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1080p cameras that record audio via USB interface?

Title says it all.

I did quite some googling, starting out with finding out which cameras record uncompressed PCM audio. Some do, some don't, so I thought that there should be a way. Since I want to use semi-professional microphones (RODE NT with NT45O capsules) to record my piano playing, the regular 3,5mm microphone jack on a camera is not an option.

I have managed to connect my Android phone via USB OTG cable to my Steinberg audio interface an with the right camera app I can actually record video with the external microphones.

No handheld camera, however, seems to work this way, which I find surprising - and frustrating. I used all my Google Fu to find such a camera with keywords like USB OTG camera etc. but I haven't found a single search result that show any digital camera connected to a USB audio interface.

Or am I wrong and someone can point me to a solution?

I want a result like this, but without having to merge video and separate audio on a computer:

Comments

kmetal Thu, 09/17/2020 - 14:45

https://www.zoom.co…

One of those might work well for you.

Otherwise you can just use a clapper, or finger snap, ect, and line up the microphone audio from the interface, to the phone/camera audio and picture. You don't need to use the camera audio for anything other than that. Although it might be useful.

Boswell Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:26

Be careful when evaluating devices that stream audio to USB with or without video. On a lot of them, the audio is 24-bit when recorded locally on the device, but only 16-bit when streamed to USB. This detail is usually buried deep in the specifications, taking special care if the setup instructions do not mention the need to load the manufacturer's device driver.

paulears Wed, 09/23/2020 - 23:05

Separate has been the way with film and video forever. Not really I suspect for the reasons people assume, but because you choose a recorder that does what you need with your audio and you choose a camera to do what you need with a camera. That's hard enough individually, to find one product with your shopping list would be virtually impossible. Even worse the number of single operators who are excellent at both mean buyer preference is for separate items of kit.

Sync really isn't the issue people think. Even without a clap you only need to do it once. Our worries are from the days when sync slipped. It's a non-problem.

bouldersound Wed, 09/23/2020 - 23:21

Separate is not that hard, and it's better enough to make it worthwhile. I use a Zoom H5 and whatever collection of cameras is appropriate, typically four Sony Handycams and a couple of GoPros. I use the camera audio to rough sync them, then fine tune by carefully looking at a drum hit or something. Six cameras and an audio recorder is a little tedious. One cam and an audio recorder is pretty easy.

pcrecord Thu, 09/24/2020 - 06:26

OE1FEU, post: 465529, member: 51398 wrote: No handheld camera, however, seems to work this way, which I find surprising - and frustrating. I used all my Google Fu to find such a camera with keywords like USB OTG camera etc. but I haven't found a single search result that show any digital camera connected to a USB audio interface.

Connecting a camera to an audio interface would mean that you are transfering the audio of the camera to the interface then USB to a computer.. in that case you are still left with 2 medias that needs to be combined. Because AUDIO interface do not deal with video. Unless you mean the other way around an audio interface plugged in USB to a camera. This doesn't exist (to my knowledge) .

Many pro-camera have XLR inputs to plug microphones, this could be the easiest but more expensive solution. (put the mics near the sound source, use long cable to go to the camera.

There is also some wireless systems who allow for grabing the audio and connect it to the mic input of the camera.. but mic inputs of small camera all have bad quality.
having a camera and an audio recorder to connect the mics is the simplest and cost effective solution. Yes you need to sync the sound in post, but most video software can do it automaticly. (for exemple Davinci Resolve, the free version is awesome)

In the end you could buy a dedicated digital video and audio recorder, like the (Blackmagic Design Video Assist 7" 12G-SDI/HDMI HDR Recording Monitor)
You output from the camera in HDMI to the recorder and there is 2 analog audio inputs (with phantom power)

pcrecord Thu, 09/24/2020 - 10:14

paulears, post: 465570, member: 47782 wrote: The audio quality on my JVC via the XLRs is pretty good, but level setting is a bit random and there always seems to be a little compression evident, even when set to manual. I use them for speech, but always record music separately, and sync via the camera mic

On all the DSLR I owned, the mic input was bad.. full of noise and unusable for serious work. That's why I bought the Zoom F4 recorder.. made a big difference..

