5 Best External Microphones for Nikon D5100 in 2024

Are you looking to elevate your Nikon D5100’s audio capabilities for vlogs, interviews, or capturing the natural ambience? A quality external microphone can make all the difference in your recordings. External mics offer superior sound clarity, noise reduction, and directional focus compared to built-in camera microphones. In this listicle, we’ve handpicked the best external microphones that perfectly complement your Nikon D5100, ensuring your audio is just as stunning as your visuals. Whether you’re a budding filmmaker, a passionate videographer, or just stepping up your audio game, read on to find the ideal sonic match for your camera setup.

When selecting the best external microphone for Nikon D5100, it’s important to consider several key criteria. Here are five essential factors to guide your choice:

  1. Compatibility: Ensure the microphone is compatible with the Nikon D5100. It should easily connect to the camera’s microphone jack without needing additional adapters.
  2. Sound Quality: Look for microphones that offer clear, high-quality audio. A low-noise, high-sensitivity mic will capture the best sound for your videos.
  3. Directionality: Consider the pickup pattern of the microphone. Omnidirectional mics pick up sound from all directions, while cardioid or shotgun mics focus on sound from the front, which is preferable for isolating the subject from background noise.
  4. Size and Portability: Since you’re using an external mic with a DSLR, it should be compact and lightweight, making it easy to handle and transport.
  5. Power Source: Some microphones require batteries, while others draw power from the camera. Decide which option is more convenient for you.

These criteria will help you find a microphone that not only enhances your audio quality but also suits your specific filming needs and style.

Below is a simplified comparison table.

Please note that the prices of products can vary based on the retailer and region, so they are indicated with an “$” sign to represent their general market position from $ (less expensive) to $$$$ (more expensive).

FeatureRode VideoMic Pro+Shure VP83 LensHopperSennheiser MKE 400Tascam TM-2XAudio-Technica AT8024
Approx. Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Type of MicrophoneShotgunShotgunShotgunStereoMono/Stereo (switchable)
Weight122g (without battery)213g (with battery)60g (without battery)75g (without battery)114g (without battery)
Power SourceRechargeable batteryAA batteryAAA batteryPlug-in power (camera)AA battery
Compatibility with D5100YesYesYesYesYes
Frequency Response20Hz – 20kHz50Hz – 20kHz50Hz – 20kHz50Hz – 20kHz40Hz – 15kHz
Connector Type3.5mm TRS3.5mm TRS3.5mm TRS3.5mm TRS3.5mm TRS
Additional FeaturesAuto power on/off, +20dB boostRycote Lyre shock mounting, -10dB padRugged metal housing, switchable sensitivityPivot arm for angle adjustmentMono/Stereo switch, -10dB pad

Remember, when choosing a microphone, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for. Will it be for interviews, vlogging, wildlife, or general use? This will help determine which specs are most important for your needs.

Rode VideoMic Pro+

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The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is a top-tier shotgun microphone designed to elevate the audio quality of your recordings to professional heights, uniquely crafted for cameras like the Nikon D5100. Upon unboxing, the first thing you’ll notice about the VideoMic Pro+ is its sturdy construction, indicative of Rode’s commitment to durability and quality.

It’s an outstanding microphone for videographers who require superior sound quality and convenience. The sound fidelity captured by the VideoMic Pro+ is nothing short of impressive; it delivers clear, detailed audio with minimal background noise, enhancing your videos with rich, broadcast-quality sound.

One of the features I find exceptionally useful is the Automatic Power Function that manages battery usage by shutting down when unplugged from the camera. Additionally, the Digital Switching controls are not only intuitive but effectively reduce post-processing time by minimizing unwanted low-frequency noise.

Specs:

  • Acoustic Principle: Line Gradient
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz (selected HPF @75Hz/150Hz)
  • Output: 3.5mm TRS
  • Battery Life: Over 100 hours
  • Weight: Approx. 122g (without battery)

Pros:

  • Exceptional audio quality with clear sound capture
  • Build quality feels robust and is designed to withstand regular use
  • Digital Switching enhances audio clarity and reduces post-editing
  • Automatic Power Function is a convenient battery-saving feature
  • The detachable 3.5mm cable makes for easy handling and storage

Cons:

  • The price might be a bit steep for hobbyists or entry-level users
  • It requires a 9V battery, which, although lasting, needs to be monitored lest you get caught without a spare during a shoot

Price:
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ typically retails between $200-$300. The price is undeniably a reflection of its premium features and audio quality. It’s an investment for those serious about their audio, and you definitely get what you pay for. For a Nikon D5100 user looking to give their video work a sonic edge, the VideoMic Pro+ is a choice worth considering, despite the price tag.

In my opinion, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ stands out for its clarity, ease of use, and intelligent features that cater to both seasoned videographers and those taking their first step into more serious video projects. Its ability to minimize background noise while pinpointing the audio you want to capture is particularly remarkable. Although it’s on the pricier side, the leap in audio quality from the Nikon D5100’s built-in microphone to the VideoMic Pro+ cannot be overstated—it transforms your audio from amateur to professional with just a quick mount and plug-in.

