The Rode VideoMic GO is a latest shoe-mounted shotgun mic that is geared toward amateur and enthusiast shooters who want to add better sound quality to their video-capable compact, mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
Unlike other microphones in the VideoMic series, the VideoMic GO does not require batteries to operate and has no external controls to adjust. You don’t even have to turn the VideoMic GO on to use it. Just plug it in and, literally, go.
And, therein lies the beauty of the VideoMic GO. You get quality, directional audio pickup with no fuss for the user. No more audio crises from failing to turn on your mic when you start recording video. If it’s plugged in, it’s recording.
The VideoMic GO is mounted on a Rycote Lyre shock mount, which prevents noise from handing the camera. Additionally, the cable for the mic is completely independent of the mic. If you break the 3.5mm cable, you don’t break the mic and there’s no need to send it off for repair. Just grab another 3.5mm cable and you are back in business.
Note, however, that the VideoMic GO requires the camera to have 2.5v plug-in power – something that most cameras with a mic input will have. That said, do take note that it is not compatible with some recent popular cameras like the Nikon D7000. (Note that B&H lists the T2i, T3i, 7D and 5D Mark II as incompatible. Rode informs me that this is incorrect and the mic is indeed compatible with the T2i, T3i, 7D and 5D Mark II.) Just check your camera’s manual to make sure it has plug-in power available via the mic port.
I’ve used it with my Canon Rebel SL1 and the Sony A7 and A7R cameras with great results. I’m a huge fan of the VideoMic GO for run and gun situations or just casual video shooting with my family. The biggest upside in these situation is that it is always on. I’m not happy to admit that I have been guilty of forgetting to turn my mic on when recording on more than one occasion and completely ruined a shot.
With a frequency response covering 100Hz – 16kHz, it basically has a built-in low-cut that often gets rolled off in post anyway. Frequencies under 100Hz are generally annoying hums from electrical components, appliances and other crap that you really don’t want to hear on casual videos. Particularly when you consider the mostly informal uses the VideoMic GO will see, the limited frequency range becomes an asset to the mic’s audience.
I have one complaint about the VideoMic GO. I wish it was built so that it did not extend behind the camera. If it remained only over the front of the camera (more like the VideoMic Pro), I would probably never take it off when I’m on an outing. However, it’s nearly impossible to get my eye on the viewfinder with the VideoMic GO mounted on the camera. Of course, if you are using a camera that doesn’t have a viewfinder and relying only on a rear display, then you are fine.
(Update: Rode informs me that the cold shoe is adjustable, allowing me to slide the cold shoe mount forward and back on the shock mount to get what I’m looking for here. So then, no real complaints.)
(Update #2: I’ve since tested the adjustability of the cold shoe and it works well enough to allow me to get my eye to the viewfinder on my SL1; however, it’s still not as out-of-the way as the VideoMic Pro.)
If you want better audio than what your on-camera mic delivers, there are few options that are as simple and affordable as the Rode VideoMic GO. At $99, the price is right and it really is an idiot-proof mic.
You can find the Rode VideoMic GO here at B&H Photo.