Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Audio For Video: Canon 7D Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbling

We have been looking at a lot of still photographs of eastern wild turkeys lately, but seeing is only part of the experience. Most persons who live in rural portions of the eastern United States have heard the male birds gobbling in the springtime, but for those who have not I am posting an extremely short clip today that shows several mature gobblers strutting and gobbling. This action was recorded near to a small mountain stream, which one can hear running in the background. This was filmed with the Canon 7D and the Canon 300mmF4 L lens.

                                         Eastern Wild Turkeys Strut And Gobble from Willard C. Hill on Vimeo.

One should use an off camera microphone if possible to eliminate camera operation noise. I use an Audio-Technica AT897 shotgun microphone attached to a boom pole, which I hang in a convenient tree.

AT 897 Shotgun Mike Mounted On Boompole

Note Shockmount That Can Be Detached From Boom  And Mounted In Accessory Shoe Of Camera

One can attach the mike directly to the camera by detaching the retaining bracket from the boom and sliding the mounting foot in the camera's accessory shoe. The shock mount does help deaden camera noise to a certain extent, but is not as effective as having the mike located some distance away from the camera. The AT897 uses a standard XLR connector which plugs into the rear jacks on the XL-H1 camcorder, or it can plug into the 3.5mm audio in jack of cameras such as the Canon 7D with an adapter.

Adapter Plugged Into 3.5mm Audio Jack Canon 7D

I only use the AT897 when shooting from a blind or other stationary position. The XL-H1 actually has a quite decent shotgun mike as standard equipment and I use this to handle situations when I am moving about quite a bit. I did mount the AT897 directly on the XL-H1 in 2007, which was the first year I used it to film the elk elk rut and  found that it was not noticeably better then the stock microphone, but when filming turkeys from a blind the stock mike frequently rubs against the blind, or picks up other distracting sounds. In this case it is best to have the microphone outside the blind.

I am not quite sure how things will shake out when it comes to recording elk bugling during the rut as the built in microphone on the 7D is not all that great, but I am somewhat apprehensive about carrying the camera with the AT897 mounted in the accessory shoe as it seems it would be easy to snag the mike on an overhanging branch and damage the camera body.


Barbie ♥ said...

What amazing footage! And that huge beard hanging down and flopping with the gooble! I went for a walk this morning and there was a turkey gobbling on the ridge to the left of me. I can't imagine being that close! My husband hunts turkey and he was thrilled with your video! I heard an eastern towhee in there too, singing "drink your tea" :-)

SaraG said...

Great video and post Willard!
John got a turkey yesterday! The second day of season.
It was a 20 pounder with a nine inch beard. He decided to take it to the taxidermist and have it mounted.
I posted a picture on my daily photo blog is you wanna take a look!
Take care and keep up the wonderful video and photography!!

Anonymous said...

The video was just as good as one you'd see on a wildlife TV show. Good job!

SaraG said...

Hi Willard,

John said to tell you thank you. He really loves your photo's and video's too. He really got a kick out of the pictures a couple of posts back with the male turkey standing on top of the female before mating.
Thanks for your nice comments.
You take care and keep up the great work with your photo's and video's!

V.L. Locey said...

Great clip Willard! Wait until my husband gets home from work and I show that to him! He, my daughter and I are all very excited for spring gobbler to open up here in PA as we are all hunters.

Actually my daughter who is a Jr. hunter gets to go out this Saturday!

Unknown said...


Love it. I need to try that out on my Canon

Peggy said...

Great action from your gobblers! Thanks for posting this, as it is a reminder that I have video on my &D. I keep forgetting. Now, I am going to try to get Bitterns booming if I can...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Wonderful set-up with great results in the woods.