Shortly after the official release of their hybrid audio hand-held recorder, also capable of shooting HD video, the Q8, Zoom showcased another compelling new device at NAB 2015. This time, it’s their first affordable multitrack audio field recorder the Zoom F8. The Japanese manufacturer still hasn’t unveiled the full specs of the future unit. However, it does seem to be a quite capable one from what we already know about it.
As for now, it is confirmed that the new Zoom F8 will be an eight channel multi-track field recorder and mixer providing four XLR / ¼ inputs on both sides along with a zoom interchangeable mic capsules connection in the back. This way users of the previous Zoom recorders will be able to utilise the mic capsule system that the predecessor H5 and H6 hand-held recorders provide. At NAB the company showcased a prototype of the recorder, so let’s see what else we should expect from it.
The upcoming F8 features a bright full-colour LCD on the front that has anti-glare protection, so even under harsh direct sunlight conditions out in the field the audio recordists & mixers should still be able to monitor all the settings on the display. The eight solid gain knobs on the left side of the LCD screen are easily accessed accessible which is another neat feature of the F8.
Regarding power supply, there is a dedicated battery pack on the back that accommodates 8 x AA batteries. Alternatively, the Zoom F8 can be powered by a DC adapter as well. The presence of Time Code option in another very useful and highly demanded feature that will be received very well by sound professionals. The recorder also features a dual SD card system providing instant back up capabilities.
Here is a brief summery of the already known specs of the Zoom F8 for the moment:
Four XLR / ¼ on both sides
Dual SD card slots
Instant Back Up functionality
Internal timecode generator
Power: DC input or 8 AA batteries
Output: 2 mini XLR, ¼ headphone jack, mini-sub output
Availability: Q4 of 2015
That is the first time Zoom are creating a product aiming directly at the professional filmmaking market by targeting sound designers and filmmakers working on a budget in particular. Considering the previous success and the popularity of their hand-held audio recorders line up in the filmmaking community, there are many reasons to believe that the first affordable field recorder of Zoom should also draw significant attention and expand the company’s market share again.
More details about the F8 will be unveiled very soon, as for the official release of the unit, the availability is set to late 2015.