SHURE VP83F LENSHOPPER MICROPHONE AUDIO SPECIAL
SHURE VP83F LENSHOPPER MICROPHONE This on-camera Shure microphone has all the features you would expect for a DSLR type device but has some limitations for multisource recording WORDS ADAM GARSTONE
nother interesting microphone from the Shure camp is the VP83F LensHopper. It’s a short shotgun supercardioid
AS YOU WOULD EXPECT FROM SHURE, THE MICROPHONE’S SOUND QUALITY IS GOOD
intended to mount to the hotshoe of a DSLR. So far, so normal, but the battery powered VP83F also records WAV files to Micro SDHC cards (up to 32GB) at 24 bit, 48kHz. Frequency response is quoted as 50Hz to 20kHz. Sensitivity is -35.8dBV/Pa The microphone is mounted in a Rycote designed shockmount, which does a reasonable job of isolating camera handling noise, and is light but sturdily built. The battery compartment door at the front of the unit closes securely but doesn’t seem to have any specific weather sealing – the Micro SDHC slot is here too. At the back, there is a small panel with power and record buttons, a joystick and backlit LCD. There are also 3.5mm jacks for headphones and a feed to the camera, so you can use audio matching to sync the sound up in post. The LCD shows the recorded track title and duration, recording time available on the SD card, gain, battery level and a simple audio meter. It also shows the state of the built-in low-cut filter. Pressing on the joystick activates the menus. Here you can format the memory card, set the mic gain (0dB to +30dB) – there’s a ‘rude’ indicator of clipping on the display. The low- cut filter rolls off below 170Hz at 12dB/octave, mostly for wind noise
reduction. You can also select tracks for playback, delete tracks, set date and time and so on. In operation, the VP83F is very simple. Once everything is set up to your liking, you press the record button. There is no way to link the record function to the camera, so you’ll need to remember to roll both sound and picture at the start of a take, but that’s why they pay you the big bucks, right? As you would expect from Shure, the microphone’s sound quality is good – there is some noise at higher gains, and this is a very short shotgun, which means that off-axis isolation is limited compared to mics
with a longer interference tube, but that has the advantage that off-axis pickup sounds better. Being able to record on the unit is a real benefit, though I suspect that many users will simply leave the mic recording, so there will need to be a bit more work done in post. The bigger issue is who this microphone is for. There is no external mic input, so the recorder can’t capture, for instance, a lavalier as well as the shotgun, and there are few productions for which a camera- mounted mic as the only audio source is acceptable. Nevertheless, if a good quality, on-camera microphone is what you need, with the added bonus of high-quality recording built in, the Shure VP83F is worth a look. The MV88 retails at around £130 (including VAT).
IMAGES Using the Rycote designed shockmount, the Shure VP83F neatly fits into a DSLR’s hotshoe.
JANUARY 2018 DEFINITION
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