Thread: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)

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  1. #1 Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!) 
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    My blog post on this news: http://ironfilm.co.nz/news-leak-zoom...riced-zoom-f8/ (some of it repeated below)

    I thought the Zoom F8 when it was announced was a groundbreaking new recorder in what it brought to a new low price point for soundies.

    Now the F4 is even cheaper ($650 vs $1K), and has nearly everything the F8 has! Except for most notably the lack of extra XLR inputs (8 vs 4, thus the names: F8 vs F4. The "F" = field recorder, "H" = handheld recorder such as H1/H4n/H5/H6) and the lack of an app for the F4 to mix on a tablet like you can with the F8. Oh, and in a more minor point the F4 has a monochrome screen vs the 4 color screen of the F8.

    But everything else (such as pre amps, and time code) is basically exactly the same as the F8!





    Here is the blurb and specs list from B&H (page is currently down, you need to use Google cache to view it):

    Designed to provide big Hollywood sound on an affordable indie budget, Zoom F4 is a 6-input / 8-track professional field recorder featuring super-low-noise preamps and timecode with pinpoint accuracy. The unit provides recording and playback resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz with impressive audio specs including an extremely low noise floor (-127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to +75 dB), with +4 dB line-level inputs. The on-board temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) generates timecode at 0.2 ppm accuracy and supports all standard drop-frame and non-drop formats, as well as jam sync for external devices.

    The advanced on-board limiters provide overload protection for all inputs and outputs, which lets you capture audio in a wide range of environments. Limiting can be applied simultaneously at full resolution with 10 dB of headroom and features controls for setting threshold, attack, and release.

    The F4 offers four combo XLR-1/4" inputs, a 1/8" stereo input, and includes a Zoom mic-capsule input for recording six discrete tracks with an additional stereo mix, all at full 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. Additionally, inputs 5/6 can function as a camera return for audio monitoring only for confidence checks. The dual-SD card slot features simultaneous recording to both cards allowing you to make a backup or split recording with all eight tracks on one card and a stereo mix on the other.
    Each of the four XLR-1/4" inputs offers a dedicated preamp with gain control, phantom power, a six-segment LED level meter, plus a Record Ready and PFL switch. In addition to the 1/4" headphone output with a dedicated volume control, the F4 provides two main balanced XLR outputs, as well as two sub outs on a single unbalanced 1/8" stereo mini-jack, enabling easy connection to a camera. All timecode I/O is provided on BNC connectors and the unit includes a variable-frequency slate-tone generator to confirm levels.

    An easy-to-read 1.9" LCD display is suitable for use in all lighting environments including dark low-light sets to bright sunlight. The on-board mixer not only provides user-adjustable level, pan, and input/output delay, but also offers high-pass filtering for noise and wind reduction, phase inversion, and Mid-Side decoding. The F4 ships with a camera-mount adapter, AC power adapter, and download codes for Cubase LE and Wavelab LE.

    Six-input / eight-track multitrack field recorder with integrated mixer

    Six discrete inputs, including four with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors, a stereo 3.5mm input, and Zoom mic-capsule input

    Compact and lightweight metal chassis, weighing just 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

    Accurate timecode (0.2 ppm) I/O on standard BNC connectors; dropframe/non-drop formats with Jam Sync

    Two different power supply options: 8x AA batteries or external DC battery pack with 4-pin Hirose connector

    Dedicated gain control knob, 6-segment LED level meter, and PFL/Solo switch for each channel

    Phantom power (+48V/+24V) on every preamp

    Advanced on-board limiters for input and output

    High-pass filter, phase invert, and Mid-Side decoder

    Input delay of up to 30ms per channel / output delay of up to 10 frames per output

    Compatible with all Zoom mic capsules; optional ECM extender cable enables remote positioning

    Dual XLR balanced Main Outs plus 1/8" stereo mini-jack Sub Out

    Dedicated headphone output (100mW) with front-panel volume control

    1.9 white, backlit monochrome LCD

    Dedicated PFL display with viewable trim settings

    Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, up to 512GB each

    Records in BWF-compliant WAV or MP3 file formats

    Support for extensive metadata (BWF and iXML); input time, date, project, scene number, etc.

    Built-in tripod mount; camera-mount adapter also included

    Use as a 6-in/4-out USB audio interface (@ 96 kHz)
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Looks good. Gonna hafta get one of these.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
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  3. #3  
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    Let us know how you find it. Like IronFilm, I thought the F8 was great gear but too much for my anticipated needs. F4 may be the ticket.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Glornis's Avatar
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    Love it! I was just talking with my wife about financial timeline for adding the F8 to our kit. This would not only better fit our needs, but the smaller price means a sooner addition to the kit! For not much more than the F8, we could do the F4 and another Sennheiser G3 setup. I never liked the early Zoom field recorders, but I really like these!
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glornis View Post
    For not much more than the F8, we could do the F4 and another Sennheiser G3 setup. I never liked the early Zoom field recorders, but I really like these!
    In a nutshell. EXACTLY.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Adam Roberts's Avatar
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    Interesting. I've been holding out hoping that Sound Devices would make a simple 2 channel recorder with the mixing tools of the 302 or MixPre-D but this might do just the trick. The F8 is over kill for my needs and so is the Sound Devices 633.
    Adam Roberts
    www.adamroberts.net
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Roberts View Post
    Interesting. I've been holding out hoping that Sound Devices would make a simple 2 channel recorder with the mixing tools of the 302 or MixPre-D but this might do just the trick. The F8 is over kill for my needs and so is the Sound Devices 633.
    I strongly doubt a 302 mixer with record functionality built into it will happen, as likely Sound Devices feels their 633 already fills that niche at a "low price". (as the 633 has 3x XLR in and 2x XLR out, just like the 302 mixer. )
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Adam Roberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
    I strongly doubt a 302 mixer with record functionality built into it will happen, as likely Sound Devices feels their 633 already fills that niche at a "low price". (as the 633 has 3x XLR in and 2x XLR out, just like the 302 mixer. )
    Sure... but it's a 6 input mixer that can record 10 channels. Overkill for a simple doc shooter. A 2 channel mixer with 2 channel recorder would be sufficient. But as you say... unlikely to happen.
    Adam Roberts
    www.adamroberts.net
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Glornis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Roberts View Post
    Interesting. I've been holding out hoping that Sound Devices would make a simple 2 channel recorder with the mixing tools of the 302 or MixPre-D but this might do just the trick. The F8 is over kill for my needs and so is the Sound Devices 633.
    The most incredible thing to me on 633 was the noise floor. I did some sound for a small project and could easily record a safety at -30db and have super-clean sound when boosting in post.
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  10. #10  
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    I got the Video Devices (Sound Devices) PixE to get 2-4 tracks of audio (2-external and 2 embedded) with SD quality mixer with the LR add on. Yiu not only get a great audio recording, it adds a "Video" recording also, making post sync simple!
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