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Another Low Cost Camcorder With Mic Input- For Those On Very Tight Budgets

“John The Budget Camcorder Guy”

If you have read other posts that I have on this site in regard to the Canon Vixia HF R2 model, you see that I highly recommend that camcorder for shooting great video and its richness of features along with the ability to add a microphone of one kind or another.

However, it is still in the $400.00 price range.  This can still exclude some people if they do not have that big of a budget.  So, I have been searching and have found another option for a camcorder that will allow you the same ability to add a microphone,  at a price below $175! 



 A Camcorder With A Mic Input For People On Even Tighter Budgets!

It is the Toshiba Camileo X200 HD 1080p Camcorder

In the case of the Toshiba Camileo, you gain an advantage in better audio with the microphone input jack.  It has a lot of good, basic features including a 3 inch touch LCD screen, simple record and playback buttons, and a swivel screen to monitor your video productions.

There are a few drawbacks in dealing with a camcorder at this price point, you have to keep a few things in mind when you are doing a video shoot or you are going to be disappointed.  This is not a pro-level camcorder or even a prosumer camcorder.  In this case, a lower price means you are going sacrifice a few things.

The stabilization and zoom are not of the highest quality.  This just means, don’t expect to be able to zoom in and maintain the same quality as you would with a camcorder like the Canon Vixia camcorders.  At the maximum zoom setting, the Camileo is going to have grainy footage and some wobble.  If you have video editing software that can stabilize your footage you can eliminate that problem but the grainy footage will still be evident.

The fact is, you should not be using zoom much anyway if you are doing your videos correctly.  You should get as close as possible to your subject matter when you are doing your videos and hold your camcorder still.  Panning and zooming in and zooming out spells one thing– AMATEUR!   Any camcorder loses some ability to stay stable when you use a zoom feature.  This is especially important to remember in the case of the Toshiba Camileo.

This camcorder is good for the following kinds of video shoots:

  • Contained Action- Video produced at one location, with action contained in a given area reducing the amount of zoom and pan such as a wrestling match, or a volleyball game from a medium distance.
  • Interviews- With the addition of a camcorder mic, you can produce very good interviews at close-medium range.
  • Secondary Shots- At this price point, you can use this as a secondary camcorder to capture footage at a different angle for variety.

You probably don’t want to use this camcorder in the following instances:

  • Dramatic Action- Video of live events requiring zoom and pan, and fast action such as races or speed events.

Below is a video from Toshiba demonstrating the features and the HD qualities of the camcorder.  As you can see, it produces very good HD video, but just be aware that the camcorder has limitations.


Cheap Accessories That Will Turbo-Charge Your Toshiba Camileo X200 Camcorder



My suggestion would be to purchase an inexpensive L-bracket, such as the Adorama Heavy Duty L-bracket .  This is a $9.00 item that can aid in stability and allow you to mount a microphone if you so desire. 

If you are looking to add a all around good microphone, you could opt for the Rode Video Mic at $150.00, or the lower cost option of the Opteka Video Mic at $80.00.

Personally, I use the Opteka on all of my camcorders, and the sound quality is outstanding.  It is powered by a 9 volt battery so you get great gain and comes with a deadcat windscreen for outdoor shooting.  Makes you look very professional on your video shoots.  The mic will plug right into the Toshiba Camileo using a 1/8 inch input jack.  Simply mount the mic to the L bracket and mount your camcorder to the screw on the bottom of the bracket.  Presto!  You now have great audio, and the bracket arm adds to the stability of the camcorder, reducing shake and increasing the stabilization of the camcorder.

Keeping these things in mind, you can now get yourself a camcorder with a microphone input jack for under $175!  In fact, everything together is going to cost you around $260.00 including the camcorder, bracket mount and microphone.  If you are just starting out or need a backup camcorder to get other shots or angles, this is a good, low priced option for sure.




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Camcorder Audio- Getting Top Quality Sound

Great Audio From A Cheap Camcorder?  It Is Possible…

If you ever see professional cameras in action, you will notice that all the professionals use XLR microphones.  These are high quality microphones that capture sound with less distortion.  The problem is, if you cannot shell out $2000 for a camcorder, what do you do?

Well, if you have a camcorder with a 1/8 inch microphone input, like the Canon VIXIA I mention in the previous post, you can attach a device that allows you to significantly beef up the abilities of your inexpensive camcorder by using XLR microphones.

It is called a Beachtek, and it simply plugs into your camcorders microphone input jack.  This device is incredible, as you can add the ability to add two microphones, from two different sources.  This allows you to capture sound from say, an audio source several feet away, as well as up close.

The Beachtek attaches to the bottom of your camcorder, with adjustable control for sound input on both microphones.

Here Are Some Other Features Of The Beachtek

  • Inputs – Two transformer balanced XLR connectors, One unbalanced mini-jack ideal for wireless microphone devices
  • Output – Unbalanced stereo mini-jack with a replaceable output cable Selectable MONO or STEREO
  • Trim Controls – Adjusts signal level on each channel from unity to no output
  • LINE / MIC Switches – Switchable input between LINE or MIC levels for versatility
  • Balancing Transformers – Premium wide-bandwidth transformers for superb audio Shielded in a custom deep drawn mu-metal cover for very quiet operations

Hear The Difference On Your Videos  (Before The Beachtek)

After Installing The Beachtek

As you can see from these videos, there is a great deal of difference in quality, this can separate your videos from amateur to professional in no time.

Click this Amazon link to read the latest reviews on Amazon about  the Beachtek adaptor.


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