Get The Job Done with the New Zoom H1

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Are you looking for an ultra-compact digital audio recorder that you can mount on a tripod, carry around with you all the time, and attach to your video-enabled DLSR? Do you want something drop-dead easy to use? Would you prefer not to spend over $100 on a device like this? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the solution is due to arrive in late July, and it's called the Zoom H1.

Zoom is no stranger to the portable digital recorder market. The popular Zoom H2 raised the bar for how much functionality can be packed into a compact audio device. The Zoom H4n, with its professional XLR microphone inputs, has become one of the most popular audio recorders for use with video-enabled DSLR cameras (for more information on using an audio recorder in a video shoot, check out this B&H Insights article).

The new H1 borrows some of the strongest features of its predecessors (excellent sounding X/Y stereo microphones, high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, an external mic/line input, etc.) and fits them into a smaller chassis. The H1 was designed to be the easiest to use recorder on the market. All of the controls are positioned so you can operate it with a single hand. There are no menus to navigate through on its backlit LCD screen. A few hardware buttons and switches allow you to control everything on the recorder.

The Zoom H1

Like the Zoom H4n, the new H1 features a well conceived tripod mount that's situated in the center of the rear of the unit. This evenly distributes the weight of the H1 when mounted on the shoe of a DSLR camera. Some accessories like a 2GB MicroSD card and a AA battery are included with the H1, but a camera shoe mount (like the Pearstone Male Accessory Shoe Adapter) needs to be purchased separately in order to mount the recorder to a camera.

You can really deck out your Zoom H1 with the optional APH-1 accessory package. It includes a nice little padded shell case, a mini tripod, a foam windscreen (which is critical for outdoor use), a USB cable, an AC adapter, and an adapter that enables you to mount the H1 into a microphone stand.

Zoom APH Accessory Pack for the H1 Recorder

With its compact size, full feature set, and super budget-friendly $99.00 price tag, the Zoom H1 which will be shipping on July 30th is sure to be a hit. If you have any questions about the Zoom H1 or portable audio recorders in general, feel free to post them in the comments section...

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Cute. As a videographer always looking for ways to improve my final product, I'd like to know.... once the sound is synced to the video on the time line, does it stay synced or will it need to be resynced every few minutes?  

 Any idea on the cost of the accessories kit?

Thanks - Mike T.

 let me know when this is available to see at the store

I have a Sony IC Recorder, ICD-MX20. I use this device to record a spare audio track for my video work. Will I have any advantage if I would purchase the H1 unit?

Hmm... Interesting device. I'm wondering if I could use it for on the go recording for my podcasts? Are there other setups that might be more appropriate for mobile podcasting? I really like the price though.

I'm an old hand at still photography, but new to videography.   I recently bought a Canon 7D, understand that I should consider an external mic for videography, and have been considering the likes of a Rode VideoMic.

Three questions about theH1:

1) I understand that dSLRs easily transfer control-button and even AF noises
    to their internal mics and even to non-shock-mounted external mics that
    are attached to the camera. Does theH1 include an integral shock mount
    for its two mics?

2) If using the H1, I'd want to simultaneously record audio in the camera
    (for those times when I'd like to post a quick file, before doing extensive
     audio/video editing).  Obviously I can record from the dSLR's internal
     mic, but can the 3.5mm output from the H1 be connected to the camera's
     camera's external mic input, or is it voltage far enough above normal
     "line level" that I would not be able to safely record the output of the 
     H1 in the camera itself?

3) Do you know of a more effective windscreen (wind muff) for the H1 than
    the foam one that comes with it?   Say, something similar to the WindTech
    Mic Muffs or the Rode DeadCat muff?

Does anyone know how this unit stacks up against the Olympus LS-10 and LS-11 for recording quality?

They appear to be similar in size, although there are no dimensions listed for the Zoom H1. For the money it looks like a pretty decent option.

How many volts is the unit?

 I sure hope you can turn off the AGA - that's the problem with DSLR audio. I was very interested in this unit - until I saw it had AGA, now I'm thinking, if it can't be turned off, it'd defeat the purpose of having an external recorder.

Please tell me you can switch it off : ) and put me on the list for when they arrive. 

Also, a little dead cat by itself would be a great accessory. 

N

This is awesome! A single XLR in would have made this beyond belief!

Excellent. Count me in. 

With DSLR video taking off, and DSLR sound being so rubbish, this is superbly positioned to be a 'must have'. The price is pretty good, and if the other recorders in the range are anything to go by, it'll be good quality too. 

Hope they arrive soon. 

For outdoors use, it seems those mic diaphragms will easily pick up nasty wind, and the foam is a paid accessory. But the foam itself won't be very useful beyond calm breezes. 'Don't know how quickly Rycote or WindCutter can create an H1-specific Windjammer or fur, but it will be imperative to shield those mics outside.

Although I shoot with a consumer camcorder, the mic level snafu is akin to the DSLR. I recall M-Audio used to make a 1/8" TRS -20(?)db inline adapter, and I have a similar inline adapter, but it seems to introduce noise. Anyway, I think you need -40db to match line-to-mic level.

If you're into post-production, you can shoot with the H1 and internal mic, then sync manually or with PluralEyes or DualEyes software. It's more work, but the H1 will likely give you very good audio, especially for serious projects.

