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Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder

B&H # OLLS20M Mfr # V409110BU000
No Longer Available
Product Highlights
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080/30p Video
  • Studio-grade 24-Bit / 96kHz Audio
  • 1/4" 5.32MP CMOS Sensor
  • WAV / MP3 Files
  • 2GB SD Memory Card
  • 2" LCD Display
  • Mic & Headphone Jacks
  • Web Camera
  • Creative Movie Effects

The Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder answers the age-old question: "Is that a miniature studio in your pocket, or are you just happy to record me?" With its dual condenser mics capable of recording 24-bit / 96kHz PCM audio, and a built-in camcorder that can capture full 1080p high-definition video, the LS-20M fuses the best of both worlds, creating a feast for eyes and ears.

One of the cooler-looking gadgets to hit the video and audio shelves (virtually speaking), this recorder is also one of the smallest at just over 5 inches (13cm) long and weighing in at a featherweight 5.4 ounces (154g). But it packs a lot of power into its handheld form factor. Taking advantage of Olympus' history with both cameras and handheld audio recorders, the LS-20M lets you record audio in either professional-level WAV files or the more consumer-friendly MP3 format, while giving you the option of capturing H.264 video in one of three resolutions: 1080p, 720p, or 480p. Everything is recorded to the included 2GB SD memory card or to any SD/SDHC card up to 32GB.

Of course, the ability to monitor what you're recording is crucial for optimal results, and the LS-20M provides a 2" color LCD screen for reviewing your video and an LCD audio meter just beneath it to view and adjust levels. A 3.5mm (1/8") headphone jack and 3.5mm microphone jack are also included for monitoring by ear and recording with an external microphone. Your final production is then easily played back on an HDTV or computer, or streamed live to the Web via Ustream. Whether recording parties, performances, weddings, or just goofing around, the LS-20M is the perfect pocket companion.

24-Bit/96kHz Linear PCM Recording
Record sound that's even better than what you hear on a compact disc. Every nuance of every note and syllable is captured and played back with a rich and resonant quality.
Full HD 1080p Movie
Shoot movies at 30 frames per second, with high-quality sound, in 1080p. Having the ability to capture high-definition sound and videos opens up a world of possibilities.
Magic Movie Settings
Express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos using one of four Magic Filters: Rock, Pop, Sketch and Pin Hole.
Removable SD/SDHC Card Compatibility
Never run out of recording space again. The LS-20M is SD/SDHC card compatible so you can capture oodles of audio and video--and still have room to store documents or other files.
Web Camera for Ustream
Use the built-in high-quality audio and HD video of the LS-20M to stream your performances on the web via Ustream or any other live broadcast platform.
Electrical Stabilizer and 4x Digital Zoom
The camera features a 4.1mm (16:9 at 49mm, 4:3 at 59mm) autofocus lens and 4x digital zoom, delivering premium video no matter where you're shooting.
Battery Charge Function (via USB or AC Adapter)
With a USB cable or AC adapter it is easy to charge your recorder. You can also quickly transfer your files over to your Mac or PC via a USB cable.
Low-Cut Filter and Auto/Manual Recording Level
The LS-20M features a switchable low-cut filter that enables users to eliminate low-frequency sounds and unwanted background noises. For your convenience, the Olympus LS-20M also offers manual or auto-level recording. The "auto" level is perfect if you are recording from the crowd. Thanks to the manual level, musicians can capture optimal sound checks and live performances.
Multitasking with Dual LCDs
The dual LCDs on the LS-20 allow you to frame your video while simultaneously checking your audio levels.
Visualizer
Enable the Visualizer during playback to view imagery that pulses and dances with the audio. Choose from options like Equalizer, Pink Line and Rainy Blue.
Camera
Sensor 5.32 Megapixel 1/4"  CMOS
Optics
Lens Fixed Focus 49 mm (16: 9)
59 mm (4: 3) 1
Please Note:

35mm equivalent

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Zoom Digital: 4x
Recording
System NTSC
Recording Media SD/SDHC Up To 32GB Video Only
Recording Time SD GB
2GB: 1920 x 1080 - 17 mins; 1280 x 720 - 30 mins; 640 x 480 - 60 mins
Video Format High Definition
MPEG AVC/H.264
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps
1280 x 720p
Standard Definition
MPEG AVC/H.264
640 x 480p / 30 fps
Channels 2.0-Channel Stereo 2
Please Note:

