I have been in the market for a light weight hot shoe microphone for my DSLR for a bit now and couldn’t justify the price tag on any of the Rode microphones, especially for the results I received when testing one. Aside from Rode, my choices seemed quite limited, and quite pricey. That was until I stumbled upon this little gem in my local Best Buy from Bower, which cost less than $30 after a price match on Best Buy’s own website (i’ll never understand that).
My needs for an attachable microphone are not as serious as some. I like to record my daughter and her shenanigans around the house, and recently I have been making training videos for work. Sound is important, but I never noticed how important, or how lackluster the built in mic on my DSLR was, until I started making the training videos.
Because it was for work, and not something that would be used on an everyday basis, price was important in my search, but while trying not to sacrifice quality. I had tried the lower end Rode Mic with pretty poor results. At first, I assumed the version without a battery would be great because it would always be ready for when I needed it just by plugging it into the camera, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The feedback I heard in my videos, because the power was fed through the camera, was unacceptable. That was quickly returned and there was no way I was jumping up to the next models, mainly because of the price, but also due to the size and how ridiculous I felt it would look on my Nikon D5600.
So here we are with the Bower MIC150 and I couldn’t be happier, or luckier, to have stumbled upon this. It really is small, and super simple to set up. Once I was able to get the darn packaging open without destroying my fingers, the mic was up and running within minutes and it tested wonderfully (once I remembered to power it on). The mic is battery powered by one of those small circular batteries and provides two recording options. You can record in 90 or 120 degrees ranges, which is beneficial depending on the situation and environment you are recording in. Most of my subjects are directly in front of me and the 90 degree range options works flawlessly. In my tests, there is a clear, and obvious, difference when using the camera’s built in mic versus the Bower mic. I have only owned it for less than a month, but I still have not returned it, and unless it just stops working, I don’t foresee any reason that would make me want to do so.
So if you are in the market for a hot shoe microphone for your digital camera, that is super affordable, and such a small footprint while hardly weighing anything, this should be the first choice you try out.
I would love to hear from other’s if you have experience with the Bower MIC150 and how it has held up for you over time.
Until next time…