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Zoom Q3 impressions.....better than the flip HD?


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I borrowed one of my friend's Zoom Q3 the other day. I'm hoping to record some material and post them up on youtube.


First the good:


1) It's incredibly easy to use. Click one button for recording, same button clicks it off.

2) Good built in mic that is better than almost every other camcorder.

3) Audio formats with video include 44.1/48kHz 16/24-bit Linear PCM WAV or MP3 up to 320kbps

4) Records audio only as well.

5) Price - I believe he only paid between $170-200 including a lot of extras.


Now the minuses :


1) The worst thing is that there are only 3 options for recording audio levels - Auto, high, and low. Soooo frustrating. I recorded a few things inside of my house and the hi setting clipped, the low setting was too low, and the auto clipped at first but then was perfect. This part of the unit makes the it not worthy of buying unless they fix this.

2) The video resolution is only 480 X 680. Youtube can now accept HD videos but in all reality, it's decent enough video for youtube.


I think once zoom changes the resolution and figures out how to change audio levels manually, they'll have a huge winner.


I know that you could use any camcorder and just add a good stereo mic but price wise, you're looking at probably double the price of this unit.


Has anybody used the Flip HD or a similar kind of recorder?









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Since you've gone to You Tube and checked out the "lightbg" channel, you've seen the Q3 in all it's glory, and not.....


I was one of the first to get one, having pre-ordered back in July, and I was caught up in the idea of having sound quality like the H4N that I have (and is great)with video. Well, your points about 640X480 VGA are correct. I can also add that it stinks in low light levels and it only has a 2X zoom (odd, for a company named "Zoom"), along with the fact that it eats AA"s like air - I'll get maybe 2 hours out of a pair of NiMH's - and it doesn't come with an AC adapter! (fortunately, the H4N uses the same AC adapter, so I have one). That's all the bad. The good is the sound is as good as the H4N's (even using "Auto"), and there's nothing close to it in the way of sound capturing. I have a generic 16gb SD card in it and it's never failed me yet, and I've had some of my 8th grade students use it for school projects - it is fairly robust construction wise.


If I were you, I'd sit on it for 6 months - undoubtedly they'll have a second model that will address all the video gripes while keeping the sound as good as if not better than this model. I don't regret buying this, but I also have an original H4 sitting in the closet when I upgraded to the H4N, which means the Q3 will be sitting alongside the H4 in the not too distant future......... :rolleyes:



1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP


"It needs a Hammond"


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I can't comment on the Zoom, but I did just get a Flip HD (Thanks Santa!) The audio is about what you'd expect from a typical camcorder. It does the job, but isn't anything to brag about. The video quality is surprisingly good and it's painfully simple to use. There are hardly any options, just turn it on, press the red button and go. I thought about getting the zoom, but HD on the Flip won me over.
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I looked at that Zoom for posting quick live music videos but ruled it out when I saw that it only records video in 4x3. Resolution for Youtube is unimportant, but now that 16x9 is their default screen size I would really want that.


I bought a Sony Webbie earlier this year just because it's a Sony, with the primary purpose of recording live in clubs, and it's horrible. Low light performance is ridiculous and although audio sounds fine if you're just recording conversation, it overloads and distorts at high club SPLs. It's unusable for what I originally bought it for, and the software is the worst piece of dung I've ever placed on my computer.


I'll never buy another Sony again. But I'm open to anything else - and if anyone has found an affordable camcorder that does even a passable job of recording live I'd like to hear about it. I'm not looking for pro quality - just something that will post decently on the web.

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