The Nikon d3300 is one of the most popular entry-level DSLR cameras that has a huge user base from the photography, videography, vlogging, streaming, and social media influencer communities. Due to its low price point and great image quality, the d3300 has managed to see steady growth in its user base over the last few months with no signs of this growth slowing down.
One of the few downsides of the d3300 relative to its price point in the market is its low-quality onboard microphone that can really result in a poor, low-quality audio track for your footage. Due to this, we always see large amounts of people reaching out and asking for advice on the best microphone for Nikon d3300 cameras on the market. As we always try to help our readers as best we can, we have decided to take a look at this for today’s article and go over what we feel is the best microphone for the d3300.
Now, in our opinion, the clear winner is the Rode Video Micro Compact and although it is a more budget-friendly microphone that will suit the d3300 well, our readers on a very tight budget may want to consider the Takstar SGC-598 instead. That said though if you do have the budget available, the Rode microphone is definatley the better option and captures some excellent audio quality that can really help to improve your footage.
The Rode brand has a great reputation amongst the community for being able to offer some of the best quality products on the market while also having the lowest possible price tags too and the Rode Video Micro Compact is no different. Since its release onto the market a few years back, the microphone has managed to rightfully earn itself a great reputation amongst the community with many other Nikon d3300 users going with the Rode Video Micro Compact as their microphone of choice too.
As we doubt that any compeating brand is going to be able to beat the Rode Video Micro Compact when it comes to its performance, build quality and price point any time soon, we are confident in recommending the microphone to our users who own the d3300. It is an excellent external microphone and can make a solid addition to your collection of camera accessories and help to get you the best audio track possible.
Although we did touch on the Takstar SGC-598 above if you are on a very tight budget, with the Rode Video Micro Compact being our primary microphone recommendation for the Nikon d3300 we will only be focusing on the Rode mic for the rest of the article. We will not be taking a more in-depth look at the microphone and what it can offer you to help improve the quality of your audio track and why we feel it should be your primary microphone for your d3300.
Performance Of The Flash Unit
In our opinion, the main advantage that the Rode Video Micro Compact has over the compeating external microphones in this price range for your Nikon d3300 is that it offers a superior audio recording that can easily compete with some of the microphones that are double its price. With its crisp, clear audio recording and very budget-friendly price tag it is easy to see why the microphone has grown such a huge core customer base as well as why it has the great reputation it has too.
Although the Rode Video Micro Compact does draw power from your d3300 battery via its connection cable into your cameras 3.5mm jack socket, the power draw is minimal, especially for the quality of audio it records and we doubt that you will notice any difference in the battery life of your camera during use. Rode have put a bunch of work in on their power management system for the microphone as many other cheap external microphones on the market have a notable power draw and can have a direct, negative effect on the battery life your camera will provide with each full charge.
With the Video Micro Compact being a Rode microphone, it comes with the Rycote Lyre shock mount as standard just like all of the other microphones from their more recent releases. This offers another great advantage for the microphone over some of the other mics in this price point as it offers outstanding shock absorption. This prevents any vibrations or sudden movements when recording from being picked up by your microphones recording element and contaminating your audio track and is one of the rarer features for microphones under one-hundred dollars at the time of writing.
Although there are some aftermarket shock mounts available that claim to offer better performance, they usually underperform when compared to the official Rode mount that comes included with your microphone as standard. This is a point that we keep on making to our readers as in our opinion, if you are planning to do any paid videography work with your d3300 then something like the Takstar SGC-598 will need an aftermarket mount bringing its total cost up to a similar level of the Rode Video Micro Compact while offering you inferior audio quality.
Although the Deluxe furry windshield that comes included with the Video Micro Compact may not be needed depending on the niche that you are working in, it is another great microphone accessories that come included as standard with the microphone. If you are planning on doing any kind of work outside then these windshields are usually essential to prevent the sound of the wind from causing issues with your videos audio.
Again, there are a number of aftermarket windshields on the market from other brands but the one included with the Video Micro Compact usually outperforms them. This is another area where the higher initial cost of the microphone helps to save you money in the long run as with some compeating microphones, you would have to purchase an aftermarket windshield but not with this Rode mic.
