I wanted to use my Panasonic GH4 microphone, the DMW-MS2, as a boom mike so I did a little test recently, attaching it to a boom on a light stand. This mike is designed to be mounted on the GH4 hot shoe and I’ve used it that way numerous times. But I had a situation calling for a boom mike so I thought I’d try it out that way.
The microphone itself has a cable that’s only 8” long and the cable terminates in a 1/8" plug. Obviously, I would need an extension cable for the boom situation so I got one out and plugged it in. I was surprised to find that the microphone didn’t work properly. The reason is that the microphone has a non-standard plug which communicates some additional information between the mike and the camera. This allows you to configure the mike dynamically to any one of four modes: shotgun, super shotgun, stereo, or lens angle tracking. Those are nice features but they come with a cost. I wrote about a related problem previously. In that post I explained that you can’t connect the DMW-MS2 to an analog preamp.
So, I was aware of the special nature of the microphone but in this case I figured it would work because I wasn’t connecting to a preamp. Instead, I’d be connecting (almost) directly to the GH4. There would just be an extension cable in between. Wrong.
Normal microphone with regular 1/8″ stereo plug
Panasonc microphone with special 1/8″ stereo plug; note the extra ring