Good, not great
December 25, 2011
The ECM-ALST1 should fill most midrange DSLR videographers' needs, but may not be enough for prosumers. Sony tried to fit too much into too small a package for the whole thing to work; the microphone delivers extremely high fidelity sound on a wide range of frequencies at both 90º and 120º up to around three feet, and the volume of the recording, as well as the quality, reaches an unacceptable level at around 10 feet. I know what many may think, "well of course the volume's lower, you're farther away from your source!" While that may be true, this mic should still be able to capture sounds much louder at 10' than it does.
The 90º mode is as close as this mic gets to a shotgun, and yet it seems to omit what it's directly pointed at, rather capturing the sounds directly around it.
In comparison, I tried out a Røde VideoMic (regular, not Pro) for the first time three days ago, without yet buying. It seems to perform much, much better in the same scenarios. If you want better bang for your buck, spend the extra 50$ and get something at least like Røde's mic.
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