How to add audio in to the Sony NEX-5 line of DSLR cameras

[Tynan] loves his Sony NEX-5 camera but he’s fed up with not being able to choose any external microphone when recording video. Recently he set out to remedy that, and managed to add an audio in jack without modify the camera itself.

The real trick here is to modify how a microphone accessory connects to the camera. In [Tynan's] tutorial video (embedded after the break) he uses the enclosure from a flash module as a connector. After removing the electronics he’s left with plenty of room for the guts of a Sony microphone accessory. Those include the PCB and wiring, but not the microphone element itself. A 3.5mm audio jack is added to the flash case, and soldered to the microphone cable. Now he has a modular audio-in jack. The only problem is that his tinkering resulted in mono only. If you don’t mind spending a bit more time reverse engineering the scrapped microphone we bet you can parlay that into a true stereo option.

Comments

  1. echodelta says:

    Stereo option would be up to the hardware sound chip. Little chance to do stereo in.
    I would like to have line in or mic in in STEREO on any laptop I own. No such luck. Does the CD input on the sound utility work? This is in a HP laptop.

    • Whatnot says:

      As the headline says this is about sony DSLR’s not laptops or computers.

      But on the subject of computers: The weird thing about computers is that most soundchips on motherboards support both stereo and using multiple mics to do on-chip echo cancellation, but it’s all wasted silicon because of the stupid companies making computers, and the stupid OS designers too I guess, leaving you to get a stereo mic pre-amp to connect to line-in if you wish stereo.

  2. Matt says:

    The NEX-5 series of cameras are actually not DSLR’s — they’re interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. They’re quite good cameras, but much more compact than a DSLR (which is defined by the internal mirror that reflects light for the viewfinder).

    Just a small revision. Great hack, though! I’m always surprised to hear that companies leave enough room for this type of jack installation in their cameras.

  3. polossatik says:

    he got stereo, in his write up it’s noted that he got for the first try mono because he damaged some wires…

  4. retepvosnul says:

    To film properly and comfortably with such a small form factor camera, you’d need a stabilizing rig. Such a rig can easily be adapted for holding a dedicated digital recorder.
    There are plenty of devices out there that deliver audio that matches the video (which is what you really want)

  5. Werner Graf says:

    What you dont know is SONY uses a MS Microphone technique
    It works 3 Channels MID SIDE L/R Mid is Front Mono.
    The L/R is Figure 8 Microphone Capules ( made of 2 Mics) connected out of phase to the other!
    This array need to be be dematrixed for 2 Channel STEREO. You connect 2 channels with a matrixed design it will never work in Stereo. So sad I hoped can hack it to. Only opening the NEX cam and hacking the 2 Omnidirectional Mic brings real STEREO.

    SONY Marketing is bad it is so rigid. Even the new NEX 5/ 6 Line can not use the XLR Phantom Mic/ LIne 750$ Adapter only VG 30 and VG 900 A99 can use it.

    Nearly all big companys forget why they here, for the Clients not for themselves! Hope they find back to the roots.
    To subserve the customer and not patronize them – only then we have a future on this planet.

  6. onestyle says:

    Hey! I am verry interested in your work. The result is verry nice. Now I’m looking forward to build my own 3.5mm Mic Adapter. Can I use a Sony ADP-MAC Adapter to build a similar tool for my Alpha 6000? I found some pictures of the adapter which show, that there are all 21 pins provided. Under this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi_Interface_Shoe I found out, which pins are used for what. With some screwing and soldering it should be possible to get a stereo 3.5mm female audio jack out of the housing of the Adapter, shouldn’t it? If possible whitout affecting the Functions of the Adapter.
    Maybe it’s also possible to add a 2nd cable for external flash lights or any other functions which could be connected!?

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