Zoom Q3 vs Zoom H2 – Unboxed Review

With itchy impatient hands I finally got my anxiously awaited Zoom Q3 video recorder…

Zoom Q3 vs. Zoom H2
The Zoom Q3 is just a tad bigger than the Zoom H2 and packs in some decent video

Yes, this is the one that has bitchin’ sound and video in a really portable and easy to use format.

For an audio drama guy, it seemed a no-brainer; I live and die by my Zoom H2 but have often thought it would be fun to be able to capture a little bit of video, too… everything from behind-the-scenes footage of FinalRune shows to how-tos on various pieces of recording equipment.

I’ve yet to get my teeth into the product but thought I’d share some initial thoughts upon looking at the product, especially compared to the Zoom H2 since I use the H2 extensively. I kind of thought the Q3 was going to be H2 + video but it isn’t, exactly.

A few observations:

    • Sound quality seems to be about the same. The H2 has a lot more options. The Q3 has a way bigger screen and is more friendly.
    • Video (to me) seems just dandy. Obviously I have a strong bias to good audio. The picture is as good as I’m going to need it and I’m really excited about the possibilities once I start putting this thing to work.
    • The Q3 SD card door is flimsy and will eventually break off. They clearly did not design it for people who are going to be hot-swapping SD cards in the field. Um, hello?
Zoom Q3 using tripod from Zoom H2The Zoom Q3 doesn’t come with a tripod, but the one from the Zoom H2 works like a charm

  • Accessories for the Q3 are really basic. I was kind of hoping for more from a $250 device. You get a wind screen, some RCA cables, and a 2GB SD card. No AC adapter, no tripod, no handhold (I haven’t tested handling noise but it’s terrible on the H2). As you can see, the mic stands from the H2 work fine with the Q3.
  • A really disappointing oversight is that you can’t use the Q3 as an audio or video interface. What the heck, Samson? One of the most powerful features of the Zoom H2 is that you can use it as a field recorder OR audio interface depending on your need. I was really hoping to be able to use the Q3 for talking on Skype, but now it seems I will need to jerry-rig something using the RCA cables. I hope they are able to add this feature on with a firmware update. Just foolish

Overall I’m really excited about the recorder and, as I said, can’t wait to put it to work. I wish it was about $50 cheaper and that I could use it for Skype, but having the capability to capture video and decent sound in such an easy format is priority #1 for me.

Here’s Some Video Taken with the Zoom Q3:

More on the live video from Halloween 2009 page

  • LeHublot

    Hey there,
    I have a H2 and recently a Q3 too: that thing opens up a lot of fun applications which surface i m just starting to scratch. Promising indeed.

    Just a little question:
    When listening back to a recording with headset straight off the device, i m having a loud background noise, a hum:

    Do you have that too ?
    Or is it just mine ?

    Thanks for sharing thoughts.
    LH

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Thanks for the comment!

    Yeah, lots of fun to be had with the Q3. I’m trying to figure out how to rig it up as a webcam, lots of video taken of the Halloween show, too, which I hope to share with the world soon.

    I don’t really get any ‘hum’ to speak of, everything sounds good. Are you sure it’s not just your headset?

    Fred

  • http://www.birchleafdesigns.net Wendy

    Hi Fred,
    We are trying to decide which one to get…an H2 or Q3??? What is your recommendation? We think it would be cool to have the video option, but also just want to use it as an audio recorder…Can you just use the audio on the Q3 without the video? What is the sound comparison between the two as far as you can tell? Thanks! Wendy

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Wendy,

    The Q3 has an audio-only mode that will make it behave like the H2. Side-by-side, the audio quality is about the same, and they’re both some pretty kickin’ recorders.

    The one feature the H2 has which I miss on the Q3 is the ability to plug it into your computer via USB and use it as a laptop (or Skype) microphone.

    If you’re not planning on needing to use this feature, I would say, hands-down the Q3 is the way to go. For very little extra money you get some really nice video capability.

    For some example footage shot with the Q3, see our recent footage from our Halloween show: http://www.youtube.com/finalrune

  • John

    Hi Fred,

    I’m also deciding between H2 and Q3. One thing that I think H2 can do is acting as a monitor without recording. i.e. feeding whatever it picks up from the mic to the Line Out at real-time. Can Q3 do the same? (Besides, I believe H2 can do auto start but Q3 can’t. Am I right?)