Shure VP83 LensHopper

image 870

The Shure VP83 LensHopper is a highly reputable external microphone that will charm any Nikon D5100 user with its sleek design and superior audio quality. What sets it apart is its remarkable ability to capture detailed sound while reducing the unwanted background noise that can plague outdoor shoots. It’s a particularly excellent choice for vloggers or filmmakers on the go due to its compact size and robust build.

Taking this microphone out in the field, I was impressed by its ease of use. The VP83 seamlessly attaches to the D5100’s hot shoe and connects via the standard 3.5mm jack, making it practically plug-and-play. The real-time audio monitoring is a boon—there’s a confidence that comes with hearing exactly what you’re recording.

The audio quality didn’t disappoint. Its directional super-cardioid/lobar polar pattern focused precisely on the sound source in front of the camera, with an admirable side and rear noise rejection that was evident in the playback. The warmth and clarity in the recorded voice were almost studio-like, making this microphone a no-brainer for anyone serious about their audio.

Specs:

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Super-cardioid/lobar
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: -36.5 dBV/Pa
  • Maximum SPL: 129 dB
  • Power: AA batteries
  • Connector: 3.5mm jack
  • Additional Features: Integrated Rycote Lyre shock mounting, backlit LCD display

Pros:

  • The build quality is solid, offering reliability and durability.
  • Excellent sound quality with natural warmth and clear details.
  • Remarkable noise rejection, which is crucial for outdoor or on-the-go recording.
  • The Rycote Lyre shock mount included effectively minimizes handling noise.
  • User-friendly interface with easy-to-understand controls and a backlit LCD.

Cons:

  • It’s on the pricey side, which could be a barrier for hobbyists on a tight budget.
  • The use of AA batteries might be a downside for those who prefer rechargeable internal batteries.

Price:

The Shure VP83 LensHopper is generally priced at around $200. While it isn’t the cheapest option on the market, its professional-grade audio performance justifies the cost. It’s a solid investment in audio quality that can make a world of difference in your productions.

In sum, the VP83 isn’t just an accessory; it’s a vital tool for any Nikon D5100 user looking to elevate their audio game. Whether capturing a whispering breeze or a booming voice, the VP83 does so with finesse. It’s worth every penny for the discerning videographer who demands nothing but the best audio to accompany their visuals.

Sennheiser MKE 400

image 869

The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a compact shotgun microphone that has gained quite a reputation among photography enthusiasts and videographers alike. In my experience, it’s one of the most reliable and easy-to-use mics you could attach to your Nikon D5100. Its sleek design and robust build, characterized by an all-metal housing, not only enhance the camcorder aesthetics but also assure you of its durability. The MKE 400’s performance is admirable, capturing clear and directional sound that significantly improves over the built-in microphone of the D5100. The isolation from side noises is particularly impressive, thanks to its super-cardioid pattern, and it’s a feature I’ve come to value whenever I’m shooting in environments with a lot of ambient noise.

Specs

  • Type: Compact Shotgun Microphone
  • Pickup Pattern: Supercardioid/Lobar
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Max SPL: 132 dB
  • Sensitivity: 8 mV/Pa
  • Battery Life: Up to 300 hours
  • Connector: 3.5mm TRS jack
  • Mounting: Shock-mounted on camera shoe

Pros:

  • The MKE 400 is small and light, making it an ideal travel companion that doesn’t add bulk to your setup.
  • The battery life is exceptional, easily lasting through multiple shoots without needing a replacement, which is a major plus for those who spend long hours on set.
  • Its directional audio capture means your recordings are focused on the subject, minimizing distracting background noise.
  • An integral shock mount is included to reduce handling and vibration noise, which is a feature I highly appreciate when moving around during shoots.

Cons:

  • While the sound quality is great, it may not match up to professional-grade microphones that are used in studios; it’s more suited for on-the-go and outdoor shooting scenarios.
  • Its reliance on a single AAA battery, while great for weight and size, might be a hassle for those who prefer rechargeable options.

Price

As for the cost, the MKE 400 sits in a mid-price range. Its value for money is hard to beat, considering the quality of audio it renders with such a compact form factor. It’s an investment for serious videographers who want to significantly up their game from the internal mic without breaking the bank.

While the price may fluctuate, expect to pay somewhere around $200 USD for this piece of equipment. Keep in mind, this isn’t pocket change, but when considering the permanence and performance it brings to your Nikon D5100’s audio capture capabilities, it’s worth every penny for the discernable improvement in sound quality for your videos.

Note: Remember that all opinions shared are subjective and based on personal experience with the product. Individual experiences may vary.

Tascam TM-2X

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Overview:The Tascam TM-2X is a compact and versatile microphone designed to enhance the audio quality of recordings made with your Nikon D5100. It’s specifically tailored for DSLR cameras and offers a significant improvement over the built-in mic on the camera. In my experience, the microphone delivers clear, directional sound quality. Its design is thoughtful, allowing for quick setup and ease of use, which is particularly useful for those who may not be audio tech-savvy. The most impressive aspect is how it manages to capture a natural ambience without compromising the clarity of the subject, essential for good quality video production.

