When you’re a solo shooter, booming a shotgun microphone close to your subject can be difficult. I’ve done it myself in the past, shooting interviews at events. Set up a stand, boom a mic overhead with a cable running down to a field recorder, put gaffer tape markers on the floor so the subject knows where to stand, hit record and hope nobody walking past trips on something or bangs into the stand.
Zacuto has a solution to this problem, though. The Zacuto Micro Boom (buy here) attaches to your camera rig and lets you mount the microphone overhead up to 35″ away. This lets you keep your subject at a good distance for framing but avoid stands and cables all over the floor. We went to chat with Virge at the Zacuto booth at NAB 2023 to find out more about it.
As well as the obvious advantages the Zacuto Micro Boom provides for things like interviews, where you’ve got a subject fairly close to the camera, it’s also useful for narrative scenarios, too. If you’ve got a subject in front of the camera, even if you have to follow and move with them, this removes the need for a dedicated boom op in quite a few situations. You’re not going to get the positional control that you get with a boom operator monitoring exactly what the microphone’s picking up, but if you’re a solo shooter, it’s going to be a lot better than going with an on-camera mic straight on the camera.
The extending lightweight carbon fibre pole features a quick release and can be mounted to your camera via NATO rails or a cold shoe attachment. There’s also a cold shoe on the other end for attaching your microphone. It sports an internal cable with 3.5mm plugs on each end, letting you use it with just about any on-camera microphone. It extends from 14″ up to 35″, and weighs a very light 5 ounces.
As the Zacuto Micro Boom is attached to the camera or a cage, it’s always going to move with the camera. So, once you’ve set it up, assuming you’ve set it up out of frame, it’s always going to stay out of the frame, whether you’re going handheld, on a shoulder rig or on a tripod.
It’s a very interesting solution to the problems of using microphones on interview subjects, especially ones that aren’t used to being wired up with a lav or having a dynamic interview mic shoved in their face. I don’t think it’ll be a solution for everybody’s needs, but I can recall a few times over the years where something like this would’ve come in very handy.
Price and Availability
If you want one, though, you’ll have to wait a little bit. While there is a product page on the Zacuto website and they expect it to be around $180, no price has been finalised yet. A release date has also not yet been announced, although they are planning to release it at some point during 2023.
Zacuto Micro Mixer
This is another one you’ll have to wait for. The Zacuto Micro Mixer is a way to allow two microphones to be input into your single camera. This allows you to use two microphones to create a full stereo signal – we’ll worry about phasing issues another time. Or, when used with the Zacuto Micro Boom, allows you to record both the boomed overhead microphone and the on-camera microphone on separate channels with one acting as a backup to the other – which is probably going to be the more common use case.
Price and availability
Like the Zacuto Micro Boom, a price and release date has not yet been finalised, although it is also expected to be around $180 and is planned to be released at some point during Q3 2023.