From its 4K video capabilities and 4-track audio recording to its flip-out color LCD for selfie-style movies and optional app-based remote control, the Zoom Q8n-4K Handy Video Recorder is a powerful tool for content creators, indie filmmakers, and musicians who need to keep their production setup small and portable. As the successor to the Q8, it provides multiple upgrades in form and function while maintaining the compactness and convenience of the original Q8.
Q8n-4K vs Q8
For those who wondering how this model compares to the Q8, there’s nothing but good news. Here are the highlights:
4K UHD video resolution at 30 fps (2K on the Q8)
F2.8 / 150° wide-angle lens (F2.0 / 160° on the Q8)
Rear screen flips out for “selfie mode”
Redesigned operability for ease of use
Support for microSDXC cards up to 512GB (128GB maximum on the Q8)
App-based remote control from an iOS/Android mobile device (separately available Zoom BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter required)
Obviously, 4K is a high-demand feature that many shooters will appreciate. However, the Q8n-4K does give you the option to record at lower-resolution formats when your priority is on small file sizes. Thanks to support for microSDXC cards up to 512GB, that should be far less of a concern now than it was with the Q8.
The 150° lens yields plenty of space for wide-angle action like bands bouncing around a stage or the calming grandeur of breathtaking outdoor scenery. With five field-of-view (FOV) settings, the Q8n-4K can also provide tighter framing when you need it.
Brightness adjustment and lighting presets (a.k.a. Scenes) are just a button-push away, which increases the Q8n-4K’s video versatility. Whereas the Q8 had three scene presets, the Q8n-4K offers five—Indoor, Outdoor, Nighttime, Concert, and Auto—to help you get the right lighting for your environment.
If you want to check your video on a monitor, simply connect the recorder’s micro-HDMI output to your preferred display (appropriate cables are available separately).
Unlike most cameras in its price class, the Q8n-4K boasts 4-track audio recording and flexible input source options. The onboard X/Y condenser microphone capsule delivers a true stereo image without requiring separate mics and cables. It’s a great built-in solution, but it can be swapped for select Zoom mic capsules (available separately) that were designed for the H8 Handy Recorder, such as the VRH-8 Ambisonic mic capsule that’s made for immersive 360° audio.
If you wish to bring in external signals, the Q8n-4K is happy to help. Dual XLR mic/line inputs with phantom power and a switchable -20 dB pad allow the recorder to handle professional mics (dynamic or condenser) or even the main outputs from a mixing console.
Monitoring the audio is easy; just plug your headphones into the Q8n-4K’s side-panel 3.5mm headphone jack and listen to make sure the sound is clean and free of distortion.
Primed and Ready
Knowing that an efficient workflow is crucial, Zoom changed some things on the Q8n-4K. The screen on the original Q8 was only visible after being opened, but this model has a flip-out color LCD that can be viewed when closed (as a rear screen) or open (as a selfie screen). That’s fantastic for vloggers and online influencers who produce their own content, and for music makers streaming at-home shows.
The redesigned physical layout puts the ports, dials, and buttons in places that ensure quick access, making the recorder intuitive to operate without having to scour through a manual. Additionally, you can snag a Zoom BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter and use your smartphone to start/stop recording and monitor levels.
Not only does the Q8n-4K record to microSD cards, but it can also function alternatively as a USB device. So, whether you need a cool webcam or a capable audio interface, the Q8n-4K is there for you.
Powering this recorder won’t be a problem. Considering that you can use the included rechargeable Li-ion battery, power it via USB, or run it from an optional AC adapter, the Q8n-4K is ideal for anything from back-to-back shoots to long-format concerts. The 1/4"-20 thread on the bottom of the body allows the recorder to be mounted on a tripod or gimbal if handheld shooting isn’t your style.
With so many thoughtful upgrades from the Q8, the Q8n-4K is a welcome tool for anyone looking to pair 4K video quality and versatile multitrack audio into a compact form factor on a reasonable budget.
How could the Q8n-4K improve your content? Let us know in the Comments section, below.