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Home > Reviews > Camcorders > ECM-S930C

Sony ECM-S930C On-Camera Stereo Microphone
6/30/2004

Sony's ECM-S930C is a tiny microphone that weighs only 1.4 oz. (40g). It does a better job of stereo separation than the built-in. It picks up more sound in front of the camera, reducing the sound from the rear (and from the operator). You can switch the angle from 90° (more directional), to 120° (wider). This mic is perfect for close up shots, when you have subjects to the left and right. On playback to the TV set, you can hear the stereo separation from the left and right speakers.

This is a powered mic, and if used on another camcorder, a CR2025 3v lithium battery (not included) will have to be installed. The battery life is about 300 hours. It comes with an attached 12" long cord with a 3.5mm (1/8") diameter stereo plug. It also comes with a soft fabric carrying pouch.

Unfortunately, the motor hum/vibration, generated from the DCR-PC101, is a major problem. In sporting events, parties, concerts, where you are surrounded by loud ambient noise, the hum is drowned out. In fact, it's non-existent. The hum really stands out during quiet indoor moments. With an accessory bracket, you can place the mic away from the camcorder, minimizing the motor noise, but the vibration transfers through the bracket.

Another issue I've had with the ECM-S930C, is that the sounds it captures, seem thin and weak. The frequency response is 100 to 15,000 Hz, but it sounds less than that.

The bottom line, for all around recording, it's hard to beat the in-built mic.


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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