PCM (WAV): 96kHz 24-bit, 44.1kHz 16-bit
Frequency Response (PCM 96kHz/24-bit): 20Hz-44kHz
MP3: 320kbps, 256kbps

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Display
Display Type LCD
Touchscreen No
Screen Size 2"
2nd Display
Projector
Features
Image Stabilization Digital
Lux Not Specified By Manufacturer
Built-in Mic Yes
Built-in Speaker Yes 3
Please Note:

16mm Round Dynamic Speaker
Max Output: 270mW (8Ω load)

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Built-in Light/Flash Light - No
Flash - No
Tripod Mount 1/4"
Input/Output Connectors
Inputs 1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Mini
Outputs 1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Output (Jack)
1x USB 2.0
1x HDMI D (Micro)
Microphone Input Yes
Headphone Jack Yes
General
System Requirements Windows
  • XP (SP2)
    XP (SP3)
    Vista (SP1)
    Vista (SP2)
    7
  • 512MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • 1024 x 768 Pixel Resolution

Mac
  • OS X 10.4.11 - 10.6
  • PowerPC G5 1.5GHz Processor or greater
  • 512MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • 1024 x 768 Pixel Resolution
4
Please Note:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 / Safari 2.0 browser or later

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Battery Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
Power Adapter 5-VDC
Dimensions (WxHxD) 2.5 x 5.3 x 0.7" / 6.3 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
Weight 5.43 oz / 154 g
Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder
  • AC Adapter
  • Li-Ion Battery
  • 2GB SD Card
  • USB Cable
  • User Instructions
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    OlympusLS-20M Linear PCM Recorder
     
    4.4

    (based on 24 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (15)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    91%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Great sound (24)
    • Easy to use (21)
    • Great picture quality (16)
    • Good in low light (12)
    • Image stabilization (11)

    Cons

    • Limited zoom (5)
    • Poor in low light (4)

    Best Uses

    • Travel (14)
    • HD shooting (12)
    • Home movies (12)
    • Movies/short films (10)
    • Documentaries (9)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Enthusiast (9), Casual user (8), Pro videographer (5)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (21), Yes (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Excellent video and audio, flawed design

    [This review supersedes my previous review on this item].I have had the chance to check out the LS-20M recently and compare it to the Zoom Q3 HD and Olympus audio recorder...Read complete review

    [This review supersedes my previous review on this item].I have had the chance to check out the LS-20M recently and compare it to the Zoom Q3 HD and Olympus audio recorder LS-11. BUILD: The LS-20M has a more solid feel than the plasticky Zoom, but I sure wish the LS-20M had an all metal chassis like the LS-11, which feels weighty and much more durable. I like the all button approach of the Zoom and LS-20M, as opposed to the dials for the levels and volume control on the LS-11. I am one of those that feel the less moving parts, the better. I would like some kind of protection for the lens on the Zoom and LS-20M. They seem exposed and liable to scratching. DESIGN: The camera of the LS-20M is placed right on the top of the unit between the microphones. Seems to be designed for tabletop use. Or perhaps journalistic/interview purposes, where you hold the unit towards an interviewee like a microphone and you can get a decent video at the same time(although with such a viewpoint from below the subject would look unflattering). I intend to use the LS-20M for recording gigs and rehearsals so the position of the camera in relation to the LED screen for this purpose is awkward, and I find the Q3 HD easier to set up and work with in this regard. The big disadvantage with the LS-20M design is that you can't use any type of wind blocker otherwise it would cover up the lens. This makes the LS-20M largely useless for outdoor use. The Zoom design is definitely better here. OPERATION: I found the buttons, menus and functions of both the Zoom and LS-20M are fairly intuitive and easy to navigate, similar to a smart phone. Its probably even possible to operate all functions of the LS-20M with just one hand. I really prefer the total manual audio level control of the Olympus units as opposed to just the 'hi and low' settings of the Zoom. FILES: My biggest complaint with the LS-20M is that after the max 4GB per file is reached the recorder does not automatically start another file for continuous recording like the LS-11. I haven't recorded anything on the Zoom long enough to see if it creates a new file or not. The Olympus LS-10 had this problem and was addressed with a firmware update, and the LS-11 didn't have this problem at all. I am hoping that this is something that may be fixed on the LS-20M with a similar firmware update. VIDEO: I have only done a few hours of testing with the LS-20M, but based on what I've seen the video quality of the LS-20M is far and away much better than the Q3 HD. The Zoom video is very noisy, artifacty and jittery, but the LS-20M is much cleaner, 'richer' and smoother with some noise in low light. I recorded a backyard gig during the 4th of July weekend and the image seemed to get 'wavy' whenever I hit certain notes on my bass. Not sure if this was from the tripod vibrating when I hit the note or if it was something inside the LS-20M doing it. Here is a video link of this curious phenomenus: [@]AUDIO: I have always liked the audio quality of the LS-11 over the Zoom, so much so that I would record with both the Q3 HD and LS-11 and replace the Q3 HD audio with the LS-11 audio in post. Since the LS-20M has similarly excellent audio, at first I thought I could get rid of both the LS-11 and Q3 HD. But with the aforementioned wind blocker problem, it looks like I will be holding on to the LS-11 (with wind blocker) and replacing the audio again if there is excessive wind noise on the LS-20M. BATTERIES: I usually use a power adaptor for audio/video units like the Zoom and LS-20M. That being said, I haven't been able to test the charge life of the rechargeable battery that comes with the LS-20M. The Zoom uses two AA batteries and drains them in less than an hour. Since the LS-11 is audio only, the two AA batteries last several hours and with lithiums can last over 15 hours. ACCESSORIES: Accessories include the rechargeable battery, 2GB SDHC card and power adaptor (the Q3 HD power adaptor is an annoying separate purchase, and the battery life of the LS-11 is very long so I don't use a power adaptor). The LS-20M didn't come with a carry pouch like the LS-11 did, and the grammar of the users manual is sort of dodgy. CONCLUSION: Overall, so far I like the LS-20M very much and immediately sold my Zoom Q3HD. Olympus has great audio and video quality with the LS-20M, but its the design of the unit that seems to be the major weakness. I am hopeful of design improvements for future versions of this unit, and a firmware update to address the continuous file problem of the LS-20M.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Nice Device

