Sennheiser just announced the new G4 100 series camera-mountable wireless systems, which are the same series that are used by a great number of people. When important gear gets updated, you want to know exactly what’s different about the new models. Unfortunately, this information has been very difficult to find. So, I’m collecting all of the actual updates in this blog post. I’ll add to this post when I find more information (if there is any).
The ew 100 Series
The 100 series systems are the most popular products in this line by far, and based on this press release from Sennheiser, very little about them have been upgraded. From what I gather, there are just a few little changes on the new G4 100 series, compared to the old G3.
After a good amount of digging, this was the first change I found:
“The orange LCD display of G3 has been replaced with a high-contrast black and white LCD display” —Sennheiser’s 1/25/18 press release
When you look at the EK 100 G4 and G3 receivers side by side, you can see the difference between the screens. You can also see the Sennheiser graphics printed on the front are slightly different:
The next two tidbits in the Sennheiser press release are clumped together in a single sentence. I believe that both of these changes can only be seen when you open the battery door of the units, so they’re hidden from view in the photos that have been released of the new G4’s. Here’s the first part of the sentence:
“Also new are a sync LED…”
On the old G3 systems, when you would wirelessly sync the transmitter and receiver, the display would show you the word “Sync,” and when the sync was complete, a checkmark symbol would show on the display to let you know it was a success. However, when these graphics went away, there was no LED light that was now lit up to let you know the two units are synced. I’m assuming that this is what this is, but, I haven’t found any concrete evidence of this yet. I’m just guessing.
“…and an Escape button for more convenient and quicker operation.”
This is also a guess: I think this might be a new button that lives under the battery compartment door that lets you instantly exit the menu system. The way it is on the G3 (and the way it was on the G2 systems before that) is that you have to scroll through the menus until you get the option of “Exit,” then you need to press the Set button to actually exit. I’m guessing that the new Escape button is just a faster way to do this. But again, I’m guessing.
The press release then goes on to talk about the more lightweight aluminum body of the handheld SKM 100 G4 transmitter, and how it now has a Mute switch. But this isn’t of interest to me. These kinds of wireless mics are most often used in live sound, not video production.
The last thing the press release mentions is that new G4 systems come with the ME 2-II lav mic. This is an update to Sennheiser’s wonderful ME 2 lav mic. The ME 2-II first shipped with the Sennheiser AVX wireless systems. It’s similar to the ME 2, but the frequency response it a little bit less wide (it doesn’t pick up as much low and high frequency sound). This is to keep it more focused on the human voice, which typically doesn’t hit those ultra high and low tones.
From what I can tell, people who have used the ME 2-II are generally pleased with the sound, so don’t let the reduced frequency response scare you off. This microphone is also supposed to be a little bit better at avoiding RF noise, so that’s a plus as well.
There you have it! That’s everything new about the camera-mountable G4 100 series systems. The good news is that if you have the G3, there is no pressing reason to upgrade to the G4. But, if you plan to buy a new system soon, you may want to wait for the G4. It may seem frivolous, but that little Escape button would be nice to have.