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    How much better ? Preamps on Zoom H1N vs Samsung S10 vs Fuji X-T3 vs Sony A7Rii
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    Assuming I am using the same mic - Rode VideoMicro on all of these devices. How much better is the preamp (really) on the H1N vs phones/mirrorless cams?


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    You’d only know for sure if you did carefully controlled testing. Anectdotally, even the cheapest audio devices run rings around almost all camcorders, mirrorless, DSLRs and pro video/digital cinema cameras. Audio on cameras is mostly a afterthought and the manufacturers generally buy the cheapest audio components.
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    I'm asking as there are many people raving about the great pre-amps on the X-T3, and given that the Zoom H1N is a low-end audio device, not sure how it matches up.


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    This guy seems to be doing stuff that may interest you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8nRvtJ0KX8


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    In most cases, using an on-camera mic, any mic, the sound quality isnít great (to say the least). The sound quality degrades with the distance of the mic to the sound source. Thus, for an on-camera mic, the preamps quality isnít the limiting factor.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dylansmith View Post
    Assuming I am using the same mic - Rode VideoMicro on all of these devices. How much better is the preamp (really) on the H1N vs phones/mirrorless cams?
    The quickest answer is that if you are asking the odds are that the "real" difference you perceive will not be great.

    But it's the wrong question, probably. The audio chain is what you are hearing so any "raving" about a preamp that can't be isolated is pretty meaningless in relation to the preamp, because they are talking about the chain. You could have a great preamp and a noisy mic and end up with a noisy chain and everyone would complain about the preamp.

    If you are starting off with a video mic I'm not sure the preamp is going to make a big difference. It is not a "bad" mic but it is a very small diaphragm mic / (preamp?) built for going into DSLR's and the like. It will be noisier than a better mic but that may not be noticable going into the generally noisier audio sections of the devices it was designed for. It's true that it all adds up so you still want the best you can get at each stage but it's also true that you will never get above the lowest bar in the chain. None of the devices you mention except the H1N were built to record sound, though they do also record sound. And you are correct that the H1N is pretty bottom of the pack, but in a controlled test I would put my money on it winning simply because it was built with sound recording in mind.

    But as far as real world experience I would expect that they would all be very close. I personally would not want to count on any of them for my primary recording device but YMMV.
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    Side note on people "raving" about anything. As a general rule people who really know about whatever it is almost never "rave" about it. Sound folks pretty much never rave about sound gear, and camera people pretty much never rave about camera gear. So really look at who is doing any raving because it's more than likely that it is someone who is not well versed in that specialty and is very excited about stuff that is new to them or jumps beyond their expectations (that are way lower than what a professional would have).

    I have seen people rave about stuff I know is utter junk, but just happens to a lot better than the unspeakably horrid junk they were used to using.

    So don't get swept up in someone else's enthusiasm unless their experience/ expectations are close to your own.

    None of what you mentioned is "junk" and depending on what you are aiming at they may well be more than adequate.
    They are not A list or even probably C list but that does not mean you shouldn't use them. We used a video Mic Pro on a shoot, it was my partner recording his kids musical. We also had a pair of much higher end mics in a stereo pair. He used some of the VMP, especially for some of the dialog and it worked fine. I have used an even cheaper version on a DSLR for some interviews. It was a zero budget project and there was no practical way to set up "proper" sound equipment because of logistics, and that worked out fine also.

    So know that you are not going to get the best audio you could if you had a sound person and better gear but it might well be fine for the given project.
    Cheers
    SK


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    going by the comments, will it be safe to assume that there is also no discernible difference between the Tascam DR-10L and the Zoom H1N?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_G View Post
    In most cases, using an on-camera mic, any mic, the sound quality isn’t great (to say the least). The sound quality degrades with the distance of the mic to the sound source. Thus, for an on-camera mic, the preamps quality isn’t the limiting factor.
    THIS!

    Your golden rule should be: GET YOUR MIC CLOSER!

    2nd most important point to remember is: your environment. Is it noisy? (yes!) What can you do to control/improve it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylansmith View Post
    going by the comments, will it be safe to assume that there is also no discernible difference between the Tascam DR-10L and the Zoom H1N?
    If it is to be used as a body pack recorder, then in terms of design/features the Tascam is streets ahead of the Zoom
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