Q8 3 M – Digital audio and video recorder HD Simultaneous recording of audio and video in HD 3 M Supplied: X/Y capsule, USB cable, lithium battery BT-03, tripod adaptor, cover for lens filter, windproof, strap, manual, – Compatible with clip ghm-1 and MSM-1 (optional)
It's a Zoom product and these guys know how to do quality audio. This doesn't come with memory card, only one small stand/clip attachment, no case or cover.
I used it to record a couple of gigs which is why I bought it in the first place and the audio quality is excellent. The supplied X/Y microphone does a great job, and the two additional channels are really useful. The flip out display gives you a tiny digital mixer which is a neat touch although fiddly to use. You can record in uncompressed WAV format and record audio separately from video which is a cool thing.
Battery life when filming at HD quality is a touch over two hours, best to buy a spare as it uses a specific battery type.
Video - oh dear. It says it can record in HD 1080p. well that may be the resolution but the quality is frankly terrible. Don't assume like I did that HD capability will give you crystal clear video. A 5 year old basic GoPro is better. The 'scene' settings range from grainy through to blurry and unusable. Don't even think about using the digital zoom either! I'm sure if you're using this for webcam/youtube video in excellent lighting conditions then this would be ok, but for live music, just don't get your hopes up.
Another thing worth knowing is that if you film on the highest video setting then a 1 hour continuous recording will give you a file of around 10GB. BUT, due to the limitations of recording to SD card, this 10GB file will be split in to chunks of around 4GB, so you will need some video editing software to piece the bits together.
So in summary
Excellent audio and exchangeable quality microphones (with other zoom products)
Can supply phantom power
Good mixing capability
Clever flip out touchscreen.
Terrible digital zoom
Average battery life of two hours - three would have been better
I'm returning mine and buying a Zoom H6 and the hotshoe attachment to connect it to a digital SLR instead.
I had ordered a Zoom Q8 and memory card and specified next day delivery. The Q8 arrived next day but memory card was not included and after looking again at the order it stated the memory card would not arrive till 6 days later. I had assumed both were a package that would arrive together but apparently not.
The Zoom Q8 was specified as a Zoom Q8 UK, however on opening the package the instructions were in French, Spanish and Portuguese as separate booklets but no English manual, a call to Amazon support regarding manual resulted with a email with Zoom link for Q8 support, but could not provide manual or could zoom UK. A bit of a disappointment but all was not lost as I downloaded the manual and saved to Adode Cloud so I can refer to it the manual on my phone. Zoom Uk informed me that from the the model number this particular item was designated for the Portuguese market.
Came early nice job
Great. So easy to use straight out of the box!
A good piece of equipment works ok
I've received this camera a couple of weeks ago, and I took my time until I reviewed it, because it being so different, I had to put it through the paces and make sure it worked fine until I could properly review it.
I still haven't field-tested it yet (i.e. taken it to shows), but I will share my experience while using it in my studio.
It's a great little camera, and it certainly feels sturdy enough for its size. The body is a little bigger than the palm of your hand and the plastic feels nice, instead of cheap. The flip-out screen (a big bonus) handles well, but it does have a tendency to slouch JUST a touch. It's barely noticeable, but as you pop it out, you will see it. It doesn't prevent it from working however.
On that topic, and being that it not only monitors the image, but it's also serves as a touch screen for the on board menus, I do wish it were more responsive, as it sometimes can be challenging just pressing that "X" button on the upper left corner. Not convenient if you're in any sort of live or working studio situation and you're changing settings.
This handycam is comprised by a 160 degree camera, mimicking the GoPro look, which does fit a particular aesthetic and purpose, and will not please everybody. And if you're a serious user, the 5x digital zoom is basically just a gimmick, that no professional would ever use for anything other than to have with, as you can easily replicate whatever you're going for in post-production. This camera comes with an action prong to use with GoPro-like accessories, but because of its size and relative bulkiness, I wouldn't recommend it.
