Zoom F8 Multitrack Field Recorder Review

If you belong to the media industry and work in mobile media recording, the Zoom F8 Multitrack Field Recorder is the best and most affordable tool you are waiting for. This multitrack field recorder offers extensive and exclusive features that enable you to record high-quality audio and produce desired results.

It even goes beyond most elite field recorders, with its beneficial feature of camera mounting bracket facility and Bluetooth remote control by means of the free iOS app.

This eight channel and ten track multitrack recorder is devised for filmmakers, sound designers and production sound engineers and is a power packed dynamite in a small package. Despite its small form factor, the Zoom F8 Multitrack Field Recorder delivers superior performance and gives you the immense flexibility to record.

Features

  • Record 10 tracks of audio – 8 isolated and two stereo mix
  • Eight mic pres with phantom power and 75db gain, to save battery
  • Onboard controls with limiting, delay and highpass processing
  • Dual SD card recording that provides instant data backup and security
  • Full-time code support designed for use with professional setups
  • Camera mount adapter simplifies video capturing
  • Zoom mic capsules for on-camera recording
  • LCD display and LED meters with comprehensive control options
  • Remote metering via iOS app and Bluetooth compatibility
  • 3 Power sources for maximum portability
  • Lightweight and Compact, weighing only 2.1 pounds

Pros

Built-in controls and connections for full-scale field recording

It contains eight distinct inputs with Neutrik locking combo jacks that accept both XLR and TRS inputs.

The mic with phantom power allows you to power individual microphones without wasting the battery. The headphone amp lets you monitor single or multiple tracks, even in loud environments.

Professional recording

With Zoom F8, you can simultaneously record eight tracks plus 2-track stereo mix for a combined ten track output to record stereo and surround sound. The optimal audio controls of this field recorder will ensure that you don’t miss out anything.

Timecode compatibility

The Zoom F8 offers full-time code support that is essential for any media production and makes use of an accuracy oscillator that produces time code with 0.2ppm accuracy, enabling a solid video and audio sync. It allows support for standard drop frame and non-drop formats with easy integration into any rig.

Full-color display

This multitrack recorder’s high visible meters and display are lifesavers when recording in the field with poor visibility.

The 2.4 inch LCD display allows you to switch between full color and monochromatic modes. In addition to this, the LED channel meter has six segments to optimize signal and are adjustable to suit your field light conditions.

Remote control

The Bluetooth compatibility of Zoom F8 will let you connect to any mobile device with ease and also let you control audio levels from anywhere within the range by means of an iOS app.

Flexible power options

Switch between power sources of DC battery pack or AA batteries in order to ensure uninterrupted recording anytime. You can also use the AC adapter. With three power sources, Zoom F8 recorder is versatile.

Cons

Absence of physical faders – Faders are used to bring channels in and out of the mix and fine tune levels while rolling, and these are missing in the Zoom F8. However, firmware can be rolled out to fix this issue.

Controls complicated for first-time users – First-time users need to go through the user manual provided and understand all the control options available, before beginning to use them.

Only iOS app – You can do remote metering only through iOS devices using your Bluetooth connectivity

Summary

The Zoom F8 boasts of powerful features including excellent microphone pre-amps, dual SD recording, multiple power sources, accurate timecode support and a cool Bluetooth app, all for a very attractive price. It does come with a bit of drawback, but it is definitely a valuable purchase.

When compared to a similar multitrack recorder of Tascam DR-701D’s six track field recorder, it still fares well when it comes to its quality, convenience and ease of use.

Although both are lightweight and come with comprehensive controls; the Zoom F8 comes with greater features and more tracks at an affordable price.

Verdict

The Zoom F8 multitrack field recorder enables professional recording at a pocket-friendly price. Without shelling out too much to buy a high-end multitrack recorder, you can save money and buy the Zoom F8 that comes with multiple perks.

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