My Recorder Just Got Better
If you are a filmmaker, a YouTuber, a student, a teacher, a musician, a journalist, or a photographer, the OM SYSTEM LS P5 might just be the perfect companion for you and a great addition to your camera bag. Until now, I used its predecessor, the LS-P4, to record ambient sounds like the call of blue jays in a dimly lit New Hampshire forest or beavers debarking a freshly carved tree branch. This small yet powerful, user-friendly recorder helped me recreate environmental sounds for my videos and provides a better viewer immersion experience. I am happy to report that the LS-P5 continues that legacy but comes with much-welcomed updates that will bring satisfaction to content creators and be an essential part of their camera kit.
What I love out of the box about this recorder
● The improved audio quality (96 kHz/24 bit), especially for vlogging and use as a shotgun microphone.
● The ability to connect wirelessly, so I can monitor what I record from a distance with my Bluetooth headphones and don’t have to worry about tripping on a wire.
● The replacement of the attachment mounting hole with a tripod socket, so there is no need for extra gear. Mounting the LS-P5 directly to your tripod makes the system flawless and stronger. I also love that the tripod attachment has been moved to the back of the device so that it doesn’t block you from the viewfinder.
● The installed memory that doubled in size from 8GB to 16GB. This extra backup storage gives users peace of mind in the event that the card is faulty or gets full while recording.
● An app that lets users control everything remotely and smoothly from a phone.
Why it is perfect for my video workflow
Being a photographer and a videographer, I need to carry a recorder that provides me with excellent quality audio but is also not a burden to carry around. The best recorder is the one you want to carry with you at all times to capture sounds everywhere you go. As a content creator, the last thing I need is an expensive, cumbersome microphone that sits on a shelf while I miss opportunities in the field. Creating should be fun and accessible to everyone. A few factors are critical to me when choosing a suitable device, and I will go through each below and explain why the LS P5 is a clear winner in its category.
One criterion I use to judge a product is how easy it is to set up. I like to try out a new piece of equipment straight away, so I always look for an easy setup guide before diving deep into the manual. I want to be able to take my product out of its box, make a few tweaks, and start testing it out, which is precisely what I did when I received the LS P5. I just watched the six videos produced by OM SYSTEM with Gavin Hoey on how to set up and start recording (https://getolympus.com/ls-p5.html). I highly recommend them as an easy and quick start-up guide. I also like that there is an intuitive menu that lets you set up essential features. Moreover, the LS P5 has an app for apple or google you can upload to your phone. Pairing the device with your phone using the app is a breeze. You just start the app and follow the instructions. The whole process took me less than one minute, and now, every time I switch on the recorder and start the app, they pair up seamlessly in less than a few seconds. It really is impressive.
Having an all-in-one device is a luxury and something that pushes me to use my device instead of leaving it at home. The LS P5 offers a few different recording situations that are available at a press of a button. If you want to shoot a YouTube video and need a shotgun microphone, click on the menu button, go to Rec Setting, then Zoom Mic and use the – button to decrease the field range of your audio recording and to transform your recorder into a shotgun (giving you a narrow sound pickup range). If you are in a meadow at sunset and want to capture the environmental sounds of birds, crickets, and other insects, then go through the same process and increase your field of audio using the + arrow. This will give you a broader sound pickup range. This feature allows you flexibility with your recording.
Another feature I enjoy for its adaptability is the option to select a scene mode. When I teach and need to record my lecture, I can use the select automatic recording setting by holding the scene/menu button and choosing lecture mode. If I am in a small space and need to record a meeting, I can select meeting mode. I have even used it in my car to take audio notes using dictation mode.
The LS-P5 is a very flexible and versatile device. The fact that I can use the LS-P5 as a shotgun mic for an interview, a field recorder, a lecture recorder, or a dictation recorder is highly convenient.
I am a proponent of minimalist gear, and having a recording device that fits in a small pocket is a must. At 39.6 x 112.2 x 16.1 mm, you don’t have to worry about finding a place for it in your camera bag or your daily carry. It also charges via USB and sets the record for the smallest cord I have ever owned. I love it because it makes it easy to pack. Real estate in my travel bag is prime, so every inch of a cord counts.
There is nothing worse than a good video with horrible sound. The LS-P5 delivers in-sound quality as it captures better than CD-quality audio. In the photo below, you can see the microphone difference between the LS-P4 and the LS-P5. I have started filming all my YouTube videos with it as a shotgun microphone, and I am thrilled with the results. The LS-P5 works very well with my OM-1 and my 12mm as a vlogging setup. If you record in 4 K, then your sound needs to follow. For better sound and noise reduction, I mount the LS-P5 to the OM-1 using the SM2 shock mount, which absorbs some of the vibration and noise. If you’re using it as a microphone on the table in front of you, mount it on a tripod. If outside, to avoid wind noise, get a windshield. I use the WJ-2 windshield.
5. Security and reliability
As I was building my YouTube channel this past year, I tried different wireless microphones, but none fit the bill as I ran into reliability issues. When I received the LS-P5, I decided to drop the wireless microphones and put this little device to the test. The LS-P5 gives me the peace of mind I need as a videographer by allowing me to record on my camera while saving a recording at the same time on the LS-P5 internal memory or card. That way, if the sound doesn’t record directly on my camera, I can retrieve it in post-production.
In terms of reliability, I love the fact that there is a red light that flashes if I am clipping the sound, so I can visually see that I need to adjust my settings. Last but not least, the autonomy of the recorder is truly reassuring, as it comes with a 37-hour battery life.
The LS-P5 is the perfect gear for me, as it opens the door to being a more efficient videographer. The time has come to send my sample product back, and I have already placed an order for a new LS-P5. For me, it is the Swiss army knife of recorders: A multifunction, reliable device in a small package that does not cut any corners in quality. I am genuinely excited to have this new tool in my bag as a creator and hope you will be too.
Emilie Talpin is a French teacher and photographer based in New Hampshire who is passionate about macro, wildlife, night sky and videography. When not in front of her classroom, she loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, and chasing her next photo.