Dead Cats and Sound Distortion

Introduction

No cats were killed in the production of this post!

I have always been very particular about the quality of the photos in my posts. Not only do I edit my own photos to ensure the best resolution, but I also pay particular attention to those of my contributors.

One of my earlier posts, Photo Grabs with the GoPro Hero 9 Black, was one of my efforts in this area and may be seen here.

Why and What is a ‘Dead Cat’

I have recently been increasing the number of videos in my posts and one of the problems I have come up against is noise distortion due to wind interference.

This video is a good example of what I am talking about:

Apart from my GoPro, I have recently started using a Canon G7X Mkii. This is a great little, point-and-shoot camera, designed for vloggers as much as casual photographers.

So, why the dead cat? Simply put, the dead cat acts as a muffler to reduce noise distortion caused by wind.

The G7X Mkii with and without the commercially available dead cat

Unfortunately, Canon Hong Kong had no information on this item. They even went so far as to claim that it didn’t exist. Despite Canon’s denials, you can purchase them from the internet. The problem was that the delivery time was in weeks and I wasn’t sure about the reliability of the provider.

So, I decided to make my own. I watched several YouTube presentations on the subject and armed with some useful, and useless information, went shopping for double-sided tape and a fluffy toy that could be mutilated.

A friend and reader did suggest that I used velcro strips in place of the double-sided tape, but as I had already purchased it, I decided to try it out first.

The materials

The double-sided tape and a pair of Santa’s booties (pre-mutilation). Total cost: HK$28.00

Making the Dead Cat

First, I cleaned the surface of the camera around the microphone to make sure that the tape would adhere properly. I then carefully placed strips of tape both in front of and behind the microphone.

You have to be careful that the tape does not cover the microphone or interfere with the pop-up flash to the left

Then it was time to mutilate one of Santa’s booties by cutting out two strips.

 

Carefully, I removed the top cover of the double-sided tape and attached the strips of Santa’s booties in position.

My dead cat looks like a dog’s breakfast
Conclusion

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I went out to test the efficiency of my homemade dead cat at the earliest opportunity. I intentionally chose the windiest, noisiest scene I could find. Note the sound of the water and wind but, there is no distortion.

I was not absolutely sure that it was going to work and was prepared for failure however, the results were better than expected. In closing, I leave you with a piece of advice my father gave me many years ago:

“If at first, you don’t succeed, do it the way your wife told you…”

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

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Published by stewartgoeswalkies

Happily married man to a wonderful lady. Living in Hong Kong. In my younger days I enjoyed hiking, camping and rock climbing. I've trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Mt. Kinabalu in East Malaysia.

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