Almost guaranteed the H1 will be a stellar product. I've owned the H2 for years doing dual audio for video, as well as interviews, podcasts and concerts, and it's still going strong. BTW, the H1 (like the H2) can handle high SPL. You'll need that for concerts. 

M-Audio In-Line 10dB Pad - Input Recording Accessory for Microtrack Portable Recorder.

This is what B&H carries in the 1/8-inch mini-RCA in-line pad format. But it only drops down -10dB. Frankly, it is probably not worth the bother to try to feed your camera this way, just replace the bad camera audio with the good audio later on the timeline.

Actually, my Nikon camera does not even have a 3.5mm mic input jack, fortunately, so I am not tempted to mess with it. I will just record double system audio using the entire Zoom H1 suspended on the camera (via 1/4-inch 20 adapter) in a shock mount.  Or else I can have an external boom mic in the shock mount and mount the recorder to the camera's top or bottom. Then later, I'll just use Singular Software's DualEyes automatic audio replacement program. However, it is still a good idea to slate all your dialog scenes with an old-fashioned dumb clapboard. 

DualEyes

DSLR cameras that shoot video have taken the world by storm. Although the pictures are gorgeous, it is hard to achieve the same level of quality for audio recorded onto the camera. The preferred solution is dual-system audio: capture sound on a separate recorder and substitute this for the camera audio in post-production.

DualEyes™ makes this complicated process a snap. It uses the same underlying technology as its big brother, PluralEyes, to automatically sync and cut the audio recording into clips that match the video clips. Bring them into your favorite NLE and you’re ready to start editing with great audio quality.

Because DualEyes is a standalone application, it can be used with any NLE software application, from consumer level to comprehensive professional production suites. It will initially be available for the Windows platform, but a Mac version will follow. Pricing has not been announced yet.

A beta release of DualEyes is already available.

The H1 is an improvement over the H4s in that its dual mics are in a protectve cage. The H4s in this respect is a bad design -- the mics are completely unprotected from bumps, hits and falls. And since they are made out of plastic and not metal, they will break or at least bend upon impact. The H1 seems to correct this shortfall with a stunning new mic cage design. Congrats to Zoom of Japan, they now appear to be dominating the low-end audio field recorder segment.

I was also thinking, since audio is so easy to replace these days when one uses a clapboard and/or Singular Software's DualEyes, the Zoom H1 can also be used as a substitute wireless mic for interviews, for instance. Record the interview front of the camera using the Zoom H1, then in editing simply replace the scratch audio recorded by the camera with the pristine audio recorded by the H1. Pronto, you are a pro. 

Since I hate CMOS sensor and their notorious rolling shutters giving me jello, skew, bent verticals, and other nasty rolling shutter related artifacts, I use a Nikon CCD-sensor camera with global electronic shutter for my non-critical video recordings. Downside is the camera has no 3.5mm EXT. MIC input. But with the Zoom H1 and DualEyes, one no longer misses this.

How about a wired or wirless remote control for the H1?

Is it possible to use the Zoom H1 as an external Mic for the TM700(or any other camcoder) ,which works like the Rode video mic or the azden? considering the Zoom H1 seems to have a decent microphone , and if it can also be used as a direct input mic (which records directly on the camcoder) that would be an awesome thing to have for 100$. 

I basically dont want to buy 2 mics , and am hoping H1 can do the job of both , a recorder when needed , and a shotgun when needed

you can use H1 as external mic without any specia cable, just you have to know what are you doing with your inpunts and outputs. For example in Canon 60D you have to ujust input audio manual level around 22%, , outpul level from zoom h1 50 and mic from 70 to 85 in manual or , auto (in this option maybe is good to go lower from 50 to 45. All those information allow you to achive minimal noise, with max sound quality

Hi,

How to you sync the sound recorded from the Zoom H1 to video shot on a DSLR when editing the two together?

Thanks, 

DAVE

Hi Dave -

Because you’re recording sound to a separate device, you will have to sync the audio with the video from your HDSLR during post production. This process can be done manually or with the assistance of software such as PluralEyes from Red Giant.

Most people recognize what a clapper slate is, but few people realize how they help you synchronize audio in video production and filmmaking. Clapper slates are used at the beginning (and sometimes at the end) of a take as a visual and audible reference point to identify the footage being shot. The slate board will usually have areas where you can write information about a take (scene number, take number, etc.) with dry erase markers or chalk. The person who operates the clapper slate (often the 2nd Assistant Camera person) will also audibly announce the take information before they clap the slate. 

However, before the 2nd AC announces the take info and claps the slate, you must first make sure that both the camera and the portable digital recorder are rolling. The reason that the clapper slate has bars that get whacked together to make a loud clapping sound is to mark a point visually on the camera's footage and audibly on the audio recording where the two can be synced. In the video-editing software you can find the exact frame where the bars on the clapper slate make contact with one another. If you line this frame up with the spike in the separately recorded audio files where the clap sound occurs, then your audio and video footage will be synced.

Using a clapper slate in a DSLR video shoot will help all of the workflows described in this article, no matter if you're just using the recorder on its own or if you've got a full location-audio kit. If you can't afford a clapper slate, you could have your on-screen talent clap their hands together at the beginning and end of each take to create a similar visual and audible syncing point. 

The full article:  How to Use a Portable Audio Recorder on a Video Shoot

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com