Are you looking for a good quality camera, that also records with high-quality audio? You might think it’s pretty easy to find a good product that ticks those boxes, but unless you want to part with thousands, it’s not quite as easy as it might seem.
If you’ve been on the search for a cheaper device, then you might have come across the Zoom Q2n-4K, the “Handy video recorder” or so it’s branded. Initially, with the specifications, it looks like it could be a great buy, but is it? That’s what we’re here to find out.
We’ve researched the product, providing an overview, a look into the main features and technical specs, as well as what and who this product might be most useful for, a summary of the pros and cons and ultimately our opinion.
You can skip to the section you are most interested in using the quick navigation provided below:
- Zoom Q2n-4K Overview
- Main features of the Zoom Q2n-4K
- Zoom Q2n-4K Technical specification
- Who Is The Zoom Q2n-4K Useful For?
- Pro’s & Con’s of The Zoom Q2n-4K
- Our Zoom Q2n-4K Review
The Zoom Q2n-4K is an Ultra High Definition (UHD) video recorder and is priced reasonably compared to a few of the other 4K video recording options in the market.
The whole idea of this product by Zoom is to look as good as you sound, specifically aimed at creative individuals, such as singers, bands, actors and anybody that needs a quality recorder that also offers a high-quality audio solution. It’s perfect at recording a range of different size rooms, including large ones of course, due to its five fields of view or FOV setting it has, which coupled with the 150-degree lens can offer a wide-angled shot.
In terms of image quality, the color LCD will make it easy to get a perfect static shot or capture premium 4K resolution video with just a click of a button. The resolution this device can record in offers a picture fitting of professionals, and the best picture you can show on most current TVs.
Along with the image, to make this suitable for musicians who they are specifically aiming this device towards in their marketing, as well as actors, the sound is also a huge part of what they’ve tried to tackle with this Zoom Q2n-4K handy video recorder. The device comes with X & Y stereo microphones, which according to the product sales page are able to handle anything from heavy metal to saxophone sounds, making it ideal for just about any musician.
The High Dynamic Range or HDR technology, as it’s often referred to, on offer in this Zoom device will allow it to automatically adjust to the surrounding lighting, which means you won’t need to have stage lights to get a better picture which also means you won’t be blowing out the shot with overexposing your stage lights and ruining the picture.
This isn’t only suitable for musicians, live streamers are fond of the Zoom Q2n-4K as it allows you to easily live stream to Twitter, Twitch, Youtube and more. If you need to, you can also stream via your mobile given that it’s an Apple device, as the Q2n-4k can connect to your iOS device directly for improving mobile streaming capabilities.
That’s the sales spiel out the way for the Zoom Q2n-4k, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming, getting caught up in all the salesy talk, so we’ve pulled out what the main features of this video recorder are:
- Pairs high resolution 4K video with 96KHz audio recording
- Five fields of view settings allowing you to record a large room – suitable for bands – Wide angeled lens of 150 degree
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) which ensures the shot is lit properly
- Records are MOV files in 4K – Although also has options for 1080p & 720p to achieve higher FPS
- Captures on to a MicroSD card directly
- Perfect for dimly lit situations, augmented by 12x scene modes
- Handles sound up to 120DB with X & Y pattern condenser mics
- Audio only mode with WAV files if required
- Audio functions which include low-cut filter, auto gain, 3.5mm mic port and headphone output
Now that is all well and good, but what about the technical data? After all, you want to ensure that it’s going to be high enough quality to achieve the perfect recording for both audio and video.
We’ve researched this Zoom device in depth and have pulled together a full breakdown of everything you can expect from the Zoom Q2n-4K recorder from a technical point of view:
- 150 degree wide angle lens (f2.8 / 15.2mm)
- 12 different scene options for different lighting enviroments that automatically adapt the the surroundings
- X/Y stereo microphones built in that can deal with up to 120dB
- Audio only move with WAV at 24bit (96kHz)
- Additional setting for 5 fields of view
- 256gb max capacity – recording directly to MicroSD, MicroSDHC & MicroSDXC
- Single button recording
- Color LCD
- 3x seperate video modes, 720p / 1080p / 4k
- 76Mbps bit rate for enhanced image quality
- 4K is available in 30 / 25 / 24frames per second
- 1080p is available in 60 / 50 / 30 / 25 / 24frames per second
- 720p is available in 30 / 25frames per second
- HDMI video output – making it compatible with several devices including TVs, PC, laptops and more
- Records video and audio in MOV output
- Level control in analog-style coupled with onscreen digital metering
- Auto control on input audio level through auto gain functionality
- Can be used with external devices with stereo input
- Fast audio monitoring with headphone output
- Eliminates low frequency noise with low-cut filter function
- Live stream capability through USB
- Compatible with several popular streaming applications
- USB microphone functionality
- 2x AA batteries required
- Device has a built-in tripod mount
Primarily this video recorder is aimed at musicians, whether they are solo or as a band. It hits a bit of a gap in the market, as it records video and sound at a high level of quality, for a relatively low price point, when compared to others on the market which can span into the thousands of dollars.
