ready for double system sound. DR-100 or H4N? at DVinfo.net

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old October 6th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #1
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ready for double system sound. DR-100 or H4N?

ready to create using double system sound w/ the 7D. was wondering which portable audio recorder to get? seems the H4N is more popular or widely used but the DR-100 gets more positive feedback? only $30 difference but not quite sure why one over the other...i'll continue my research but in the meantime, your feedback greatly appreciated!
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Old October 6th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Just looking at the picture of the DR100, look like you can not mix built in mic with XLR, it's either this or that, correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #3
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I'm going to go with the Tascam. Most people seem to be using the Zoom, but that might be because it came out first. My understanding of the Zoom is that both XLR channels are controlled together, ie., you can not take one channel down lower than the other, which I always do when shooting interviews. Somebody correct me if that's wrong.

One thing the Zoom has is the convertible XLR-1/4" plugs. I've read that XLR is, of course, mic in, but when you use a TRS connector it automatically goes to line in. That could be handy if you shoot events and want house audio. The Tascam has line in but it's only a 1/8" connector.

Overall the Tascam looks a little nicer to me, and I like the gain control knobs on the side. My guess is that they're both probably very close to being equal in performance and either one should do the trick.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 05:17 PM   #4
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Question?

as a new owner of the 7d i am wondering why you would use the separate audio capture device? seems like alot more work flow issues I am planning on using the beachtek and my NTG2 and sen. wireless mics.

thanks.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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If you are shooting event like a wedding, you will need continous audio because max recording is 12 minutes per clip, that way you could use cut away or another camera angle.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #6
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Also, the audio quality on the 7D and 5D MKII fundamentally is pretty lousy, bad S/N ratio, high noise levels, terrible mic pre-amps, very limited dynamic range. If you add an outboard mic pre-amp like the JuicedLink CX-231, you can improve it but I believe that outboard recorders still are capable of better sound quality.

The Tascam is noisier than the H4N, there are some samples on the web if you hunt hard enough.

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Old October 6th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #7
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I hadn't heard that about the noise. Something to check into. Are you happy with the H4N? I'm not talking about its mics, I'd use it for the XLRs and external mics.

Another point about shooting double system is that Magic Lantern doesn't yet exist for the 7D, so if anybody's talking about the very near future, you would have to go with a recorder, because of the auto gain on the camera that you can't turn off without ML.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
........................

The Tascam is noisier than the H4N, there are some samples on the web if you hunt hard enough.

Dan
I would be skeptical unless it came from an established audio guy. There are many ways to do an inaccurate test. If the DR-100 is near it's spec, it shouldn't be noisy at all. Tascam is a well know company who clearly decided to target the zoom. Doesn't mean they are better, but they know what they are doing. I owned the first zoom. They did not know what they were doing. The newer zooms are obviously a lot better.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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I have to say that I didn't personally test the Tascam, but when I was looking for a cheap recorder, I was between it and the Zoom H4N. I found multiple clips of the Tascam recorded by different people and I was just not impressed with the sound quality. And yes, normally I like Tascam products, I have several of them here. But the Zoom has turned out to be pretty good for the money, although it definitely has its limitations.

Dan
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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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Dan,

i've read your various articles and comments on different sites throughout the years regarding audio, sound, mics, etc so i know i can trust your opinion(not to say others aren't accurate). so what sort of limitations are you experiencing w/ the h4n? looking for double system sound while waiting for tramms ML...will need it for my iphone too...
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #11
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You guys are better googlers than I am. I've searched for a long time and only found one comparative test between the two recorders and it was just between the built-in mics. If anybody knows where to find a comparison that uses the XLR inputs and a shotgun or cardoid mic, I'd appreciate knowing where. Thanks!
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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I'm still really curious about the Tascam too. Still trying to see one in the flesh. I love the Zoom h4n but find the delay in starting up a little frustrating at times as it the lack of independent level control between the two xlrs.

Dan
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Old October 7th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #13
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That is pretty much my only complaint about the H4N, you don't have the ability to manually adjust input levels between the two channels. Other than that limitation, I am pretty happy with it. Yes, also beware that if you are in a hurry, the H4N takes its sweet time to boot up. Not a factor for me, but if you are doing off of the cuff stuff, it could be a limitation.

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Old October 7th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #14
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Hope this doesnt break the advertising rules on the forum, but this site has some audio samples for the internal mics and external ones on the tascam. One the left hand side of the page:

USB Microphones, Stereo Microphones, Preamplifiers, Digital Recorders, Cables and more at Rock Bottom Prices from The Sound Professionals - Great deals on Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Cable and more!

Edit---
Not very good sample though. It's guitar with no silence, so you cant see the noise floor.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #15
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what about audio drift?

The one thing I've heard about the less expensive audio recorders is that they will drift over time causing a loss of sync. Since the recording times are limited to 12 minutes, this may not be an issue. Anyone have thoughts about this?
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