    I've had this device for a couple of weeks now, and have only started to put it through its paces. Its size and quality of recording are quite good. Ergonomically speaking, it would...Read complete review

    I've had this device for a couple of weeks now, and have only started to put it through its paces. Its size and quality of recording are quite good. Ergonomically speaking, it would benefit from some refinement, especially a pull-out, or at least tilt-up, LCD screen. I wouldn't use the electronic zoom under any circumstances because of the deterioration of image quality. I'm disappointed with the 4GB file size limitation, which prevents the recorder from making an unattended, non-stop one hour recording at the highest levels of sound and video (regardless of card size) - probably it's biggest drawback, and one which you're not made aware of until you read the manual.

    Reviewed by 24 customers

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    5.0

    you tube vid e o this is a must

    By rama

    from oregon

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Easy to Use
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

    • So Far Quick Time Only

    Best Uses

    • HD Shooting
    • Home Movies
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Movies/Short Films
    • Music Videos

    Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

    easy to use clean clear picture and sound

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Great device

    By Fish Report Online

    from Russia, OH

    About Me Video Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Sound
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

        Use this recorder for a small webcast and it works great whether I'm doing just audio interviews or video interviews. Very user friendly. Having some difficulty uploading videos to Windows 7 from the USB connection, so I just remove the memory card and upload that way without problems.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing quality both audio and Video!

        By Mr. Roberts

        from Marina Del Rey Ca.

        About Me Video Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Good in Low Light
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Sound
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Zoom range/performance

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

          I recently purchased a LS-20M Olympus Linear PCM recorder for a few reasons. The first is to have something small with 1080P film our newborn baby. The second was to film some guitar amp reviews for youtube. So this is the perfect combonation!

          Video: Both myself and my wife are happy with the video quality. The image stabelizer really comes in handy. The queality so amazing compared to my Flip Video camera. The only thing I had to get used to was how you shoot video, you need to point it at the subject while looking down to see the display. I did get used to shooting this way so it wasn't too big of a deal. The quality really makes this little recorder worth it and it's worth it's value.

          I don't use the effects all that much, but they are cool. I also picked up a mini tripod to help with my video guitar demos I do for youtube.

          The Audio sounds great! I also own a Tascam DR-07 and it's just as good if not better than that in quality. It sounds great for doing Music Gear demo's. You really pickup the sounds from the amp very well.

