Transom has released the best review I’ve seen to date of the Olympus LS-10 digital audio recorder. In a nutshell, this is the first pro audio recorder the company, (which is better known for its cameras and cheap voice recorders), has released. And it’s kind of knocked one out of the park.
Don’t get me wrong, the LS-10 is no Sound Devices 722 or even Sony PCM-D50 in the sound department. But it’s more portable, has decent preamps, and costs less than $400. In fact, you can pick it up from Amazon for just over $300 (note the affiliate link. If you buy an Olympus recorder through this link I get a bit o cash).
- High resolution recordings ranging from 44.1KHz/16bit to 96Hz/24bit
- Records in WAV, MPR and WMA
- 2GB of built in memory and a SD card slot for up to 8GB of additional storage
- Powers up in just about 5 seconds
- Preamps are better/quieter than the Zoom or Edirol recorders, but not as quiet as the Sony PCM-D50 or Marantz PMD620
- Record levels are strong enough to use a low output mic like the EV-RE50, but just barely. You’ll be better off using a high output self-powered condenser mic.
- You can set the record volume using a hardware knob, which is always preferable to clicking a noisy button
- You cannot record in mono
- You cannot mark tracks/start a new track without stopping your recording
Transom also found the battery life to be pretty good. They got about 12 hours out of 2 AA batteries.
Overall, if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive high quality recorder, the Olympus LS-10 looks like it could be a better deal than the Zoom H2 or H4. On the other hand, if you want higher quality inputs, the ability to mark tracks, or phantom power, you might want to check out the M-Audio Microtrack II, Sony PCM-D50, Marantz PMD620, or another recorder that will probably set you back a few more bucks.
Make sure to check out the complete review over at Transom for far more details and a ton of audio samples.