Specs:

  • XY stereo microphone configuration
  • Adjustable angle up to 180 degrees
  • In-built low-cut filter
  • Noise isolation arm included
  • Designed to withstand high sound pressure
  • Camera shoe-mount

Pros:

  • Simple to setup and operate, making it great for beginners or those who prefer a plug-and-play experience.
  • Its ability to swivel and adjust its recording pattern gives you the flexibility to capture audio from different directions.
  • The included noise isolation arm is a great feature that helps reduce unwanted vibrations and handling noise.
  • Decent construction and durability considering its price point.
  • Low-cut filter aids in reducing low-frequency background noise.

Cons:

  • It might not perform as well in extremely loud environments, such as live concerts, due to its sensitivity.
  • Some may find its audio quality lacking when compared to more professional-grade and expensive microphones.
  • Lack of advanced features like gain control or high-pass filter adjustability that you might find on higher-end models.

Price:

  • Approximately $100-$130.

In conclusion, while the Tascam TM-2X may not boast the high-end features of more expensive microphones, its strengths lie in its simplicity and effectiveness for everyday use. It’s a solid choice for Nikon D5100 users looking to significantly upgrade their audio recording capabilities without breaking the bank or getting bogged down in complex setup processes.

Audio-Technica AT8024

image 868

The Audio-Technica AT8024 is a versatile microphone that offers a solid build and ease of use for DSLR videographers, particularly those wielding a Nikon D5100. Upon trying out the AT8024, several aspects stand out. Firstly, its design is compact and unobtrusive, which means it won’t dominate your camera setup or become a nuisance during on-the-go shoots. The simplicity in switching between mono and stereo recording is particularly user-friendly, allowing you to adapt to different recording scenarios with ease.

Attaching it to my Nikon D5100, I immediately noticed the robust shock mount. It did an admirable job of reducing handling noise, which can be a real issue with lesser microphones. The inclusion of a built-in low-cut filter is another thoughtful addition, allowing for the reduction of low-frequency rumble that can muddy your audio.

Sound-wise, the AT8024 doesn’t disappoint. It captures clear and natural audio, with a well-balanced response that works well for both voice and ambient sound. It’s particularly impressive given the unpredictable nature of on-location shooting conditions.

Specs

  • Type: Condenser Microphone
  • Polar Pattern: Line + Gradient and Mono (via switch)
  • Frequency Response: 40-15,000 Hz
  • Low Cut Filter: 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave
  • Power: Two AA batteries
  • Outputs: Integral 3.5 mm stereo mini-plug
  • Accessories: Windshield, Fuzzy Windscreen, AA batteries

Pros:

  • Dual mono and stereo recording options add versatility.
  • Compact design that does not feel cumbersome atop a camera.
  • The effective built-in shock mount really helps cut down on handling noise.
  • Low-cut filter further cleans up the recording from unwanted low frequencies.
  • Good battery life that ensures you’re not constantly swapping out batteries.

Cons:

  • The price might be a bit steep for hobbyists.
  • Audio-Technica provides good quality, but for the purists or professionals looking for impeccable audio, there might be better (though higher-priced) alternatives.

Price

Pricing for the Audio-Technica AT8024 falls in the mid-range bracket, which makes sense for its overall performance and features. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it offers a good balance of quality and cost. Expect to pay somewhere around $200-$250.

Personal Opinion

In my use, I found the Audio-Technica AT8024 to be a reliable and efficient microphone for my Nikon D5100. It caters to most of my recording needs without requiring me to be overly technical, which as a videographer, I deeply appreciate. It strikes a nice balance of offering versatile functionality while maintaining easiness of use. The sound quality achieved is commendable for most applications, and I believe it’s a worthy investment for serious content creators who seek to upgrade from their camera’s built-in mic.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, choosing the best external microphone for your Nikon D5100 can dramatically improve your audio recording quality, making your videos sound as professional as they look. Whether you prioritize durability, sound quality, or versatility, there’s a microphone that fits your needs. From the options reviewed, each microphone has its unique strengths, be it in directional audio capture, noise reduction, or ease of use. Remember to consider your specific recording situations and budget when making your choice. Enhance your filming experience with the right microphone and take your content to the next level!

FAQs:

Q1: Do I need a special adapter to use an external microphone with the Nikon D5100?
A1: The Nikon D5100 features a 3.5mm microphone jack, so most external microphones with a 3.5mm plug can be connected directly. However, if your microphone uses a different connector, you’ll need an appropriate adapter.

Q2: Can I use a wireless microphone with my Nikon D5100?
A2: Yes, you can use a wireless microphone system with the D5100. You’ll connect the receiver unit into the camera’s 3.5mm mic input. Make sure the wireless system is compatible and check for any additional accessories needed for connection.

Q3: How does an external microphone improve video quality over the built-in microphone?
A3: External microphones are designed to capture higher quality audio with less noise and more clarity. They often offer directional recording to better capture sound from your subject while minimizing background noise, which is something built-in microphones usually struggle with.

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John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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