IBC 2016: New Zoom F4 Promises Hollywood Sound For Indies

zoom-f4By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Zoom has been filling in a niche for low-budget/DSLR filmmakers and videographers. When the DSLR revolution changed the course of filmmaking one of the components that were lacking were a comprehensive sound option. The Zoom H4n became the most popular choice for sync sound and since then they’ve been upping their game.

A year and a half ago they announced their first field recorder the Zoom F8 at NAB 2015 and now they’ve returned with a more budget conscious version called the Zoom F4. Like the F8 the F4 features high-quality mic preamps, record and playback at resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz, runs on 8 AA batteries, and features timecode via Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) with 0.2 ppm accuracy.

Unlike the F8, this field recorder only has four Neurtik XLR/TRS combo connections instead of eight, with switchable 24/48V Phantom power, but it is expandable to six through a 10-pin Zoom mic capsule. The big benefit with the F4 is a price point of only $650 USD, and the only field recorder I know of with timecode for that cost.

The Zoom F4 will be available in October 2016 (click here for their site). Here are the full technical specifications of the unit:

RECORDING MEDIA
Dual SD card slot supports: 16 MB–2 GB SD cards
4 GB–32 GB SDHC cards
64 GB–512 GB SDXC cards
INPUTS 1-4
Connectors: XLR/TRS combo jacks (XLR: 2 hot, TRS: TIP hot)
INPUTS: XLR (MIC)
Input gain: +10 – +75 dB
Input impedance: 3.0 kΩ or more
Maximum input level: +14 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
Phantom power: +24/+48V 10mA maximum for each channel
INPUTS: TRS (LINE)
Input gain: −10 – +55 dB
Input impedance: 22 kΩ or more
Maximum input level: +24 dBu (at 0 dBFS, limiter ON)
INPUTS: ADDITIONAL INFO
Equivalent input noise: −127 dBu or less
(A-weighted, +75 dB input gain, 150Ω input)
Frequency characteristics: 10 Hz – 80 kHz +0.5 dB/−1.5 dB
(192 kHz sampling rate)
A/D dynamic range: 120 dB typ (−60 dBFS input, A-weighted)
Crosstalk: −90 dB or less
(between adjacent channels, 1 kHz)
MIC IN: ZOOM mic capsule input
(use disables Inputs 5/6)
RTN IN
Connectors: 3.5 mm stereo mini unbalanced output jack
Reference input level: -10 dBV (Level: -10 dBV setting),
+4 dBu (Level: +4 dBu setting)
Input impedance: 10k Ω or more
Maximum input level: -10 dBV (Level: -10 dBV setting)
+24 dBu (Level: +4 dBu setting)
OUTPUTS: MAIN OUT 1/2
Connectors: XLR balanced output (2: hot)
Output impedance: 150 Ω or less
Reference output level: −10 dBV, 1 kHz, 600Ω load
Maximum output level: +10 dBV, 1 kHz, 600Ω load
OUTPUTS: SUB OUT 1/2
Connector: 3.5 mm stereo mini unbalanced output jack
Output impedance: 1k Ω or less
Reference output level: −10 dBV (Normal Output Type),
−40 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 10kΩ load
Maximum output level: +10 dBV (Normal Output Type),
−20 dBV (Mic Output Type), 1 kHz, 10kΩ load
HEADPHONE
Connector: 1/4″ unbalanced stereo output jack
Output impedance: 15 Ω or less
Maximum output level: 100 mW + 100 mW
(32Ω load)
D/A
D/A dynamic range: 106 dB typical (−60dBFS input, A-weighted)
RECORDING FORMATS: WHEN MP3 SELECTED
Supported formats: 128/192/320 kbps, 44.1/48 kHz, ID3v1 tags
Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 2
RECORDING TIME
Using a 32 GB card: 30:51:00 (48 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV)
7:42:00 (192 kHz/24-bit stereo WAV)
TIME CODE
Connector: BNC
Modes: Off, Int Free Run, Int Record Run, Int RTC Run, Ext, Ext Auto Rec (audio clock can be synchronized to timecode)
Frame rates: 23.976ND, 24ND, 25ND, 29.97ND, 29.97D, 30ND, 30D
Precision: ±0.2 ppm
Supported input levels: 0.2 – 5.0 Vpp
Input impedance: 4.3k Ω or more
Output level: 3.0 Vpp ±10%
Output impedance: 50 Ω or less
POWER SUPPLIES
Batteries: 8 AA
AC adapter: Zoom AD-19 DC12 V 2A (center plus) via DC-HIROSE cable adapter (both included)
External DC power supply: HIROSE HR10A-7R-4S 4-pin connector
(1 pin: −, 4 pin: +), 9–16 V
CONTINUOUS RECORDING TIME: WHEN RECORDING 2 CHANNELS AT 48 KHZ/16-BIT WITHOUT HEADPHONES
Alkaline batteries: 9.5 hours or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 11.5 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 17.5 hours or more
CONTINUOUS RECORDING TIME: WHEN RECORDING 8 CHANNELS AT 48 KHZ/24-BIT WITH HEADPHONES
Alkaline batteries: 9 hours or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 10.5 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 16.5 hours or more
CONTINUOUS RECORDING TIME: WHEN RECORDING 8 CHANNELS AT 192 KHZ/24-BIT WITH HEADPHONES, PHANTOM POWER, AND DISPLAY BACKLIGHTING
Alkaline batteries: 2 hours or more
NiMH (2450mAh): 3.5 hours or more
Lithium batteries: 6 hours or more
DISPLAY
1.9″ monochrome LCD with white backlight
USB: MASS STORAGE OPERATION
Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
USB: MULTITRACK AUDIO INTERFACE OPERATION (DRIVER REQUIRED FOR WINDOWS, NOT REQUIRED FOR MAC)
Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
Specifications: 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit, 6-in/4-out
USB: STEREO MIX AUDIO INTERFACE OPERATION (NO DRIVER REQUIRED)
Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
Specifications: 44.1/48 kHz, 16-bit, 2-in/2-out

Note: iPad audio interface operation supported (Stereo Mix mode only)

EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
Main unit: 7.0 in. (W) × 5.5 in. (D) × 2.1 in. (H)
177.8 mm (W) × 141.1 mm (D) × 54.3 mm (H)
WEIGHT
Main unit only: 2.27 pounds (1030 g)
About doddle 16437 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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