The cardioid pickup pattern on the microphone offers outstanding audio detection for the vast majority of entry-level and intermediate level niches. It is perfect for tasks such as interviewing or vlogging where the primary sound source will be directly in front of the microphone but also offers solid audio pickup from both the left and the right too. This allows you to use the Rode Video Micro Compact for recording sporting events and other tasks too.
Here are some of the other core features of the Video Micro Compact:-
- Acoustic Principle – Pressure Gradient
- Active Electronics – JFET impedance converter
- Frequency Range – 100Hz – 20kHz
- Maximum SPL – 140dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
- Sensitivity – -33.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (22.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted) – 20dB-A
When you look at what you can get for the same price point at the time of writing, it really is not difficult to see why the Rode Video Micro Compact is the dominant microphone for so many people. It offers the best performance available in the sub-one hundred dollar price point in our opinion and as we touched on earlier in the article, offers comparative performance to some microphones more than double its price point too.
This is why the microphone has managed to quickly grow such a massive core user base with many of them opting to publish a dedicated review of their own for the microphone. If you have even just a few minutes spare then taking the time to skim over them is well worth it. They have all been published by third-party, external videographers, vloggers, and streams with some of them being other Nikon d3300 owners sharing their experiences with the Rode Video Micro Compact and just how well it is performing for them.
User Interface And Control System
Although the Rode Video Micro Compact is delivered intermediate level performance, it is still an entry-level price point microphone and thus Rode hade ensured that the mic is as straight forward and easy to use as possible. Rode was fully aware that a large number of the people who would be purchasing the Video Micro Compact will likley never have used an entry-level microphone before so they have essentially made it a regular plug and play mic with the best possible performance going.
You essentially just mount the Rode Video Micro Compact to your Nikon d3300s hot shoe mount, plug its 3.5mm jack into your cameras external microphone input jack and you are good to go. Your camera and the microphone will sync themselves replacing the audio track of your onboard microphone with the one capture by the Video Micro Compact resulting in a drastic improvement to the audio quality of your video footage.
Build Quality And Design
If you are familiar with the Rode brand then you will likley know that they have managed to earn a great reputation for not only having some of the best performance available for their microphones but also offering you the very best build quality possible for its price point. The Video Micro Compact is no different and it easily has the best build quality going for the sub-one hundred dollar price point in the market right now.
The hot shoe connector is great and fully molded giving a solid connector that will not warp in shape over time. We can’t stress how much of a great feature this is for this price range in the market, so many of the cheaper microphones have a low-quality hot shoe connector that ends up warping in shape over time and ends up either getting stick to your camera or causing damage to your cameras hot shoe. The Rode connector will hold its shape with ease and not cause you these issues even in the future after years of use.
The actual body of the Rode Video Micro Compact is fully cast metal ensuring that it is as tough and robust as possible to keep it protected during use or when in your videographer camera accessory bag. Although there are a number of compeating microphones on the market that are just as small and compact as the Video Micro Compact, few are as tough or robust offering the Video Micro Compact another advantage.
The Rycote Lyre shock mount is cast from a single piece of thermoplastic to offering you another advantage over the compeating microphones. Even some of the stand-alone microphone shock mounts that are sold by third-parties at higher price points are made from multiple pieces of thermoplastic resulting in weak points in the mount. As the Rode mount is made from a single piece of plastic it not only absorbs any vibration or shock better but it will also last you longer as it has no inherent weak points.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best external microphone for Nikon d3300 camera users on the market right now. As we mentioned at the beginning of our article, the Takstar SGC-598 can serve as a decent budget-friendly option but in our opinion, you should really be looking at the Rode Video Micro Compact as it does not cost much more than the SGC-598 but it is a much better all-around microphone.
We would also like to just quickly take this opportunity to remind our readers that the Video Micro Compact is one of the most popular microphones in the world at the time of writing with a massive user base. A large number of videographers, vloggers, and streamers have published their own, independent reviews of the microphone that you can read.
We would highly recommend that our readers do go and check some of those reviews out as they really do offer some excellent insight into the audio quality of this great little external microphone. Some of those reviews have been published by other Nikon d3300 users too who have added the mic to their collection of camera accessories offering some excellent opinions on the microphone.