Zoom unveils Q8 Handy Video Recorder at NAMM 2015

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Zoom has launched an impressive new HD video camera with an interchangeable microphone capsule system and two XLR-TRS combo inputs at NAMM 2015. The Q8 marries high-definition video with high-resolution audio, making it the perfect camera for music and video creators everywhere. Its 160 degree wide-angle lens and digital zoom ensure that you’ll always capture the complete picture. Combine that with ZOOM’s ground breaking interchangeable microphone capsule system and two microphone inputs, and you have a world of audio options.

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The Q8 comes with its own specially designed detachable X/Y microphone, yet it’s compatible with many Zoom microphone capsules. If you already use an H5 or H6, you can swap their capsules with the Q8 too. (EXH-6 TRS/XLR Combo Capsule is not compatible with the Q8.)

The Q8 offers a large full-colour LCD touchscreen for ease of use, along with a wealth of advanced features. Dual combo XLR/TRS inputs allow the connection of external microphones and line-level sources, and a built-in speaker and stereo Headphone/Line Out jack provide audio monitoring; there’s even an HDMI output for video monitoring.

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Its high-quality 160-degree wide-angle lens and flexible mounting options mean that you can shoot high-def video anywhere you go. Plus, there’s a USB output that allows the Q8 to be interconnected with your computer so you can use it with your favourite streaming or editing software.

The Q8 delivers that same great Zoom sound quality found in all Zoom products, with support for high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio. It comes with a high-quality detachable X/Y microphone or you can connect different Zoom microphone capsule.

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A low-cut filter and foam windscreen allow you to eliminate low-frequency noise and rumble, and there are three Auto Gain settings, as well as a built-in compressor and limiter. Audio can be recorded along with video, or the Q8 can be used as a standalone stereo or four-channel audio-only recorder.

The Q8 goes beyond standard HD, offering 3M HD (2304 x 1296 pixels @ 30fps /24mbps) as well as two kinds of HD (24mbps and 16mbps for increased storage capability) at frame rates of up to 60 fps at 720p for capturing fast action video.

Its F2.0 aperture / 160˚ wide-angle lens ensures that you’ll capture every moment with full realism and sharp definition. Three “Scene” pre-sets allow you to use the Q8 in a variety of different lighting conditions. And support for both standard and HD video file formats assures that you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to storage and streaming.

Need a different POV? The Q8’s got you covered. Not only can it be attached to any standard tripod, it comes with a tripod-to-three-prong converter, so you can use it with every kind of action camera mount, too.

Take your Q8 onstage and mount it to your microphone stand, amp, or drum kit. Shoot video from front row centre and use the supplied stereo X/Y microphone to capture the audience experience. Or use the Q8 at the mixing position and record the feed from the board, as well as the sound of the room. Use multiple Q8s for a dramatic mix of different angles — the full-colour touchscreen LCD is fully rotatable so you can always view your image regardless of camera positioning.

A built-in USB port enables live streaming and allows the Q8 to be used as a webcam or USB microphone. It also allows connection with other equipment and computer software — even an iPad (Apple Camera Connection Kit required) for post-production capability.

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The supplied lithium-ion battery that powers the Q8 can be recharged easily in the studio or in the field, using either an optional AC adapter or via USB. Battery life is more than two hours when shooting at 720p/30fps. In audio recording-only mode, battery life is extended further still.

The Q8 records directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards, up to 128GB. Video is stored in MOV file format, with various HD settings for maximum video quality, or you can shoot in standard definition (SVGA) when space or streaming bandwidth is at a premium.

Recorded audio can be integrated directly into the MOV file, or audio can be saved separately from the video data.

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Features:

Records directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
High-quality 160° wide angle lens with selectable viewing angles (F 2.0/16.6mm)
Uses a system of interchangeable audio input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
Supplied detachable stereo X/Y microphone (XYQ-8)
Compatible with all Zoom microphone capsules (sold separately)
Full-colour rotating LCD touchscreen
Support for five HD video modes, up to 2304 x 1296 pixels (3M HD), as well as two WVGA modes
Frame rates of up to 60 fps for capturing fast action video and slow motion playback
Three imaging sense options (AUTO/CONCERT/NIGHT) for use in all lighting environments
Self-timer
Digital zoom
Records video in MOV format (with or without audio)
Records audio in AAC and WAV formats, up to 24-bit/96k
Up to four tracks of simultaneous audio recording
Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors, each with selectable phantom power and -20dB pad
Analog-style gain controls for each input
Built-in audio mixer
Stereo link function
Auto-Gain control plus built-in compressor and limiter
MS Matrix function converts Mid-Side signal from external mics to standard stereo
Supplied foam windscreen and low-cut filter for the elimination of low-frequency noise and rumble
Dedicated Headphone output / Line out
Built-in speaker for fast monitoring
HDMI video output for connection to HDTVs, selectable between NTSC and PAL
USB interface for live streaming and data transfer to and from computer editing software
Webcam and USB mic function for use with external devices such as computers and iPads (Apple Camera Connection Kit required)
Direct monitoring for zero latency during use as a USB mic
Compatible with USTREAM Producer, Flash live Media Encoder, Skype, and other popular streaming applications
SD card reader function
Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (chargeable via USB or optional AC adapter)
Battery life of more than 2 hours
Standard tripod mount
Includes tripod-to-three-prong converter for compatibility with all action camera mounts

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About Author

MNJ has been writing articles, reviews and blogs for the DV online magazine for the last five years or so. Although he has been playing for longer than he cares to remember and is now officially an 'oldie', he is still mad for all things guitar related and when not busy in his studio he's learning new songs, practising bluegrass guitar, painting his house and taking his dogs out. If banished to a desert island and forced to take only one guitar he'd take a Les Paul. Actually, make that several Les Pauls, a Strat, a Tele, an ES-335, a vintage Martin and some boutique amps. Battery powered obviously.

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