          I also like how you can switch from AUDIO with Video or, just Audio. This is a great feature to help save battery power.

          IF you are not very technical, don't worry, this is very easy to use and figure out. I taught my wife how to use it to film the baby and she has no problem with using it.

          I love the LS-20M and I am very happy with my purchase. It's well made and I know this will last for years. It's very high quality.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          really like this little unit

          By greenjean

          from sweetwater tx

          About Me Video Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great Sound

          Cons

          • Poor In Low Light

          Best Uses

          • Classroom video taping

          Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

          we are using it in a classroom setting to record the class. it is thin so we can put it in front of the croud, and still see thru/past it. mics are great for catching good voice without having a sound system. I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10 for our uses.
          we are recording to burn on to a dvd for future training classes.
          controls are a bit hard to reach when up high but when you know what to push it is not bad.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          BETTER THAN EXPECTED

          By folk shooter

          from western north carolina

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great Sound
          • Large Clear LCD

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Documentaries
            • HD Shooting
            • Home Movies
            • Movies/Short Films
            • Travel
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

            Purchased this product to be used in a program teaching students how to create documentary shorts on a budget. Used within the proper context, this is an awesome product, ie, on a tripod, or somehow stabilized, and in decent lighting. In low light, and in shaky hands ... well, just don't use it in those conditions. Be reasonable.

            Got the Olympus at a discounted price and am completely ecstatic with the quality of both the sound and the video. External jacks for headphones and mic make this invaluable for the price.

            The only reason it gets 4 stars and not 5 is that the lens is between the mics so you have to hold it at 90 degrees. At that angle the viewscreen is now catching nothing but sunlight which can make it difficult to gauge what you're shooting. But if you're conscientious about composition, you will work that out.

            Also, the zoom, while not great, is not dismally poor like it is on comparable devices. I have zoomed out, in daylight and have been reasonable satisfied with the quality.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Very cool but can't shoot with it

            By kwaderer

            from Brooklyn, NY

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound

            Cons

            • Complicated To Operate
            • No true zoom

            Best Uses

            • Home Movies
            • Travel

            Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

            i'm a documentary shooter/editor and videojournalist. I like little cameras and this seemed perfect because it's a serious sound device too. I've taken some home movies of my baby son and footage of street festivals. I hoped to be able to use this for interviews and footage for videojournaling, but I've found the configuration makes it virtually impossible to take good footage of action. I realized there's a reason why all other cameras have either a popup screen or are configured like cell phones. I actually gave up and whipped out my cell phone to catch a street performance when I found I couldn't hold this camera where it needed to be & see what I was shooting at the same time.

            I really like the *idea* of this device. The footage looks good, especially considering it doesn't focus or zoom. it's just that I can't control the movement & composition in a satisfactory way. One aspect that's cool is it's stealthier than other devices because it isn't as obvious you're taking video. The fact you can invert the shooting direction is a thoughtful innovation, but since the screen doesn't move it's tough to see what you're shooting when you're holding it up over your head. Also, you have to go into the menu to do that and most other functions, which means you have to stop shooting.

            It's a very nifty device, but I think I'm going to have to take it back and get a small camera with one of the 2 tried-and-true configurations. Just make sure you try shooting with it in real conditions before you're committed to keeping it.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Superb design

            By JTFan

            from Grand Rapids, MI

            About Me Casual User

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Travel

              Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

              There is nothing to be disappointed in this unit. Excellent video and sound quality from the recordings. Much flexibility in audio (24 bit 96 kHz, to 16 bit 44.1 and everything in between, including mp3 at multiple bitrates).
              No regrets with this compact device. You don't even have to read the manual - just start playing in the menu system and it is intuitive!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Incredible!!, - know what you need!

              By J.P.

              from Madison, Ms.

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

              • Needs 8 or 10 MP sensor
              • Only 5 MP sensor

              Best Uses

              • Home Movies
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel

              Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

              There are many reviews on this PCM recorder... most have problems with the top mounted lens. However, in a pinch, this little device records amazing quality video. I prefer the top mounted lens as it makes setting it on a tripod very easy; plus, if you are out and about and do not have time to set up a tripod, it allows you to just lie it down on something and easily record. I made this purchase primarily wanting a high quality PCM recorder. - Let me tell you, the sound quality is AMAZING! With the low price at B&H, I was able to get an AMAZING PCM recorder that happens to be able to shoot 1080P video.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I would buy this product again.

