Rodelink Film makers kit Review
I have had for about a year the RodeLink Film maker kit. I am mainly a photographer but with that comes making videos on Youtube. Having quality audio matters so I invented in this system. Using the onboard mic on Nikon cameras just was not happening.
I picked the one I have up from KEH for about $200. I have had good experience with getting gear from them and the quality is always there. Adorama is the other place I order my stuff from. It is just KEH is a little cheaper and they are much quicker to get things out the door.
In the box, there was a receiver, a transmisser, and a lapel mic. KEH even had a dead cat on the mic. I did not use it a lot but even I ever wanted to shoot video in the wind using the 70-200mm (F/2.8), having the dead cat could be handy.
The reason that I went with Rode over the other options is where they are made. Australians tend to make high quality products. It is hard to find something made in the west in the photography world. It seems most things are made in China or Thailand. So, having something made in the developed world is nice to have.
RodeLink Film maker Kit (Non-tech) thoughts
I am not that technical when considering audio stuff. I am a photography guy, after all. If you are looking for a review with graphs and db levels, this is not it. Sorry.
I have been about 20 feet away from the camera and the audio still was picking up like I was right next to it. I know that they claim you can be up to a football field from the transmission point. I just have no need to be that far out. In fact, most times that I use it, I am less than 10 feet!
One thing that I like about this system, and why I got it over the Rode Wireless Go that is newer and a little cheaper is about the lavalier mic. I wanted to be able to hide it under my shirt. (I know the dead cat makes that hard!) When I am doing videos, I like to make it look like I do not have the RodeLink on me.
All in all, it was worth the $200 to have better audio quality and I can even use to for recording the audio on Tutorials (just link it together in Premiere Pro). I would recommend it.
About the Batteries
I have found that normally batteries do not last in the RodeLink Film maker kit. What happens is once they have a little use, they will turn off after about 15 seconds. I actually thought I did some damage to the system and it was broken. It turned out, it was just the batteries needed replaced.
I recommend using the Energizer Ultimate Lithium. They are not cheap ($8 for a pack at Wal-Mart) but they are the best batteries out there and I have not had any problems with the audio system since changed to the Energizer batteries. If I am doing a shoot somewhere, I normally have an extra set of them handy now.
I normally buy them in a package of 20 batteries for about $40 on Amazon. It is just easier to me to get a year worth of batteries (and cheaper) than to run to Wal-Mart for them when I need them.
Using the system on a DSLR
One thing that you will need to do is lower (or turn off) your on board audio for the system to work right. Different cameras have the settings in different places. I recommended having the audio turned to 2 when I use this system (which is most times!)
For the Nikon D800, you go on the camera settings (second down the list) and then find Movie Settings. This is the same place you set the frames per second and stuff like that. It is right understand the time lapse photography option.
Select microphone and then select manual. After doing this, you will want to push down the setting to 1 or 2. The last thing you will do is hit ok.
It is worth saying that if you plan to use your camera for video when you do not have the system with you, you will have to go back into this setting and reset it to automatic. People forget that.