If you're not currently working with a professional audio recorder, now's the time. The Zoom H4n is currently on sale for an instant savings of $-100 OFF (limited supply). Now just $169, this is the lowest price i've ever seen since it's release. Check it out (here).
This recent video from Robert at JuicedLink shares a review from some of the latest Portable Audio tools used for video capture today. The video includes battery tests (runtime), audio comparisons, and what may be pros and cons of each tool. If you can sit through the technical specs, there's quite a bit of information that may help you decide which tool fits your workflow better and help you achieve better audio.
Here's a clever little tip for carrying around a portable audio recorder 'hands free' and at the same time having quick access to the screen and controls. Vimeo member Bruno Chansou uses a B-Grip Camera Belt (found here Amazon), normally used to clip a DSLR camera combined with a Manfrotto Ball Head for positioning the recorder. [Thanks Bruno] The B-Grip Camera Belt Holster system can be found via Amazon (click here).
B-GRIP EVO Camera Belt - via Amazon
The B-Grip Camera Belt Holster is a nice little solution for a belt mounted audio recorder, but it's a system that can run over $50 dollars. If this is something you might want to tackle on a budget, there are other belt clip systems that might be modified to work in a similar manner for less than $7 dollars via eBay (found below)
DSLR Belt Clip Camera Holster
Disclaimer: I help to design products for PhotographyandCinema.com. The article below is information about the new P&C GearBox. There are many other great DSLR style cages available within articles of this blog that you may also want to consider.
It's been several weeks, but the new P&C GearBox is now available at PhotographyandCinema.com. The name 'GearBox' was submitted by David during a June contest, so congrats David, PhotographyandCinema.com will be sending one of these GearBox cages your way.
There are many High End, Super Heavy, Robust video cages available for the Professional market, but we found a lack of more affordable options for smaller style video cameras such as the Sony NEX-7 or Popular GH2. The P&C GearBox is designed to be simple, lightweight, modular, and of course - affordable.
The GearBox has a solid metal bottom and top bracket with several 1/4-20 mounting options for your accessories such as an LED video light, Portable Recorder, HDMI LCD Monitor, Microphone, Wireless Receivers, etc. To take up minimal space in a bag when packing up or traveling, the GearBox can easily be disassembled with a single Hex driver.
The GearBox will support a quick release plate underneath if you want to mount the rig onto a Tripod. Extension adapters are provided to support taller cameras, or if you want to add a quick release system into the cage unit allowing you easy removal of your camera body. The rubber coated side handles provide a non-slip comfortable grip and are spaced further apart to add stability for hand-held shooting styles. Interested in a Rail System? Soon to be released is the 15mm Rod adapter (sneak peek here).
As a new item, there is an Introductory Price of just $79.99 over at http://PhotographyandCinema.com (Click Here).
P&C GearBox - DSLR Cage Video Accessory Bracket
Looking for the most simplest way to mount a Rode VideoMic, LED Light, and Zoom H1 to your camera - all at one time? There's nothing more simple than this Triple Hotshoe Accessory Bracket. Under the bracket's mount is a 1/4-20 thread so you can also use this on a lightstand. Great for stacking several small LED lights to a single stand for a larger light source.
Even the basic Vello Triple bracket can run for about $30 bucks (seen here), but right now this other Triple Bracket has recently been reduced in price to about $12 dollars and ships free for Amazon Prime members too check it out (Click Here).
Triple Mount Hot Shoe V Mount Bracket for Video Lights, Microphones or Monitors VBrack3
Did Tascam just drop a bomb on the Zoom H4n? The more affordable Tascam DR-40 is a great little recorder, but fell short when people realized you didn't have the same independent audio track levels like a Zoom H4n. The new firmware released today (found here), now adds that functionality to the Tascam DR-40. It still may not be as full featured as the Zoom H4n, but it has enough features for the average shooter, and this little recorder is $100 dollars cheaper than the Zoom H4n.
When it comes to portable recorders with DSLR video, there's two names that are sure to come up - Tascam and Samson (a.k.a Zoom). Here's an interesting new product pointed out to me [Thanks Anthony] that could shake things up for Samson's Zoom H4n product line. The H4n has been a long mainstay when it comes to an affordable 4 track portable recorder with XLR inputs, but Tascam has got something new (and cheaper).
The new Tascam DR-40 is playing in the same recording space offering just about as much features as the Zoom H4n, but the kicker is that it's coming in at about $100 dollars cheaper than the Zoom H4n (found here). Yeah that's quite a bit of savings. No reviews I could pull down just yet since it's a new product. Says it's available for Pre-order via B&H, but there are just a few sellers carrying this new product via eBay (click here).
Tascam DR-40 4 Track Portable Recorder XLR
[Update] Now available via Amazon below
TASCAM DR-40 4 Channel Portable Digital Recorder
Zoom is upgrading the H2 with a new H2n. The black finish and retro condenser microphone styling is a big plus for my taste, but it's neither pocketable nor does it have all the features of the H4n.
I'm not sure how something like this would fit the Video Maker's toolbox with all the other Zoom options out there (no XLR inputs), but Zoom has been geared more towards musicians. It might be a handy thing to have for Video makers that record live concerts and provide a better sound than the Zoom H1. Not yet available, but there's some additional information and sexy photos following the link.
:Five built-in mic capsules provide Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, 2-channel and 4-channel recording modes
:Records in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps
:Newly designed user interface
:Additional functions include Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain, Pre-Rec, Auto-Rec, Tuner, Metronome, Variable Speed Playback, Key Control, A-B Repeat, File :Dividing, Normalize, MP3 Post-Encode, Marker and Surround Mixer
:Data recovery function protects against unexpected recording errors
:Over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries
:Operates on battery, AC or USB bus power
:1.8-inch backlit LCD display with 128 x 64 resolution
:Analog-type Mic Gain wheel
:Built-in reference speaker
:High-speed USB 2.0 card reader function
:1/8-inch Mic/Line Input and Phones/Line Output stereo phone jacks
:Accommodates up to 32GB SDHC memory cards
:Includes Steinberg WaveLab LE 7 editing software, 2GB SD memory card and two AA batteries
:Optional accessory package (APH-2n) includes remote control with extension cable, windscreen, AC adapter (USB type), USB cable, adjustable tripod stand, padded-shell case and a mic clip adapter.
(Left to Right) Zoom H1, Tascam DR-05, Zoom H4n
If anyone cares, here's the relative size of the Tascam DR-05 in between the Zoom H1 (left) and Zoom H4n (right). It's priced the same as the Zoom H1 and also lacks any XLR inputs. Although it's a bit larger than the Zoom H1, the Tascam DR-05 is just a better build overall. It has some decent weight to it too, so it doesn't feel very fragile. It's got many more features in the menu which is easy to navigate and obviously sounds great. The tripod mount in the rear has a metal insert (not plastic like H1), and i've had the same alkaline (the ones that came with) batteries in there for over a week now. So it doesn't drain over night like some odd Zoom H1 issues.
It's not as full featured as a Zoom H4n, but for the same price as an H1 it's a solid portable recorder. The Zoom H1 is still much lighter and smaller, and for those who are looking for a recorder to throw in someone's pocket with a LAV mic, it's still the way to go. By the way, if you're looking for an H4n the best deal was on the Manufacturer Refurb items. The first seller sold out, but there's one more seller with a few left. I've updated the link here: http://cheesycam.com/zoom-h4n-factory-refurbished-portable-recorder/