The recently announced Zoom F4 Multitrack Field Recorder bridges the gap between their popular H6 and flagship F8 eight input models. Read more below.
The Zoom design team has been innovating in interesting directions lately, even adding cameras to their product lineup last year. The Zoom F4 Multitrack Field Recorder is a return to their indie-friendly audio mixer roots, with a compact 8-track/6-input design and portable in a 2.3lbs metal form factor.
Its capability to record for over seven and a half hours at 192 kHz in 24-bit stereo on SD/SDHC/SDXC in .WAV with a 32gb card means no card dumping until the end of the shoot day at least.
Featuring mic preamps of -127 Bu and the capability of adding up to 75 dB of gain, Zoom promises very low noise with +4 dB line-level inputs. You can record WAV at 44.1, 47.952, 48, 48.048, 88.2, 96, 192kHz, or MP3 at 128, 192, 320 kbps, 44.1/48 kHz. Two SD card slots can dual record, and dumping files is possible from a USB port without removing the cards.
Input 1-4: XLR-1/4″ / 6.35 mm combo jacks
Input 5-6: 1/8″ / 3.5 mm stereo mini jack
Each of the four Neurtik XLR/TRS connections has individual 24/48V phantom power capability. The mini jacks can be used for returning audio to the camera or for sending a feed to video village for monitoring.
Main: Balanced XLR (2-pin hot)
Sub Output: 1/8″ / 3.5 mm
Headphone: 1/4″ / 6.35 mm unbalanced stereo jack
Power options are numerous. Power the F4 from 8 AA batteries, an external DC battery pack, DC-HIROSE or a wall outlet power supply.
An unexpected bonus of the Zoom F4 is timecode. The ability to jam sync TC to such a compact device at a very friendly price point is a major plus. The F4 boasts a very precise Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator, or TCXO, that allows for 0.2ppm precision at the following frame rates: 23.976ND, 24ND, 25ND, 29.97ND, 29.97D, 30ND and 30D.
Camera operators have been enjoying more and more the freedom of modular camera designs and it’s good to see Zoom continuing to support their modular mic capsule adapters. You can easily add a wide variety of Zoom accessories with these mic capsules and here are just a few:
- ECM-3 mic capsule extender cable
- MSH-6 mid-side mic capsule
- SGH-6 shotgun mic capsule
- SSH-6 stereo shotgun mic capsule
- EXH-6 dual XLR/TRS combo input capsule
Features of the Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder at a glance:
- Six-input / eight-track field recorder with integrated mixer
- Timecode (TC) with little potential for drift
- Six inputs, including four XLR/TRS combo connectors, a stereo 3.5mm input, and Zoom mic-capsule input
- Weighs slightly over two pounds (without batteries)
- High-quality mic preamps with up to 75 dB gain, less than -127 dBu EIN, and +4 dB line inputs
- Support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording as well as 96, 88.2, 48, and 44.1 kHz, plus 47.952 and 48.048 kHz for HD video compatibility; 16-/24-bit resolution
- Two different power supply options: 8x AA batteries or external DC with 4-pin Hirose connector
- Dedicated gain control knob with 6 individual LED level meters
- Phantom power (+48V/+24V) on each preamp
- On-board limiters for both input and output
- Compatible with all Zoom mic capsules
- 1.9” white, backlit monochrome LCD
- Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, up to 512GB each
- WAV or MP3 file formats