Pinknoise systems 5DmkII and 7D audio cable

7d audio cable
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the audio cable I use between my Eos7D and my ZoomH4n or Sony PCM-D50 audio recorders. It’s not as some have suggested just a 3.5mm jack to jack cable, but instead features a -25db PAD, it is essentially a carefully made cable with a resistor that attenuates the output. This reduces the output volume of the audio recorder to a more friendly mic level input that the 5DmkII or 7D can cope with. I had it specially made by John McCombie at Pinknoise systems in the UK, he specialises in audio bits and bobs. You can contact him at

Warning, it does NOT defeat the cameras in built AGC but it does give as good as the standard camera can give without using a hack like Magiclantern for 5DmkII from Tramm Hudson. You can of course record on the recorder as well and use the cable to provide a nice clean guide track for later syncing in your editing software. The amazing Pluraleyes software for Final Cut can of course be used to automate this.

Another thing, the Zoom H4n shares its line out with the headphone socket so there is no way to monitor with headphones when using this cable. Maybe someone can make a suitable y-splitter cable. The alternative is to use a recorder like the Sony PCM-D50 with its separate line out and headphones jacks, with this combo you can monitor too. Sadly the Sony does not have XLR sockets, seems you can’t have it all.


audio cable


Posted on September 26th, 2009 by admin | Category: Audio, Canon Eos7D |

17 responses to "Pinknoise systems 5DmkII and 7D audio cable"

  1. Dave Newton Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I contacted John about this just yesterday. He was rushed so I’m due to speak to him on Monday about it. He didn’t realise you were using it to run from Zoom to camera but since we didn’t have time for a long chat it’s possible there was some confusion in the discussion.
    Which hotshoe mounting block are you using?
    When I speak to John I’ll ask him if he could make a cable that has a female 3.5mm jack on the end to allow headphone monitoring as well. In essence a cable that ends in both male and female connectors.

  2. Randy Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for posting the info on the cable! Could you please link to what you’re using to have the zoom h4n be mounted onto the hotshoe? I can understand what it is as far as grip goes but more interested in where you bought it.


  3. admin Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 7:15 pm


    The hotshoe adapter is a little Chinese made accessory I bought locally. I’ve not seen them elsewhere. Zacuto make a nice but somewhat expensive hotshoe adapter or can use a Manfrotto mini ball head and shoe.


  4. Randy Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Any chance I could send you some money via paypal in exchange for a few? It’d be greatly appreciated.


  5. Tonis Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    We have been customers of Pinknoise for every audio releated purchase and John just cares about what he does.


  6. Herb Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 12:33 pm


    I, too, would like to get a few of those hot shoe adapters that Randy wants.


  7. Bela Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    To go into this much hustle and extra cost accessories just to record sound with a camera? In the fall of 2009? C’mon guys and gals, get a real video camera instead, those have at least 2 XLR inputs, frequently four, AND a separate headphone jack and/or built-in monitoring speaker as well.

    This Frankensteinizing of DSLR cameras with extra cost and extra weight this, that, and the other is plain crazy. But hey, the seemingly limitless “third party vendors” must love it!!!

  8. John McCombie Says:
    September 28th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Just loaded a DSLR audio section on the pinknoise website, the cable is listed here and more to follow in the next week, Cheers, John McCombie.
    Pinknoise-Systems Ltd

  9. lilikindsli Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 1:04 am

    wSEMFa I want to say – thank you for this!

  10. Peter Corbett Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    John McCombie :
    Just loaded a DSLR audio section on the pinknoise website, the cable is listed here and more to follow in the next week, Cheers, John McCombie.
    Pinknoise-Systems Ltd


    I tried buying a cable but the delivery method in the checkout is greyed out and won’t allow the order process to proceed. The destination is Australia. I sent an email to Pink support a few days ago without response.


  11. Casey Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    For those interested in the hotshoe mount, one like it can be had in the US here: among other places.

  12. Bela Says:
    October 1st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Re. Pink Noise of the UK, great selection of accessories. Just keep in mind that prices over there are a tad higher in British Pound than they are in the USA in US$.

  13. Globals Says:
    October 3rd, 2009 at 12:14 am

    all good things

  14. cinematicwildsound Says:
    May 16th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Hi everybody,

    I recommend to check the zoom H4 and H4N before shooting with them. I made a few test with both of them running in sync with the 7D and others DSLRs. Then I imported the sound of the Zooms and the sound of the Canon, aligned them in sync in a Protools timeline to compare the recording speed of the equipment. The results were pretty ugly : after 10 minutes, I had more than 8 frames of delay on the Zoom tracks. I ran the test with two 1kHz bips for the sync, so this is quite accurate.
    I ran these tests several times. No change. This means that shooting with this configuration works well for very short shots (1 minute or so) but doesn’t work for longer shots (you’ll have serious lipping problems after two minutes…).
    The solution, if you really have to shot with this configuration, is either to timestretch the audiotrack or to cut after a minute and realign every waveblock.
    Personnaly, I won’t use that system (shooting with a zoom as mic preamp and recorder) since it doesn’t disable the AGC, internal mics are not directive enough to offer good presence on someone far away from the camera and that you have to do a lot of work in post to resync audio.

  15. chop Says:
    October 29th, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Is this cable still worthwhile now that the new 5dII firmware includes manual control of input levels?

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