Noisy Image Stabilizer

Noisy Image Stabilizer

Noise created by the image stabilizing motor on a camera lens is nothing new. I’ve encountered this issue before with DSLR cameras when the mic is too close to the lens, but never on video cameras.

THE SHOOT:

 

On this particular shooting day Scot decided to take the handle off the Canon C100. Like many documentary camera operators, he prefers to knock down the camera to it’s smallest lightest size for ease of operation. Since we often video children in developing countries, we’ve learned that the smaller the camera, the less intimidated the children get when Scot gets up-close. So no big matt boxes, fancy rigs or large microphones attached to the camera or hanging over their heads. On these shoots, less production gack produces more natural images.

So to record sound on the camera, I attached a Shure VP83 LensHopper DSLR type camera mic to the C100’s hot-shoe and used the 1/8-inch mini to connect to the camera. I set up the audio, and we were good to go. What I overlooked was the position the smaller more compact VP83 DSLR type mic was in, in relation to the lens – on the C100 its quite close. As it turned out, too close!

By taking the handle off the camera and using a DSLR type mic (the type of mic you have to use when you remove the handle), you end up with the mic right on top of the camera’s lens. This setup did do a beautiful job of capturing the ambience I wanted, but even a better job of recording the sound of the lens’s image stabilizing motor – this contaminated all the b-reel sound recorded on the C100 the entire day.

 

The Problem: The mics too close to the lens

The Problem: The mics too close to the lens

 

That night we looked at our limited options to solve the issue, we were in the middle of nowhere. Our choices were to either shoot with all image stabilizing turned off, put the handle back on the camera and connect a larger condenser type camera mic, or continue shooting the same way and repair and rebuild the unusable audio in post.

The decision was made to put the handle back on the camera, but turning off all stabilizing was a viable option. Luckily I had brought and was testing out a Sanken CS1e microphone to determine if it could be used as a camera-mounted mic. It’s a high-end big price tag mic that could potentially improve my on-camera ambience recordings. So on went the handle and the rest is sound perfection.

 

Putting the handle back on the C100 and connecting a Sanken CS1e microphone

Putting the handle back on the C100 and connecting a Sanken CS1e microphone

 

When I get back home, I’m going to look for some type of extender to move a DSLR type mic higher and further forward so Scot can shoot without the C100’s handle if he chooses.

If anyone has run into this problem and knows of a solution, please share. It’ll save me the hassle of tracking something down and then testing it out!

5 Comments

  1. jp
    September 30, 2014, 10:16 am   /  Reply

    Hi Dean,

    I’ve used an adjustable Swivel Hot Shoe Mount Adapter with a Ballhead for the same reason. It moved the mic just far enough away.

  2. September 30, 2014, 3:58 pm   /  Reply

    Hi Dean,

    You could consider using Ambient’s QBS that gives you to hot shoe to 3/8 post that is adjustable so you can get the threading to allow for the correct orientation of a Rycote Invision INV 7 HG or the Ktek K-MTS that you like to use on Scott’s camera.

    Ktek also makes the K-OSE cold shoe to raised offset Hot shoe mount or their K-SSA that is a straight up 2″ lift cold shoe to cold shoe mount solution.

    Best

    Andrew
    Technical Specialist
    Abelcine

    • Dean Miles
      September 30, 2014, 10:39 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew, thanks for the mounting options. I’ll take a look.

      Dean

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