Zoom H1 Quick Look at the Gear

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Above: Canon T2i + Battery Grip + Sima L Bracket next to Zoom H1 Portable Audio Recorder

I'm not going to try and do audio tests, I think we know what the Zoom products are already capable of. We're already sold on audio, no need for further tests. I will note on my videos if I ever have it in use though, so you can see what the results would be. If you haven't already purchased a Zoom H1 Portable Audio recorder, i'm sure you're just looking for other deal breakers or deal makers such as the size, switches, button functions, build quality, etc. Here's sorta a sneek peek around the gear from my first unboxing. I've dropped my Zoom H4n and wasn't too worried about it. It survived quite well. This Zoom H1 item feels really really hollow and fragile, so it's not something i'm looking forward to ever drop. It's all mixed feelings right now, but the true selling point is it's $99 dollars. If it were $150 dollars i'd be more on the fence. I'm a fan of the lightweight, but not the plastic build. I'm a fan of the easy to access buttons, but not a fan that you can't lock those controls. Still it's something I suggest every DSLR shooter carry if you don't already have a portable audio recorder. In fact, with the Audio-Technica LAV mic, I think it will be a perfect fit to replace many situations where you would be using a Wireless type setup.

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Extremely random. The video below just shows the new 3pcs lighting kit from this article http://cheesycam.com/new-800w-barndoor-softboxes-3pcs-lighting/ was used to record the Zoom H1 video.



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25 thoughts on “Zoom H1 Quick Look at the Gear

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Matt - The H2 is a great recorder, but it's a bit larger than the H1. Most people don't use the microphones so as a portable recorder it's great.

  2. Matt

    Any experience with the H2? I found some deals through B&H and Amazon that offer it for about $50 more than the H1 and I'm trying to figure out which one I might get. Any thoughts?

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  5. Pete

    Hi, I'm thinking of getting the H1. Can you record with the onboard mic AND a lav (or shotgun) mic simultaneously? Or does the microphone that you plug into the unit override the built-in microphone? Thanks, and great website!

  6. I got my H1 yesterday and have it in front of shaking it around. There is no rattle on mine so it may possibly be a bad copy. If you'd rather save the time/money for shipping, I suggest using the [gaffer's] tape that Emm would use to lock the buttons on the door.

  7. Videoguy916

    I just got my H1 in the mail today and I am more or less pleased with it. I think I hyped myself up for it a little too much.
    One thing that does concern me is the battery door on my particular unit is a little loose, and rattles around when you hold the H1 in your hand. Is this the case on yours as well, or did I get a defective one? The mics really pic up the battery door rattling around.

    In reality, I will be using this for weddings with a LAV as backup audio (already have Sennheiser wireless kit running into the camera). Therefore it probably will not affect me having the battery door loose. I just wanted to make sure I didn't get a bad one.

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  9. Emm

    Post author

    The Zoom H1 can save you big bucks from using a wireless set on most occassions, but it's very limited as a full on recorder. The Zoom H4n has XLR inputs with phantom power. Something we needed when using certain Shotgun microphones on a boom. The Zoom H1 does not have this. When you start stepping into more professional shotgun microphones for field use, some will require Phantom power. So in that case, you'd have to use a Zoom H1 connected to some type of XLR box possibly like a JuicedLink type thing.

  10. AC

    Now that you have both the H1 and H4, what would you recommend for people who are looking to buy a recording device to do anything and everything from small interviews all the way to short indie films?

    I have an H1 on backorder with Amazon, but don't mind forking out $300 for the H4 if it's what I'll eventually upgrade to later anyways. Your thoughts?

  11. Emm

    Post author

    Did you have a pre-order? I was mentioning they would sell out fast, in which they did. B&H had them in stock for just 1 day, I posted an article about that.

  12. John

    How did you get yours so early? Most websites say they won't have them until the 8th. I have a project I've been wanting to start that needs a proper audio recording and the sooner I can get my hands on this the better. If there's anyway I can get this now please let me know!

  13. Emm

    Post author

    It's not bad for $299 and comes with stands, two softboxes, and one with barn doors. It also comes with dimmer switches and a bag. You can probably get similar lighting from Halogen Shop lights found at Home Depot, but wouldn't look as nice when asking someone to sit in on an interview. If you go with shop lights, you would have to come up with some type of diffusion panel, and also I don't think you can dim Home Depot shop lights. By then you probably would have spent $299 on a 3 piece lighting kit...

    It works for me, and the lighting is for a different use than my FLO's or LED's.

    Holy crap, just peeked at your resume. Damn! Good stuff, I gotta holla at you when i'm down your way sometime, see what you're up to.

  14. Darryl B

    Got ya... the "bottons" lock but the manual "switches" don't lock. I plan on using this for weddings and will get a small case/pouch to hold the H1 and excess wiring from
    ATR3350... this should make it more difficult to accidentally flip a "switch".

  15. Emm

    Post author

    The switches don't lock. Try putting it on 'Hold' and then play with the Auto Levels, WAV / MP3, or Low Cut switch. It's not in a hold position.

  16. Darryl B

    Noticed your comment "I’m a fan of the easy to access buttons, but not a fan that you can’t lock those controls"

    Just received my H1 also and had the same worry. If you push the power button to "hold" after pressing record, all buttons will be disabled. It's on Page 1 of the Quick Guide.

    Hope this helps.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    Ok, as soon as my LAV mics come in, i'll try to do some simple audio tests. There seems to be a few people who already have something up.

  18. Just used my zoom H1 for the first time for a concert I was shooting. I got it that same day (yesterday) so I didn't have much time to play. I noticed that with low cut & auto level on it still picked up every touch and move I made. So needles to say I decided not to mount on the camera. The room was short so I decided to just tape it to a shelf next to the sound guy. So i left it there praying to the gods to keep it from getting stolen.I disguised it with some cardboard just incase there where any other dslr guys that spotted my hot sought after item. The band was loud and all over the place but wouldnt ya know it, I got home and plugged in some good headphones and it sounds pretty terrific. This is with built in X Y mic's I should add. Zoom H1 a great tool for anyone to have!

  19. Hi there,
    Are your sure you don't wanna do any audio tests? I never had the chance to try one of the Zooms products and was waiting for audio tests of this H1 to finally pass my command!
    If you could, that would be awesome! Or at least give us your opinion on the audio quality VS the H4N? If not... Well, I still wish you the best and keep up the good work! :)

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