Although it’s specifically targetted by Zoom at musicians, it’s also become increasingly popular in the live streaming community, specifically Twitch and Facebook, and is a favorite among that community as an all in one solution.
In truth, it’s suitable for whenever you need a high-quality video and audio solution, whatever that may be.
Before we dive into our personal review of the product, we’re going to highlight some of the pro’s and con’s of the Zoom Q2n-4K so you can fully understand it’s capabilities before making a purchase.
- This recorder is compact and lightweight, so it’s perfect for if you need a portable device to move around for different shots in different rooms – you won’t require hours of setting up to get the right shot
- One of the main selling points about this device is its cost. Don’t get us wrong, there are a few cheaper out there, but the audio quality we can almost guarantee won’t be up to the scratch of the Zoom Q2n-4K
- This device comes with a whole load of extra features, including the 12 scene options, 5 fields of view and how well it works with streaming applications
- As we just touched on, where a lot of these 4k recorders fall down is the sound quality. The sound quality that you can record on this Zoom device is fantastic.
- One of the most common complaints we’ve seen when looking into this product and reading all the reviews is just how quickly the batteries are drained. It requires 2x AA batteries, which with 4k video recording along with audio, we doubt lasts long at all as it is a quite old fashioned power option when it comes to devices of this kind of calibre & nature!
- In the description of the Zoom device it consistently mentions that you can use it in all lighting conditions, but despite the scene modes and High Dynamic Resolution (HDR) there are still a lot of complaints that good lighting is required to get higher quality images
- There’s quite a lot too this device, with a lot of different functions. There might be a bit of a learning curve to get it up and running, especially if you want to use more advanced functionality like streaming
It’s time for our review, and opinion on the product. We’ll start with the positives, we would recommend this product for anyone looking for a 4K recording device, with high-quality audio with a limited budget ($250), there is nothing that quite compares.
There is no other 4K recording product that comes close to this price point that will provide you with the quality audio that the Zoom Q2n-4K does, and it’s one of the best video recorders on the market for musicians that have a smaller budget, simple.
It is a budget device, and it does come with its limitations. A lot of the negative reviews mention the fact that if you plan on recording any “action” shots, it’s not worth it and it’s not, and doesn’t claim to be. This device does not come with anti-shake, meaning it should only be used in a static manner, likely one of the main reasons that it comes with a built-in tripod. If you plan on moving this camera around when recording, this isn’t the purchase for you.
The other issue, as we touched on in the cons section, is the battery power, it’s poor. The device only offers the option of having 2x AA batteries, which no matter how efficient the device is, it’s not going to last and is quite an outdated power option for a device of it’s kind. We would have really liked to see the option of a rechargeable battery or as this is a device that is meant to remain static, mains power would make a lot more sense.
You can buy an extended battery pack if it’s a large issue, allowing you to use 4x AA batteries through the USB, but, well, that doesn’t really solve the issue.
Another bugbear that people generally have is the size of the color LCD screen, it’s only 1.77″ so seeing any playback on it can be a little bit tricky and the resolution on the screen itself, well, poor to say the least at 160x128px – this can be frustrating as it paints a bit of a false picture if you just play it back on the screen itself, it’s a lot better when you get it on your PC.
There’s also no WiFi capability, which comes with some of the higher-end devices. This is only an issue if you are a solo artist, it can be tricky to line up a perfect shot because you can’t see how in the frame you are until you play it back. Being able to see the shot from another device to ensure you are lined up with the frame would be extremely useful.
I feel that was quite negative, but it really isn’t, it’s just to try and help you understand the limitations and whether the device is going to suitable for what you require, as we don’t want you buying a device that doesn’t do what you need!
So, to summarize, this device is fantastic for those budding musicians that maybe can’t afford a much higher quality solution. If however, this is a cost-saving exercise, and you could actually spare an extra few hundreds to get a device at the higher range, then we would suggest going down this route if any of the cons or limitations sound like they are going to impact you.