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Author Topic: ZOOM F1-LP Pictures & In-Hand Information  (Read 983 times)

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Offline obsidian

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ZOOM F1-LP Pictures & In-Hand Information
« on: February 11, 2018, 10:23:37 PM »
There has been a LOT of misinformation concerning the new Zoom unit. I hope that these pictures and IN-HAND testing will help displace some of that. My purpose is to help someone (anyone) make a sound buying decision either "for" or "against" purchasing one of these units. I want to start off by saying after having this for almost a week, I am biased, I love these little recorders.  Saying that, I will try to present everything as factual as possible and keep my opinions in check. Please do the same.



« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 12:07:52 AM by obsidian »

Offline obsidian

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Re: ZOOM F1-LP Pictures & In-Hand Information
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 10:30:48 PM »
Picture by Picture Notes:

Picture 1- I ordered and have 2 of these in hand. At the time, the only place who had these in stock was FullCompass. I see that B&H, Sweetwater and all the other "popular" stores have them. Price was $199 each.  I recorded using multiple setups (one will be for Cardioid mics and the other will run HyperCardioid mics ... I usually run a third setup with Omni's which means I will be ordering a 3rd unit soon). That's why I ordered 2.

Picture 2- These are the included items/accessories. Omni mic (which IS mono, the recorder is NOT ... please KEEP READING), set of AAA batteries, belt clip, windscreen for mic, mic clip and some other goodies.

Picture 3- Front facing size comparison with the mighty Sony PCM-M10. The Zoom is TINY. I have used just about every SD/MicroSD made to date and nothing feels smaller IN MY HANDS than this Zoom. Nothing.

Picture 4- This is the thickness comparison to the same Sony PCM-M10. Due to the "rails", which is designed to run a belt through (belt loops), it is thicker. No doubt. The overall size IS STILL smaller than anything I have seen so far. If you have a steady hand and are good with a Dremel Tool, I don't see why you couldn't nicely remove these rails and then the unit would be a good bit smaller. I like the loops/rails, but I have had someone ask about this and I think these could be easily removed if you are skilled with a Dremel.

Picture 5- These are the rails/loops (close up) that I mentioned in Picture 4.

Picture 6- This is a picture of the included Omni mic. The microphone that comes with this IS a MONO mic. Again, the included mic is mono, the recorder IS NOT mono (more on that coming up). This mic is VERY small. Just for conversations sake, since I have purchased 2 of these units, I will have DarkTrain join these 2 mono mics and make one stereo mic for me (which as I mentioned on picture one, will give me a 3rd set up option).

Picture 7- This is my favorite part (besides it being so small) ... I am a big fan of the locking/screw (also known as a "Sennheiser locking connector") mic input. No more worries for me about pulling out or a loose connection.

Picture 8- This is the recorder in use. As you can see in the picture there is a 2 channel recording taking place (with dedicated left and right metering bars). This should ELIMINATE all the concerns of people claiming that this is a mono recorder. It is NOT. Note: As a default when you first cut it on and you are setting the time & date and all that - the unit is defaulted into mono mode. All you have to do is go into the very easy to navigate menu and change it to stereo. Simple enough. This is covered in pages 49-50 in the Manual (link at the bottom).

My thoughts and opinions:
I love this unit, right off the bat. It's built like a little tank and is smaller than anything else I have used and I have used them all. The menu is different to get use to, but easy to navigate and it retains your settings even after changing batteries. I have it set up as the following (and this is just ME, you may differ):  96kHz, 24Bit / Stereo / MicPower "on" (see note * below) / Limiter "off" / Low Cut "off" / Recording Level set at "MID+" and after I start recording I put it it "hold" mode.

The only "negative" in my opinion was at first I didn't like the level/input as your options are "Lo-, Lo, Mid-, Mid, Mid+, Hi-, Hi, Hi+, Hi++ or AUTO" and I thought this would be a negative. But in reality, TO ME, it's not. I use the "set it and forget it" method of recording and I can raise/lower the volume later in Adobe Audition. Mid+ gave me plenty of headroom without fear of clipping and not so low that when raising the volume later the noise floor becomes unbearable. This is something you'll just need to adjust for YOUR conditions and microphone, so please don't take my opinion as any type of suggestion. It's just what I feel comfortable with.

Battery Power usage is very good. I recorded using the above conditions and after 2 hours the battery meter was still showing all 3 bars as in picture 8 using a standard Duracell battery. I usually use Fusion batteries which are superior to Duracell (I just didn't have any available at the moment) so I expect that this could easily have the same wonderful battery usage as the Sony PCM-M10 is famous for.

* I use mic power as I want the stealthiest setup I can find. All my mics are lo-sensitivity or have the 4.7k mod and I have always got great results recording this way. I am aware of the benefits to some mics to use a battery box, but I don't require it, so please don't try to tell me that this is wrong as I have 45-50+ master recordings that say otherwise ;D.

The Manual is located here:

https://www.zoom-na.com/sites/default/files/products/downloads/pdfs/E_F1.pdf

Quicklinks to the manual are:

Selecting the Recording Format (Page 33).
Set the Recording File Type (Page 49-50).

My only goal/wish is that hopefully this helps someone in making a decision to either purchase or pass on the recorder based on what their particular needs are. I stealth record 99% of the time and I am always in the hunt for a smaller and more refined setup. With the current setup I have, I feel like I have FINALLY achieved this. I could not be more pleased with the make and functions of this little machine.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 10:07:45 AM by obsidian »

Offline obsidian

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Re: ZOOM F1-LP Pictures & In-Hand Information
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 02:07:22 PM »
Just ordered my 3rd unit. These are a keeper for me. Very pleased.

 :cheers:

 

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