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NAB 2018 sneak peak: Zoom F8n


IronFilm
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7 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

For roughly the same ish price the Zoom F8n instead with its better thought out design and all its extra features/capabilities seems like a no brainer choice to me. 


Unless you really really want the small size portability of the MixPre3/MixPre6, or their HDMI trigger. 

I've been thinking about it and I've decided to go with a Mixpre-3 for my solo missions. Anytime I want to record more than 3 channels is when I'm going be paying a sound recordist to do it me thinks. Besides being the right tool for my narrative work, I may have a few overseas gigs on soon and I like to travel super light. Selling my Mixpre-D and Juicedlink will cover the cost of the Mixpre-3, always good when you're a starving artist. I'm keeping the PCM D50 for ambient recording. Eventually I'll get an NT-FS1 and a suitable recorder.

I imagine Zoom have an F4n in the pipeline, but it's likely to be too big and heavy for my needs.

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6 minutes ago, squig said:

Eventually I'll get an NT-FS1 and a suitable recorder.

The Zoom F4 is the cheapest way to do this. 
 

6 minutes ago, squig said:

I imagine Zoom have an F4n in the pipeline

Won't be happening this year, if it even ever happens. 
I'd only give it max odds of 50/50 that it would happen in 2019, and even then only in the 2nd half of the year. 

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22 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

The Zoom F4 is the cheapest way to do this. 
 

Won't be happening this year, if it even ever happens. 
I'd only give it max odds of 50/50 that it would happen in 2019, and even then only in the 2nd half of the year. 

Yeah. I'm shooting a short in August so I might go the Mixpre-6 with the NT-SF1 coming out soon. The F4 is cheaper but it's twice the weight and about 50% bigger. I tend to write scripts that call for a lot of remote filming so size matters. If I was going to get a Zoom it would definitely be the F8n.

TBH I'm not really loving any of the current smallish options. The 1/8" headphone jack and side volume control on the Mixpre3/6 sux. A big step backwards from the MixPre-D.

Does the F4 have a better headphone amp than the F8?

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Oh interesting, at B&H they've now switched it back to "pre-order" status, which is kinda odd as others have got a shipping notification from B&H and when my order was placed through they had them all in stock. I guess their stock must have sold out very quickly!

 

Who else has ordered a F8n?

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1411499-REG/zoom_zf8n_zoom_f8n_multi_track_recorder.html

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1 hour ago, squig said:

Does the F4 have a better headphone amp than the F8?

F8 and F4 are the same in that area. 
The F8n headphone output is improved though. 

 

1 hour ago, squig said:

Yeah. I'm shooting a short in August so I might go the Mixpre-6 with the NT-SF1 coming out soon.

What do you need the NT-SF1 for?
 

1 hour ago, squig said:

The F4 is cheaper but it's twice the weight and about 50% bigger. I tend to write scripts that call for a lot of remote filming so size matters. If I was going to get a Zoom it would definitely be the F8n.

The F4/F8 are still very small recorders by pro recorders standards. Do you really need to go even smaller? Are you carrying everything all by yourself for hundreds of miles? :-/ 

1 hour ago, squig said:

TBH I'm not really loving any of the current smallish options. The 1/8" headphone jack and side volume control on the Mixpre3/6 sux. A big step backwards from the MixPre-D.

It is kinda strange that MixPre recorders fall behind in design/ergonomics vs the Zoom F series, even though Sound Devices has decades more of specialized experience in this niche. Maybe they pushed too hard to make the MixPre series be miniaturized / cut costs / crippled / etc & lost sight of the bigger picture.

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15 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

What do you need the NT-SF1 for?

I've been thinking it may be good for recording ambience for surround encoding.

Just now, squig said:

I've been thinking it may be good for recording ambience for surround encoding.

 

17 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

The F4/F8 are still very small recorders by pro recorders standards. Do you really need to go even smaller? Are you carrying everything all by yourself for hundreds of miles? ?

Pretty much

18 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

It is kinda strange that MixPre recorders fall behind in design/ergonomics vs the Zoom F series, even though Sound Devices has decades more of specialized experience in this niche. Maybe they pushed too hard to make the MixPre series be miniaturized / cut costs / crippled / etc & lost sight of the bigger picture.

Sound Devices probably wasn't expecting Zoom to catch up to them. The headphone control knob I can live with. The 3.5mm jack bothers me, they're not robust.

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The 25% (at least) premium for SoundDevices stuff here in Europe is a real pain.

For my needs, as timecode isn't a deal breaker, the new cheaper M version of the MixPre6 would be the sweet spot in terms of tracks, features and form factor if it was the dollar conversion price of £600.

Unfortunately, though, its £800 by the time it reaches us.

At which point the extra £100 for the F8n makes the weight and form factor something I'd probably turn a blind eye to ;) 

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1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

The 25% (at least) premium for SoundDevices stuff here in Europe is a real pain.

For my needs, as timecode isn't a deal breaker, the new cheaper M version of the MixPre6 would be the sweet spot in terms of tracks, features and form factor if it was the dollar conversion price of £600.

Unfortunately, though, its £800 by the time it reaches us.

At which point the extra £100 for the F8n makes the weight and form factor something I'd probably turn a blind eye to ;) 

The MixPre6 here is 1388euros. The SD prices in Europe put themselves out of the market. 

When I used the F8 I found the ergonomics lacking, and not to my style (my impression was that the 680 was more straightforward, of course the Tascam isn't designed for film/video production sound); But if the Zoom F8n costs 999€ or less, then its a no brainer.

The 10T doesn't even been imported currently, and when it does, I can see it cost closer to the 633, than any other recorder.

