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Author Topic: Zoom F8 Review  (Read 33913 times)

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stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2015, 10:28:54 PM »
The following revision was made to the review on November 9, 2015 to address additional knowledge of app usage.

Remove the following paragraph from the Bluetooth and Remote Operations subsection in Section 2:

While the app can be also be used for control, I find that the level sliders and knobs are difficult to control with accuracy…at least on the small screen of my iphone 5s.  It’s difficult to set a specific level accurately and very easy to overshoot.  In practice when recording the results become gross swings in sound level as you overshoot and undershoot while homing in on a specific level setting.  Therefore, my preference is to perform these functions manually on the face of the unit where I feel I have much better fine tuning control with my fingers actually on the knobs.  I can’t speak to the larger screens of the iphone 6 or the ipad, but no doubt this is less of an issue the larger the screen you have to work with.  That said, all of the basic controls of the recorder, such as REC, STOP, PLAY/PAUSE (for inserting marks) are easily done from the app.  (A firmware suggestion would be to implement some kind of slider/knob enlargement on the app to enhance the ability for fine control with an iphone.)


Replace the above paragraph with the following:

The app can be also be used for control via the mixer screen which is accessed from the main screen by tapping the mixer button.  On first use, the level sliders and knobs seemed difficult to control with accuracy on the small screen of my iphone 5s.  Sliding your finger or thumb up and down on the face of the iphone was difficult to do with the accuracy needed to dial in a precise level.  However, a friend provided a valuable tip that proved helpful and drastically improves the ability to control levels from the app.  When engaging a specific slider or knob, while keeping your finger or thumb depressed on the screen, simply rock your thumb or finger up or down on the screen.  Once a specific level is reached, release from the screen to lock in the setting.  Rocking up and down changes the levels in 0.5db increments.  This technique is simple and, yet very accurately controls slider and knob movement.  Double tap the slider to return it to the default setting of 0dB.  Double tap the level knob to return it to the default setting of 20db.   
In addition to controlling levels, the main screen provides all of the basic controls of the recorder, such as REC, STOP, PLAY/PAUSE (for inserting marks), which are all easily performed from the app.

Delete the following from Section 11:

-   On the IOS app, when using an iphone 5s the scales are too small and therefore sensitive for the app to be used effectively for control.  A nice change to the interface would be to somehow make a selector to enlarge or elongate scales on the screen so that the sensitivity is appropriate for a slider scale vs the physical size of an iphone touchscreen.

Offline acidjack

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2015, 02:58:21 PM »
^^ Nice! Glad that "rocking method" worked. Now if I could just get my hands on the F8 I've paid for....
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline tanp

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2015, 08:58:35 AM »
Many many thanks for taking so much time and detail. I have ordered my F8 (six weeks ago) and have another two weeks (at least) to wait. It is very re-assuring for me to hear an experienced Taper discuss in depth the pros/cons. 
I really appreciate the effort you have put into this, it has made a big difference for me.

Offline scorsesefan

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2015, 08:25:55 PM »
Thanks for the great and thorough review. I have linked to it on dvxuser in the audio section where a lot of members are curious about this unit... Have you gotten a chance to test the AA battery life only? I currently have a Dr-680 MKI and have had to use a cheapo chinese l-ion battery to make it through shoots (I do a lot of verite doc stuff out in the field) but I would like to ditch the ext battery and roll with just a few sets of Eneloop NiMh batteries. I am usually on one channel power phantom v48...

stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2015, 11:29:09 AM »
Thanks for the great and thorough review. I have linked to it on dvxuser in the audio section where a lot of members are curious about this unit... Have you gotten a chance to test the AA battery life only? I currently have a Dr-680 MKI and have had to use a cheapo chinese l-ion battery to make it through shoots (I do a lot of verite doc stuff out in the field) but I would like to ditch the ext battery and roll with just a few sets of Eneloop NiMh batteries. I am usually on one channel power phantom v48...

You're welcome!. I haven't checked battery run time, but since I've received this question a few times now I'll do a fresh recharge on a set of nimh batteries and simulate a recording session to test how long it goes.  Will report back when I've done this.  I'm gonna record tonight and Saturday night so it might be a couple days before i get this done.

stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2015, 11:32:14 AM »
Many many thanks for taking so much time and detail. I have ordered my F8 (six weeks ago) and have another two weeks (at least) to wait. It is very re-assuring for me to hear an experienced Taper discuss in depth the pros/cons. 
I really appreciate the effort you have put into this, it has made a big difference for me.

