ATR6550 Condenser Shotgun Microphone
Reliable mic, with a silly problem, makes up on a great set-up
I am quite pleased with this mic. with one BIG exception -
The Chinese "AA" battery is 0.003 " to big in diameter so the battery DOES go into the basttery compartment, BUT the fat size if the battery stops the positive ( + ) end of he battery from making contact with the battery contact at the end of the battery compartment. So unless you monitor your video camera with headphones you won't know that you have no sound until you playback the tape, and by then it's too late to re-record your event. I bought the tiny FiiO "E06" headphone amplifier, plugged it into the A/V output jack on my old Sony DCR-HC40 HandyCam, plugged a set of good full sized "technical pro HP-B820 cheapie full-sized headphones, plugged the Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Mic into Sony Handy-Cam "PLUG in Power Mic" jack, and now I can monitor my sound while recording with my little Handy-Cam. I mount the shotgun mic on top of he Sony Handy-Cam camera with the AudioTechnica AT8410A Shock-Mount and I have a poor man's version of a pro-video camera used by news teams all over the place. And all that hear does fit into a 10" x 6" x 4" standard little camera bag withe a 110volt. camera battery charger, 4 extra camera batteries, the camera, the shock mount, the shotgun microphone, two spare "AA" batteries, all the manuals, the headphone amp and I put the headphones on the outside of the top of the camera bag and carry the whole setup with one hand.
Now I get all kinds of questions and "ALL=RIGHTs" from citizens and pro alike. It took me a years to figure out how to have a full video-studio, even a little camera light, into a one-handing bag, but I am sure glad I went through all the thought. Now all this valuable info is for you for free, and that's the way I like the world to work. The lazy ones can get their own results which always show so badly.
I also made a camera shoulder mount from a piece of 1/4" plywood, 2" x 16", and put a 4" plastic bicycle handle for my hand on one end and a 1/4"NC washer+nut+bolt nut to mount the camera. Then I covered the plywood with gaffers tape. Now my camera moves are close to the results of a Steadicam for less than 2 bucks, I have a fairly big monitor screen and can monitor my sound all day long. The E06 headphone amp was the key to the whole thing. .
May 25, 2014
Just got it out of the box and tried it on my ipad2, which is why I bought and the mic doesn't come on at all?
Tried it on a Canon Vixia HFG10 and have the same results...nothing.
Now I have to spend additional money to get a replacement or my money back.
How can you package any product without an instructional manual. This item doesn't come with any instructions at all. I will not be using this company again.
August 2, 2013
I am using the ATR-6550 with a Canon VIXIA HF R300 and getting room hiss and a low hum, even when sound is on auto.
February 8, 2013
I Love this mic !
This is my first shotgun and though I recognize that it is "value" manufactured and priced it gave great results when I recorded a friend talking to a crowd of 30 in a living room. Extraneous noise was almost non-existent and the speaker's voice 20 feet away was rich, full and accurately sibilant in the higher frequencies. I mounted it in the AT8410a shock mount and that into the hot shoe on a consumer-grade video-tape Handicam and the results were just fine. I got plenty of signal from the mic into the recorder so the sound on a TV set is really good for such an amateurish production. I highly recommend the AT6550, especially for the price and the results. Great job A-T !
November 28, 2012
Great for use with DSLR cameras.
The ATR6550 comes with a permanently attached 18 inch coiled cord with a 1/8 inch stereo audio plug at the other end (wired for mono sound). Since the cord can't be unplugged from the mike, it's really designed for on-camera use. To use it on a boom pole, you'd need to use an extension cable with 1/8 inch connectors. Extending an unbalanced line such as this can introduce unwanted electrical noise into your audio.
This is really the perfect mike to be used on top of any DSLR, because it is self powered and plugs directly into the camera's external mike input without the need for any cable adapters. While it will not match the audio quality of a phantom powered XLR balanced line mike, it also costs only a fraction as much. The sound quality is crisp and intelligible for voices, but it does sound a little thin in the bottom end when used on a Nikon D5100. It does sound much better than the stock in-camera mike, and so it fills the needs for small budget film projects using DSLR cameras.
It has much better low end audio response and high end crispness when used with a dedicated video camera like a Panasonic TM700. On that camera, the sound quality more closely matches that of mikes in the 300 dollar range. In summary, it's perfect for the hobbyist or student film maker with a DSLR or small camcorder, but a pro will need an XLR mike.
December 27, 2011
Great value for better audio!
The "Tele" setting on this mike does a great job of picking up audio from a distance, almost as good as a lav mike. Easy to use, also, easy to forget to turn on but you only make that mistake once. An LED indicator when the mike is switched on would be a nice reminder to turn it off before storing. Battery life is very good. I use a NIMH rechargable battery and carry a charged spare. Accessory foot does not fit Canon Vixea Mini-Advanced Shoe. All-in-all a great buy!
October 20, 2011
Great Budget Microphone!
For the price of this mic you really cant go wrong. It is an awesome mic with great performance. You do get some background noise / interference but it is not noticeable at all unless you really amp up the sound.
October 20, 2011