Rode VideoMic Pro vs. Original - Review & Shootout!!!

I've owned the "original" Rode VideoMic for several years and it provides pretty good audio on my Canon DSLR ... much, much better than the on-board microphone. However, the VideoMic is fairly big, long, and heavy ... so it's a bit unwieldy, plus when used with a Dead-Cat and a wide-angle lens, you'll see it in the picture. BTW, many people complain about how it makes it difficult to use the viewfinder, but if you move the footer from the middle to the rear section, that's no longer an issue.

So I was excited when Rode announced the VideoMic Pro in 2011, which promised similar sound quality in a much smaller form factor ... although the $230 I paid is almost a $100 more than the original VideoMic ... but if you register for their impressive 10-year warranty, they'll send you a free Dead-Cat for muffling wind noise ... too bad I didn't have it for this test.

The Rode VideoMic Pro comes in a box that is the same size as the original, but don't worry, it's a lot smaller. Be sure to read the instructions on how to install the battery - it's non-intuitive how to get that 9-volt battery in there. Be nice if this was easier; or better yet, if it used AA's. I had to rotate the footer 90° to get it to fit on my Canon 7D flash and with the audio input on the left side of the DSLR, rotated the wire one time around to minimize slack. Otherwise, the VideoMic Pro fits (and works!) just fine with the same controls as the original VideoMic, plus a +20DB setting for low volume situations & minimize Amp noise. Forum posters have recommended super glueing the rubber suspension bands to help 'em stay put - makes sense to me! ;-)

The technical specs of the VideoMic Pro are just about identical to the Original. So I put both of 'em on dual Canon 7D's with the exact same settings (0DB, no HighPass) and did a quick test. You can see the setup (ONLY) in the YouTube video below which was shot with a crappy point-n-shoot ... so that video and audio quality is pretty poor.

Click to listen to the recorded & synced audio of the Rode VideoMic Pro (left channel) versus Original (right channel) from the dual Canon 7D's. Yes, a Dead-Cat would have helped muffle the wind. I'm not an audio expert, but sounds identical to me.

I welcome any comments on all of this. More camera stuff.