The Canon XF200 uses a built-in internal microphone and has additional XLR (3-pin) cable inputs for other microphones such as stick (hand-held) or wireless.
The internal microphone is set up to record NAT audio (natural or ambient sound). This microphone records two-channel stereo (L and R channels) and is ideally suited to recreate the environmental ambience. But this microphone is not recommended for recording voices during interviews.
NOTE: It’s inadvisable to record interviews with the internal microphone. The reason why concerns the fact that the internal has a wider pickup range, meaning that it will pick up as much ambient audio as it will the person’s voice. Also, it’s crucial to get the microphone as close to the voice as possible. Students who use the internal micophone for interviews always come away with voices that sound distant or are overwhelmed with ambient sound.
Using Stick Microphones or Wireless
These accessory microphones can be connected to the Input 1 or Input 2 XLR terminals. The stick and the wireless microphones are ideally suited to record voices during interviews. For the clearest, sharpest reproduction of voices, it’s important to always consider first using the stick and wireless… and only use the internal microphone as a last resort. Never start with the last resort first because audio quality is as important as video quality.
Connecting the Stick or Wireless Microphone
Use either INPUTS 1 or 2, but for the illustration, we’ll use INPUT 2. For using the wireless, connect the receiver to INPUT 2 and attach it to the camera’s shoe (top track on the camera – see picture). Make sure the receiver is connected securely to the camera.
Audio Input Settings
The controls for setting the audio input of the microphones can be found in a compartment located in the camera’s top handle. The controls are divided between AUDIO record level thumbwheels, CH 1 and CH 2 Automatic or Manual settings, AUDIO INPUT 1 and 2 settings.
The INPUT 1 and INPUT 2 AUDIO IN settings let you select between LINE, MIC and MIC +48V. When using a stick microphone or a wireless, select MIC. In this example, if you plug the stick microphone into INPUT 2, then select MIC. The audio will be heard on CH2 (right channel). You can set INT. MIC (internal microphone) to record audio in CH1.
BEST PRACTICE: Always wear headphones when recording. You must be able to monitor the quality of the audio, not just simply look at the meter to know that you’re recording sound. Headphones will help you hear for distortions, including unwanted static, cracks, pops and hissing sounds that could interfere with the audio. Without headphones, you’ll never know the quality of the audio.
Below, the headphone jack is located at the back of the camera and right of the battery compartment.