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Problems with Sennheiser MKE-400

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany May 21, 2011, 10:47 p.m. permalink

Just a heads-up to those planning to buy the Sennheiser MKE-400 DSLR video mic-- be careful! 

My newspaper just bought two. A fellow photog and I inadvertently tore the shock mounts off within minutes of installing the micas on our cameras. The shock mount is made of soft rubber and the way it connects to the unit is, in my opinion,  defective for the type of use expected from a DSLR in the field. The problem happened  to me when I swung my camera onto my shoulder. The mic and strap connected, tearing the front part of the mount off with little effort. The fix from Sennheiser costs $50 bucks!

The other issue is the foam windscreen slips off without much effort. We both lost ours on the first outing.  Reevaluating our options. Anyone else have this problem. What is another mic to use instead? 

Rep: 4
Tucker Walsh May 22, 2011, 3:19 p.m. permalink

I had BOTH those things happen to me, but I still love that mic. I just taped the rubber mount when it partly broke. I also had to buy a new windscreen, and for some reason the replacement one seems to stay on there a lot better than the original did. 

Besides those two problems, I have to say I love that mic (considering the low cost and size). The Rhode mic looks massive and intimidating on top of those DSLR's. I've used the Sennheiser for both interviews and picking up ambient - both with good results. Certainly more hiss than a wireless kit would give you, but for on-the-run journalism, it's great. My one quality complaint would be the wind sensitivity. Definitely buy a dead mouse if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor shoots...

Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan May 24, 2011, 10:26 a.m. permalink

My shock mount broke after a few weeks. In addition to being expensive they were back ordered. It took a long time to get a new one sent to me. I guess we're not alone. I got the fuzzy wind screen and it rarely comes off. It clicks into place and pretty much stays there. The only drawback is that it make you look like you have a mouse sitting on your camera. I kinda like it:)

Rep: 3
Jan-Willem de Lange June 14, 2011, 7:09 a.m. permalink

My foam windscreen slipped off as well, but it did not really keep the wind away anyway...

 I just bought the fizzy wind screen which seems way better. 

Rep: 50
Michael Lloyd June 15, 2011, 5:07 p.m. permalink

I've used both the Rode Video Mic and the Sennheiser. The original Rode had a pretty weird shock mount, but was a very good mic. When the paper finally bought mics, they went with the Sennheiser MKE-400. It is just as good, smaller but I experienced the same issues with the screen and the mount. I ended up rebuilding my mount to make it more durable and I'm on my fourth windscreen (replacements at B&H). I put a plastic cinch tie at the base of the screen. Now it doesn't fall off, but just wears out. The new, re-designed Rode VideoMic has fixed the problem of the shock mount and look smaller in the pictures of it. It was released this spring. But we are going with the Audio-Technica 895 short shotgun now. It is comparable in price to both the little ones, but is an actual pro mic. XLR, not mini-pin, not much bigger than the original VideoMic and much better quality whether used on an HDSLR, as I do, or with separate audio recorder. This shotgun and a Sennheiser wireless kit is all I ever use now.

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