Tascam was kind enough to send us their new creation, the DR-10SG. It is a combination of a standalone mountable mini audio recorder, as well as a directional shotgun microphone that you can connect to your DSLR mic jack. This new device is aimed towards “on the go shooters” who seek a better audio quality than the one their build-in camera microphone offers.
As we all know, some of the latest cameras from respected manufacturers do not offer a way to monitor sound. Maybe the biggest selling point for this device is the ability to monitor audio levels when connected to cameras without a headphone jack, with the Sony a6300 being a good example. In order to do that, you will need the Tascam DR-10SG and a mini jack 3.5mm splitter. One thing to consider: if you are looking for greater flexibility in regards to connecting professional microphones and wireless audio receiver to your camera or a recorder, then you might want to look at Tascam’s other offering, the DR-10X, a micro audio XLR recorder device that, at least on paper, looks as a perfect flexible mini recorder.
Back to the Tascam DR-10SG. Here are its main specifications at a glance:
Recording Media: microSD card (64 MB to 2 GB), microSDHC card (4 GB to 32 GB)
Recording Format: 16/24-bit @ 44.1/48 kHz
Mic Polarity: Super cardioid
Analog Outputs: Camera Out/Phones: 1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo mini-jack (dual-mono signal)
Power: 1 x AAA battery
USB bus power
Power Consumption: 0.75 W (maximum)
Battery Operating Time: (48 kHz/24-bit, Limiter/ Dual Rec: Off, File type: Mono), Lithium 15:00 hours, NiMH Battery 7:30 hours, Alkaline 8:30 hours.
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.1 x 6.6 x 2.8″ (53 x 168 x 70.3 mm)
Weight 3.9 oz (110 g) including batteries
The DR-10SG is very lightweight and will sit comfortably on your camera hot shoe.
The audio quality is sufficient for a run & gun shooting style and features adjustable EQ.
One triple-A battery will last for a good few hours and the device can also be powered externally via a USB connector.
You can record dual audio tracks in 2 different recording levels. I suggest not to fiddle with levels while shooting as the buttons are tiny…
So what needs improvement?
The device feels plasticky. I hope it can survive the daily filming routine.
What is really missing out of the box is an additional proper wind shield cover. The one provided is not enough.
Normal iPhone earbuds won’t work for monitoring. I guess it is an impedance thing…
You can’t start recording while browsing the menu. You need to exit the menu first, and then start recording.
Personally, I wish that the mic polarity would have been even narrower. In addition, although the microphone itself has a nice suspension, it will easily pick up handling noise when operating the camera, so either place your camera on a rig or touch it gently while shooting.
Also, don’t expect the Tascam DR-10SG to replace your soundman or dedicated audio system. On the other hand, when running & gunning, this additional device will certainly produce better audio results from your built-in camera microphone. Furthermore, the built-in mini recorder will yield better audio recordings in comparison to the many of the DSLR/mirrorless cameras out there.