The Nikon d3200 is one of the most popular entry-level DSLR camera bodies on the market right now and the camera has an absolutely massive core user base from both the photography and videography communities. Although the d3200 is priced towards the higher end of the entry-level camera price range, the image quality that it offers you is second to none for its price range. Due to this, we always see a large number of people reaching out with a number of questions regarding various camera accessories to help improve the performance of the camera.
One of the more popular questions that we have seen asked more and moreover the last few months from the videography and vlogging side of the Nikon d3200 user base is based around the best microphone for Nikon d3200 cameras. Now, in our opinion, the Rode Video Micro Compact is likely the best option on the market right now and it is very budget-friendly offering some solid audio quality when recording.
The Video Micro Compact has managed to earn itself one of the best reputations amongst the community since its release and essentially dominates the entry-level price point for eternal microphones. Although the microphone does have an entry-level price tag, it offers intermediate-level performance and this is why it has managed to earn itself such a solid reputation amongst the that just keeps on getting stronger and stronger.
Now, we know that some of our readers are on a very tight budget and although the Video Micro Compact is very budget-friendly, if you are unable to stretch your own personal budget for it then we would recommend that you check out the Takstar SGC-598. Although its performance it lower than the Video Micro Compact, its price point reflects this and if you are just wanting to add a microphone to your camera accessories for fun then this could be a solid option.
That said though, in our opinion, the Takstar SGC-598 is not suitable for paid videography or professional level vlogging work due to a slight hiss when recording. This is why the Rode Video Micro Compact is our primary recommendation for any of our readers who use the Nikon d3200. Due to this, we are only going to be focusing on the Video Micro Compact for the rest of the article as it is the microphone that we feel you should be considering and we will not be covering the Takstar SGC-598 in any more detail.
Performance And Functionality Of The Microphone
Although a few brands that compete with Rode have released their own competing microphone in the sub-one hundred dollar price range, in our opinion, none even come close to offering the performance and functionality of the Video Micro Compact. The superior performance directly results in a better audio track for your videos and in some cases, the Rode Video Micro Compact is actually cheaper than some of the competing microphones that offer a lower level of performance.
Rode has made a few small innovations to the Video Micro Compact over the older variants of their microphone range to help update the element to deliver crisp, clear audio no matter what you are using the microphone for. Although the mic does have a standard cardioid pickup pattern, it does have a ton of versatility allowing you to use it with your Nikon d3200 in a large number of popular videography niches.
Being a standard cardioid microphone, the audio pickup for a subject directly in front of the microphone is outstanding. If you are wanting to use the microphone for vlogging or interviews or any other niche where your subject will be positioned directly in front of your Nikon d3200 then the Video Micro Compact is perfect. That said though, its left and right pick up is still pretty solid and Rode have done a great ensuring that you can also use the microphone in niches such as sports videography or event videography.
If you have heard of the Rode microphone range prior to reading this article then you may be aware of the reputation of the Rycote Lyre shock mount that comes included with your purchase as standard. For our readers who have only just found out about Rode or are unaware of their Rycote Lyre shock mount we just want to quickly go over it as it is an excellent reason to go with the Video Micro Compact over some of the competing microphones.
Now, shock mounts are very common in the sub-one hundred-dollar microphone market in this day and age but we feel that Rode has it in the bag. In fact, the Rycote Lyre shock mount that comes included with your microphone is actually better than some third-party mounts that are around the price of the Video Micro Compact anyway. The shock mount essentially absorbs any vibrations that would otherwise pass through your camera and have an effect on your microphone element when moving.
This ensures that you are able to freely move your Nikon d3200 around when recording your video footage as required without having to worry about contaminating your audio track with vibrations being picked up. In our opinion, this is one of the reasons that the Video Micro Compact is able to deliver comparable performance to an intermediate level microphone while only having the entry-level microphone price tag.
Another thing that Rode includes with your Video Micro Compact as standard is their deluxe windshield system that helps to protect your microphone element when using it outdoors in windy conditions. It prevents the wind from being able to pass directly into the microphone chamber and causing issues with your audio track or applying pressure to the element that can result in damage. The included windshield is great in all fairness and if you are using your microphone outside then we would highly recommend that you fit it to the mic.
All of this and the low price tag of the microphone is why it has managed to earn itself an absolutely massive core customer base and excellent reputation. A large number of the vloggers, videographers, and streamers who use the Video Micro Compact have also decided to post their own third-party reviews of the microphone and how well it performs.
Although not essential by any means, if you do have a few minutes spare then we would highly recommend that you at least skim over a few of those reviews when possible. This will offer you some valuable insight from independent users of the Video Micro Compact going over their own opinions and thoughts on the microphone. They go into its performance in a large number of situations as well as how well it performs in a ton of popular niches too.
User Interface And Control System
The Video Micro Compact is essentially a plug and play microphone meaning that you simply mount the mic to your Nikon d3200s hot shoe mount and then you just plug the 3.5mm jack into your camera external microphone socket and you are good to go. This extremely user-friendly approach makes it the ideal microphone for anyone who is new to using an external mic with their cameras as there is no need to waste time customizing settings or anything like that.
With a large number of people using the Nikon d3200 as their go-to camera body of choice being entry-level vloggers or videographers, this is perfect. Not only does it save you time but the Video Micro Compact has been pre-set to ensure that you are getting the best possible audio quality in pretty much any situation that you may find yourself in.
Build Quality And Design
Rode has actually done a solid job of putting the Video Micro Compact together and ensuring that it has the build quality to match its excellent performance without having to hike its price point up. The mic has been put together very well and you can tell that it has been held to the same high standards as the other Rode microphones on the market even though this is just an entry-level, more budget-friendly microphone.
The hot shoe has been treat to ensure that it will hold its shape and not warp over time and potentially cause problems with the hot shoe on your Nikon d3200. This is a growing problem in this price bracket for a number of camera accessories where brands move away from the metal hot shoe mount to try and save money. Some of the competing microphones on the market have poor quality hot shoes that can end up getting the microphone stuck on your camera if it warps in shape. Thankfully though, this is not an issue with the Video Micro Compact and its hot shoe should hold its shape for many years to come without issue.
We know that we have gone over the actual performance of the Rycote Lyre shock mount above but we just want to spend a little time going over its actual build quality. If you want to get the most out of your microphone then you will likely be using it with the shock mount at all times. Now, as we mentioned earlier in the article, the shock mount that comes with your Video Micro Compact often offers better performance than a number of the third-party, aftermarket shock mounts.
This is largely due to the face that it is shaped from one single piece of thermoplastic rather than multiple parts of regular plastic that is then attached to each other. This offers a smoother, more fluid absorption without any issues of shock transference. The result is a crystal clear audio track even when working in niches where you and your Nikon d3200 will likely be moving around a whole bunch on a regular basis.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best external microphone for the Nikon d3200 to a close. Although the Takstar SGC-598 can be used if you are on the strictest of budgets and not doing any paid work with your camera, we would strongly recommend that our readers go with the Rode Video Micro Compact. In our opinion, it is definitely the best option for the majority of Nikon d3200 owners and will likely make a solid addition to your collection of camera accessories.
As we mentioned above, an absolute ton of independent videographers and vloggers who use the microphone have published their own, third-party reviews that we would highly recommend that our users read if they have time, especially if you have not made you mind up yet. They offer excellent insight into the audio quality of the microphone and what it can offer your Nikon d3200 in a large number of different situations and popular niches.