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Old 4th January 2012
Gear Maniac

The only thing that I've heard from the 5D/7D world is that the built-in audio recording is the biggest thing that causes the camera to be a nightmare for small-end video production. I don't know if it's sync issues or auto-gain issues, but I've never heard of someone using the internal audio on these cameras. I only hear that you NEED a separate audio recorder to do audio with picture.

Do a test for auto-gain and sync. Record for 10 minutes with someone sitting in a noisy room, seated fairly near the camera talking/reading in a loud voice with some 5 second pauses thrown in. If AGC is a problem you will hear the room noise rise up during pauses. If sync is an issue you will notice that around the end of the clip.

The mic input is probably mic level as with most consumer camcorder setups. Buy a cheapie mic on ebay and plug it in. Sample rate and bit depth are likely to be the very least of your worries with this system. Converter quality and internal processing that you have no control over will probably be at the top of the list.

If I were to guess, I'd say that your tests will confirm the reason that every DSLR production is a double system setup, whatever those reasons are. If you do decide you need to go this route, then your friend may just have to learn how to sync audio. For Mac on Final Cut Pro, there is Plural Eyes that is supposed to be a very easy tool for syncing dual system audio to what is recorded on the camera itself with little room for user error.

If nothing else, learning to use a slate is a nice lesson for any video shooter/editor. Audio sync is a problem that we all have to deal with from time to time and it's nice from a sound guy's point of view to be working with a video guy who knows what the problems are and how to address them.

Best of luck!