  • bill whitley

    If you want to record great audio on HD video run your H2 into an Aiptek 720 HD camcorder. It has an external mic input that allows you to combine the two for the best of both worlds. You can grab an Aiptek 720 at Target for 99 bucks.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @John – I’ve have to play around with the Q3. If I remember right, it has a line-in feed but not mic in. I’ll see about the autostart/live feed feature. Curious – what kind of application are you using that you need that feature?

    @bill – Great suggestion. I was doing something similar, albeit with a bigger camera, by plugging in my H2 to a Panasonic GS300. However, I found that I wanted something that was a plug-and-play, no-brainer unit and having the Q3 works better for me in that regard – fewer parts!

  • John

    @Fred: I think you misread what I said. What I wanted is to use Q3 sometimes just as a condenser mic to record into another recording device. I know Q3 has a headphone jack. So the question is: can you monitor the audio through the headphone without recording, *before* you press the record button? Thanks.

    @Bill: But I think Aiptek’s mic in is mono? I read people suggesting Kodak Zi8 because its mic in is stereo.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @John – Ahhh I get it. Thought you wanted line-in to monitor, not line-out to monitor.

    I’ll have to play around with it, quite honestly. The headphone out says headphone/line, so I assume you can monitor in real-time the same as you would with headphones, but I haven’t tested it.

    There doesn’t seem to be a software setting to adjust the levels of the out (headphone vs. line) so I’m curious to see how loud the monitor will be. Again, I’ll give a shot when I’m in the radio station and let you know how it goes

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  • paul

    The H2 has better audio quality in my opinion. I have made a lot of live recordings with the H2 and Q3. The recordings made with the Q3 are lacking in bass – it’s hard to hear the bass guitar. The Q3 is a brighter sound, but in my opinion, worse than the H2 overall. Kinda surprising..but that’s how i hear it! There’s a guy who works in my local music store (where I bought my Q3) and he agrees with me.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Thanks for the input, Paul. I haven’t compared the two devices seriously side-by-side like that – basically I use the H2 for all of my podcasting, light-duty field recording, and general all purpose device, while the Q3 is almost exclusively for the YouTube-type vids you see me include in the site. BUT for someone considering the Q3 over the H2 I see why this is an important question.

    Like I mentioned in my write-up, the big disappointment for me is that the Q3 DOESN’T hook up as a USB a/v interface with the computer. I’ll test some more to get my own opinion on sound quality between the two devices.

  • Patrick

    Been using my Q3 for about a month now, all my bandmates have H2s. One thing to note, the Q3 actually uses the mics from Zoom’s H4 product, which are slightly inferior to the H2. That being said, the audio quality is still amazing, especially for something that is this easy to use. I wish it had some with the extras that the H2 got, like the mini tripod and screw in mic stand attachment.

    Main reason I came to comment here today though is that I recently discovered there’s a firmware update, 2.01, that enhances the video capture quality in low light considerably. It can be downloaded from here, http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/download/software/q3.php is also now has a setting for high light concert situations too. It’s almost like a new product in the automatic video setting now, it picks up A LOT more in low light.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Wow, awesome, Patrick, thanks for the tip! Will definitely check out, that’s a great improvement.

  • Lorie

    Hi, I am interested in this as a gift for my boyfriend – he is a concert junkie – so he will primarily use this to record the concerts and tranfer to cd – which would you recommend? Thanks

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  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Lorie,

    Unequivocally yes! That’s exactly what this recorder was made for. I think your boyfriend will be very happy with the gift, and gawrsh, he’s lucky!

    Fred

  • Shanti

    Just wondering if the Q3 can record audio using the line-in facility that is available on the H2?

    Shanti

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Shanti, unfortunately no. You can listen back on headphones or line, but NOT record a separate audio device. That said, the line in on the H2 isn’t exceptional so I don’t like to use it that much (I have a different CF recorder I use that sounds much better).

  • John

    Hi Fred,

    I eventually bought a Q3! The condenser mics are amazing. It can pick up the softest whisperings from a distance. Vocal and high end are superb. But it seems the low end is a bit weak. I used it to record our church band’s practice session, with low-cut filter off. The bass drum was very soft. Maybe I’m too used to exaggerated bass from all those consumer 5.1 sound systems. LOL.

    By the way, I need some help. I wanted to upload the clips onto youtube. But a 2 minutes mov clip takes 90MB space on the HDD and youtube estimated it would take an hour to upload! It seems different audio quality settings Q3 doesn’t make a big different in the file size. Am I right? How did you upload your vids? Did you re-encode them before uploading them? What software did you use? I’m using Windows XP. Thanks.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    John,

    Great! So glad you like it – I think you’re right, the low-end isn’t going to rock your subs, but overall it records pretty truthfully, and certainly better than anything other camera you can fit in your pocket!

