First Look: The New Tascam DR-70D 4-Channel DSLR Recorder

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Tascam DR-70D

Over the years, Tascam recorders have found themselves right at home in the rigs of both amateur and professional filmmakers and sound people alike, thanks to their versatility and forward-thinking features. In that tradition, the company has announced the new DR-70D 4-channel DSLR Recorder, which boasts both forward-thinking and familiar features.

Designed to fit either above your DSLR, below it, or sandwiched between your camera and a tripod, the DR-70D has a thinner design compared to some of Tascam’s other recorders, and its LCD menu screen is angled slightly to help with viewing. While it is capable of recording up to 4 channels simultaneously in up to 24-bit/96 kHz WAV or BMF, it offers a wide variety of input options to fill those 4 channels. The unit itself sports dual omnidirectional mics built right in that can serve main recording duty or to track ambience and room sound. For integrating your own mics, the DR-70D gives you 4 combination XLR/TRS inputs, as well as a 1/8" stereo input that supports plug-in power.

Tascam DR-70D 4-Channel DSLR Recorder

Connectivity appears to be king with the DR-70D, as it gives you both camera input and output jacks that allow you to record a reference track to your DSLR, as well as monitor back from it. A 1/8" headphone output provides system-monitoring duties. All of the recorder’s more important controls, such as channel gain for its 4 channels, transport, and slate tone all have physical, dedicated buttons or low-noise knobs directly on the rear panel, assuring these often-tweaked parameters are always within reach. As you might expect, it records to SDHC media, and is powered by 4 AA batteries.

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Man. I love this thing. I'm a dedicated still photographer (what with seeking the past to buck the trend, loving impressionism and hating post-impresisonism, modernism, post-modernism, and cubism, but loving Beaux Arts and Art Deco), so one might think this device wouldn't peak my interest. WRONG!

I shot an intersection near my home at dusk the other day, Setting my T4i on the curb (literally) to catch the cars as they passed for a series of captures ranging in shutter length from 1.5 sec to 4 sec. The shots came out great, red taillight lasers looked to be passing directly over my camera lens.

Imagine a composite still of four exposures from four DSLR cameras sequenced to shutter for a mind boggling and dizzying single-image composit which had such lasers bouncing in four directions and which gave one a virtigoed view which would appear as reality sketched by G*d, the giant M.C. Escher fan.

PERHAPS NOW YOU MIGHT IMAGINE WHY I WANT THE TASCAM DR-70D.

I cannot leave this uncorrected: "...wouldn't <<pique>> my interest. WRONG!"

I thought this was a sequencer, controller for 4 DSLR cameras, like when I toyed with controlling my 5D and T4i, both USBed to my compy and transmitting images to live view in EOS Utility. I knew the portable monitors were missing, I just thought this was the controller device.

THIS IS SAD AND I AM STUPID.

Well now it's back to hoping for that same unattainable girl and a GigaPan 500 to shoot hyperresolution panorama shots of Sandia Peak.

More important is how long the batteries last...the H5 does ridiculously well w/ batteries and the old 60D was terrible.