Hi all! Thanks for logging on. We have been sharing our work on Facebook and Instagram for quite some time and most recently had the urge to kickstart a blog where we would be able to go further into our thought-processes behind our projects, as well as share our opinions (mostly unscientific) on gear and such. And so, here's the first entry in our blog. (Hooray!)
Disclaimer: The filmmakers have no affiliation or relationship with RØDE, Sennheiser, or any other brands featured in this article.
Review by Basil Yeo (@basilyeo)
from RØDE's official product page
RØDELink represents the next generation of digital wireless systems. Using a series II 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption, it is able to constantly monitor and hop between frequencies to maintain the strongest possible signal level at a range of up to 100 metres* (over 100 yards). The RØDELink Filmmaker Kit provides everything you need to start shooting video wirelessly, including a receiver, transmitter and broadcast-grade lavalier microphone.
We own a number of RØDE products like the VideoMic Pro, the SmartLav and SmartLav+ for lower budget work, and we (or more importantly, our clients) have been pleased with the audio quality that we have been able to get out of these devices.
For higher budget corporate work, capturing audio with an iPhone just doesn't look or feel correct, therefore we have been renting the industry standard Sennheiser EW-100 ENG G3 for the longest time, which have been really fantastic and convenient to use.
As we progressed further and the need for wireless microphones increased in our work, the thought of purchasing a set had been on our minds for sometime. However, the price of the G3s, at SGD820, were a stumbling block for us.
Therefore, we were very excited when the RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit was announced at USD399 (approx SGD530).
Upon opening the box for the first time, we were rather surprised at the size of these things. They were actually about 1.5x the size of the Sennheisers, and blockier as well. A bit larger they initially seemed when referencing the promotional images. How will we hide that if the talent is wearing a tight-fitting dress? One for the grip department to figure out.
Build quality-wise, they do have a little cheap plasticky feel to it, which does not seem as tough and durable as the Sennheiser G3s, but we suppose for the lesser price you pay there HAD to be some obvious differences on the surface.
However it certainly doesn't feel like it could be damaged easily in a normal production environment. This thing can probably take a knock or two here and there, but would probably be scratched and dented if you drop it from height (what doesn't?)
The RØDELink is extremely easy to set-up. Fix in the batteries, push the 'On' button on both the transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) and voila! They sync automatically. It's that simple. Anyone can do it. In fact, the RØDELink is so simple and fuss-free to setup that we put it into set use less than three days after we bought it.
Audio quality is fantastic, at least to our ears. We aren't experts in the field of audio or sound capture but audio was generally crisp, clear and had a nice warm tone to it. None of the Bs and Ps you get from cheap microphones, and a little hiss when recording through our GH3 but the most important thing was that the voice is clear, clear, clear! It didn't sound flat either.
However, as most microphones, the RØDELink does not function as an audio recorder, so you would have to output its signal into one. It comes with a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable in the package, instead of a 3.5mm to XLR cable so you would have to buy one if you prefer recording on XLR. We see this as a small issue since the cables are so cheap anyway.
Something that we wish could have been included was the ability to connect multiple transmitters to a single receiver. However that feature is not available. You can download a firmware updater though from RØDE's website so it MAY come in a future update if RØDE sees the potential in it. The device has up to 8 channels, so we can hope.
We also really like the 'Lock' and 'Mute' features that exist on the RØDELink. Pretty self-explanatory, so we won't elaborate on them.
The RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit is a great product with great value for its price, and it seems mostly targeted at DSLR filmmakers looking to take a step up. We do not think it knocks the Sennheiser G3 out in quality. In fact, judging from the video we did comparing both devices, they seem to be mostly on par. The good news is for most work you can probably use them interchangeably, so you don't have to throw out your G3s if you're looking to get a RØDELink.
To find out how much or how little they match up against each other, check out our RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit vs Sennheiser G3 video down below.
Overall, we feel that the RØDELink is probably one of those items that falls under the 'Smart Purchases' category, and it will surely begin paying for itself very quickly. The RØDE Lavalier Mic that is included with the kit is almost USD249 on B&H, so you're really only paying $150 for the transmitters.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Own the RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit? Do you agree with us?
Let us know in the comments below!
Video: RØDELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit vs Sennheiser G3 - An Unscientific Gear Review
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