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Portable field recorders

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to get interested in them to work with my photography and video.

I tried a few at the stores but was wondering if anybody else had experience with them?

I tried the Sony PCM-50, Zoom H2 and H4 in the store. I found the H4 impossible to use. It wasn't intuitive at all. The H2 was the cheapest but didn't sound that bad. The Sony felt the best and was more detailed but there was something about it that made it sound a bit weird to me so I'd like to hear more samples.

I found this nice site with audio samples.
Portable Recorder Sound Samples
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
I found a nice site with some reviews and samples.

Transom Tools: Portable Digital Recorder Comparison

There unfortunately doesn't seem to be a perfect recorder.

I like the Zoom H2 for what it is. I'm thinking of it's not worth it now to spend big bucks because each unit is far from perfect.

I like the Sony DC-50 but I don't like it's internal mics and wind noise. I experienced those at the store also. With right external mic, this unit is great! It becomes too costly and combersome to use with external though.

Another new contender I must try in person is the Marantz PMD620. I don't like the position of headphone jack near mics.


The amazing part is that they have reviews on a bunch of mics. That's a whole other can of madness! I'm surprised to hear what I like. I think I'm going to make a thread about this.
post #3 of 4
good stuff.

I'm in the market for a recorder upgrade. Currently, I use the Creative Labs Jukebox 3 and a Sony mini disc recorder to do recordings. I use it to record my practice sessions. They work great but eventually, I'd like to upgrade to something a little nicer.
post #4 of 4
I have a Edirol R09 and M-Audio Microtrak 24/96 that I use for binaural recording while wandering around. Both are nice and compact that I can drop in my pocket. They've also been used for recording meetings and such with their built in mics.

Sound quality wise, I like the R09. May be just mine but I don't get hiss on the built-in mics or my plug in mics. Most major functions have hardware buttons so I don't have to dig through menus...however, the buttons are really small and I have to use my fingernails to slide the switches instead of just finger pad pressure (I have big fingers though). Its set and forget though. LCD screen is pretty small but the info's there. The biggest complaint is the silly battery doors...which you will have to deal with because batteries only last about 4 hours on my unit.

I have the Microtrak because I wanted digital in and I have alot of CF cards. Used with an outboard mic preamp to its digital in, its a great recorder. Built-in mics good for conversations but not much else. Biggest complaint is miserable battery life of about 3 hours. Once the batteries die, you're recording session is over.

Which recorder is dependent on your applications I guess. For a compact video setup, just the recorder really is not enough. I'd go for a compact shotgun and omni mic to a H4 (menus are a pain though) or something similiar that has stereo recording, XLR, and phantom power.

If you have the bucks, the Korg MR-1000 and Tascam HD-P2 are awesome.
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