    RE: YouTube, yeah, the full-res .MOV files off the camera are pretty big. Luckily, I can use Wifi at the local college with a VERY fast connection. Even so, I usually upload something smaller.

    I usually like to add intro caption, extro w/ website link, etc. The software I’ve found easiest to use and most powerful is Sony Vegas ($100 for the pro version that comes with 1000+ effects AND production music!) – I then export my finished, titled product as a WMV file which is usually about 27MB for a five minute clip instead of 250MB or so!!!

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    I should mention, the video that the Wall Street Journal used in their article on FinalRune uses video captured using the Zoom Q3! http://on.wsj.com/9Fha9j

  • John

    Hi Fred,

    I downloaded the trial version of Sony Vegas Pro 9 and gave it a try. The sound quality was horrible even if I simply played the MOV inside Vegas without exporting it. It sounded rough and had a lot of clickings/interruptions. (I did try to export it in WMV. Same problem.) I double checked the MOV in Zoom’s Handy Share. It was fine.

    It is not normal. A friend of mine suggested the problem is with Vegas’ audio input filter. But I think you get pretty decent quality? What can be the problem? Is it my PC is not powerful enough. (It’s 3 years old Core2Duo.) Or is it my antivirus software? I’m really scratching my head.

  • Howard

    Hi, Fred.

    I hear the video of the Q3 is pretty average. I am thinking about getting a Kodak Zi8 which has great HD video and an external mike input. I own the Zoom H2. Can I use the H2 as an external mike? Reading the H2 manual it looks like I can connect the Line Out to a device lkie a CD player (seems to be a 2.5 jack to do this). Will that work with a camera as well?

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Howard –
    For me the video quality is as good as I need it. Not HD quality, but works wonderfully for the web, and I never intend to view this on a full-size screen, so it meets my needs. If you couldn’t tell, working so much in the audio realm makes me more biased to the audio over the video element :)

    I also really wanted ease of use. I did look at the Zi8, and even have some nice condenser mics I could plug in as an external mic, which I’m sure would be even better than the Q3. But ultimately I wanted to be able to yoink the gadget out of my pocket and start recording immediately, not get tangled in a pile of cables and have to set up separate stands for two gadgets if I’m recording an event. If your needs are different, the Zi8 and H2 may be a great solution.

    I have my H2 right in front of me and yes, the line OUT looks fine. You’ll need a M-M stereo 1/8 to stereo 1/8, also I think there’s a setting on the H2 to control the levels on the out from Headphones to Line Out. Check which will make the Zi8 happier (you might overdrive it at line out levels)

    @John

    Sorry to hear about your troubles! Hard to diagnose exactly what’s going on, but I’m guessing it’s a codec issue. Do you have the latest version of Quicktime installed? I’m not sure how Vegas chooses its decompressing filter, but it never hurts to make sure you have the latest on your system.

    Highly doubt it’s antivirus, and even if your system’s old, the symptom you will have is slowness, not brokenness :) I’m actually doing my editing on a slower machine than yours! (Centrino)

    I suppose it might also be an issue with your soundcard, but I don’t see a lot of settings in Vegas on how to fiddle with it. Still, I have a decent, but not especially fast, laptop and am able to do plenty of editing (if I am patient come time to export)

  • John

    Fred,

    At the end, a friend of mine suggested PowerDirector. I gave it a try and it worked. So, I suppose I will get PowerDirector instead of Vegas.

    I’ve recorded a couple more band rehearsals. I have to say I’m quite disappointed by the weak bass. Is H2 better in this department?

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    John,

    I looked at the manual for both Q3 and H2 and wish they’d included one of those nifty charts of frequency response – alas, nada.

    I guess you can only expect so much for such a tiny device! Try compensating for it in post – does PowerDirector have a “bass boost” or better yet, a real EQ? A little bit of EQ should be able to compensate for the weakness in frequency response.

    Barring native support, a real sound editor like Soundforge should allow you to enrich the bass in your mix.

