Zoom has introduced a new digital video recorder which has the same mic capsules as the Zoom H4n digital audio recorder I reviewed last year. The difference is that the new Zoom Q3HD also happens to be able to record HD video. It’s distributed in the US through Samson, and you can pick one up for $299.
The new recorder doesn’t feature XLR inputs. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be any mic input, just a line input jack. But the recorder does feature HDMI output, a TV out jack, USB port, headphone jack, and SDHC card slot. It has a 2.4 inch, 320 x 240 pixel LCD display and a 5MP CMOS lens.
The built-in mics have an XY Stereo pickup pattern, and if they’re really the same as the ones found in the Zoom H4n, they sound surprisingly good for budget mics.
The recorder can handle 720p or 1080p HD video recording and can store up to 7 hours of 720p HD video at 30fps on a 32G SDHC card.It can record audio at 44.1/48/96kHz 15bit or 24-bit quality. You can either record WAV audio or AAC up to 320kbps.
The Zoom Q3HD recorder comes with a 2GB SD card, but you’ll have to pay extra for accessories including a case, windscreen, AC adapter, HDMI cable, AV cable, and tripod.
I’ve been using an old Canon digital camera and my new 4th generation iPod touch to shoot video for Liliputing and Mobiputing, but I really wouldn’t mind a tool that records higher quality audio along with the video, so this I’m keeping an eye on the Q3HD.