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    Zoom H1 vs Sony PCM-M10?
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    Looking to buy my first basic field recorder which I can use in interviews, conference talking and possibly live events.

    Any info on these products is greatly appreciated, thanks


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    Senior Member drapeama's Avatar
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    Depends on budget.
    The H1 costs 100$, works with "standard" SD cards and has a nice preamp (from what I've read).
    The PCM-M10 cost 230$, works with MemorySticks cards and I don't know about the preamp.

    Both offers very similar features & quality (96/24 wav recording). I personally own a Zoom H2 and I like it. Buying a more expensive recorder (compared to the H1) would certainly be one with XLR inputs, like the Zoom H4n, which has a great preamp and provides phantom power.
    My setup isn't the best probably, but I like it and I get decents results with it: Zoom H2 & JuicedLink CX211 preamp with usually the Audio-Technica MB4k microphone.
    I would recomend the H4n, or like Phillip Bloom recommended in a video I've watched recently, Tascam DR-100:
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.



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    Senior Member Chadfish's Avatar
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    The Tascam DR-100 beats the H4N in audio quality and usability. It has quieter preamps, better limiters that are analog (not digital like the Zoom) and it has a real dial to adjust your recording level on the fly (rather than menu driven with button pushing). Both are 300.00. Both have XLR inputs, which is what you need if you want to plug in a good mic.

    Of the H1 and the Sony M10, I would go with the sony - much better preamps again, but you must know that both of those recorders only have 1/8" (3.5mm) inputs, so the only mics you can use are ones with the cable built in like the Rode VideoMicPro. That's the best consumer level mic out there for putting on top of a DSLR or something, but something more serious needs phantom power, and XLR connection. Or you need a preamp like a JuicedLink, or a MixPre-D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadfish View Post
    The Tascam DR-100 beats the H4N in audio quality and usability.
    Of the H1 and the Sony M10, I would go with the sony - much better preamps again
    Right on. I have bought and still own the Zoom H1, Tascam DR-100, Sony M10, and Marantz 661. I have also bought but sold the Zoom H4N.

    The H1 is by far the worst recorder I have ever owned: hissy preamp, pretty noticeable distortion when recording music instruments in general and piano in particular. The H4N is better in terms of hiss but the distortion is still present and noticeable. They might be OK for less demanding audio situations such as family outing or soccer games, etc.

    Tascam DR-100, Sony M10, and Marantz 661 all have distortion-free and clean/quiet pre-amps. While they have different features (e.g. XLR & fantom power for the DR-100 and 611 but not the Sony M10) they are all excellent for more demanding audio situations such as concerts. The Sony M10 is my all-time favorite as it is very small to carry around.


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    Quote Originally Posted by paulhouston View Post
    Right on. I have bought and still own the Zoom H1, Tascam DR-100, Sony M10, and Marantz 661. I have also bought but sold the Zoom H4N.

    The H1 is by far the worst recorder I have ever owned: hissy preamp, pretty noticeable distortion when recording music instruments in general and piano in particular. The H4N is better in terms of hiss but the distortion is still present and noticeable. They might be OK for less demanding audio situations such as family outing or soccer games, etc.

    Tascam DR-100, Sony M10, and Marantz 661 all have distortion-free and clean/quiet pre-amps. While they have different features (e.g. XLR & fantom power for the DR-100 and 611 but not the Sony M10) they are all excellent for more demanding audio situations such as concerts. The Sony M10 is my all-time favorite as it is very small to carry around.
    How can I take this post serious? If the H1 has noisy preamps and sounds bad then what does dslr audio sound like to you? Im not here to win awards, just get better audio then what these Canons record. Also Many Many people have said that the H1 is a good recorder for the price.


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    Senior Member Chadfish's Avatar
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    He's comparing it to other recorders, and the Zoom stuff is noiser than other recorders like the DR-100 and the Sony M10. If you want to only invest 100.00 into your audio go for it. It's better than DSLR. And that's about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadfish View Post
    He's comparing it to other recorders, and the Zoom stuff is noiser than other recorders like the DR-100 and the Sony M10. If you want to only invest 100.00 into your audio go for it. It's better than DSLR. And that's about it.
    In a quiet room I have been able to get some pretty good audio using a mic and a Canon dslr. Not perfect, but for web content it worked. Now if I were to use an H1 I know for a fact it would sound better. I'm not here to say it's the best, only better. I honestly do not do that much audio work to buy an H4n so at the most I would have spent was about $200 for either a Mic for my camera or a basic field recorder that would get me some good levels as long as it was monitored and adjusted correctly.

    You have professional projects that were recorded with less gear, so please do not tell me that a Zoom h1 at 96khz is not something useful or could have some great work done as long as you understand it's limitations.


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    Senior Member drapeama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vision_filmz View Post
    Im not here to win awards, just get better audio then what these Canons record.
    Well, am I the only one that thinks that with a good mic plugged in the DSLR with MagicLantern installed (to disable the AGC) you still can get a decent sound? Never as good as boomed as the mic would be camera-mounted, but still...a decent sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadfish View Post
    If you want to only invest 100.00 into your audio go for it. It's better than DSLR. And that's about it.
    I have the H2, and the internal's preamp is noisy. That's why I'm using a JuicedLink to boost it and I usually plug the 3.5mm output of the JL in the Line-In of the H2. Then you just normalize and adjust your sound and you'll get the best possible quality out of these tools, from what I've tested. I might check to add that Tascam to my gear eventually, looks really great for the price from what you described below.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.



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    Senior Member henryqiu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vision_filmz View Post
    If the H1 has noisy preamps and sounds bad then what does dslr audio sound like to you? Im not here to win awards, just get better audio then what these Canons record. Also Many Many people have said that the H1 is a good recorder for the price.
    So i guess you already knew which to buy?


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    Senior Member Chadfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vision_filmz View Post
    You have professional projects that were recorded with less gear, so please do not tell me that a Zoom h1 at 96khz is not something useful or could have some great work done as long as you understand it's limitations.
    I didn't say the zoomH1 would not be useful. "I said it's better than DSLR, and that's about it." And I didn't tell you you couldn't do "great" work with an H1, but I will now. You can't do great work with an H1. The "Great" label is reserved for professional gear, which is beyond consumer level, (H1, H4N) and beyond pro-sumer level (Sony D-50, Tascam DR-680 etc.). You can do better than DSLR work with an H1. And that's exactly what you want, and you do not want to go any higher than 100.00. So you should be happy you found exactly what you want. Some consumer gear to make web video with. Your search is over.

    The only example of mine using "less gear" I can think of are the few tests I did plugging a Rode VMP into a T2i with ML. It wasn't too bad sounding thanks to the 20db boost on the mic. Usually I use a quality mic going straight into my EX1, because the EX1 audio is that good. Hey I'm not knocking the H1. I'm just saying that another 100-200 bucks will greatly upgrade your sound. Some people actually want to know stuff like that to make informed decisions. That's what I'm hear for - to give you perspective and show you (or anyone new to audio-for-video) what is available at the next level up, and maybe a few beyond that. Please don't get defensive because I offered some suggestions to take it up a notch or two. How about thanking everyone for trying to help you? If you refer to your original post, you'll notice that you didn't say your budget was 100.00, or if you needed XLR inputs, or if you have a preamp already. So truly I was just trying to help when I encouraged you to shoot for a little better than the bare minimum.
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