Product Review - DXA-SLR PRO

We’ve all been through it, the time consuming task of syncing the audio from your external recording device to your DSLR footage. 

And if not that, you have to deal with the drawback of your comfy camera body now having a pointy metal box affixed to its bottom.   Either way we all fight to find the best way to record professional audio on our DSLR cameras.  But now the fight is over.  The Beachtek's DXA-SLR PRO features an all new form fitting chassis with rounded edges, and behind its many rubber bumpers is a tough yet lightweight aluminum enclosure and an overall “born to be attached to a DSLR” design.

          Out of the box the DXA-SLR PRO is completely capable with Canon DSLRs and if you’re using a Panasonic Lumix GH1 or GH2 camera, you can use a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter to connect the included 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to the camera’s sub-mini mic input.  Recording clean audio is always a challenge and with the limitations of DSLRs it's even more difficult.  This is because most DSLRs lack a way to monitor your audio and have a feature called Automatic Gain Control, which acts like an auto focus for your sound.  For example if you’re trying to shoot a professional-looking interview video and the autofocus suddenly starts “hunting” for focus in the middle of a take, your work is going to look amateurish. AGC does the same thing to audio levels.  Lucky for us the DXA-SLR PRO has the ability to disable your camera’s annoying AGC feature.

          The DXA-SLR PRO has brand new features to help all the professionals and armatures get the best sound possible with its two XLR inputs that feature fast-acting limiters that prevent pops and other distortions like clipping from peaking sounds.  Since these aren’t used all the time, you can turn these limiters off and on.  The XLR inputs also offer greater isolation and enhanced circuit protection and with built in phantom power that you can switch from mic or line-in signals.  Since you have the ability to switch to line-in, this lets you connect your DSLR to an audio mixing board at a live event and this product also lets you easily check for proper recording levels with its new VU meters.

          Out on the job it’s hard to determine if your audio sounds good or not but with a new feature called the “loop back” ability, it enables you to listen to the audio from clips that have already been recorded on your camera.  Without this feature, the only way to hear your audio is from the tiny little speaker on your DSLR.  With your headphone output and its very own volume knob, you connect your camera’s A/V output cable to the 3.5mm “MONITOR IN” jack on the DXA-SLR PRO. Now when you play back a video clip on your camera, you can flip the “MONITOR Switch” on the DXA-SLR PRO to the PLAY position, enabling you to hear your sound through your headphones.  Now unlike other DSLR audio recording devices, you don’t need to be betrayed in the middle of recording while your device shuts off because it has run out of battery.  The power LED on the DXA-SLR PRO glows green when it has a good battery and turns red when the battery is running out.  The battery door was also designed for easy access.  And at its base, the DXA-SLR PRO features threads so you can still attach your camera rig to a tripod.

          The new DXA-SLR PRO is an excellent companion to your DSLR of choice. It was designed for low-noise performance because of its high and low gain switches for each channel. This can really help you get your proper levels with microphones of different sensitivities.  At the end of the day, your picture is only as good as your sound. Get it right with the DXA-SLR PRO.