This is not a product review of the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone. I do not have the skill and technical equipment to test this small gear, nor a pair of good ears.

It is a merely a summary of impressions and a little comparison with some thoughts.

My initial objective was to get an compact external microphone for the Canon 6D for capturing some interviewing. The internal, monaural microphone on the camera body has its limitation. To capture video with good sound quality, I decided to mount an external microphone to the stereo jack. Two things are vital: small in size and reasonable priced.  Here are the main features of the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone:

  • All-metal housing (except the hot shoe adpater)
  • More than 300 hours operating time (as stated in the product guide)
  • Power source: 1 x AAA size battery
  • Volume switch adjusts the sensitivity to cope with varying distances from sound source
  • Dimensions: 130 x 21 x 62 mm (W x H x D)
  • Weight: approx. 60 g
  • Price: AU$194 (discounted retail price spotted)

Some recommend the Røde VideoMic Pro, which is very close to the Sennheiser MKE400.  But on paper there are some less competitive features:

  • Power source: 9v battery powered (70 hours as stated in the product guide)
  • Dimensions: 250 x 65 x 102 mm (W x H x D)
  • Weight: approx. 85 g
  • Price: AU$214 (discounted retail price spotted)

Both Røde and Sennheiser are famous for their audio products. From the specifications of these two microphones, they indeed go head to head and it is truly hard to tell the difference before you put them in the real world testing. You can view some discussions online or watch some comparisons on YouTube. I recommend the YouTube video produced by Photographer and filmmaker Dan Chung using the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone, which is very informative.

So far I have done small testings with the Canon 6D.  But good results have been proven in some interview recordings with the Canon XA10.

If you are thinking of capturing videos in a concert or the wild with depth of sound from the natural environment, I guess the Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro may serve this purpose better.

The Sennheiser MKE400

Featured image: The mountains. Summicron-M 50 mm, ISO160, f/4.0, 1/1000 sec

 

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