-off, flat, and off switch.
Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised with the contents. The AT822 package includes: Mic, Instruction/Spec sheet, registration card, snap-in stand clamp, 20" (.5 M) long XLR to 3.5mm (1/8") diameter stereo mini plug, 10' (3M) long XLR to two 3.5mm (1/8") diameter mono plugs with 1/4" phone plug adapters, foam windscreen, a soft zippered pouch and a leak proof AA alkaline battery (life is about 1000 hours).

I originally purchased this microphone to add higher quality voice-overs in video editing programs, such as iMovie and Final Cut. It didn't take long, before this mic found it's way on my camcorder. The mic is heavy, compared to the others I have, so balancing the mic on Lightwave Audio's MMC-USC Minimount, was important. Plug the stereo mini plug to the camcorder mic jack, and that's it. No audio adapters required.

Prior to this mic, I was using the Sennheiser MKE-300 almost exclusively. Simply because I was able to use it with the Minimount (to get away from the camcorders noise and vibration). But after using the AT822, this has become my microphone of choice. The sounds captured by the AT822 is so incredibly rich and natural, making me wonder, is this how a professional mic is suppose to sound like? Another surprise, is the true stereo separation provided by the AT822. Ambient sounds that were recorded were distinctly left or right. The built-in mic and Sony's ECM-S930C, although stereo, cannot compare to the full range of sounds captured by the AT822.

Foam windscreen
Rycote windscreen
The AT822 is perfect for both indoors and outdoors. For indoors, you may want to use the foam windscreen. The only thing it will do is protect the mic, just in case you bump into things. If using this mic outdoors on a breezy day (at the beach or mountains), may I suggest investing in a Rycote windscreen. The foam windscreen does work, but the Rycote is more efficient. Besides, it's easier to install and remove.

On certain occasions, I still use the MKE-300. It's a shotgun mono mic that has more reach, but for everything else, I've been using the Audio-Technica AT822.

An important note about powered mics
They use batteries. They have an on/off switch. After using these mics, it is important to turn them off. This is my only problem, and could be your's. Always carry backup batteries, or know where the nearest Radio Shack is. The other thing is to use some type of headset (or earphones). You will always turn on the camcorder, but sometimes forget to turn on the mic.
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