    Good luck!
    Fred

  • Bert

    Hi Fred/all

    Here’s a reply from The Netherlands. I own this Q3 since a week and it does exactly what ZOOM promisses. Well I seemed to have this slight problem though with recording in low-light conditions, it results in poor quality video’s. Last friday I recorded a good friend playing the famous Horowitz grand piano, which is travelling in Holland at the moment. Have a look at the video. The steady shots are made with the Q3, the sound is recorded with a ZOOM H4n.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCJ_b60niQg

    As I wrote already: low light conditions, so the video is a bit darkish. Thanks Patrick for the great tip for upgrading the Q3, whish I found these pages a few days earlier.

    Kind regards, Bert

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Thanks for the report, Bert – I like what you did with the video montage.

    I guess I’m such an audio guy – the “low light” video doesn’t bother me a bit… and that piano is excellent!

  • Bob

    Hi guys you’ve been really helpful… What I really liked about h2 from reading lots of info and reviews, and that you guys havent mentioned (I hope) is that this device has the capability of capturing a 360 angle due to the two sets of mics it has…. this is what it says on the product page…. “There are two sets of mics – one pair facing the front and one pair facing the rear – allowing you to record at 90° from the front or 120° from the rear. You can even use both two pairs to produce a four-channel recording with 360° coverage. After recording, the built-in 3D panning function gives you full control over the front/rear/left/right balance. Or use commonly available authoring software to create 5.1 surround recordings. No other portable digital recorder has this ability.”… Nice huh… I think Ive made my choice… by the way I think that if you’re a mid-low budgeted musician this is a good choice… So what do you think, has anyone used this feature?? http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/h2/

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Bob,

    Thanks for chiming in! One other thing I’ll add – I also like that the H2 has a USB mic feature so that I can use it for Skype conversations. Really sore that they didn’t include this for the Q3. Would make the Q3 the best webcam on the planet.

    As far as 4-channel audio – I’ll be honest, I have barely used that feature in the three years I’ve used the H2 (and I’ve recorded hundreds of hours of audio on it). That said, I *just* made a 4 channel recording this week of a live performance. I’ll let you know how it turns out and whether it makes me feel the 4 channel feature is a “killer feature” – in most situations 2-ch stereo is just fine, in fact, magnificent

  • Alex

    I just bought a Q3. i made a recording before i installed the software update and then an identical one after and the changes are huge.
    the audio didnt change but you cant get much better than perfect.
    i made the videos in low light conditions and the update really improves the Q3’s video recording ability in low light.

    im going to make a youtube video with both of the videos together to show the massive difference. i will post it here when i have.

  • http://www.am1990.blogspot.com Alex

    Hey there Fred, this might have been asked before but I want to be more specific.
    Can the Zoom Q3 be used as an external mic?
    As in (for example) connecting it to a camcorder and using the q3 to record the sound coming into the camcorder instead of the camcorders internal mic? Thanks, i’ve been hunting all over the internet for this info and have yet to find it.

  • Doug

    im trying to decide which is better for interviews in which the recorder will be in the middle of the room with multiple people talking from different directions. Will i want the H2 or Q3?

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Doug – the H2 for sure. The H2 will do two or four-channel surround and has mic capsules in 360 degrees. In that situation the Q3’s video feature really isn’t that useful for you

  • Tony

    Hello…I am having difficulty uploading the material from the Q3 to my computer. I am a Mac user. When I plug the Q3 in, iPhoto opens automatically but the material from the Q3 is incomplete (iPhoto indicates that the devices are talking but the video files are read as empty (I know they are on the card).

    The recorder came with no significant printed material that can help and I have found nothing online except pdf’s of the useless materials I have. Any help someone might be able to offer would be really appreciated. Thanks, Tony

  • Gary

    Is there a way to delete the time/date and number on the video ?
    When I record it on my DVD recorder it’s displayed

  • Kim

    Hi!
    I was thinking of getting one of these for school – I teach orchestra. How long of a video can you record on a 2 GB SD card? I have a cheapie video recorder and it will only shoot 1 min videos. I don’t want to make that mistake again! Thanks!

  • Kim

    Nevermind — looked more online and found the answer. To anyone else who is looking, the 2 gb card will record approx 1 hour of video. It will accept larger sd cards and the times are here:
    http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/q3/sd.html

  • Wayne

    Hi there, I am deliberating on purchasing the Q3 or H2. As I have read in these posts the bottom end lacks in the Q3. However listening to video playback sounds awsome. Bu I have question, the H2 has 4 condenser mics and the Q3 has only 2. How is the sound comparable when one unit has 4 mics and the other 2?

