There are different types of microphones depending on what kind of audio you want to record. Here are the tree types that I use for recording:
The Zoom-H1 has actually two microphones, a left and a right one, that are crossed creating a fan-like pattern, this means that it will pick up most of the sound in front of it, but also a good part of the sound on the left and right of the centre.
This type of microphone is good for recording ambience, but not the best for recording a monologue, since it’ll pick up a lot of background noise.
This type usually has an omnidirectional pattern. Imagine that the microphone primarily picks up sound in a small circle around it. This is the best for recording monologue in a noisy environment. Both the VT500 Water and the Røde Smart Lav+ have an omnidirectional pattern.
This super cardioid microphone is designed specifically to pick up sounds in front of it and exclude most noise from the sides and the back. This type of mic is a good allround- solution, often seen on the cameras of TV reporters and booms on film sets. A waterproof shotgun mic mounted on my action cam has long been on my wish list, but so far it hasn’t materialised!