Zoom F6

Zoom F6 Initial Impressions: Wide Dynamic Range Audio Field Recorder

Zoom announced their new F6 audio field recorder for film and video at NAB 2019. I was fortunate enough to borrow a pre-production copy for a couple of days and ran it through some initial tests. In particular, I wanted to see how well this dual analogue to digital conversion with 32 bit float WAV recording worked and whether it really prevented clipping. I was also curious as to how clean the recordings would be. To my delight, the F6 records extraordinary amounts of dynamic range so you don’t have to worry about clipping nor do you need to be terribly concerned with noise floor. This tiny recorder is impressive!

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 including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom F6 Audio Field Recorder

Zoom BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter - required to run the iOS control app

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 60 - Used for the blue background

Falconeyes 120TDX - (Amazon) 4’ x 4’ LED roll-flex panel light used as a key light and for the table-top product shots

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens - (Amazon) used on the talking head shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - (Amazon) used on the Pocket 4K for the product shots

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - used to shoot the talking head and most of the product shots

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Zoom F6 - NAB 2019

Zoom just announced their new F6 field recorder for location sound audio recording. Rather than just tweak the form factor, which they did, they also moved to dual analogue to digital converters which record to 32 bit. So the way you record changes pretty dramatically. When recording to 32 bit, you don't set the gain trim (there is none), you simply adjust the fader for each input channel. If you missed the level, no problem, in post you can cleanly normalize to the levels you need with no degradation in audio quality.

They've also switched up a few other things: The screen is a slightly smaller version of the high resolution screen from the F8n, the back of the recorder is a Sony NP-F (L series) battery sled, and you can now power the F6 via its USB-C input. The same quality timecode generator from the F8n is on board, this time with a 3.5mm TRS input/output jack. The F6 has a single SD card slot for recording media and still includes the advanced hybrid limiter when you record in 24 bit.

Auto mix is included and the with an adapter, you can use the Zoom Control app for iOS. You can also use the Zoom F-Control control surface.

We'll have a full review after the F6 starts shipping, hopefully in June 2019. Pricing still to be announced.

Gear discussed and used to record this interview:

Zoom F6 at Amazon - Coming Soon

Zoom F6 at B&H

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Electrovoice RE50L Dynamic Interview Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Field Recorder/Mixer

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2017 by TVAC. Used with permission.