External Mic for Your DSLR

I’ve been researching different microphones that I can use for recording either through my DSLR or my PC. I landed on the Rode VideoMic Directional Video Condenser Microphone – after much research it was a difficult decision but I landed here because of the price and quality. Also, I was able to get some recommendations – Rode is apparently the way to go. Nonetheless, I still wanted to do a bit of research to make sure this was the right mic for me.

RODECaptureMy research usually begins on amazon – looking at reviews. Depending on the product, I will also look at reviews and demonstrations on YouTube. If I can find another third party source that has a good set of detailed reviews then I’ll also take those into consideration. I depend on this kind of research because there are those out there who can afford, or have the ability to, test products side by side. I am not one of those people, so I do as much research as I can to find the best product for me.

Finding the right microphone for your camera will depend on what you want to use it for. I was looking for a microphone that will be used most likely with just one person, indoors or in a minimally windy area.

The Rode VideoMic will not pick up good sound if you’re trying to record – let’s say – your band. Since it is a directional mic it is meant to pick up the noise that it is pointed toward. For my purposes, this is exactly what I need. Recording, through my DSLR, indoors.

I ended up recording indoors with my wide angle lens so I could get my camera close enough to my body for optimal sound. You can also use this microphone through a computer to dub over video that  is already recorded. If you’re interested, I used Camtasia for a video I’ve done. This program can be used for screen recording and allows your audience to view  video of something you may be demonstrating on your computer screen. This would come in very handy for something like Lightroom, Photoshop, or Excel tutorials.

This microphone worked well for me because I can hook it up to my DSLR and I can also use it through my computer. Many other “podcast” mics used a USB plug rather than a mic jack which completely defeated the purpose of also being able to use it on my DSLR.

What mics have you used and which are your favorite?


Siouxon Creek – Packing Your Camera

I had the opportunity for a mid-July backpacking trip in southern Washington. I met a couple of my friends from Portland and we did one night backpacking through one of the many trails in southern Washington. I considered taking my Rikonin f/2.8 wide angle lens (for astrophotography), but to keep my pack light I decided on my Nikon 50mm – a light and easy go-to lens. I had the chance to snap a few pictures of my friends while we were filtering our water behind our camp – and snapped a few on the trail.

Getting To Siouxon Creek Trailhead 

The Siouxon Creek Trailhead is about 3 and a half hours from Seattle. Drive south on I-5 until Woodland (about 135 miles) where you will take exit 21 toward WA-503 E/Woodland/Cougar from I-5 south. After that take the many turns (below). The road is windy and uneven (some larger potholes), so keep that in mind when deciding to drive out.

  • Continue onto Pacific Ave (0.7 miles)
  • Turn left to stay on Pacific Ave (69 ft)
  • Turn left onto Lewis River Rd (0.1 mi)
  • Turn right onto E CC st (0.2 mi)
  • Continue onto Bridge 80 (417 ft)
  • Continue onto NW Hayes Rd (5.3 mi)
  • Continue onto NE Cedar Creek Rd (11.9 mi)
  • Continue onto NE 419th St (2.2 mi)
  • Continue onto WA-503 N (0.2 mi)
  • Turn right onto NE Healy Rd (2.7 mi)
  • Slight left (2.5 mi)
  • Slight right at Rashford Spur Rd (1.7 mi)
  • Slight right (0.1 mi)
  • Continue straight (2.2 mi)
  • Keep left to continue on Calamity Peak Rd/NF-57 (1.2 mi)
  • Turn left onto NF-5701 (3.7 mi)


We started our hike on a Friday afternoon, the parking lot was about half full. Leaving on Saturday afternoon the parking lot was full and people were parked along the street. Although a bit out of the way, this is a popular hike.

Trails and Rivers

Siouxon Creek isn’t the only water that runs through this area. As you can see from the map below,  there are plenty of rivers to explore. Growing up in Nevada – we just don’t get this kind of environment to hike through. Although the Sierra Nevada’s will always be one of my favorite places to hike, one has to appreciate the greenery and the beautiful water that flows through the Pacific Northwest.


Siouxon Falls


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1/60 sec







Saunders 2


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1/80 sec





Hiking out – stopped along the river to rest and have a snack


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What are your favorite places to hike? Share your photos and adventures below!


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