How to Use the In-Camera Microphone When Shooting a Marketing Video - dummies

How to Use the In-Camera Microphone When Shooting a Marketing Video

By Kevin Daum, Bettina Hein, Matt Scott, Andreas Goeldi

Whatever type of camera you’re working with to shoot your marketing video, from a pocket-size Flip camera to a high-end, professional camcorder, you’re also using a working microphone that records audio tracks directly on your video footage.

If you aren’t sure where the in-camera mic is located, take a moment to look for it. It’s typically a small hole or grid on the front of your camera.


The in-camera mic is omnidirectional, capturing sound from nearly everywhere around the camera. For its size, it’s downright powerful. And, it’s included with your camera, so it saves you money. If you’re shooting on a shoestring, or even half a shoestring, the in-camera mic gets the job done. It’s a decent choice also for recording events such as speeches, sporting events, and concerts.

For scripted, message-focused marketing videos the built-in mic isn’t likely the proper tool for your needs. It presents several challenges to recording quality audio for your video:

  • It has substandard quality. The in-camera mic is limited in its ability to capture clear and accurate audio. Built to be convenient, it can’t record the same high-quality, focused audio that a good external mic can record. The bottom line is that it works in a pinch but doesn’t produce sound as well as other options do.

  • It records every sound in a scene equally. The in-camera mic picks up the sound of actors talking, and the traffic racing outside, and the sniffle of the guy standing in the corner, and your camera humming, and every creak and bump when you move. That’s too much audio!

  • It’s the same distance from the subject as you are. The greatest drawback of using a built-in mic is that the farther you move the mic from your subjects, the more the volume and clarity of the sound you’re recording drops. To record a conversation and shoot it from across the room, consider buying an external mic — unless you want to ask your actors to shout.