OE1FEU Thu, 09/24/2020 - 11:37

I am aware of all that and I do know how to synchronize a video with separate audio.

However - and that's the reason why I am asking - the Olympus is one of those cameras that in its spec sheet actually specifically states PCM linear audio 16Bit/48kHz, so it would be a nobrainer to provide a corresponding USB host adapter that picks up that signal with external microphones.

My cheap Android phone can actually do this.

I learnt that cameras don't do that, but since they actually record in excellent quality it's rather stupid to hand only the internal microphones or external one with the cheap internal mic amp to the PCM audio tracks.

Oh well...

bouldersound Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:40

pcrecord, post: 465569, member: 46460 wrote: Yes you need to sync the sound in post, but most video software can do it automaticly.

I'm sure it gets close, but for my purposes I need to fine tune the sync manually, by carefully watching the video and moving the audio track until it looks absolutely right. The audio tracks on my cameras can be up to three frames off from the video, so using audio to sync is only an approximation. When I sync up a bunch of different camera angles I use the audio tracks to get them close, then I find a visual reference, usually a drum hit, to get them to within half a frame. Doing six cameras is a bit tedious, but one camera and an audio track would be a breeze.

kmetal Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:53

OE1FEU, post: 465574, member: 51398 wrote: I am aware of all that and I do know how to synchronize a video with separate audio.

However - and that's the reason why I am asking - the Olympus is one of those cameras that in its spec sheet actually specifically states PCM linear audio 16Bit/48kHz, so it would be a nobrainer to provide a corresponding USB host adapter that picks up that signal with external microphones.

My cheap Android phone can actually do this.

I learnt that cameras don't do that, but since they actually record in excellent quality it's rather stupid to hand only the internal microphones or external one with the cheap internal mic amp to the PCM audio tracks.

Oh well...

16bit 48k isn't good resolution, you want to be at least 24bit.

OE1FEU Thu, 09/24/2020 - 13:21

paulears, post: 465567, member: 47782 wrote: Separate has been the way with film and video forever.

That, BTW, hasn't always been true. Back in the 1930/40s film recordings came with a magnetic strip for an audio track. The resulting quality was vastly superior to any pure audio recording and playback solution at that time. Here is a fine example:

1937 35mm film:

1938 typical 78 shellack disc:

both with the same pieces and same pianist.

kmetal Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:29

OE1FEU, post: 465580, member: 51398 wrote: And a Steinway D is better that a Steinway B. But I won't throw away my Steinway B because you say so.

And 16/48k is good enough for 99% of all purposes.

Not for critical recording, sorry. Its well known that the 16 bit limitations are audible, and introduce unnecessary gain staging compromises.

A large portion of pro audio is at 96k these days some still 44/48k sample rates, but still 24 bit.

Virtually no projects I've heard of in the last 15 years are tracked at 16bit.

With 32bit recording on the forefront 16bit tracking is certainly outdated.

kmetal Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:10

OE1FEU, post: 465586, member: 51398 wrote: OK, let me hear one of those critical recordings that have a real concert grand with a real pianist and that would sound like $*^t when recorded only at 16/48.

One recording. One.

That would be tough since classical in particular, is one genre that tends to favour ultra high sample and bit rates. Beyond that in this forum we are limited mp3 and youtube, which are lossy formats.

When i can maybe ill buy an album in 16/44 and 24/96 or 192, from hdtracks, and null test them to see what gets lost in the sample rate conversion. Tho the album would need to be recorded at high bit/sample rates, not just upconverted.

Look you seem upset. The industry moved to 24bit for good (non marketing) reasons.