  • Sue

    Hi
    When a recording has been done and uploaded to the computer is it possible to them burn it to a CD?
    Thank you

  • Ida

    Thanks in part to this thread, I have ordered a Q3 and am waiting for it to arrive. What I have been trying to find is what setting I should set for audio. I don’t have a clue given the choices:

    Audio formats with video include 44.1/48kHz 16/24-bit Linear PCM WAV or MP3 up to 320kbps
    Audio only formats include 96kHz 16/24-bit Linear PCM WAV

    I will primarily be recording a player at a grand piano, but I’m sure I will use it for other things too.

    How do I choose the best one?

  • Ida

    Found a great explanation of the Q3 audio settings choices here:

    http://tromboneforum.org/index.php?topic=49215.0;wap2

    I don’t know if anyone else would find it helpful, but it really helped me understand the choices.

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Wayne – I need to post new clips comparing the two. I recently used both for field a session recording gunshots and would characterize the Q3’s sound as brighter, a tad richer, the H2 is more mellow, more low-endy – so I think you’re on the right track.

    There’s a bit of air, not quite a “hiss,” with the Q3 in audio only mode. Given the two options I think I do slightly prefer the Q3, but the H2 is really much better for recording field audio, more options, interface better tailored for audio, more control. I understand the Q3 has the same mics as the H4n, which explains the difference.

    I have a Rode NT4 / Marantz PMD-660 field recording set-up and quite honestly the Q3 mixes better with those, the H2 is more mellow, whereas the NT4 is bright like the Q3 is.

    – Fred

  • http://28daysonthepill.com/full.html Komrade Erik of The Peoples Cube

    Please link to your own local review of the zoom h2 if you have one.. if not please create one. My interest is using it to capture [casual] discussions or [casual] theology lectures of two or three speakers for Creative Commons publishing

    for clarity sake an overview is mostly a copy paste of PR or feature listing by manufacturer..

    whereas a review might include that but also pushes the device to it’s limits and beyond until it fails or functions poorly … to provide useful abstracted knowledge to people who are not-you :)

    Since most videos will be re-re-re-uploaded to sites of questionable encoding parameters the initial video quality is sadly of less interest than the WAV audio fidelity (that will most likely be served via lossless FLAC)

    If you have any wired MIC’ing recommendations for two or three people sitting around a table that’d be much appreciated as well. I was none too thrilled with the $100-$200 offerings from sony/olympus/similar.. as I hate mp3s, drm, and the “defective by design” mindset. hooray f/OSS!! I am stuck in a fruitless debate between the zoom h1 and the zoom h2 as the amazon comments are near equally awesome from seemingly knowledable audiophiles

    **
    *
    **

    for the love of fidelity

    PLEASE do not rape video by uploading to youtube.. instead try http://blip.tv .. their first three concerns are quality, quality, and quality.. upload video as is and they’ll transcode, or transcode it to YOUR specs and they’ll serve whatever you upload

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Erik,

    OK, thanks for the comments – This post has been an off-the-cuff review that has become a really important way for people to review the device, so, glad you’ve found it useful… and are pushing me beyond the scope of what I originally put up here!

    My .02c…

    The Q3 sounds “brighter” – there’s a high-ness almost noisy quality to the audio, it gets dialogue fine but I think I’d be stressing its limits if I used it regularly for audio capture.

    The H2 in contrast sounds a little more “true” – lower-end and warmer, but we’re talking about a $150 device here, it’s far from perfect in particular it has trouble getting soft sounds from off-axis.

    But, your situation, recording around a round table, it would probably be great. Put it in the 4-channel surround mode and let it fly. Q3 and H1, as I understand, just do 2-channel so they aren’t as ideal for a round-table type chat.

    Ideally, quite honestly, for that kind of chat you have everyone individually mic’ed through a mixer, but with an H2 you could do most of the same and a lot easier.

    Email me directly if you want some specific Qs answered – fred [at] finalrune.com

    – Fred

  • Ellen

    Help!! I recorded audio on my H2 and I can hardly hear it!! I think I mistakenly recorded it on low level. How can I boost the sound?? Yes, the volume is at 100!

  • Val

    I am enjoying my new Q3. I’ve use it for recording classical music (I am a voice teacher) and so far am pleased with the sound. I tried to download the upgrade to improve low light video, in hopes of improving the opera rehearsal video I made. I’m just having trouble with the basic downloading procedure. The instructions say copy Q3MainBin, then turn on Q3, press OK from Version Up Menu, and press Rec button. I’m obviously not good with this– I downloaded the zipped file, I see Q3MainBin, and can’t seem to get any further. I plugged in the Q3 to the computer, but it won’t turn on from there, and I don’t see anything that might be “Version Up Menu”. Can you help?