You're welcome.  I'm really glad it helped.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Offline scorsesefan

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2015, 05:03:34 PM »
Thanks for the great and thorough review. I have linked to it on dvxuser in the audio section where a lot of members are curious about this unit... Have you gotten a chance to test the AA battery life only? I currently have a Dr-680 MKI and have had to use a cheapo chinese l-ion battery to make it through shoots (I do a lot of verite doc stuff out in the field) but I would like to ditch the ext battery and roll with just a few sets of Eneloop NiMh batteries. I am usually on one channel power phantom v48...

You're welcome!. I haven't checked battery run time, but since I've received this question a few times now I'll do a fresh recharge on a set of nimh batteries and simulate a recording session to test how long it goes.  Will report back when I've done this.  I'm gonna record tonight and Saturday night so it might be a couple days before i get this done.

That would be awesome. Thanks... I would like to use this as a stand alone recorder without anything in front so I'm glad you posted some samples so I can hear the pres -- they sounded pretty good to my ear. On par with the SD 702 series...

stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2015, 05:41:23 PM »
That would be awesome. Thanks... I would like to use this as a stand alone recorder without anything in front so I'm glad you posted some samples so I can hear the pres -- they sounded pretty good to my ear. On par with the SD 702 series...

I checked out the battery run time using eight 2300mah NiMH Energizers (model NH-15-2300) by doing two separate run tests.  The results are shown below:

Test 1
Starting Voltage 10.2V
Shutdown Voltage 9.0V 
Run Time - 3hr, 46min

Test 2
Starting Voltage 10.3V
Shutdown Voltage 9.0V 
Time - 3hr, 58min

Notes:

- Both run time tests were done with the F8 in the following condition.

Sample freq and bit depth - 24/48
Channels Armed - 4
Phantom Power - On, 48V
SD Cards - Recording to both SD1 and SD2
LED/LCD Brightness - 60
Outputs - Off
Timecode - Off
Headphone - No headphones connected

-  I chose the above configuration because that seems to me to be a configuration that tapers will use alot in the field. 

-  I've bought several batches of Energizer AAs over the last few years and haven't kept track of which batch is which.  I was concerned about mixing new and old for this test, so I put a fresh charge on all of the batteries by first discharging the batteries in the charge unit and then recharging.  Both discharge/recharge cycles indicated that the batteries took the full charge, since my charge unit showed all eight batteries took between 2300 and 2500mah on the recharge cycle.  So I think that's a good indication that all eight batteries used in this test are still performing well.

-  There are three run time cases provided on page 139 of the manual.  The middle case shows a run time of 6 hrs or more with 2450mah NiMH batteries, eight channels being recorded at 24/48, SD1 only, outputs off, 32ohm headphones on, time code off, LED/LCD brightness at 5, and phantom power off.  While the conditions of this case were quite different from my test, the results seem consistent enough with the manual that it seems my test was a valid one.  The main difference seems to have been powering mics.

Offline scorsesefan

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2015, 07:13:28 PM »
Thanks, much appreciated!  Those are respectable run times. I rarely run more than 2 mics so this unit could work well for me...

stevetoney

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2015, 06:52:49 AM »
Thanks, much appreciated!  Those are respectable run times. I rarely run more than 2 mics so this unit could work well for me...

To validate the run-time tests I did, I ran another test last night with the same settings as Zoom used for one of the scenario's shown in the back of the manual. 

For the middle scenario, Zoom reported a run time of 6 hours or more using NiMh batteries.  I got 5 hours, 32 minutes.  Note however, that Zoom used 2450mah NiMH batteries and mine are 2300mah.  Given the difference in battery capacity, my results are pretty much the same as Zooms.   I think this fairly well validates that my batteries are good and that the run-time tests I performed are good tests.

I'm adding the results of this test to the Powering section of my review.

 

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2015, 08:22:04 AM »
I appreciate the thoroughness of your review and knowing that you are trying to honestly give an independent evaluation. 

Offline scorsesefan

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2015, 11:21:29 AM »
Cool. In any case much better than the dr-680 I which is what I currently own...

Offline acidjack

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2015, 11:53:37 AM »
Cool. In any case much better than the dr-680 I which is what I currently own...

I've owned both decks and I assure you, the difference in quality is night and day.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline scorsesefan

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2015, 08:56:02 PM »
Cool. In any case much better than the dr-680 I which is what I currently own...

I've owned both decks and I assure you, the difference in quality is night and day.

Big difference in the preamps, too? i.e. ein/noise floor...

Offline AB52

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Re: Zoom F8 Review
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2015, 09:22:44 PM »
And it would make sense to compare it to the 680 MKII (not the original)

 

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