On camera mic offers better fidelity
This microphone records in monaural but the microphone I received in early May, 2012 came with a "stereo jack" to input to your camera not the monaural jack reported by others. Mine has the double ring .375 pin connector indicating it outputs signals from two channels, albeit the same signal, but two versions of the same signal running into my camera's left and right inputs. Perhaps Audio-Technica updated this model.
OK, How does it sound?
Well, I'd love to report that this is the best $50 improvement to your camera's built in mic. After all, I bought one of these. But although the ATR6250 has advantages over the built in mic it loses out in the category of sound quality. The mic in my Nikon D7000 and D5100, the ones built into the cameras, picked up a signal that sounded both quicker and with a noticeably more extended high end that made for more accurate audio. The ATR6250 has a very apparent roll off in the upper midrange and high's that eliminates the frequencies that connote ambience, that open feeling, causing the 6250 sound closed down and less alive in comparison. The lower mid-range, those frequencies that reproduce the fullness of voices is boosted a bit giving the mic a somewhat heavier, fuller sound in comparison to the camera's built in mic. Not enough fulness to bloat and muddy the speaker's voice but enough to offer a less clear sense of room ambiance. I prefer the overall tone of the camera's built in mic.
Both the built in mic and the 6250 record a hissing sound in the background.
When listening to recorded sound we are listening to two things- the sonic character of the microphone as well as that of the camera's pre-amplifier. Those who use an external preamp, like the Zoom, may possibly have a different outcome.
The Good: The biggest advantage of an off camera mic is that the mic is off the camera. The D7000's auto focusing machine is far too loud to be acceptable. So unless you turn the auto-focusing motor off by manually focusing your camera the sound of the camera's focusing motor is beyond annoying. The 6250 mounted on my D7000 reduced the focusing motor noise but taking the mic off the camera eliminated it.
Benefits of the ATR6250 are:
• Reducing or elimination camera focusing noise.
• Recording when the subject is far (over 15 feet) from the camera & microphone or when external noise needs to be reduced.
• The ability to wire the mic to provide a close up mic when the camera is just too far to work.
Conclusion- the Audio-Technica 6250 does allow you to eliminate the camera's focusing motor as well as reduce unwanted ambient noise. But the overall sound, while acceptable and sometimes less offensive than what the camera picks up, lacks the frequency range & balance for use where fidelity is needed. If you are a serious filmmaker spend more for a better mic.