Who should buy the Sound Devices MixPre-3 or MixPre-6?

Sound Devices recently announced two new portable audio recorders that are remarkably affordable: the MixPre-3 and the MixPre-6¬†(products like these from this manufacturer historically cost several thousand dollars). If you’re trying to decide between one of these Sound Devices recorders and the Zoom F4, F8, and the Tascam DR-701D, this post will hopefully help you figure it out. Continue reading Who should buy the Sound Devices MixPre-3 or MixPre-6?

Hands-on Review of the Canon 7D Mark II

There are lots of reviews of the Canon 7D Mark II¬†that lean heavily into its specs, but that’s not what you’ll find here. I shoot photos and videos primarily to indulge my interests. It’s a hobby, and I make purchases largely based on emotion. These are the primary forces that drove¬†me to buy¬†this beefy camera.

After years of looking at images from other photographers, I found that always appreciated and desired the punchiness of photos shot with pro-level Canon DSLRs, Canon L-series lenses, and high-end Canon flashes. I wanted to use these creative tools myself, so I grabbed them. Continue reading Hands-on Review of the Canon 7D Mark II

First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

The new Zoom F4 field recorder was recently announced, so I decided to share my initial thoughts on it. If you’re not familiar, it’s a portable digital audio recorder that can record 6 individual tracks and a stereo mix, and it features built-in time code, high-quality mic preamps, metal construction, and some nicely designed controls. At the time of¬†publishing it sells for $650 USD, which is a¬†good price for a recorder with these kinds of features. Continue reading First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

First thoughts on the new Zoom H4n Pro Recorder

Zoom just announced the new H4n Pro Handy Recorder, and I wanted to share my initial thoughts on it. The original Zoom H4n has been a popular choice for many, many years, so an update is important news and merits deep analysis.

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Zoom H4n Pro was how closely it resembles the original. The¬†overall shape, as well as the buttons and controls all look very familiar. It’s clear¬†that the significant changes to this device largely apply to what’s inside. Continue reading First thoughts on the new Zoom H4n Pro Recorder

What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

A dear old friend recently sent me an email asking which mic I recommended using with the Zoom H5. It was an old roommate of mine who had played drums in my band. She continues to bang the drums professionally to this day. This person is also an excellent sound recordist, songwriter, guitarist, and several other awesome things.

She was writing me from Ireland of all places, where she was working on some kind of audio-related job. The question about the mic came up because her associate was¬†working on a video project Paris. The French person had a Zoom H5, and they needed to record interviews in a “live” sounding space (likely a noisy, large area). Continue reading What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

Tascam recently announced the DR-701D field recorder, which, at first glance looks very much like the DR-70D. Indeed, the DR-701D shares the same overall look and many of the features of the DR-70D, but it also has a number of impressive abilities that set it apart.

Let’s just get right to the chase.

Who is the DR-701D good for?

In my opinion, this looks like a great machine for Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

A Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” video completed, and a lesson learned

A few years ago I shot a video for the¬†Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” contest. If you’re not familiar, the idea¬†is to produce an original 30-second Doritos commercial. The winning video gets aired during the Superbowl, and the person who makes it gets a million bucks.

That sounded appealing to me, but, in my case, the main goal was to make a video with fake dog legs in it. I love videos that use fake, puppet-like animal limbs to get a laugh. I’d been wanting to make a video with fake dog legs for a while, and the Doritos contest seemed like a good vehicle for it. Continue reading A Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” video completed, and a lesson learned

Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

The announcement of the Zoom F8 in early 2015 was big news. Finally, a field recorder existed that offered some of the same features found on professional models¬†that cost three times as much. On one hand, it seemed like a revelation ‚ÄĒ¬†but it also seemed fishy. How many corners were cut to get the price that low, and are the missing features going to cause you pain? Continue reading Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

Hands-on Review of the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro

When someone is speaking in front of your camera, you need specific microphones to clearly capture their voice. But what if you’re not trying to record the sound of someone’s voice? What if you’re shooting a serene nature scene with no dialog? How about footage of a busy city street? How do you sonically transport your audience into these settings? Do you use the same microphones that you would use capture dialog? Continue reading Hands-on Review of the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro

Audio Test: Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

I just completed an audio test of the Tascam DR-70D, comparing it with the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40. The test features side-by-side comparisons of each recorder’s built-in microphones, and you also get to hear how they handle several popular microphone for video work: the Rode NTG-3, Rode NTG-2, Audio-Technica 4053B, and the Sennheiser G3 wireless system with the ME2 lav mic.

Continue reading Audio Test: Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40