ZOOM F8 – Field Audio Recoder
70,00 € / day
- 8-channel/10-track field audio recorder/mixer for filmmakers, sound designers, and production sound recordists
- 8 high-quality, super low-noise mic preamps with up to 75 dB gain, less than -127 dB EIN, and +4 dB line inputs
- Rock-solid Time Code with 0.2ppm accuracy – I/O on standard BNC connectors; drop frame/non-drop formats with Jam Sync
- Compact and lightweight aluminum chassis, weighing just 2 pounds (without batteries)
- Free Zoom F8 Control App for iOS via iTunes allows wireless remote control, file renaming, and metadata entry
The F8 is surprisingly compact at 178 x 54 x 140 mm (WHD), but is reassuringly solid, weighing about 1kg with the internal batteries. This is quite a reasonable load to lug over a shoulder — or it would be if the product came with a shoulder strap, which, frustratingly, it doesn’t as standard! A protective bag (with a wide shoulder strap) is available as an optional accessory, but as shipped you’ll have to rest the F8 on whatever you can find on location!
What is packed in the box with the F8 are a couple of short TA-3-to-XLR adapter cables, a wall-wart mains supply, a thick paper manual (hurrah!) and a camera-mounting bracket. The last allows the F8 to sit securely under a video/DSLR camera, and the recorder can itself be mounted on a tripod, if required. There are also some download access codes for Cubase LE and Wavelab LE.
Recordings are made across either one or two SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards housed in slots on the left-hand panel, with capacities of up to 2, 32, or 512 GB respectively. Audio can be stored as MP3 and/or BWF in a variety of flavours. MP3s support 44.1 and 48 kHz sample rates, with 128, 192 or 320 kbps bit rates. Broadcast Wave (BWF) files have full iXML metadata and can be saved in mono, stereo, or poly formats, at 44.1, 48 (plus ±0.1 percent for 24/25 frame video pull-up/pull-down rates), 88.2, 96, or 192 kHz sample rates.
There are a lot of options here, and the only potential issue I can see is that the stereo monitor mix is always recorded as tracks 9-10 — many TV and film workflows expect the stereo mix to appear in the first two channels of a poly WAV, with the ‘iso channels’ across the rest. Currently, there’s no option in the Zoom to re-order the recorded channels to cater for this, which might be an issue for some potential pro users, although I imagine this could be addressed fairly easily in a future software update.