Sunday, February 11, 2007

First Impression of H4 Handy Recorder ZOOM

I just picked up a H4 yesterday. Tried to record a podcast while riding in the truck to pick while making a quick trip to town. However, nothing recorded. I read the manual when I got home. I found that starting a recording is a little tricky. To make the H4 record, you turn it on, then press the REC button, then press it again. I did not like this feature, until I realized that by requiring that extra button push allows you to monitor the recording settings before recording. Using a good headphone, I can listen for background distractions like a fan running on my computer. I like the one clip button on the front so the file type can be selected. For the price, ZOOM should at least include a set of batteries. Maybe they do, I did not get any. Also, my copy of the free software was missing. Not to complain, this was just my experience. I am saving my money for a couple of XLR mics and cables to use with it. One last point - if you use the H4 as a handheld device, set the mic gain to L and use MP3. The L or low gain cancels most of the noise that results from holding the device in your hand. MP3 compresses the file. Go ahead and buy a 2 GB SD card when you buy it. Look around for cheap 1 GB cards if you do not need to record a long presentation. Also, buy a tripod. I found a cheap one at a store called Big Lots that was designed to use with a camera. Also, I recommend investing in recharge AA batteries and a charger. I am looking for a carrying case for it too. One last impression- if you are over 50 years old, make sure you have your reading glasses nearby when operating the H4. I was not designed for farsighted users like me.

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