Videomaker by Jeanne Rawlings
Azden's latest 320 series discrete dual-channel system is smaller and smarter than all other previous units. We reviewed four components, finding that the UHF dual receiver is powerful and allows selections of up to 240 channels. For the professional videographer, the flaws we uncovered don't seriously impact the Azden 320 series
, when compared to wireless systems that cost much more.
Inside our Azden 320ULX kit were the 320UPR receiver, a 30XT plug-in transmitter, a 30BT bodypack transmitter and a little workhorse Azden EX-503L omni-directional lapel microphone. For connection between the receiver and the camera, Azden includes a dual-plug XLR-to-stereo mini-plug output, as well as a stereo mini 1/8-inch output connector for smaller cameras. The five-page User's Guide kit is rudimentary, but an Azden sound technician quickly answered a cold call about a switch that the specs did not define. Lastly, the kit comes equipped with its own carrying case. There's also a 320ULT kit ($995), which replaces the 30XT with another 30BT bodypack, for those who don't need the handheld functionality.
Small, Light, Compact Along with its small size, the 320UPR is lightweight, even with the two AA batteries that run this receiver. That's a plus for camera-mounted use. UHF systems pull more power, but the DC jack will charge batteries in the camera or from an external source.
It's easy to read the two digital LCD readouts, with channel selection, battery strength and incoming signal status. This is not a diversity receiver, but the flexible high-gain antennas did the job of bringing in two strong UHF signals on 240 selectable frequencies in our tests. On-off switches and cable lock-down rings do the trick. However, the power switches face the front of the camera, which makes it a hassle if you must mount the receiver before setting up mics and channels. read more...