For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel
Thanks for the answer. While you are correct for most scenarios, I think you are potentially wrong in this case. The F8 expects that you may make a connection to a device with with pro level output (+4) to it, like a soundboard, and thus pads the level by 20 db. The output from a nbox or IFA is unbalanced and the levels are low. Going to a balanced connector potentially reduces the level even more. I think it would make sense to use the XLR connector but Im not entirely sure...
He is correct. F8 is somewhat odd with respect to it's balanced inputs (I didn't realize that the FR2LE was the same). There is no selector switch for the input sensitivity range. Mic-level balanced input is via female XLR, line-level balanced input is via female TRS at the center of each combo XLR input jack. Both are balanced inputs. TRS Tip = signal + (XLR pin 2), Ring = signal - (pin 3), Sleeve = signal ground (pin 1).
Okay, now that that's cleared up, here's a twist- Either of the options you mention will work, and if I was recording to a recorder with unbalanced inputs that does not provide phantom power I'd probably choose between the two options you mention. But personally, when I'm recording to a balanced input recorder that provides phantom power and not simply connecting and powering the mics using standard balanced cables, I use Naiant PFAs. They are powered by phantom from the recorder so there is only one device which needs your battery/power management attention and they produce a balanced output, resulting in a compact, less error-prone rig with optimal common-mode noise rejection.