Rode VideoMic NTG On Camera Shotgun Mic Review
A closer look at this versatile on-camera shotgun microphone to see if the consumer-friendly price is reflected in the quality of audio it can capture.
With an abundance of high-quality microphones on the market, budget-minded video content creators and filmmakers have plenty of options when buying a versatile microphone for their camera or studio.
As a video content creator who often heads to remote locations on foot, I needed a microphone for dialogue that balanced significant improvement in my camera’s built-in mic with a compact and lightweight design.
Lightweight and compact way to record high-quality audio direct to your camera for an affordable price.
The Rode VideoMic NTG, a shotgun microphone with modest but nevertheless useful features with broadcast quality audio, stepped up to the challenge and delivered exactly the results I was looking for.
Let’s dive into this Rode VideoMic NTG review. I’ll break down the technical aspects, handling, and overall performance that makes the Rode VideoMic NTG a great, budget-friendly microphone for amateur filmmakers and content creators.
See also: Best wireless mics
What is the Rode VideoMic NTG?
- Incredibly lightweight and compact
- Produces crisp, clear audio
- Compatible with a wide selection of devices
- It comes fitted with a shock mount
- Handy “safety channel” for backup recordings
- Auto-power and sensing output
- The battery isn’t interchangeable
- Better alternatives for studio use
The Rode VideoMic NTG is a broadcast-level shotgun microphone that’s ideal for vloggers and other online content creators who want something lightweight and versatile.
Delivering considerable improvements in performance when compared to the in-built mics featured on most cameras, it’s a hard-wearing, durable mic suitable for studio and location work.
Rode’s reputation comes through in the sound quality, with crisp and clear audio recorded in a range of weather and background noise conditions, lending it to outdoor filming in adverse weather conditions.
Rode VideoMic NTG Spec Summary:
- OS Requirements – Mac OS 10.12 Windows 10
- Acoustic Principle – Pressure gradient electret condenser
- Polar Pattern – Supercardioid
- Frequency Range – 20Hz – 20kH
- Frequency Response – 35Hz – 18kHz ±3 dB
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio – 79 dBA
- Output Impedance – 10Ω
- Input SPL @ 1% THD – 120dB SPL
- High Pass Filter Frequency – 75Hz, 150Hz
- Output Connection – 3.5mm auto-sensing USB-C
- Bit Depth – 24-bit
- Sample Rates – 48kHz
- Battery Life – 30+ hours
- Battery Capacity – 350mAh
- Sensitivity – -26 dB re 1V/Pa (50mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 1dB @ 1kHz
- Dynamic Range – 105dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Equivalent Noise – 15dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
What’s the difference between Rode Video Mic Pro Plus and Rode VideoMic NTG?
The Rode VideoMic Pro Plus and the Rode VideoMic NTG are both high-quality directional microphones. However, there are several key differences between them.
- The VideoMic Pro Plus has a more advanced battery system, with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 200 hours of use. The VideoMic NTG, on the other hand, uses two AA batteries, which provide up to 70 hours of use.
- The VideoMic Pro Plus has a more advanced audio processing system, with a three-stage gain control and a safety channel that provides a backup audio track in case of audio distortion. The VideoMic NTG has a simpler audio processing system, with a single gain control.
- The VideoMic Pro Plus has a more advanced mounting system, with a shock-mounted capsule and a mounting system that allows you to mount the microphone directly on your camera or on a boom pole. The VideoMic NTG has a simpler mounting system, with a cold shoe mount that attaches to your camera.
Both microphones are excellent choices for capturing high-quality audio for your videos, but the VideoMic Pro Plus is a more advanced option with more features and a longer battery life.
The VideoMic NTG is a simpler, more affordable option that still provides high-quality audio.
Build & Appearance
The Rode VideoMic NTG is a lightweight and compact on-camera microphone, measuring just 171mm in length and 21.6mm in diameter for ease of storage and use.
It fits easily in a camera bag’s side pocket or snugly down the side of a smaller lens, and since it weighs just 94 grams, you barely notice the difference when it’s packed with your other gear.
This low weight also means its impact on your camera weight is negligible when in use and won’t require any adjustments to your balance if adding it to a camera mounted on a gimbal.
Likewise, its relatively short length means you can avoid the shotgun mic appearing in the frame on all but the shortest and widest of lenses when the foam windshield can occasionally cause issues.
The mic also comes with a lightweight SM7-R shock mount on a red suspension bracket fitting onto the hot shoe attachment, which only adds a few grams to the overall weight and aids performance when shooting handheld on uneven terrain or in windy conditions.
While the Rode VideoMic NTG is constructed from plastic, it’s nevertheless been given a professional finish that resembles metal, and certainly doesn’t look cheap or flimsy and feels sturdy to hold and use.
Indeed, its combination of incredibly light weight and durable build makes it an excellent shotgun microphone for run-and-gun filmmakers who want a mic they won’t notice in their bag, but can quickly attach to a camera in a few seconds.
Considering its relatively low price point and small size, the Rode VideoMic NTG USB microphone is surprisingly feature-rich, covering all the usual features needed for professional-level audio recording while out in the field.
