Recorder

Zoom F8n Review

The Zoom F8n is the latest F-series audio recorders from Zoom aimed at filmmakers. The F8n is an evolutionary upgrade from the original F8 with some useful hardware and software upgrades including advanced hybrid limiters, AutoMix, simultaneous recording to a computer as an audio interface and internally to the F8n, timecode generator that keeps time while the recorder is powered off for up to 2 hours, mic/line selectable inputs, pro line-level balanced outputs, and many more features that pros demand. And this is available at a groundbreaking price that makes it accessible to many independent filmmakers - $1000 USD at the time of this review. Let’s run through a few of the highlights in this video.

If you’d like to learn how to get the most out of the Zoom F8 or F8n, please consider my course over at our school.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Orca OR-28 Sound Bag - I have the slightly larger OR-30. Great, sturdy bag. The OR-28 was made specifically for recorders the size of the F8/F8n

TA3F to XLRM Adapter - to adapt the outputs from mini to standard XLR. This allows you to run sound to pro-level cameras, wireless headsets for directors, producers, or script supervisors, or any other audio device with balanced XLR inputs.

JuiceBox V-mount Battery - 95 Watt Hour

Aputure COB120t - Key light for the talking head portions of this video

Aputure Light Dome II - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 - RGBW 1x1 panel light for the funky background colors

LED GO E268C Bi-color Edge-lit LED Pad - super thin and light, making it a great soft light source for tight spaces

Vistek Canada (also ship to USA)

Holdan UK

Sennheiser MKH 8050 - This is the boom mic used to record this episode

Panasonic GH5 Camera - Used for all of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Zoom F8n iPad/iPhone App

If you use a Zoom F8 or F8n to record audio, there’s an iPad/iPhone app that allows you to wirelessly control your audio recorder. In this episode, we run through the features and settings available on the app to make setting up and operating your Zoom F8 and F8n easier and more convenient.

This is an segment from my upcoming course on the Zoom F8 & F8n which will be released in the next few weeks. If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at the school, including one that focuses on processing dialogue audio!

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Zoom F8 The older version released in 2015. Still great! (While supplies last) - This episode was recorded with the Zoom F8

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Boom Microphone

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA - Copyright 2017 by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F8 Firmware Update - Most of the F8n Features!

In this week's live Sound for Video Session, we covered the new firmware 5.0 for the Zoom F8 that was announced just this morning!

Now, many of the software features in the new F8n are available to owners of the original F8:

  • Advanced Look-Ahead Hybrid Limiters
  • Zoom AutoMix™ function
  • Improved TC accuracy when powered off
  • Digital Boost for headphone monitor (up to +24dB)
  • Selectable headphone Volume Curve
  • New "Fader Mode" view for home screen
  • Maximum fader level increased from +12dB to +24dB
  • F8 Control iOS app can now work together with FRC-8
  • Ability to record to SD card and USB Audio Interface simultaneously

This is great news! Not only is Zoom taking good care of their existing customers by providing all of these new features for free, this gives potential buyers of their new F8n confidence that Zoom will continue to take care of them into the future.

See our initial impressions of the F8n video:

Gear Discussed/Used in this episode:

Zoom F8 Audio Field Recorder - This one is no longer being manufactured, but some retailers still have some and then you can probably pick up a used copy at a nice price.

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder - The updated version of the F8 with all of these features plus some new hardware features.

Zoom F-Control - Hardware mixing control surface

Zoom F4 Audio Field Recorder - The "little brother" of the F8

Panasonic GH5s - my favorite small camera

Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 OIS II Lens - one of the most versatile lenses I've ever owned

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

FetHead Phantom: Louder, Cleaner Audio for Condenser Microphones

Many consumer grade recorders like the Zoom H4n and even many cinema cameras have XLR microphone inputs that don’t provide enough amplification or gain. The result is that recordings can come out much quieter than you’d like. Sometimes it is also due to weak output levels from consumer grade microphones. Then in post production, you might boost the level only to find that there’s a bunch of hiss or self-noise.

The FetHead Phantom from Triton Audio solves this problem for condenser microphones like shotgun or boom microphones.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Triton Audio FetHead Phantom In-line Microphone Pre-amplifier - for condenser microphones like shotgun or boom mics. Bonus - can also work with dynamic mics B&H (US) Amazon (EUR)

Triton Audio FetHead In-line Microphone Pre-amplifier - for dynamic microphones B&H (US) Amazon (US & EUR)

Deity S-Mic 2 Shotgun Microphone: Coming Soon

DPA 4017b Professional Shotgun Microphone

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro cinema camera

Panasonic GH5 - My favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MZA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Zoom F8/F8n Setting Gain Trim

In this week’s session, we share an excerpt from the upcoming online course, “Getting the Most From Your Zoom F8/F8n Recorder.” In this particular segment, we cover how to set the gain trim, the various track knob modes, and demonstrate how to optimize your gain in relation to the limiters. Lots of fun!

