Today, I was testing my new Sony A7III and here are my first sample images which I have taken in Turku (Finland). Previously, I had the Sony A7 and the difference to the A7III is almost like day and night. I am also recording audio with my Sound Devices MixPre-3 (nowadays I have the MixPre-3 II and the BP4025 stereo microphone from Audio-Technica).
The autofocus is so much faster and the video features and quality have also much improved. It really motivates me to do even more with my new camera. Below you can see how I record audio in the Turku Archipelago in Finland with the Sound Devices MixPre-3, Sennheiser MKE 600 and the Strut STR-MP3 Custom-Fit Field Case. You can find a list of the gear I am using at the very end of this blog post.
Below I have published a sample video in 4K which I took with my Sony A7III, the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, and the Sony 70-200 f/4 lenses. I have recorded the audio with a Sennheiser MKE 600, Rycote Super-Softie and a Sound Devices MixPre-3.
Update: I have recently replaced my Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 with the Sony 24mm f/1.4 as I am also interested in astrophotography.
The audio setup
The Sound Devices recorder is connected to the Sony A7III with an Atomos HDMI cable to take the timecode from the MixPre-3. In Final Cut Pro it’s then super easy to synchronize the audio and video files. Nowadays, I am also using Lumafusion on my iPad Pro which can also handle the 32-bit files of the MixPre-3 II.
Wind jammer and headphones
Regarding the windjammer, I found the Rycote Super-Softie windjammer the best solution for my Sennheiser MKE 600. Well, there are better and more expensive options available but it performs better than a fur windjammer and it’s more durable. For my Audio-Technica BP4025, I am using a fur windjammer from Audio-Technica. Moreover, I have also purchased a Sennheiser HD-25 headphone, which I connect to my MixPre-3 recorder. Sound Devices also offers nowadays the MixAssist plugin which I might also plan to buy in the future. It might be useful for recording interviews in the future.
Wireless audio kit
Finally, there is the Rode Wireless Go system which allows me to connect my microphone wirelessly to my Sound Devices PreMix-3 audio recorder. I can also charge the Wireless Go system through a USB port which I like more than on the old Rode Newsshooter Kit.
Recording stereo nature sound
Recently, I started with a new hobby – recording nature sound in stereo. Previously, I have always used my Sennheiser MKE 600 to record nature sound but I got interested in stereo ambient sound recording. I don’t have much experience in the recording yet but after reading several blogs I learned that I can attach my Clippy Stereo EM172 like ears on a tree. The tree serves as a human head. In general, I was interested in a lightweight setup and that’s why I think the Clippy Stereo EM172 is one of the best solutions for me.
However, most recently I have replaced the FEL Clippy Stereo EM172 with the Audio-Technica BP4025 as it produces better audio quality and less noise. Moreover, the setup is much easier to handle as the two mics are built into one microphone. The disadvantage is, however, that I don’t get a full omnidirectional recording but more an extended stereo recording – which is fine for me as I can direct the microphone to a certain point.
I found the Sound Devices MixPre-3 the perfect audio recorder. It’s small, solid and can be powered with normal batteries but also with a USB Power Bank such as the Anker Power Core+. The advantage of the new MixPre-3 II, which replaced my old MixPre-3 is that it can record in 32-bit, meaning that I don’t need to care so much about the gain level and can adjust the gain in post-production without getting much more noise. Moreover, I also like that you can create a backup of your audio files on a USB thumb drive.
And here is the audio file which I have produced with this setup (wear a headset to listen).