Here’s my comparison of 5 different relatively inexpensive (under 200$cdn) mic options.
Over time as I started to make videos I found the sound quality was bugging me.
So I embarked on a mini-quest to improve on the audio I was capturing.
Eventually ending up with four external mics and the internal camera mic
(I also have a few studio mics but that is for another time.)
Here is a video I made while recording from all 5 sources at the same time in a couple of different locations..
(Editing that into a single video was quite a chore!)
Summary of my findings
Camera Internal mic
Cost: free, built in to most cameras.
Power: internal camera battery
Pros: free, always have it with you.
Cons: usually terrible poor quality sound, picks up wind, environment and even camera internal operating noises.
Cost: runs around 20$us/26$cdn
Pros: Needs no battery, and is stereo, very inexpensive.
Cons: no easy way to clip it to anything. output levels are low.
Cost: runs around 29$us/50$cdn
Power: needs a LR44 type battery that lasts about 10-15 hours.
Pros: cheap, not bad sound
Cons: no battery life indicator, you never know if it has quit on you.
excessively 6 meter/20 foot long ever tangle cord.
Cost: runs around 89$us/99$cdn
Pros: powers itself from the recording device (needs to be compatible), small easily placed.
Cons: None, it does need a RØDE SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adapter to connect to recorders instead of smartphones
Hint: A kit with the lav and adapter can sometimes be found for almost same price as lav by itself, much more expensive if bought separately
Cost: runs around 150$us/189$cdn
Power: standard 9v battery
Pros: good quality construction, uses standard easy to find 9v battery
Cons: large and needs to be camera mounted, can pick up unwanted directional background sounds.
To my top product picks (yes they are affiliate links!).
RØDE SC3 trrs to trs adapter
RØDE SmartLav+ and trrs to trs bundle!