Andy Westlake tests a low-profile microphone for DSLR video
MyMyk SmartMyk at a glance:
- Directional video microphone
- Powered by CR2032 battery
- 3.5mm stereo connector
- Price £149
- Website www.mymyk.com
If you’re a photographer interested in recording video, buying an external microphone can seem like an extravagance. Most cameras have perfectly serviceable stereo microphones built-in, and external units are usually large and inconvenient. But in reality, investing in a microphone can significantly improve the sound quality of your videos.
Australian company MyMyk aims to address the main irritations of conventional video microphones with its SmartMyk design. It’s unusually slim and lightweight (just 60g), due to several neat design features. A shock mount is housed within the unit’s weather- resistant polycarbonate body, eliminating the need for a bulky external mount. A CR2032 button cell provides power, and is rated for 200 hours’ use (however the unit won’t work using plug-in power from the camera). The electret condenser microphone is designed to be highly directional, rejecting noise from behind the camera or from either side. It feeds a dual mono signal to your camera via a gold-plated 3.5mm stereo right-angle jack, and the gain can be adjusted in three steps using a switch marked -15, 0 and +15 dB.
MyMyk SmartMyk – key features
A generously long coiled lead plugs into the camera’s 3.5mm microphone socket
The slim foam muffler provides some protection against wind noise; an optional furry windshield is also available
Metal camera mount
The microphone fits onto your camera via a sturdy metal shoe, but has no tripod screw socket
The microphone is held in a red TPE rubber mount to minimise the impact of handling noise and vibrations
MyMyk SmartMyk – our verdict
The MyMyk SmartMyk provides a richer sound quality than the built-in mics on most cameras and effectively concentrates its attention on what’s in front of the lens. The only criticism is that you’ll probably need to pay another £59 for the optional windshield if you shoot outdoors, as the foam one supplied isn’t quite enough. The SmartMyk is much more compact than conventional shotgun microphones, and still delivers excellent sound quality.
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
Using the optional connector cable that converts to a 4-connector jack, the SmartMyk can also be connected to a smartphone. Then using the MyMyk Camera Audio app for iOS (£1.99) you can record audio for future editing, with lots of useful features including timecode display and folder organisation.