External sound Recorder for DSLR

November 28, 2016
How to Use a Portable Audio

Despite all the advances in image resolution and quality, most DSLRs on the market still require separate audio recorders for quality sound capture. We've previously covered and compared affordable external audio recorders for DSLR filmmakers, and although great tools in themselves, if there's one common drawback shared by these recorders it's that they were designed for live music/event recording, rather than filmmaking. Enter Tascam's new offering - the - an audio recorder designed specifically with DSLR filmmakers in mind. Here are the details:

It has many of the features you'd expect from recorders in its range - up to 24bit 96Hz PCM recording, 2 XLR jacks, up to 48V phantom power, records to SD/SDHC cards, and provides 4-channel recording.

So what are the advantages of this recorder over other audio recorders popular with budget DSLR filmmakers (i.e H4n, Dr-40, DR-100mkII, etc.)? It has some nice features like a slate "beep" that can be played at the beginning of recordings, and the ability to output recorded audio back into the camera for backup. But the biggest advantage to my mind is the form factor - it's clearly designed as something you can attach to your camera and actively monitor/control while shooting.

If you're shooting as a one-man band, one of the bigger annoyances when using recorders like the H4n or the DR-100mkII is the need for a rig to get the recorder in a position where you can actively monitor levels while operating the camera. Not to mention the controls on a menu intensive unit like the H4n can be a challenge to deal with when you're multi-tasking. With most of the controls on the DR-60D accessible and oriented to one side, this looks like a more shoot friendly tool for folks without a dedicated sound person.

Drawbacks? This unit doesn't have internal mics - so folks used to getting ambient or back up stereo tracks on top of what comes in from their shotgun or lav mics will have to invest in more mics.

At $350, it's towards the high end of budget recorders, but if form factor is important to you, and you have a couple of external mics ready to go, this unit may justify the premium compared to other recorders in its class.

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