Just for the record, the Edirol devices had amazing ergonomics, considered they were designed and built more than a decade ago.

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4 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

The MixPre6 here is 1388euros. The SD prices in Europe put themselves out of the market. 

Versus the real currency conversion of the BH price of it which is €770 

Literally cheaper to get a flight to NY and buy one.

Or two.

I'll have the other one off you !

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2 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Versus the real currency conversion of the BH price of it which is €770 

Literally cheaper to get a flight to NY and buy one.

Or two.

I'll have the other one off you !

I haven't checked the Swiss prices, maybe is more convinient, and the mountains are lovely this time of year!

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3 hours ago, squig said:

I've been thinking it may be good for recording ambience for surround encoding.

Unless you're specifically focused on recording say ambient nature sounds, as that is a very big part of your video creations, then I'd ask why both to go overboard? Save your money. 

3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

The 25% (at least) premium for SoundDevices stuff here in Europe is a real pain.

Might be getting only worse with the new tariffs coming in....  !!

3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

 For my needs, as timecode isn't a deal breaker, the new cheaper M version of the MixPre6 would be the sweet spot in terms of tracks, features and form factor if it was the dollar conversion price of £600.

Why limit yourself not being able to do timecode? If not now, in the future?
And then once you are using timecode, you're limited to only recording four channels with the MixPre6, which would seem to be too little for your line of work? I'd say go for the F8n for your needs, or a secondhand F8/F4 if the budget is very tight. 
 

1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

When I used the F8 I found the ergonomics lacking, and not to my style (my impression was that the 680 was more straightforward, of course the Tascam isn't designed for film/video production sound); But if the Zoom F8n costs 999€ or less, then its a no brainer.

Really??? I moved from the DR680mk1 to the F4 and found it a massive world of a difference in leaping forward with better ergonomics and being straightforward to use. (and this would apply in general to the F8 as well)

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38 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Why limit yourself not being able to do timecode? If not now, in the future?
And then once you are using timecode, you're limited to only recording four channels with the MixPre6, which would seem to be too little for your line of work? I'd say go for the F8n for your needs, or a secondhand F8/F4 if the budget is very tight. 

I have an elderly Tascam HD-P2 that I bought at a 2nd hand computer fair for £50 off someone who wasn't really aware of what it was for the rare occasions I need timecode. 

On a day to day basis - particularly for my two main 2019 projects - I'd prefer the form factor more over the F8n as well as the price and, plus, the M version has the additional music recording functionality that I can find a use for.

If I needed timecode then I'm not too bothered about using LTC and the subsequent track sacrifice.

As I say though, all of this is predicated on if the MixPre6-M was available at an equivalent price to what it is in the US.

As its not and is a virtually the same price as the F8n then it would be silly not to suck up the form factor aspect, take the extra tracks, timecode, look ahead limiters et al and get the Zoom.

It being silly and me doing it anyway though is still not entirely out of the question ;) 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

 

Really??? I moved from the DR680mk1 to the F4 and found it a massive world of a difference in leaping forward with better ergonomics and being straightforward to use. (and this would apply in general to the F8 as well)

F4 is slightly different than the F8. The tiny knobs of the F8 made it impossible for me to use while booming, and I remember having to press something more frequently than the DR680. In no way the Tascam is better than the F8, just saying that I wasn't that impressed.

Have you used the Edirols? Big rotary knobs, just perfect. SD? Also.

I just noticed that the F8 is 760 on a specific shop here. 100euros more than the F4!

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11 hours ago, Kisaha said:

I just noticed that the F8 is 760 on a specific shop here. 100euros more than the F4!

I tend to follow USA pricing more closely, and we've already seen the F8 go on sale for cheaper than the F4 launch price!!

 

11 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Have you used the Edirols? Big rotary knobs, just perfect. SD? Also

Never used an Edirol/Roland (but looked at them a lot, the double stacked design of their knobs looks like a nice design touch), probably if I'd started out in this just a couple or so few more years earlier then I very likely would have (in hindsight, I wonder if I should have got a Roland instead of the Tascam DR680mk1? I do remember investigating Roland a lot with their options, perhaps I went with the DR680mk1 because it was cheaper. Also I already had had a lot of positive experiences with the Tascam brand, as I'd started with a DR60Dmk1 and used a DR70D on a feature).

Say something like the Roland R4 Pro would have been very nice back then! (In a number of ways the R4 Pro is still even more advanced than the F8n, such as viewing waveforms and having AES) Pity we haven't seen anything recently from Edirol/Roland as they were the leaders of their time in the low/mid range market. Kinda like Zoom is doing now?

 

 

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11 hours ago, Kisaha said:

F4 is slightly different than the F8. The tiny knobs of the F8 made it impossible for me to use while booming, and I remember having to press something more frequently than the DR680. In no way the Tascam is better than the F8, just saying that I wasn't that impressed

What did you need to press? I found the DR680 *required* much more button mashing. 

And yes the F4 does have bigger knobs than the F8, but practically speaking I feel it doesn't make a huge difference as you're never going to be adjusting the gain during a take itself if you're booming as well! (& certainly not with a DR680! Which is even harder to do so)

Even back when my Sound Devices 552 was my daily driver I still would only super rarely be adjusting during a take while booming (& if I was using a 552 today I'd be doing it even less often than then, as I can predictively guesstimate the appropriate levels for a scene better now then I could before)  

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

And now I've got *my* shipping notification from B&H sent to me! That my F8n is on its way and I should have it here in New Zealand by early next month.

Congratulations !

We'll be expecting a full review obviously 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I'll find it impossible to not talk about it!

Although, got a massive back log for my YT channel already that I should sort out. 

I'm curious about how those new limiters sound compared to Sound Devices limiters.

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