The microphone is a beautifully crafted stereo microphone which is interchangeable with other Zoom mics from their audio recorders, which can be a huge plus if you need to have reference video in studio while aiming at a great sound recording.
On the back, you have the XLR/jack inputs, which are a BIG plus on this handycam, since in music you never really know what's available. These work separately and the audio may be recorded onto a separate audio track synced with the video, or you may use the camera just as an audio recorder, which is equally great, if you "just" need to record that vocal or guitar part.
For photographers/videographers, you also have the micro-HDMI output, which is awesome to monitor your image in a video studio, as well as a mini-jack output for whatever purpose you may need. (Mine is connected both to headphones and the stereo). The resolution you can record in goes well above Full HD, with around 2300 pixels in width, which sounds great. But despite the convenience, if your project is in Full HD or even 4K, you're stuck in the middle. 2300 pixels can be good for cropping out some of that fish-eye look, though.
There are four ways to record audio and you can record it on four different tracks. The room microphone, which includes its own volume dial, will automatically take two, which will be split on a stereo track. Perfect for casually recording gigs. The other two are assigned to the XLR/jack inputs, and you can control the signal manually on the side dials, which really empowers you to record whatever you want, however you want it. And that brings me to the way you're recording your material. You can use a compressor, a leveler, a limiter, or no effect at all. The compressor will quickly adjust the volume of whatever it's recording to a certain decibel level. (If it's too loud, it will dampen the sound, if it's too low, it will increase the signal). The leveler will do pretty much the same, only slower. The limiter will only limit sounds that are too loud, or you can record with no effect at all. Similar analog systems will be more efficient in these tasks, but for the price, you can't really beat this sort of convenience. (I use the limiter for my podcasts, and it works great)
This camera is USB-charged and packs a battery which allows for up to two hours of video recording, and it fits handily on the side, allowing you to replace it at a moment's notice. Just be advised: the camera will NOT charge if the USB is connected, as that connection will bypass the battery entirely. This is actually handy for when you need to continually use it as a webcam, as you can disconnect the battery altogether and save it from unnecessary repetitive charges which will ultimately drain it out.
On previous iterations of this model, some users complained about the lens hood of the camera, and how it would very easily come off. I'm guessing Zoom worked on that, as on the date of this writing (December, 2016) I have no problem keeping it on. Be it because the camera is new or other factors, I can safely say that the only way the camera hood will come off is if you REALLY want it come off and give it a good pull. Other than that, you're good to go.
And how do you start using this? Just by flipping out the screen and pressing that familiar-looking "power on/off" button. It takes about three seconds to load up and you're ready to go. Easy.
I would just like to leave a word of caution, as this handycam inexplicably failed to boot up at one point under normal conditions despite my best efforts. Even when pressing the power-on button repeatedly, and at times for seconds at a time, even when I tried disconnecting the battery to then put it back again, for some reason that fails me, the camera took a long couple of minutes before it was able to boot up again. This left me with an uneasy feeling about using it professionally. Something similar happened again recently, but this time it took seconds, not minutes. So while I imagine that Zoom will be updating their firmware with some regularity, and although this only happened twice in my now frequent use of it, it's still useful to make it known that with the current firmware (Version 2.0), there may be room for error and then you may be all out of luck in a gig or in studio.
On a minor note, while I find the design aspect of the foldable microphone cool, it can get in the way if you need a small overhead AND need to plug cables. When compacted, the microphone will come in the way of you connecting anything at all, so it's a small note to be mindful of.
After all is said and done, I do recommend this if, above all else, you need an easy and compact way to record audio professionally, and if you're filming in a tight room (and don't mind the 160 degree angle), or just need scratch video to go along. There's a small compromise with this camera as far as the look of your shot goes, but it's worth it if you're mainly audio-oriented or just need a simple all-in-one solution.
I'm pleased with it so far. I will update this review when I've field-tested it a couple of times.
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