Interestingly, Tascam just released the mark 2 version of their DR-60D field recorder for DSLR sound recording. The Tascam DR-60DmkII looks like mainly an update to the pre-amps which I thought were already pretty nice for the price. But in the mark 2, they cite discrete "circuitry and parts" which I assume means they're not just using a single integrated circuit for all of the pre-amp channels. The specs include 64db of gain and low noise (EIN = -120db).
That may not mean much to many of us but those are impressive specs for a $200 US recorder. Many dedicated audio interfaces and stand alone pre-amps don't have quite that much gain.
But of course, those are just specs. I need to get my hands on one of these to compare it. I can say that the jump from the Tascam DR-100mkII to the DR-60D was a significant improvement at a practical level--cleaner pre-amps on the 60D by quite a bit. I hope this is the same.
One thing they don't mention is battery life which in my opinion is one of the biggest issues with the DR-60D. Those 4 AA batteries only go for about 2 hours, sometimes less if you're phantom powering a microphone. Maybe they made some behind the scenese improvements here? Another reason to get my hands on one for testing but I don't have my hopes up on this front.
I'd say if you're in the market for a sub $250 audio recorder right now, I'd look at the Tascam DR-60DmkII very seriously, noting that you will want to have a strategy in place for powering it. I recently bought one of those USB chargers they market for charging mobile devices and it works brilliantly--have shot probably 6 hours with it and have only used 15% of the battery. Granted its one of the larger units and I haven't found a way to mount it to my rig yet. But more on that in a future review...
Oh, yeah, and it has red strap bars now, too. It must be good!