This is the panasonic FZ100 camera that I adapted to an old Gibson parobolic microphone dish. The original mic and powersupply handle were "fried" during heavy wet weather in NW Ontario while recoding Loons. I still use the original power supply handle for the "handle support" with the dish, but it no longer functions electronially.

The Panasonic camera's mic is stereo left/right channels with Dolby built into the system. Since the mic is on the top of the camera, it had to be situated so that they would point directly into the dish - in so having optimim pickup situated in the same approx distance/location that the original parabolic microphone had been positioned.

The bracket (see below) is crude to-say-the-least, but was made in such a way as to hold the camera as needed and fit into the old power handle channel on the dish. If I had the means, I would refabricate it with a pvc-like material...metal would transmit too much "handling" noise during recording. The wood actually worked well as a damper for handling noise...I had very little handling noise - much less than with the original microphone setup.

The vise and velcro "clamps" are scary looking, but worked well...the camera strap is looped behind the dish handle, so if there was a "clamp" failure, the camera would not fall to the ground. (the clamp is a microbar "Qick-Grip" clamp purchased at Menards, the velcro is selfexplanatory...the veldro on the wood "platform" is for camera body "cushioning" and helps with "stability/shifting" issues.

(Below) The bracket/camera are fitted into the original power handle channel and the different view of the dish hopefully illustrate how it looks and functions. The final "through the back of the dish view" shows the microphone on the camera pointing into the dish.
The beauty of the camera mic is, of course, the fact that there is no servo or tape drive sounds being introduced as background noise...fully digital card recording on the camera introduces no sound...the camera must be in "manual focus" to insure no auto focus mechanism noise is introduced.

The "maiden" voyage for the setup was at a state prairie preserve south west of us, and can be listened to at this link - http://tallgrassjournal.blogspot.com/ - go to the last media file, the one titled "(Music of the Prairie audio file) for the audio recorded with this set-up.

It wasn't a "perfect" morning for recording as there was some incidental traffic a mile south on the highway and there was also a hog confinement an eigth of a mile to the NW of the recording location...the confinement was a constant hum since their exhaust fans were running full time. I did try and not point the dish that direction...the dish will not focus or emphasize noise from directions opposite of where its pointed, but any sounds you can hear with your own ears can record like amplified ambient noise.

Images © Bruce A. Morrison

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