With 16bit, you have to record much hotter levels, ie near 0dbfs. So you run the risk of clipping, make your hardware work harder, and leave less headroom for post processing.

In classical the additional dynamic range offered by 24 bit can be useful.

We use what we have to, but to shoot down to the lowest common denominator makes no sense if choice is involved, especially of your interface ect is capable of higher performance.

For classical, where clarity, detail, and dynamics, are paramount, it is only logical to use 24 bit, and sample rates that are optimal for the converter. If for no other reason than to allow more headroom to avoid clipping the recording.

paulears Fri, 09/25/2020 - 11:49

OE1FEU, post: 465582, member: 51398 wrote: That, BTW, hasn't always been true. Back in the 1930/40s film recordings came with a magnetic strip for an audio track. The resulting quality was vastly superior to any pure audio recording and playback solution at that time. Here is a fine example:

1937 35mm film:

1938 typical 78 shellack disc:

both with the same pieces and same pianist.

COMMAG and COMOPT were I thought, added for distribution and not pre-edit because of the issues of the distance between the lens and audio record point. They had to be separate to edit, because making a splice at the visual point left the audio cut for the same frame a long way away! I didn't know these early cameras recorded audio at all for this offset reason?

bouldersound Fri, 09/25/2020 - 12:04

paulears, post: 465597, member: 47782 wrote: COMMAG and COMOPT were I thought, added for distribution and not pre-edit because of the issues of the distance between the lens and audio record point. They had to be separate to edit, because making a splice at the visual point left the audio cut for the same frame a long way away! I didn't know these early cameras recorded audio at all for this offset reason?

Or perhaps the audio recording had to be offset because it needed continuous motion while the projection needed to stop on each frame.

bouldersound Fri, 09/25/2020 - 14:31

paulears, post: 465601, member: 47782 wrote: That's vital, but there's no space on 35mm or 16mm to stick an optical or mag unit at the exposure point, and of course the film is static there. Recording audio in the camera would make editing a real pain. OK for prints of course.

Which just reinforces the whole idea of what you do for production is different from what you do for reproduction. Using a separate 24 bit audio recorder when shooting video makes a lot of sense while a 16 bit audio track embedded into the video file is just fine for the end user. No doubt there are pro video production systems that can capture 24 bit audio directly, but I doubt that's available to the OP. Well, there's are Zoom recorders that will capture high quality audio along with video, but you give up things like a zoom lens (which is rather ironic) and manual control of camera settings.

paulears Sat, 09/26/2020 - 00:56

Everyone does different things now so your own way of working is far more personal. I've had a couple of editors in the office in the last week who also use premiere and a couple of other common items, and discovered we all use premiere differently. "Why have you got those three unused tracks on the timeline?" er, that's how I always keep and eye on sync - if I spot these muted tracks not aligning I know I've accidentally nudged something, so it sort of warns me theres a likely sync issue. One loaded in his project and we looked at it and thought that's a very clever screen arrangement. That's just one bit of software. If you have options on audio recorders and every bit of kit, there's no way a manufacturer cold build something for everyone. In my studio here, for laziness only, I couldn't be bothered to get the flight case out with the radio mics and used a zoom and wired lav that was laying around. two minutes in the edit to sync and half an hour saved over not freeing the flight case, bottom of the pile!

pcrecord Mon, 09/28/2020 - 04:56

OE1FEU, post: 465580, member: 51398 wrote: And a Steinway D is better that a Steinway B. But I won't throw away my Steinway B because you say so.

And 16/48k is good enough for 99% of all purposes.

24bit has more headroom, it's as simple as that. If you have a source that has a lot of dynamics (like ppp and fff) you would want the most headroom as possible.
At 16bit you get more chances of grabbing more noise...
Now 44, 48 or 96khz is another story.. it's true that many studio still record at 44khz for CD and 48khz for Videos.... Btw 48 is a good choice to fit the 24frame/s of videos...

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