  • Andrew

    guys,is there anybody knows why my zoom Q3 can be suddenly die when i’m record a video either i playback my video? hope u guys can help me..thanks

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Andrew, you know, sometime I’ve had that problem – it just quits in the middle of recording. I have no answers other than make sure the batteries are good… if it occurs a lot, ask Zoom for a new one!

    – Fred

  • LennyMO

    I love my Zoom H2, I use it to record my band’s practise sessions. I must say in 360 degree mode (all four mics) the quality is excellent. I’ve been reading through here. Some great information, I decided to go ahead and purchase a Zoom Q3 as well. Thanks for all the great inputs and answers to inputs.

  • jodie

    My H2 has stopped working i have no idea whats has happend..so im looking at buying somthing new.i am stuck on what to choose, even after reading all the comments. Im mainly wanting to record vocal practising.A camera would be great however the main importance is the audio. I like the compact H1 my H2 was great and the camera options soundS great too..i need some help choosing ?

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    Jodie,

    Well, to be honest the subtleties in audio quality are pretty much the same among H1, H2, and Q3… All that really varies are the features. For instance the H1 is really light and portable, great for “run and gun” recording. H2 I feel is the easiest to use portable to recorder, more robust features than H1 plus the surround feature. Q3 is more basic for audio recording but has the video – none are poor choices, it’s just whatever works best for you!

    The only device I have not used is their Zoom H4n which I think is more robust than any of the others.

  • Inbar

    Hi Fred,

    Thanks for taking time to share this useful info.

    I am a classical pianist, and my interest is above all in the sound quality. But having a decent video feedback is fantastic.

    I tried the Q3 the other day and when using the video option I noticed the sound quality goes right down and as far as recording my concerts and lessons the quality is simply too poor.

    I’ve had the H2 for a while and its sound quality is great given the practicality of it, but I would love to be able to video record at the same time without having to use 2 devices (H2 plus camera) and align them later on the computer. So I was thinking of the Zi8 but the sound line in is of really poor quality (only mono apparantly). It seems like the only way I can benefit from really good sound and decent video is to get a chunkier video camera with an xlr input and get a nice mic to go in it (am willing to invest a couple of hundred bucks in one). This would be a little trickier to set up but I am willing to make the effort for the sake of the sound. What do you think? What would be the best solution to get video + really good audio without using two seperate devices?

  • Martin

    Hi there,
    I have a probably stupid question, but is it possible to use Q3 just for playing back mp3 or wav files, which have been downloaded from a computer and not recorded with q3? I have saved a few sound files to q3 (to the SD card) , but q3 doesn´t recognize them probably. I cann´t imagine, that this simple funktion is not awailable… Please help. Thanks

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Inbar – Yes, I would imagine that for really smooth recordings of piano playing the Q3 would be a bit out of its element. I really think of it as a great option for “run and gun” type recording but not of a high-enough caliber to do anything but reference recordings. For $300 you can only expect so much!

    It is a magnitude of money more, but I would really go for a good on-camera mic such as the RØDE videomic (note that RØDE is a sponsor of us, and have given us a videomic Pro for review which we’ll be doing shortly) and a nice camera. I plan to combine the Videomic with a Digital SLR (Canon Rebel Ti2) but any camera w/ hotshoe and mini-in can use it… though it’s harder to find anything other than a prosumer camera today w/ an audio input and hotshoe.

    @Martin – AFAIK you can do playback, but it’s not terribly smart at it. For doing playback of takes in the field it’s acceptable but don’t think this thing will be replacing your iPod anytime soon :) It is functional but not an exceptional playback device

  • Jeff

    Fred or John: I couldn’t find the answer to this question earlier: On the H2, can you monitor the audio through the headphone without recording, *before* you press the record button?

  • circle_k

    hi there..i have some trouble with my zoom q3 .. when i start it , the screen just show : ERR:35390 .. Can somebody help me ? thank you so much ..

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred
  • circle_k

    @fred – Thanks for the information.

  • Abdul

    Can the usb port on the Zoom Q3 be used for a external mic i.e. the blue microphone yeti usb mic?

  • http://www.finalrune.com Fred

    @Abdul – sadly, no. That’s what I get at in my review. It’s an annoying oversight that the device can only be used to collect audio but not be used as a USB device. It would be the best Skype camera ever.