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Recording Live Concerts with the D7000

by jheitzeb on 12/28/2010

The Nikon D7000 is a great DLSR for recording live concerts and it’s the first Nikon to support continuous autofocus while filming video. With it’s spectacular full 1080p HD video and a microphone jack, used with an external microphone for stereo or directional sound, you will feel like you’re back at the concert every time you replay the video. The live HD video and high quality audio create the perfect combination and this time you won’t have to settle for one or the other as you can get cinematic-quality movies every time. The D7000 also provides smooth-moving images compensating for any distortions that can affect the image quality.

Photo by Dr. DAD

There are a vast array of products and accessories that go with the D7000 which are important for recording concerts and ensuring your ability to meet the best results. One of these accessories is the Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System. The pen is small and can fit in your camera bag and is perfect for removing debris from the lens such as fingerprints or dust. Another important accessory to buy is the Induro AKB1 Tripod kit. It’s fast and easy to set up with convenient height adjustments and you won’t have to worry about keeping a steady hand while filming. This allows you to focus on zooming and panning and helps you avoid lateral shaking which can distract the viewer and make your footage look unprofessional.

In order to record in stereo you will need an external microphone. When trying to decide which microphone will allow for the best sound quality it is important to note the difference between shotgun and omni-directional mics. Shotgun mics pick up only a limited area of sound, mainly those sounds directly in front of the mic. An omni-directional mic can hear almost everything surrounding it, making them perfect for recording live concerts. One low-budget omni-directional mic option is the Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone, which works with the D7000 and its industry standard 3.55mm audio jack. It has 360° coverage so you won’t have to worry about pointing it in one specific direction. At only $16.99 you almost can’t go wrong. Except that it records only in mono. For stereo recordings, try the Super-Mini Binural Mics from Sound Professionals. These tiny microphones can be clipped to you left and right shoulder for amazing stereo separation. They’re small and discrete too.

Attenuators like this are essential for eliminating audio distortion while filming live concerts

When recording live concerts, especially rock concerts, the audio can become distorted, as they are extremely loud. Concerts at that volume can leave you with an unsatisfactory recording and cause the sound to become muffled. To solve this problem when recording with the D7000 you will need an attenuator. Attenuators simply plug in between the microphone and the D7000 to limit the strength of the audio and allow you to capture the best audio possible without distortion. A great attenuator is the M-Audio MicroTrack 10dB Pad. For extremely loud environments you might need 15db or even 20db, but 10db should work well for most situations.

The D7000 is great for live concerts but it is important to remember that to get the best quality video of a live concert you will need an omni-directional mic and an attenuator. The greatest aspect of live rock music is the sound quality that enhances the viewing and with this great camera and a few other accessories you can take the rock concert with you wherever you go.

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