If you have a Nikon D3500 then you probably also know that it has no audio input jack. Oopsy! You'll have to take that up with Nikon, but this does complicate things if you want to incorporate a professional microphone. You can try to MacGyver a workaround with adapters, but it may not work. The simplest solution is to use a high-quality portable recorder with built-in microphones and combine the recorded audio with your video in post-production. Here are a few good audio recorders that will work as a Nikon D3500 external mic.
Zoom is one of the most popular brands for professional audiovisual equipment due to the high quality and excellent functionality of their products. The H1n is a great solution for your Nikon D3500 because it has a tripod socket, making it possible to attach the mic directly to the camera using a shoe mount adapter. This is a versatile microphone recorder for voice, music, interviews, video, and more.
Like the Zoom H1n, this DR-40X recorder from Tascam can be mounted directly to the camera via a shoe mount adapter, or you could place it on a tripod in the studio as a standalone audio recorder. It comes with two professional-quality unidirectional stereo condenser microphones that can record in A-B and X-Y positions.
Best for music
Here's another great recorder from Zoom; this one was developed with music recording in mind. The H4n Pro features four-channel recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz. It allows for more inputs, including 2 XLR/TRS, and it has a dedicated guitar input if that's your instrument of choice.
If you have the budget, the Sony PCMD100 is an excellent high-end recording solution. This fancy little recorder has professional microphone and playback capabilities, along with a range of built-in audio tools such as pitch control, a digital limiter, a low-cut filter, and super bit-mapping. It also has a tripod socket for on-camera or tripod mounting.
Sony also offers solutions on the lower end of the budget scale, like this handheld voice recorder. The ICD-PX470 cannot be attached to your camera, but it is small and lightweight so that you can hold it in your hand or in a pocket during recording. This recorder is intended mostly for voice and interviews, so it may not be as effective for recording a lot of music and sound effects.
Another great solution for voices, the Tascam recorder comes with a lavalier microphone that can be clipped onto a shirt or collar for premium voice recording, The wireless recorder can also be attached to a pocket or belt as a portable solution for hands-free shots.
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As you can see, there are a variety of solutions available for reliable audio recording without the need for a microphone jack. Out of these Nikon D3500 external mic solutions, our pick is the Zoom H1n (opens in new tab) because it offers a lot of utility and versatility at a reasonable price. This microphone/recorder combo can be used in a variety of situations and it can be mounted directly onto your Nikon D3500.
For a low-cost, handheld solution, the Sony ICD-PX470 (opens in new tab) is an easy-to-use voice recorder that will work great for interviews and podcasts. This is a great affordable option if you're just getting started. No matter your budget or recording needs, one of the external microphones on this list will do the job.
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Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.
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