NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

Aputure V-Mic D2 shotgun microphone first look review

The V-Mic D2 just arrived from Aputure.
It's a nice micrphone kit with some interesting features and some really great value compared to what you get from most other brands, although with a few things I didn't find ideal.

From left to right: Sony Xb700 headphones, Sony A7s camera with Voightlander 35mm f1.4 lens, V-mic D2 with its windscreen and the Ride VideoMic Pro with a cheap windscreen.

Pros:

  • Fairly compact and lightweight.
  • Uses two common AAA batteries.
  • Has a built-in manual volume adjustment knob. As far as I can tell it's analog, not digital, which means you get a very smooth adjustment from zero all the way to maximum.
  • Comes with a fur windscreen that feels like it will be great, but I have yet to test its noise reducing qualities. It is a mini "blimp" style windscreen that covers the entire microphone.
  • Removable cables make for easy replacement if the cable gets damaged.
  • Two built-in shock mounts that work very well to reduce handling noise, one around the microphone and another below it.
  • Decent build quality.
  • Dual-use hot shoe and 1/4" screw connection.
  • A green LED to let you know if you're getting a loud enough signal (above -12dB) and a red LED to let you know when you are peaking, to prevent distortion.
  • A very decent low-pass feature which can reduce a lot of background noise, obviously depending on the noise.
  • A camera calibration feature, useful for people who are not sure what recording volume to set on their camera or audio recorder. It basically gives you beeps into the camera so you know that you need to reduce the in-camera volume until those beeps aren't make the camera's audio peak. This could be very useful for first time users, because many do not set their camera correctly, for example, many people get poor results from the Rode Videomic Pro because they do not use the +20dB feature with their camera's volume lowered almost all the way. I am not sure if this calibration feature will also be useful for more experienced audio/video professionals.

Cons:

  • The cable connection from the microphone to the base is a USB connection, and feels a little fragile. I am not sure if a standard mini USB cable would work here, I don't have another to test.
  • The fur windscreen's zip cannot close if the USB cable is plugged in (which is always).
  • Extremely susceptible to interference. Even using it at my desk, where I often use other microphones, it picks up a lot of noise from my WiFi router.  

Audio samples coming up soon.

A size comparison of the Aputure D2 with the Rode Videomic Pro. The V-Mic is slightly larger and heavier.