Review: Zoom Q8, Audio / Video Recorder


This device is great for making YouTube videos or recording gigs – Says Chris Kennedy

Item: Zoom Q8, Audio / Video Recorder

Price: $399 (US), £277 (UK)

Mic Rating: 4.5/5

At A Glance: The Zoom Q8 is a portable video camera that combines high-definition video with high-resolution audio, to make it appeal to both music and video creators. It features a 160 degree wide-angle lens and HD video recorder, with an on-board X/Y stereo microphone and two XLR/TRS combo inputs to enable you to make up to 4-chanel audio recordings to accompany your video. The Q8 has a large full-colour LCD touchscreen to enable you to see what you are recording as well as alter a wide-range of settings for your video. Also, in addition to the audio inputs, there is a built-in speaker and stereo Headphone/Line Out jack provide audio monitoring; there’s even an HDMI output for video monitoring.

High Notes: Its wide angled lens means that musicians recording in small environments (such as their bedrooms) will be able to make videos that capture the full room. The on-board microphone is interchangeable with other optional microphones made by Zoom to give you greater flexibility in different recording environments. Also, the XLR/TRS inputs can provide +48v phantom power; meaning singers wanting to use their favourite condenser mic to record their vocals on while filming will be able to do so. Once you have made your video, there is a USB output that allows the Q8 to be interconnected with your computer so you can use it with your favourite streaming or editing software

Off Pitch: The wide-angled lens of the Q8 is great for recording video in small rooms; however it also distorts the picture at the edges. Some users may find the touch screen is a little too small for their fingers and when buying a Q8 you’ll also need to remember to buy an SDHC/SDXC card in order to use it.

zoom q3 backVoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Although the Q8 is capable of good quality video recordings, it is not really on the same level as professional cameras and really only offers similar quality to a high end smart-phone – albeit with much better built-in audio quality and greater ease of use. That said, it is a really handy tool for recording gigs or rehearsals to share online or to view back later with your band mates – or perfect for singers wanting to make great sounding YouTube videos in their bedroom. The audio section of the Q8 is really where the product stands out as it enables you to make decent quality recordings very easily through its on-boar microphones with the added bonus of 2 extra inputs to that you could use for a close vocal mic, or recording a direct feed from your bands mixing desk, for example. Overall the Q8 is not a prefect device, but it is well thought out and has a lot of really useful features for musicians.

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