The ‘best’ doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg.
I’ve said for years that our world is becoming increasingly more digital by the day. This year, 2020, has proven that more than ever before. We have turned to streaming video and our smartphone’s cameras to communicate and to connect with each other. There are more people turning to video to hone their creativity from their homes rather than out in the world. While smartphone technology has certainly come a long way in the past few years, it may not be the best option for video or audio recording when you want a broadcast-quality product. One of the most important pieces of equipment you can invest in these days is a good microphone. Deity’s V-Mic D3 Pro is one of the best options available today. It can be used as an on-camera microphone or as a standalone audio input device.
Dubbed “the world’s first smart microphone,” the V-Mic D3 Pro can connect with just about anything that uses a 3.5mm microphone jack. That means it can work with not only a DSLR, but also phones, tablets, bodypack transmitters, and even computers. The microphone contains a microprocessor that ‘digitally shakes hands’ with anything it connects with. This microphone has a steeples gain knob incorporated onto the body (the world’s first microphone to do so) that allows the user to adjust the audio gain up to +20dB. There is a bump guard on each side of the dial to prevent users from accidentally turning the dial. The V-Mic D3 Pro is rechargeable. It features a 320mAh lithium-ion internal battery that provides up to 74 hours of standby time and 51 hours of runtime. The battery can be charged in less than 2 hours.
|Form Factor||Stand/Boom Mount|
|Operating Principle||Pressure Gradient|
|Diaphragm||0.55″ / 14 mm|
|High-Pass Filter||75 Hz 150 Hz|
|Gain Adjustment||Up to +20 dB|
|Indicators||Single LED (Status, Power)|
|On-Board Controls||Gain, High-Pass Filter, On/Off|
|Frequency Range||50 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Maximum SPL||130 dB SPL (1 kHz, 1% THD, 1-Kilohm Load)|
|Off-Axis Rejection||3 dB at 60° 10 dB at 120° 15 dB at 180°|
|Sensitivity||-24 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz|
|Dynamic Range||114 dB|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||84 dB|
|Output Connectors (Analog)||1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS|
|Number of Conductors||3|
|Operating Voltage||Not Specified by Manufacturer|
|Operating Current Consumption||6.3 mA (Battery Power)|
|Battery Type||1 x Built-In|
|Battery Capacity||320 mAh|
|Approximate Battery Life||51 Hours|
|Mounting||1/4″-20 Female, 3/8″-16 Female, Camera-Mount, Shockmount (with Included Hardware)|
|Storage Temperature||14 to 102°F / -10 to 70°C|
|Certifications||CE, RoHS, as per Manufacturer|
|Dimensions||ø: 0.83 x L: 7.44″ / ø: 21 x L: 189 mm|
|Weight||2.75 oz / 78 g (Microphone) 5.04 oz / 143 g (with Mount)|
The microphone kit comes in a daily simple retail package. The box is brown cardboard with details printed all around the outside. There is an illustration of the microphone in use on the front. The version I have is the “Location Kit” so it comes with the D3 Pro, windscreen, Rycote suspension shock mount, TRRS coiled audio cable, Type-C charging cable, case, product manual, Rycote shock mount with handle, and D-XLR connector. In my opinion, it’s everything one might need to get started with recording audio on location.
Connecting it to a DSLR is super easy. There is an input port on the camera that you use the audio cable that comes with the Deity mic. On my camera – the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – you have to place the camera into M-mode, but it will automatically notice that an external mic is connected and use that as its input source. There are a couple of features that are total stand-outs for this microphone. First, the mic has a microprocessor in it that makes it an ‘intelligent’ microphone. The product can detect the needs of its connected device and will adjust accordingly to make sure it’s as compatible as it can be with other products. This also means you don’t have to worry about carrying different adapters around to make the microphone work with different cameras or recording devices.
Second, is the gain control that is on the camera is quite useful. I used it quite a bit when recording. Can I control the gain through the camera menus? Of course, but it’s much easier to increase or decrease the gain on the camera. Deity made it a great control system since they incorporated a dial instead of a toggle switch. One of the biggest ‘wins’ that the Deity D3 Pro has in its wheelhouse is its rechargeable battery. I love that this microphone doesn’t utilize disposable batteries. Not only is it better for the environment, but there is nothing worse than getting to a shoot and needing spare batteries. With this microphone, you could potentially connect an external battery pack while shooting if the battery was dead.
So, how does it sound? I found that the microphone provided a very real representation of the sound it was recording. One of the tests I did include connecting the microphone directly to my iPhone using the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter that Apple provides. I recorded a quick soundbite to test if the connection would work and to see how well the microphone with the windsock attached would deaden ambient noise. For this test, I had a fan running in the background. Halfway through the recording, I took the windsock off. While I was recording, I wasn’t sure how what the outcome would be, but after listening to it, you can tell that some of the ambient noise is deadened and there is a slight harshness to my voice that wasn’t there where the windsock was in place.
In addition to recording with the iPhone, I also recorded directly to my Canon DSLR when shooting some video and I also connected the D3 Pro to my MacBook Pro so that I could use it as an external microphone for video conferences. Each time I used the microphone it performed admirably. One of the things I like the most about it is how versatile it is. You don’t have to be confined to using it to record video interviews – it can work just fine as a connected microphone for podcasting or vlogging, too.
The Deity D3 Pro is an affordable, professional piece of equipment that doesn’t disappoint. It has great features built-in and also provides a quality recorded product. The Deity D3 Pro is available in different configurations. I have the Location Kit, but you can find it with just the microphone and its necessities. The Location Kit retails for $288 (at the time of publishing), but you can also get it with just windsocks and the shock mount for $199. The D3 Pro is a great microphone for beginners and professionals alike. It’s super easy to use and does a great job in the field.