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New Sony ECM-B10 shotgun mic offers three polar coverage patterns in one

Sony ECM-B10
(Image credit: Sony)

Most shotgun mics offer a single, highly directional polar pattern. That’s their job – to focus on the audio from a subject directly in front of the camera and suppress the rest. But the new ECM-B10 uses four separate microphone capsules and selectively combines the audio from each to produce three different capture patterns.

Sony’s digital ‘beamforming’ technology can customise the way sound is recorded from different directions, offering super-directional, unidirectional and omnidirectional recording.

The super-directional pattern can be used for interviews or filming yourself presenting to camera, when you don’t want audio coming in from other directions.

The unidirectional pattern captures audio from a wide area in front of the mic but not behind. This would be good for filming a wider scene but without capturing what’s going on behind you.

The omnidirectional pattern captures sound from all around, and would be good for capturing general ambient audio in indoor or outdoor filming.

This three-in-one functionality makes the ECM-B10 potentially much more versatile than a regular shotgun mic, and it could prove useful where there’s no time or it’s not appropriate to clip a lavalier mic to the speaker – though many broadcasters and interviewers might opt for a stick mic in these situations.

Watch the official Sony video below:

The Sony ECM-B10 also features an ATT (attenuator) switch (0/10/20 dB), a FILTER switch (noise cut / low cut / off), an AUDIO LEVEL dial with AUTO/MAN (manual) switching, and a DIGITAL/ANALOG switch.

This is a digital mic which connects only to cameras with a Sony MI (Multi Interface) Shoe or adapter. The following Sony cameras feature the Digital Audio Interface: Sony ZV-E10, Sony A1, Sony A9 Mark II, Sony A7S Mark III, Sony A7R Mark IV, Sony A7C and Sony A7 Mark IV – so all the latest full-frame Alpha models, plus the APS-C ZV-E10.

The ECM-B10 goes on sale in July and will cost £230 (about $277/AU$399).

Read more:

Best microphones
Best shotgun mics
Best cameras for vlogging
Best lavalier mics

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.