Canon T1i/500d external microphone hack

canon_t1i_external_mic

Like most other DSLR cameras that feature video recording, the Canon T1i has a small built-in microphone with limited sound reproduction capabilities. [Robb] wanted better audio performance while taking video, but found the camera’s inability to use an external microphone to be a frustrating limitation. He decided to take matters into his own hands, and disassembled his camera in order to add an external microphone jack. The process is not overly complicated, as it requires little more than the installation of a switching microphone jack. You will however need to get your hands a bit dirty since it involves opening the camera, a bit of drilling, and some epoxy. Doing such things to your camera clearly voids the warranty, and with a $600 camera at stake, this hack is definitely not for the faint of heart. That said, if you desperately want to get better quality audio from your Canon T1i or 500d DSLR, be sure to check out his tutorial.

Comments

  1. sp00nix says:

    As soon as i see the instructables hand in its “halt!” fashion i quickly turn around.

  2. Dan says:

    I wonder if the T1i has the same auto-gain problems as the T2i. The T2i has an external mic hookup but it does this awful auto-gain stuff that makes it basically unusable.

  3. sp00nix says:

    @Dan, is it picky about the impedance of the mic?

  4. Luke says:

    I prefer an external audio recorder and a clapperboard, but this is more impressive. Nice work!

  5. Robb says:

    @Dan Check out MagicLantern firmware upgrade for the t2i. It was originally designed to get rid of the auto gain problem but now has been extend far beyond that. It is similar to the chdk in that it runs off the sd card and doesn’t modify the camera at all.

  6. Cricri says:

    Nice hack! As described in the article, I wouldn’t dare doing that on a $600 camera, but I’m sure it’s worth it when done properly and cleanly.

  7. j_jwalrus says:

    too bad its mono.

  8. Pat_loonytoon says:

    What!? He makes HackADay…that’s crap. I talked to this guy on the forum before he made it. I released a video where I had made it and then he told me he made it into an instructable…my claim to fame ruined. :X

  9. Drackar says:

    Yeaah. I’d rather go get a decent external audio recorder.

  10. Henrik says:

    Note that the 500D can only record in 20fps if you’re planning to record in 1080p, or else you have to stick to 720p. I’d rather spend a bit more on 550D, which can record 180p in 24/25fps, AND has a mic in jack, AND warranty. :3

  11. dougal says:

    Hello,

    Great hack. I have a d5000 with essentially the same issue however when you take the back off it’s not so clear which wires are what. I can buy a service manual from Hong Kong for 30 or $50 but if anyone has hacked this model before I’m listening. In the end $50 is cheaper than a new camera.

    Cheers

  12. douglas scown says:

    Good hack,

    I have a nikon d5000 with the same issue. Being a DV novice I didn’t realise the imp. of an external mic. I’m quite confident in doing the job BUT the nikon is wired differently. Does anyone have a d5000 or the d5000 service manual? I can buy one from hong kong for $50 but thought I’d try here first.

    Cheers

  13. patloonytoon says:
  14. patloonytoon says:

    Couldn’t find any service manual for that model even on e-bay. You might need to find a similar model to go off schematics of.

  15. douglas scown says:

    Oops I posted twice.

    Thanks but no not the user manual. The service manual is what I need. I tried ebay as well. Looks like I’ll be contacting hong kong. Gee there are some things the internet can’t do?!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,615 other followers