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