I have a Canon550D, and I would like to shoot a movie using an external microphone.

Can I use a phantom alimentation-required microphone on it?

  • Is that word an English word "phantom alimentation"? I only get Spanish results besides this thread on Google. – dpollitt Nov 4 '11 at 13:26
  • Are questions about strictly video/audio on topic here these days? I don't see how this relates to taking a photo. – dpollitt Nov 4 '11 at 13:27
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    I believe they mean microphones that require phantom power - usually at 48V. As far as I can see on the specs for this camera, it does not support phantom power. Now, if your microphones have a battery in them already, then you're good to go. – smigol Nov 4 '11 at 15:19
  • Anything pertaining to video as related to photography hardware IS ON TOPIC here at PhotoSE. Since video-capable still-photo cameras are quickly becoming ubiquitous, and it is becoming more common for photographers to utilize the video capabilities of their photography hardware, we should be open to answering such questions. This question specifically relates to a DSLR and how it might interact with a specific kind of related microphone, and the user is just as likely, if not more likely, to get a useful answer here than on AVP. – jrista Nov 4 '11 at 20:26
  • Generic, explicit video/audio in the abstract of hardware, and video processing software related questions should be moved to AVP. – jrista Nov 4 '11 at 20:27

Not directly, no. You would need to use a mobile preamp/mixer unit (all of the current units I've found are at least dual-channel mixers as well as preamps) that can supply phantom power to the microphone and "lifted ground" audio to the camera (that is, audio without the phantom power voltage offset, which could harm the camera's electronics).

One such unit is this one (link is to a product page at B&H Photo and Video -- I have never used, nor am I endorsing, the product). It certainly isn't the only such unit on the market, but I'll leave it to you to shop around.

If you are shooting from a tripod or dolly (or are using a Steadicam) and can incorporate a small laptop into the mix, there are a whole bunch of USB and Firewire units available as well from the usual suspects in the digital audio workstation world (AVID/M-Audio, AKG, and so on). Latency might be a problem, though, if there's digital doings in the chain, so you'd need to test.

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