The mic is designed to deliver great acoustic transparency and a natural, uncoloured sound, which is perfect for capturing dialogue in a crisp and unprocessed format for later editing.
It comes with variable gain control to ensure recording levels are as close to perfect as can be, as well as a selection of digital switching tools to further assist you when you’re struggling with unwanted background noise.
This includes a high-pass filter control (flat/75Hz/150Hz), a high-frequency boost to bring in additional detail, a -20dB cut pad for additional control over how you can tailor the recordings, as well as a safety channel.
Connectivity-wise, the Rode VideoMic NTG comes with a headphone jack, a 3.5mm jack to connect directly to the camera’s mic input, and a USB cable for charging the mic’s internal battery.
All in all, the features included with the Rode VideoMic NTG lend it a degree of versatility and application in a variety of settings, with reliably consistent results.
Having tested the Rode VideoMic NTG in a range of situations, I’ve found the overall performance to be exemplary, considering the price and size of the product.
In neutral conditions with no background elements to add noise, it’s a considerable step up from my Sony A7iii’s internal mic, delivering more emphasis across all frequency ranges.
Basses are heavier and deeper, while mid- and high-range audio come through with more clarity and richness than the internal mic, with an all-around richer tone to dialogue and other sounds.
The mic’s various settings allow for a great degree of control over the recording, with infinitely variable gain control delivering a greater output range and deploying active amplification to achieve better results.
If the Rode VideoMic NTG is connected to the camera’s headphone jack, the mic will automatically tamp down the output signal to match the optimal levels.
One of the other useful features is a safety channel, which can make the difference between having useable audio or wasting a shoot, with the mic recording an additional track at a lower level.
Recorded at -20dB, this track is useful as a substitute track that can be used as a substitute for your main track in post-production, should you be faced with distortion or other unpleasant aural artifacts.
It brings additional peace of mind for when you have one shot to get the recording done, and don’t have the luxury to head back to the location of call the interview subject back for another go around.
Using the Rode VideoMic NTG outdoors, whether in heavy traffic or on a windy hill, delivers similarly impressive results that outperform in-camera microphones, with the included windshield acting as a powerful wind noise reducer.
I’ve put the Rode VideoMic NTG through its paces on a windswept hilltop using the windshield. The resulting dialogue was sharp and clearly audible, with good dynamics and minimal background noise interference.
The responsive physical controls featured on the VideoMic NTG
It’s incredibly easy to set up and can be mounted on a camera in seconds. The mic also detects when the camera is powered on and automatically switches itself on.
In some situations, it can be easy to forget to manually power up on-camera mics, so this auto power feature is a handy time-saver and brings peace of mind to your overall workflow.
Battery life is also impressive, and while the battery isn’t interchangeable, it lasts for over thirty hours of operation, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to recharge it even during a busy day shooting footage.
How much does Rode VideoMic NTG cost?
The Rode VideoMic NTG typically retails for around $249, although there are often deals on Amazon, B&H Photo other online vendors lowering this price to below the $200 barrier.
While it is more expensive than some of its closest rivals, it’s still a competitive price for a microphone that delivers essentially good-quality audio that most content creators will be more than happy with.
It sits comfortably in the price range of similar semi-professional mics that are geared toward videographers looking for a versatile mic with a decent selection of onboard adjustments.
Who is Rode VideoMic NTG good for?
With its combination of discreet build quality and ease of use, the Rode VideoMic NTG is a surprisingly powerful performer that delivers pleasing results with a range of useful features to help you refine your recordings on the go.
It delivers exceptional results for video-centric users who want to record interviews and other dialogue with the added advantage of a safety channel and are focused on outdoor filmmaking where more unwanted variables can disrupt recording.
When mounted on a camera, it’s minimalist and unobtrusive, making it a good shotgun microphone for vloggers and other content creators who want to mount it on camera to produce content quickly and reliably.
It’s also a great USB mic for in-studio recording sessions. While it won’t stand up against dedicated podcasting microphones, its adaptability for location shooting makes it a good option for budget-conscious filmmakers who want a Jack of all trades microphone without breaking the bank.
If you’re looking for a highly directional microphone for use in a range of conditions and want to keep the weight and size to a minimum, the Rode VideoMic NTG is an outstanding performer and delivers great value for money.
What is NTG microphone?
The VideoMic NTG is a hybrid microphone that brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of the Rode NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.
Is Rode VideMic NTG stereo or mono?
Does Rode NTG need phantom power?
The Rode NTG has an in-built battery. It doesn’t require phantom power, a term given to the process of delivering DC (Direct Current) to microphones requiring electric power to drive active circuitry.
With in-camera microphones notoriously poor performers, the Rode VideoMic NTG delivers considerable improvements in performance, broadcast-standard audio, and versatile features on a budget.
Its combination of sturdy construction, low weight, and small size make it the ideal mic for on-the-go filmmakers and vloggers who like to travel light while still getting great results when recording audio in a studio.
Video content creators and amateur filmmakers looking for an affordable USB mic to use primarily while out and about will be impressed by the Rode VideoMic NTG’s handling and performance.
Lightweight and compact way to record high-quality audio direct to your camera for an affordable price.
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