              By Dobrojazz

              from Oberlin, Ohio

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                I played around with this for several weeks before I was able to use it under "battle" conditions. The LS-20M was easy to set up, easy to use and responded exactly the way I hoped it would.The sound was pristine without much effort and the video crisp and clear. I've projected the video on a 100 inch screen through a Sony 1080p projector and it looked great. I am a professional musician of 43 years playing jazz, fusion and acoustic improvisational music and wanted to chronical gigs for my own edification and posting online. I used the LS-20M at a major nationally known venue (a pretty noisy venue) the other night and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Light was not great on the stage but the video was clear. Even with the crowd noise, the music was easy to listen to. I haven't had an opportunity to try the line in for sound from the board (next gig) but I'm anticipating positive results. Add all this to the price and I'm pretty content. If I were to be picky about the only complaint I would have is that viewing the video screen during set up, on a high tripod is difficult. If I were in R&D at Olympus I would figure out a way to put a tilting view screen on the devise without raising the price too much. I was not compensated for but approve this message.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                An awesome product, really good price

                By Michael MacTavish

                from Calgary AB

                About Me Casual User

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Great Sound

                Cons

                • Poor In Low Light

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • Home Movies
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                I use the device for interviews, recording small social gatherings, and recording shows and band practise. It does all of these things really well. The location of the camera is a little strange and takes some getting used to however. Its located in between the two condenser mics so anything you point your mic at picks up the video also.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Olympus LS-20M

                By Sak

                from CA

                About Me Casual User

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Great Sound
                • Picks up voices great
                • SD card for more storage

                Cons

                • No charging when on
                • NO internal memory
                • Poor In Low Light

                Best Uses

                • Dictation
                • Documentaries
                • Interviews
                • Musical recordings
                • Travel

                Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                Awesome Product! Started using it immediately. Does great voice recording. Swapped out the slow included 2gig SD card for my class 6 16gig SDHC card. Recording space in MP3 format went to over 100hrs!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Incredible Product

                By UncleArte of Arty's Fault

                from Fullerton, California

                About Me Video Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Just very excited to Use
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light

                  Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                  I am recording videos of My original songs: these songs are very time sensitive do to the nature of Our social situation, ie: Occupy Wall St...It is important that these are posted quickly...This camera does exactly what I bought it for...I am very please with it's perfomance...
                  Yesterday (Tuesday January 10th) I shared with My brother that I had received My purchase in a very timely manner and told him where I bought it...To
                  My surprise, He told Me that He, had bought his camera from Your company and has planned to purchase another...Most likely the Canon that shoots pictures and video formats...
                  As for the part that isn't so great..Well, I am a 63 year old and learning curves are long for Me...
                  I am also a Vietnam Vet with pretty severe PTSD..
                  This inhibits My ability to concentrate for long periods of time, in order to learn about all the features the LS-20M has to offer..

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  So Far So Good

                  By Willet the Skillet

                  from Huntington Beach, CA

                  About Me Casual User

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Great Sound

                  Cons

                  • Not certain at this point

                  Best Uses

                  • HD Shooting
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                  This unit packs a punch although there is a learning curve. I bought this for my wife, an avid birder, to record bird sounds primarily. Audio recording is stellar however wind screen is necessary for most useful outdoor recordings.
                  Video is still somewhat questionable as to its use in this context however we will keep experimenting.
                  As others have noted the lens sits in a position such that simultaneous monitoring/recording of the video is difficult at best. That being said the unit seems to operate quite well and depending on your needs this may just be the ticket. Will Lussenden

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • Yes

                  Share this review

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The Little Device That CAN

                  By dcisive

                  from Salt Lake City, UT.

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Battery Life Limited
                  • Stabiliztion not good

                  Best Uses

                  • Concerts
                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                  I use this device to record a Davidic Dance group and post on YouTube as well as archive the video for practice use. The sound quality is above reproach and this coming from a guy with a 32 Track Digital recording studio at home. The HD video is admirable. Certainly sufficient for all but professional requirements. It is simple to use and the results will please all but the most fussy videophile. The audio however is NO compromise. I'm sure the fact the camera faces forward the same direction as the mics, instead of being similar to what Zoom does with a side oriented video cam might bother some people. Olympus I'm sure did it this way due to their expertise with PCM stereo recording devices for voice. It makes it a bit trickier to set up and view while you're recording, but it's worth it for the results rendered. The battery last at most an hour when doing video/audio recording so buy a 2nd one to have on hand. All it all it's a great device and makes easy work of uploads to Youtube and such. B&H's sales and service were great for this as well. for [$] there is NOTHING even close.

