I do have a few reservations about it however, over all I would recommend it. We will get to the reservations later. First let me say it is built well and does what it is supposed to do, mix audio.
Before purchasing the product I had some concerns it would be cheap plastic and constructed poorly. After all it is tiny and does not need a battery or any amplification. But looks (such as the photo above) can be deceiving. The unit is very well built and heavier than expected. The control sliders move smoothly and freely without sticking. Adjusting the sound volume of each microphone is easy and precise.
Because it is not amplified you will have to use powered microphones. I use the unit to mix a wireless mic and shotgun mic. There are three inputs and one output. You can feed output either in stereo or mono with the two supplied cables. The Azden CAM-3 makes it a breeze to mix and set the audio of each microphone to the same levels and send that sound into your microphone input on your camera.
It is small and will not take up much space in your camera bag, making it portable and good to have on hand for any shooting conditions. The unit comes with an extra belt clip, some Velcro for mounting and the two cables; mono to stereo and stereo to stereo. if you have ever tried to get good sound from your on-board camera mic with the subject at a distance, or multiple subjects you will love having this gadget available. Mixing on the fly is easy.
Now for the reservations.
I would have preferred a shoe mount rather than the belt clip attachment. Frankly the belt clip would probably last about 10 seconds on my belt before breaking. The instructions recommend attaching it to your shirt pocket. Probably a good idea. Another idea is to mount it to your wrist strap on the camcorder. However this may cause your hand to be encumbered by the dangling wires from the microphones and output cord.
I recommend you either build or buy an attachment bar for your camera that will allow you to offset and attach other devices to the camera and use that. Either Velcro it or use a trusty rubber band. Just make sure it is secure. You can cable tie the cables and make it neat, or as neat as you can depending on your camera configuration. Gotta love those ties, I keep a bundle with me in my camera case at all times.
Another slight peeve I have is the inputs and output are on the bottom edge of the unit. Good for hanging the unit vertical but the cables get in the way if the unit is horizontal. My plan is to build a plate to extend behind the camera with the mixer mounted horizontally on it. Alas, the mixer will be easy to see and use but the cables will be in the way. Though I must admit just about any configuration I come up with, I will still have to deal with the cables.
We live in a wired world so I expect this and it's not that much of an issue.
I also discovered that depending on which input I use, the levels may not be as strong. For instance the first input appears to have less volume than the last two. Any microphone plugged into that input is weaker than the next. After a bit of experimentation I found that the shotgun is best in the middle port and the wireless is best in the third input next to the output. The process of elimination caused me to assume the closer to the output, the better the signal input. Perhaps because the first input is further away from the output it suffers some sound loss?
Either way, that is more of an annoyance than a issue. I'll just keep in mind to use the last two inputs and put my stronger source on the first slider if needed. I'd rather do that than haul a huge mixer around with me. After all, the idea is to be portable, and the Azden Cam-3 is totally portable.
Because the unit is so tiny mixing is easy with either a simple finger push on the slider or use your thumb. The audio crescendo and diminish is smooth as silk. With a good pair of headphones you will be mixing and adjusting with ease. As with anything, practice make perfect.
One more thing, if you have been using mono to stereo adapters for your mono microphones to connect to your camcorders stereo input you will find the mixer will make that unnecessary. I still keep the adapters in my case but the mixer will reduce the need for them.
You can get an Azden CAM-3 mixer at Amazon.com, B&H Photo and plenty of other outlets on the web. I purchased mine from UBuyCheap on eBay. The specs read as follows;
This miniature 3-channel microphone mixer allows you to add and mix sound from 3 microphone sources simultaneously. The mixer features 3 MONO 3.5mm input jacks and 1 STEREO 3.5mm output jack. Only 3 1/4" x 1/4" x 2 1/8", it weighs 3 ounces, uses no batteries and can be attached to the camcorder or the handstrap. Comes with a STEREO-to-MONO output cable.
Overall, I do recommend this product despite the obvious shortcomings such as cable spaghetti and lack of a shoe mount. For non-powered mics you will find it limited if not useless. But for powered mics, it's all that and a bag of chips!