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Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder

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Simon Mercer
Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 2, 2011 at 10:59:23 am

Hi, guys!

I've just bought a Zoom H4N to use with my Canon 5D Mark II (seems like everyone's doing it, so I hope I'm not just following the herd here). My initial reaction is that the sound from the Z4N is nowhere near as rich as that from the Sony EX3 (which I have been using to record audio on 5D shoots up until now).

Can anyone suggest settings for the H4N to give it some depth?

Thanks, guys!


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 2, 2011 at 2:09:12 pm

Are you sure of the Sony model number? The Sony EX3 is a $10,000 camera that records on SxS cards.


Eric


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Noah Kadner
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:43:31 pm

That or you're being really unkind to your DP... :)

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Simon Mercer
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 2, 2011 at 9:54:38 pm

Er, pretty sure. I run a busy production and post house, and am the guy who pays the bills for the cameras! The Sony EX3 is our ENG camera of choice, hooked up to a Rode NG2.

Let me reiterate my question: Is it the opinion of the people of this forum that the Zoom H4N with a phantom-powered Rode NG2 attached should even remotely match the audio quality captured through a similar setup on a Sony EX3. I understand from anecdotal evidence that the EX3 isn't all that hot for sound, although I love it for all our main interview recording.

So, yes. I'm pretty sure it's an EX3.


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Eric Toline
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:13:25 am

Assuming both recorders are set to the same levels & settings and recording the same source at the same time and you still prefer one over the other then it has me stumped. There are too many variables in the record/playback chain to pin point one thing although pre amp design differences are at the top of my list.


Eric


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André Engelhardt
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:44:54 pm

Well considering that the H4n has severe distortion issues on the ext. Inputs I can only hope and would assume that the EX3's pre's are better than the H4n's!

It's not a fair comparison though and if you want good sounding audio you have to get good sounding pre-amps! Remember the H4n is not even meant to be a professional recorder. It's a compromise, not a bad one but certainly nothing like a Sound Devices or even an Edirol or Tascam!

Don't get me wrong I love my little Zoom H2 but in the end you get what you pay for and to compare a $300 semi-pro audio recorder to a $10'000 pro camera's audio section ... Just doesn't work.

Now if you're wondering how to get better sound out of what you have, I'd use the H4n as backup or b-recorder using the internal mic's and connect the NTG-2 to a decent pre-amp such as the JuicedLink DT454 and record into the Canon or even better a dedicated recorder that doesn't show distortion on its inputs like the H4n does (sadly!).

Good luck!

André

--
Audio Engineer, Sound Designer
Video- and Photographer
http://www.andreengelhardt.net


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Ty Ford
Re: Zoom H4N in comparison with Sony EX3 audio recorder
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:36:25 pm

Hello Simon and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I fed an EX3 in 2009 and found it did quite well.

You can see/hear it here: http://www.hotflashmovie.com/

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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