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  I Still Can't Believe It's So Small

                  By dcisive

                  from Salt Lake City, UT.

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Ergonomics
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Weak image stabilization

                  Best Uses

                  • Concerts
                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                  I purchased this unit from B&H after doing considerable investigation into whether or not this would likely meet my needs. I shoot the Davidic Dance during Shabbat at our congregation. I also happen to be a professional photographer and recording artist with a 32 track digital studio at home. I was relieved to find it only took 2 hours to charge the battery from dead empty. Setup and operation was so intuitive I didn't even have to read the manual to get up and running. The PCM Stereo quality at the maximum bit rate is nothing short of stunning and renders highly accurate reproduction, equal to my studio. The real surprise was that in spite of Olympus only using a 5 megapixel chip for the video, it provides video in HD that is easily the equal to semi pro camcorders. I do wish it had an outboard charger (but one is available as an option) as it charges in the unit from stock. I also noted that best video results are without question done on a stable tripod, and anything more than very slow movement renders poor choppy video results (but this is typical not necessarily the unique fault of this unit). It has all the adjustments possible in the menu for all video and audio situations. It is well made, although I would have gladly paid a tad more if it were a magnesium or aluminum body instead of the typical polycarbonate plastic. Overall a very well thought out concept. I know some will bark because the mics AND the lens aim forward, but with Olympus's expertise in voice recording I'm not surprised they stuck with this design concept for photo journalistic types of use. I can well imagine using this at a full on concert. Beats the heck out of the Zoom brand equivalent. I highly recommend a 2nd battery if you plan on recording over 45 minutes and reviewing and such. I also plan on getting the optional remote for ease of use on a tripod.

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Great Price for Features

                  By Lara, hold the U

                  from Fort Wayne, IN

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Sound
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home Movies
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                    I think this is a very useful little recorder for anyone who just wants to do music or record interviews. Some of the controls are a little clunky. But, once you have it set up, it is a solid piece of gear.

                    The fact that you have to look either up or down to see the video is a little awkward, but not too terrible.

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                    • No

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                    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Nice Device

                    By W C

                    from Bergen County, NJ

                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Sound

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • HD Shooting
                      • Home Movies
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                      I've had this device for a couple of weeks now, and have only started to put it through its paces. Its size and quality of recording are quite good. Ergonomically speaking, it would benefit from some refinement, especially a pull-out, or at least tilt-up, LCD screen. I wouldn't use the electronic zoom under any circumstances because of the deterioration of image quality. I'm disappointed with the 4GB file size limitation, which prevents the recorder from making an unattended, non-stop one hour recording at the highest levels of sound and video (regardless of card size) - probably it's biggest drawback, and one which you're not made aware of until you read the manual.

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                      • No

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                      (2 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      1.0

                      Lens only one direction, battery weak

                      By Roberto

                      from Texas

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Great Sound
                      • Great sound great zoom
                      • Great Zoom

                      Cons

                      • Poor Still Image

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                        1-I use the product for reporting by interviewing people.
                        2-It gives you the advantage of recording audio and video of people you are interviewing. This is good to later match audio with photos.
                        3-Lens does not move, this is bad. I am upset because of this. Another weak part is that when you use the video option battery does not last. This unit needs a lot of improvement in order to be popular.

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                        • No

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                        (2 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        LS-20M

                        By P.nuon

                        from S.spring

                        About Me Casual User

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Great Sound

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Travel

                          Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                          Best product I ever seen.

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                          • No

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                          (18 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Excellent video and audio, flawed design

                          By pingvuiini

                          from Long Beach

                          About Me Casual User

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use
                          • Good in Low Light
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Sound
                          • Large Clear LCD
                          • Power adaptor included

                          Cons

                          • Awkward lens placement
                          • File size limitation
                          • Limited Zoom
                          • No carry case included
                          • Plastic construction

                          Best Uses

                          • Documentaries
                          • HD Shooting
                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Interviews

                          Comments about Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder:

