Canon T1i/500d External Microphone Hack


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.

15 thoughts on “Canon T1i/500d External Microphone Hack

  1. @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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.