Attaching an External Microphone
Canon Elura 100 is an interesting beast: it has a jack for external microphone, but does not have an accessory shoe to affix the microphone itself. I am not going to analyze technical reasons for such a decision, at least the camcorder provides a way to feed in external sound. Elura users should feel lucky, because Elura series is discontinued in 2007, and ZR series just does not cut the mustard. Obviosly, Canon is moving to high definition pastures, leaving good old DV format behind.
Ranting aside, attaching an external microphone to Canon Elura 100 -- or to any camcorder that has no accessory shoe but does have a tripod socket -- is quite simple. All you need is a so-called L-bracket. As it is evident from the name, the bracket is an L-shaped piece of metal with attachment screw on the bottom and one or several cold shoes on the top.
There are different kinds of L-brackets used in photo and video industry. Just running a search on the Net for "L-bracket" will yield all kinds of bent pieces of metal. To narrow the search try something as original as "L-bracket for a digital camcorder".
The Sony ECM-MS908C stereo microphone is a high quality product made in Japan. Its shell is made of anodized aluminum, the plastic parts under the battery cover are top notch, the cable has high-grade textile protector.
The microphone is less than 7 inches length and has non-detachable cable. It perfectly fits into small LowePro Edit120 camera bag with space to spare. The sound quality is good and the sensitivity is strong. You can see this mic attached to the Elura 100 with Bescor VB-50 L-bracket.
The bracket is attached to camera's tripod bush with a screw that also has a bush in it. This way you can attach an L-bracket to the camcorder, then attach the bracket to a tripod. A quick-release plate helps, this way you can simply slide the plate out of the tripod if you want to shoot hand held.
Audio Technica ATR-25
The Sony mic is a great product but quite expensive, so you may want to entertain other options like the Audio-Technica ATR25 shown here, which is almost three times cheaper.
Both microphones will provide better sound quality than build-in mic. The best thing that they do not pick up motor noise so prominent on some Elura 100 camcorders.
Be advised that the automatic gain control (AGC) is turned off for an external microphone, you need to test your recording before committing to a long shot. Do not place subject farther than 3-5 feet from the microphone, otherwise the signal will be low and you will hear echo.
Mounting Mic On A Tripod
Frankly, a contraption consisting of a camcorder and an L-bracket, mounted onto a tripod is not very stable. It will do for careful panning and tilting, but if you want to, say, change focus during panning, the camcorder will shake.
Therefore you may want to attach a microphone directly to the tripod. The photo shows how I achieved this with Velbon-607 tripod. This tripod has a handle that can be unscrewed and mounted in front or in the back, on the left side or on the right. The handle is kept in place with a nut.
What I did is I found a small angled bracket, I used one from the mounting package that came with the aftermarket car stereo. This package contains a whole lot of brackets and sleeves for different cars. I used a small angled bracket with two holes. With one hole the bracket is attached to the tripod handle and tightened with standard nut. Then I put a mounting screw from my L-bracket through another hole and screwed it into the mic holder. I don't know about other mics, but the ATR-25 can be attached either using a shoe or with a screw, so the second option came handy.
You can barely see the small angled bracket on the photo, it is made of the same black plastic as the tripod head. Looks neat, I think. The downsides are: if your camera is really low or your subject is really close, then the sound may be distorted. Another, more serious problem is that you cannot simply detach the camera from the tripod and go shooting hand held. I mean, you can, but you will be using built-in mic.