As someone who produces news documentary reports for the PBS NewsHour, capturing high quality and clean audio in the field is as important as getting great pictures.
For those of us who shoot DSLR cameras, getting professional sounding audio has been a challenge because most DSLRs don’t have inputs for microphones with XLR connectors which are what most professional microphones have. And one can’t adjust the audio record levels on DLSRs when recording.
However Beachtek has created a fantastic adapter that solves these deficiencies and allows one to connect professional microphones to one’s camera. The Beachtek DXA-SLR Pro and now the Ultra, attach to the bottom of one’s camera, sort of like a battery pack. Microphones plug into the Beachtek and then a cable connects the Beachtek to the camera’s audio input. Audio levels can be monitored and adjusted by turning a knob, even while recording. One can also plug headphones into the Beachtek and adjust the headset volume level too by turning a knob.
The DXA-SLR Pro and Ultra are solid, well constructed, and easy to use.
A lot of people who shoot DSLRs use a separate digital audio recorder to capture audio and then sync the audio and video files when editing. This can be cumbersome and time consuming. It can be hard to keep track of which audio file goes with which video file. It’s sort of what film-makers did decades ago when audio was recorded on magnetic tape and the picture was recorded on film.
With Beachtek’s DXA-SLR Pro and Ultra, the file created by the camera will have terrific sounding audio.
In short, anyone using a DSLR to shoot video who wants great audio should get a Beachtek.
Beachtek also makes rechargeable 9 volt batteries which I highly recommend.
As for what improvements could be made, I’d recommend that Beachtek add a battery meter that worked with its 9 volt batteries. Also, there should be a little notch that allows one to tie a string between the Beachtek and the little cable that connects the adapter to the camera. That way one will never forget to pack the cable which is crucial.