                          [This review supersedes my previous review on this item].I have had the chance to check out the LS-20M recently and compare it to the Zoom Q3 HD and Olympus audio recorder LS-11. BUILD: The LS-20M has a more solid feel than the plasticky Zoom, but I sure wish the LS-20M had an all metal chassis like the LS-11, which feels weighty and much more durable. I like the all button approach of the Zoom and LS-20M, as opposed to the dials for the levels and volume control on the LS-11. I am one of those that feel the less moving parts, the better. I would like some kind of protection for the lens on the Zoom and LS-20M. They seem exposed and liable to scratching. DESIGN: The camera of the LS-20M is placed right on the top of the unit between the microphones. Seems to be designed for tabletop use. Or perhaps journalistic/interview purposes, where you hold the unit towards an interviewee like a microphone and you can get a decent video at the same time(although with such a viewpoint from below the subject would look unflattering). I intend to use the LS-20M for recording gigs and rehearsals so the position of the camera in relation to the LED screen for this purpose is awkward, and I find the Q3 HD easier to set up and work with in this regard. The big disadvantage with the LS-20M design is that you can't use any type of wind blocker otherwise it would cover up the lens. This makes the LS-20M largely useless for outdoor use. The Zoom design is definitely better here. OPERATION: I found the buttons, menus and functions of both the Zoom and LS-20M are fairly intuitive and easy to navigate, similar to a smart phone. Its probably even possible to operate all functions of the LS-20M with just one hand. I really prefer the total manual audio level control of the Olympus units as opposed to just the 'hi and low' settings of the Zoom. FILES: My biggest complaint with the LS-20M is that after the max 4GB per file is reached the recorder does not automatically start another file for continuous recording like the LS-11. I haven't recorded anything on the Zoom long enough to see if it creates a new file or not. The Olympus LS-10 had this problem and was addressed with a firmware update, and the LS-11 didn't have this problem at all. I am hoping that this is something that may be fixed on the LS-20M with a similar firmware update. VIDEO: I have only done a few hours of testing with the LS-20M, but based on what I've seen the video quality of the LS-20M is far and away much better than the Q3 HD. The Zoom video is very noisy, artifacty and jittery, but the LS-20M is much cleaner, 'richer' and smoother with some noise in low light. I recorded a backyard gig during the 4th of July weekend and the image seemed to get 'wavy' whenever I hit certain notes on my bass. Not sure if this was from the tripod vibrating when I hit the note or if it was something inside the LS-20M doing it. Here is a video link of this curious phenomenus: [@]AUDIO: I have always liked the audio quality of the LS-11 over the Zoom, so much so that I would record with both the Q3 HD and LS-11 and replace the Q3 HD audio with the LS-11 audio in post. Since the LS-20M has similarly excellent audio, at first I thought I could get rid of both the LS-11 and Q3 HD. But with the aforementioned wind blocker problem, it looks like I will be holding on to the LS-11 (with wind blocker) and replacing the audio again if there is excessive wind noise on the LS-20M. BATTERIES: I usually use a power adaptor for audio/video units like the Zoom and LS-20M. That being said, I haven't been able to test the charge life of the rechargeable battery that comes with the LS-20M. The Zoom uses two AA batteries and drains them in less than an hour. Since the LS-11 is audio only, the two AA batteries last several hours and with lithiums can last over 15 hours. ACCESSORIES: Accessories include the rechargeable battery, 2GB SDHC card and power adaptor (the Q3 HD power adaptor is an annoying separate purchase, and the battery life of the LS-11 is very long so I don't use a power adaptor). The LS-20M didn't come with a carry pouch like the LS-11 did, and the grammar of the users manual is sort of dodgy. CONCLUSION: Overall, so far I like the LS-20M very much and immediately sold my Zoom Q3HD. Olympus has great audio and video quality with the LS-20M, but its the design of the unit that seems to be the major weakness. I am hopeful of design improvements for future versions of this unit, and a firmware update to address the continuous file problem of the LS-20M.

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                          Be prepared - always carry extra media.

                          Transcend -  4GB SDHC Memory Card Class 6
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                          Batteries & Power

                          Don't get caught without power, always have a spare battery.

                          Olympus -  Lithium Ion Battery Charger (LI-41C)
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                          Carry, store, and protect all your equipment with a bag or case.

                          Pearstone -  Onyx 260 Camera Pouch (5.6 x 2.8 x 2", Black)
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                          Improve your audio quality, accuracy, and consistency with good headphones.

                          Olympus -  E-20 Dual Monaural Earphones
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