Wireless Mic review

JTS has launched the KA-10 a new wireless microphone system designed for the video camera market . The system comes complete with an omni-directional microphone, a rechargeable beltback transmitter and camera mounted receiver, charger and cable adaptors for most cameras.
We recently used the system with Panasonic’s AG-HMC151 handheld camcorder for an on the street walk and talk. The microphone performed very well with very little of the normal problems associated with lapel mics. The mic itself was covered with Rycote undercovers to reduce wind noise. Post work as a result was minimal. The lapel mics come in two colours beige or black with a clothes clip. By using the undercovers the microphone is disguised making the shot look more natural. Range before drop out is always of interest and reception was still very good at 40m (60m is the manufacturers maximum). For those of you who want to do an interview style shot a handheld mic is also available.
Because both the transmitter and receiver are rechargeable with an internal lithium batteries you can expect up to 14hrs on a single charge. With the correct adaptor you could even recharge from a car cigarette socket.
One design feature I am pleased with, is the size of the transmitter and receiver as both units are 10cm x 5.2cm x 1.6cm which means the transmitter is fairly easy to conceal under clothes. Also the clip supplied is a decent one – it works and doesn’t fall off or snap! Plus all parts are replaceable including the clips. The same clip also securely locates the receiver to the shoe mount adaptor . The receiver has gain adjustment and pad adjustment for the transmitter by means of a small adjuster on the underside.
Because there are 16 channels so you can run several units which in many situations will be a lot easier and more convenient than overhead mics. Also for over the table interviews two systems with a shoe doubler and the mic outputs going to the stereo inputs. One idea for more professional wedding video is to use three, one each for the bride, groom and vicar or registrar. Although aimed at the lower to middle end of the market I think many will find it a very versatile mic system which is very affordable.
Like most I’m used to using large cameras but using this Panasonic AG-HMC151 to try out the JTS mic system there’s a lot of advantages because of size as it tends not to attract so much public attention! I find close ups much easier to film and post work is quicker and easier just take the flash card out and edit straight away. I have heard all the rumours about flash cards and having used many in computers over the years the failure rate is less than sticking or jamming tapes. The HMC151 uses up to a 32GB SDHC card which record up to 3hrs in PH mode or 12hrs in HE mode.
The lens is a wide angle 13x Leica which is about equivalent to about 28mm to 368mm (35mm) which for the majority of shots is more than amble. Recording at a full range of HD formats from the 1080/60i to 720/24p the quality is superb.
Outputs are via HDMI, composite, component and USB 2.0 to computer. By using the AVCCAM Viewer software this allows you upload, copy and write HD video files plus you can transfer the file to any AVCHD compatible editing software. Its also useful on location to take your laptop to review your work. Two professional XLR switchable mic/line inputs with phantom power allow the use of external mixers, shotgun or studio mics. The camera has Panasonic’s optical image stabilizer system which reduces the blurring caused by handheld cameras.
One useful feature for me has been the assignable buttons together in a group for easy access you can assign 11 functions. These include spotlight, backlight, fades and scene indexing. Most of the main functions are accessible on the left hand side of the camera.
Overall the Panasonic AG-HMC151 is easy to use, has lot of very useable functions, lightweight and still gives excellent results. For many coming into the market for the first time this could be a camera to look at however it will also appeal to those who need an extra camera either as backup or for shots which can’t be obtained using large cameras. Combined with the JTS wireless system this has opened new fields for us to operate in.

Tags: iss044 | jts | ka-10 | wireless mic | omni-directional microphone | rycote | Panasonic AG-HMC151 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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