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  #1  
Old 07-21-2010, 02:41 AM
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Default Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

So I've seen so many people use the Zoom Q3 that I finally checked it out, and I must say that it looks like an amazing device. To the people that own them, what is your opinion on it? But more importantly, what alternatives are out there in a similar price range, and does anyone have experience with those other devices?

Right now, I'm recording through an interface into PT, and recording the video separately. This works fine, but I'm thinking that having something like the Zoom Q3 will make getting quick clips (especially for drum lessons) ten times easier.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by LukeSnyder View Post
So I've seen so many people use the Zoom Q3 that I finally checked it out, and I must say that it looks like an amazing device. To the people that own them, what is your opinion on it? But more importantly, what alternatives are out there in a similar price range, and does anyone have experience with those other devices?

Right now, I'm recording through an interface into PT, and recording the video separately. This works fine, but I'm thinking that having something like the Zoom Q3 will make getting quick clips (especially for drum lessons) ten times easier.
i returned mine... waiting for some competition to do it correctly. The video was terrible...
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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i returned mine... waiting for some competition to do it correctly. The video was terrible...
What was wrong with the video?
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

I am really happy with mine. Like the box says, its a little bit of video with a whole lot of audio. It wasn't really designed to be killer in video recording. It's more like an extra to the audio. The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that you can't control the input level manually. You can only choose from Low, High or Auto.

I suppose another alternative would be a flip cam, but I hear the audio quality really sucks. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by randrade89 View Post
I am really happy with mine. Like the box says, its a little bit of video with a whole lot of audio. It wasn't really designed to be killer in video recording. It's more like an extra to the audio. The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that you can't control the input level manually. You can only choose from Low, High or Auto.

I suppose another alternative would be a flip cam, but I hear the audio quality really sucks. Hope this helps!
Hmm, that seems really stupid to not be able to control the level. I would also think that since the camera appears to have been designed with musicians in mind, that it would have simple compression/limiter controls as well. The video I'm not too worried about, 640x480 is fine for what I'm doing now.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Do a YouTube search for Steve Smith and the Q3 - he has a whole 9 minute video he made with his camera. It looks better than what I get, so I have to figure out how he did that, but the audio is great. He runs it on 'low' for the audio and for what he's getting, it convinced me to get one.

It has video, but that's not the selling point, and they tell you that up front. If you're a HD kinda' guy, then go invest the right amount of money. Last I checked for a nice HD cam with level input (and XLR input to boot) was about $2500 on the low side. Then get a mixer so you can mic everything up to get it to the camera. Then you can spend all that time editing and compressing for your YouTube uploads. At that point you've invested in a whole 'nother career and you can go out and shoot peoples' weddings - you'd probably make more money than drumming....

Alesis is releasing a product that's very similar to the Q3, so I don't think there's a need to wait for that one. You can get better video, but the audio will definitely suck.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by randrade89 View Post
I am really happy with mine. Like the box says, its a little bit of video with a whole lot of audio. It wasn't really designed to be killer in video recording. It's more like an extra to the audio. The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that you can't control the input level manually. You can only choose from Low, High or Auto.

I suppose another alternative would be a flip cam, but I hear the audio quality really sucks. Hope this helps!
I agree. The step input level sucks. It's fine for personal recordings, but getting a good gig recorded sound can be challenging, especially if you're at either end of the performance volume spectrum. It does have a low filter though that gets rid of most offending frequencies in the higher volume stuff. The video image is poor. There's no getting away from that. Again, in good light with the subject close to source, it's fine for Youtube uploads. Give it anything dark, or needing zoom to get close enough, and the video is going to let you down.

I like it for what it is. As a convenient tool to capture the moment, it's great. Input gain aside, the audio ability is similar to the H2, and that's really good. It will certainly out audio any other package item at double the money. It does what it says on the box. If you really want to capture a full on live performance, go hire the full HD gear & have someone sync & mix the audio professionally.

Here's some Q3 clips:

This one isn't about the playing, it's a test of head combo. Dead room, close up. Picks up the toms well but the kick is lost. Note proximity affect on the 8" & 10" toms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyWG-eCo2uc

This one isn't about the playing either. Another head combo test. This time from the front of the kit. Same dead room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP4bfXLcQe8

This one from a gig. Taken about 100ft from the stage so you pick up a lot of near audience chatter. Camera on full zoom. The picture lacks definition, and the audio is very quiet. Recorded on the low setting. Tried it on high setting with low filter and just got distortion. If you can't get ideal camera placement at a gig, this is what you're fighting against. A variable input gain would have helped a lot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNSvUOK9ytA
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Last edited by keep it simple; 07-21-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I agree. The step input level sucks. It's fine for personal recordings, but getting a good gig recorded sound can be challenging, especially if you're at either end of the performance volume spectrum. It does have a low filter though that gets rid of most offending frequencies in the higher volume stuff. The video image is poor. There's no getting away from that. Again, in good light with the subject close to source, it's fine for Youtube uploads. Give it anything dark, or needing zoom to get close enough, and the video is going to let you down.

I like it for what it is. As a convenient tool to capture the moment, it's great. Input gain aside, the audio ability is similar to the H2, and that's really good. It will certainly out audio any other package item at double the money. It does what it says on the box. If you really want to capture a full on live performance, go hire the full HD gear & have someone sync & mix the audio professionally.