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder (2018)

Zoom F8 Audio Field Recorder (2015):

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Keep an Eye by Back to Dream. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: ZOOM vs Sound Devices, Timecode Generators, Essential Gear & More

In this week’s sound for video session, we answer your questions!

00:40 Zoom F8 or Sound Devices MixPre-10T if I also record music?

03:29 Zoom F8n vs Sound Devices MixPre & getting location sound jobs

08:54 Choosing Timecode Generators: NanoLockit, Tentacle Sync E, Timecode Systems

13:12 Wired Lavalier recommendation (Audio Technica AT899)

14:01 Batteries for powering recorders with hirose power inputs

16:15 Recording audience at live performance

18:10 Essential gear for location sound

Previous episodes referenced - Sound Bag Tour:

Recording live performance sound with Mike Stranks:

Ambient Sound NanoLockit:

Tentacle Sync E:

Timecode Systems Overview:

Sound Blanekts:

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Audio Technica AT899 Wired Lavalier microphone

JuiceBox V-Mount Battery & Charger

D-Tap to Hirose Adapter Cable

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone - used to record this session

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Camera - Used for the talking head clips

AJA U-Tap SDI - Turns any camera with an SDI output into a webcam. Used to record the talking head clip

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer - Used this as the preamp for the microphone and then fed the audio to the camera in this episode

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunday by Young Rich Pixies - Amazing Journey. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Zoom F8n Audio Recorder: Initial Impressions

At the National Association of Broadcasters meeting earlier this year, Zoom announced their update to the F8 audio field recorder - the F8n. The focus of this update was to address many of the things that users complained about on the original - hybrid limiters that were ok, but not perfect, line inputs only on 1/4”, mediocre headphone amp, and consumer line level output among others. I had a chance to work with the F8n for a few hours. Let’s see how they did addressing these items. From my point of view, it looks like the F8n is a very nice step up from the original F8.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Zoom F4 Audio Field Recorder (similar but with 4 microphone inputs, monochrome screen, no app control)

Zoom F-Control surface with linear faders - my favorite way to mix when working from a table or cart.

Juicebox V-Mount Cine Battery - good way to power the F8n, F4, F8 all day long

D-tap to 4 pin Hirose Cable - to feed power from cine battery to F8n, F8, F4

Remote Audio BDS V4 Battery Distribution System

Remote Audio Hi-Q Battery (98 watt-hours) - this is a battery that is better suited for use in a sound bag, smaller than most cine batteries but still lots of capacity

Sennheiser MKH8050 Boom Microphone - this is the microphone I used

Schoeps CMC641 - this is the microphone my daughter used

Aputure COB 120t - This is the light I used as a key in the talking head clips

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - Used to soften the key light

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - Used for the “rim/hair” light

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head clips and some of the product shots

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots, the crispier shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

ATOMOS Ninja V ProRes and Avid Recorder: NAB 2018

ATOMOS makes HDMI/SDI recorders with very nice monitoring capabilities along with focus and HDR exposure tools. Up until NAB 2018, they've made 7" and 19" monitors. But now they've announced their first 5" monitor/recorder with the capabilities of their Inferno line of recorders (top of the 7" lineup) - Focus, exposure, high frame rate, and HDR tools as well as ProRes and Avid DNxXX recording. This makes shooting and editing faster and with high bitrate and high quality codecs that playback smoothly so you don't have transcode.

Now why would you want to use a recorder like this? Here's why I use them:

Gear covered and used to shoot this episode:

ATOMOS Ninja V 4K HDMI HDR Recorder Monitor (coming Q3 2018)

RODE Reporter Microphone

RODE iXLR Adapter (Record a dynamic XLR microphone to iPhone or iPad)

Panasonic GH5 - My favorite, small camera for handheld use with a great image stabilizer

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Zoom F1 Audio Field Recorder

Zoom’s new F1 is a tiny audio field recorder which works well in place of a wireless lavalier system but can also be used as a camera-top shotgun or “wireless” shotgun microphone. Here’s our overview of the Zoom F1.

Thanks to B&H for lending us the F1 for this overview.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
Zoom F1 (with lavalier microphone)

Zoom F1 (with shotgun microphone)

32GB microSDHC Card (you’ll need one, not included with the F1. This'll give you over 30 hours record time at 48kHz, 24 bit)

Mic Stand Adapter (I used this to mount the shotgun mic configuration on a regular 5/8” mic stand)

Voice Technologies VT500 Lavalier Microphone (this does NOT come with the F1)

Panasonic GH5S (My current favorite small camera)

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!