Here's some Q3 clips:

This one isn't about the playing, it's a test of head combo. Dead room, close up. Picks up the toms well but the kick is lost. Note proximity affect on the 8" & 10" toms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyWG-eCo2uc

This one isn't about the playing either. Another head combo test. This time from the front of the kit. Same dead room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP4bfXLcQe8

This one from a gig. Taken about 100ft from the stage so you pick up a lot of near audience chatter. Camera on full zoom. The picture lacks definition, and the audio is very quiet. Recorded on the low setting. Tried it on high setting with low filter and just got distortion. If you can't get ideal camera placement at a gig, this is what you're fighting against. A variable input gain would have helped a lot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNSvUOK9ytA

Hey I really liked the sound from your vids, especially the first one. What settings did you use to record it?
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by randrade89 View Post
Hey I really liked the sound from your vids, especially the first one. What settings did you use to record it?
First clip was recorded on the low setting. No low filter. Got to admit though, the kit sound has a lot to do with the outcome, & the Q3 doesn't even get close to capturing the true room sound. You'd need a serious pair of overheads to achieve that.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

These videos have given me a very good idea of what this thing is capable of. The audio is pretty good, but the video is definitely not that great. I think I'll keep a lookout for one, but only for a reduced price.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Well check B&H PhotoVideo in NYC. I got mine there for $175 - coulda' been a special deal for that week.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Do a YouTube search for Steve Smith and the Q3 - he has a whole 9 minute video he made with his camera. It looks better than what I get, so I have to figure out how he did that, but the audio is great. He runs it on 'low' for the audio and for what he's getting, it convinced me to get one.

It has video, but that's not the selling point, and they tell you that up front. If you're a HD kinda' guy, then go invest the right amount of money. Last I checked for a nice HD cam with level input (and XLR input to boot) was about $2500 on the low side. Then get a mixer so you can mic everything up to get it to the camera. Then you can spend all that time editing and compressing for your YouTube uploads. At that point you've invested in a whole 'nother career and you can go out and shoot peoples' weddings - you'd probably make more money than drumming....

Alesis is releasing a product that's very similar to the Q3, so I don't think there's a need to wait for that one. You can get better video, but the audio will definitely suck.
I thought about the Zoom but ill wait till they have an HD version.Sounds GREAT but Video quality comparable to most cameras.

I have checked out tons of videos before i got the ZIi8
Get the Kodak ZI8 best HD video with mic input with level control
200 you cant go wrong heres a clip with Apex 25.00 mic shot in HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmvzLJRFYdU
Steves playing also makes the Zoom look better...
Tim
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2010, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Hey Tim, thank you so much for showing me the Zi8! That thing looks absolutely amazing, I just price checked and they're selling them for $100 online. I pretty much just made up my mind right now to get one. The sound quality is actually pretty good in that video that you linked to, I've actually watched it before. Were you using the internal mic with that?
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

After a lot of research, I also arrived at the Kodak Zi8 being the answer. However I have not splurged yet...
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

I just bought the Koday Zi8 and have been experimenting with that and Sony Vegas editing software. I am using Sony Vegas to do the zooming instead of the Zi8 since zooming with the camera can be a bit shaky, even on a tripod.

Both Steve Fidyk and John Favicchia taught clinics in Richmond this month. I did the videotaping for both and I found it interesting that so many drummers are using the Zi8. It seems to be a drummer's camera.

Here's some footage of the Zi8 from Steve's clinic. Note that the Zi8 is one of the only cameras in it's price range that have the ability to accept an external microphone (however the video below was recorded with the Zi8's internal mic and sounds very good).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGh3Y1RQlBU

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Question: can the Zi8 take an input from a mixing console as opposed to an external mic? And do you have control of this input level? If so, I'll buy one tonight!

Love my zoom Q3, I suppose I'll keep that one anyway for location audio....
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Question: can the Zi8 take an input from a mixing console as opposed to an external mic? And do you have control of this input level? If so, I'll buy one tonight!
I never thought about that. I have been experimenting with editing software, so I would assume that the audio would be better manipulated in the editing process.

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

After being amazed in another thread by a video taken by a panasonic lumix camera, i went out and bought the camera! the camera i bought is a panasonic lumix dmc-zs7. it records video in 720p "hi def" mode and it records stereo audio with surprisingly good quality.

here's a hi def video i recorded of a friend's band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aDtG23SZEk

the lighting conditions were very dark. this place had no stage lights, but you can get the idea. when you watch it, make sure you select "720p" from the resolution menu at the lower right.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Question: can the Zi8 take an input from a mixing console as opposed to an external mic? And do you have control of this input level? If so, I'll buy one tonight!

Love my zoom Q3, I suppose I'll keep that one anyway for location audio....
Yes The Zi8 can take an external line in heres a clip with my Roland Spd 20 lined into the Zi8
Enjoy
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3kx2z318Xk
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: Zoom Q3 v. other cameras

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Originally Posted by Tim Waterson View Post
Yes The Zi8 can take an external line in heres a clip with my Roland Spd 20 lined into the Zi8
Enjoy
Tim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3kx2z318Xk
Wow, thats awesome. I'm pretty much convinced now that this thing is the way to go. This way, I can take HD video and line in from my mixer. That way, I can completely bypass the computer and get great audio and video.
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