Imagine having the ability to record anything and everything around you in high quality without having the burden of carrying a monstrously heavy recorder or addition to your camera. In fact, just imagine being able to move around quite freely to capture whatever is happening in the moment – that’s the kind of power the Zoom F1 gives you. The newest addition to Zoom’s wide array of portable audio recorders, the Zoom F1 takes high audio quality to another level. For this review, we’ll be talking about some of the highlights of both the F1-SP and the F1-LP. The first includes the F1 Field Recorder and a Shotgun Microphone, known to those who are more familiar with Zoom products as the SGH-6 mic. The F1-LP offers the LMF-1 lavalier mic instead. A product for creators who need to move about while recording sound and video, the F1 is designed for ease and movability while offering high-quality audio and video.

Extreme Versatility

What sets the F1 apart from the other Zoom recorders is that it is highly versatile – not only do you have the option of using either a shotgun mic or a lavalier mic, the F1 is also suitable for any of Zoom’s interchangeable mic capsules. For the F1-SP, the recorder can be easily attached to your DSLR, thus providing you the ease of moving about and recording whatever you want to. The shotgun mic that comes with it is made up of aluminium, ensuring that what you’re using to record with is extremely lightweight. It’s useful for recording concerts and gigs; for travellers, vloggers; anyone looking to detail the events of their life with ease. If you’re looking for a more intimate way of capturing sound, then the lavalier mic is right up your alley. A clip and a tiny windshield for the mic is included, ensuring that you’re ready to attach it to the artiste you are capturing the sound from. Not only will it remain hidden, but it is also easy to move around with and extremely comfortable. This is perfect for interviews, documentaries, wedding videography or filmmaking. Essentially, the versatility of this product gifts you the ability to capture critical moments of your life or any event without any restrictions.

Amazing Audio Quality

We bet some of you are wondering right now, “How can something so seemingly small provide me with good sound quality?” Well, you’re right – the F1 doesn’t provide you with good sound quality, it provides you with amazing sound quality. The F1 can record high-resolution audio up to 24bit/96kHz. In fact, it provides you with 9 recording formats – with 24bit/96kHz being the highest quality and MP3 48K the lowest quality. Moreover, you can record in both WAV or MP3 format. The WAV files are automatically time-stamped, making them Broadcast Wav Format (BWF) compliant. Aside from the option to change your recording format, the F1 also has the “Lo Cut” and “Limiter” controls. The first allows you to reduce low-frequency noise, including wind and vocal pops while the second prevents distortion by reducing excessively high levels of input signals. All in all, this small field recorder comes with a variety of perks that ensure the quality of the sound that you are recording is of the highest calibre.

Features for Videographers

What we really like about the F1 is that it has some features that we believe would be extremely helpful for videographers or anyone focused on both high-quality sound and video. For example, the F1 records the audio not only to your camera, but also to a microSD card inside the recorder itself, thus providing you a separate stereo audio file that you can use to further edit your video and sound in post-production. The F1 also makes calibrating sound and syncing it to the video a heck of a lot easier – how? By providing you with a 1k tone generator to assist with gain-staging before shooting a video. You can also add sound markers to your recording so that you can align your audio and video easily. These features are a great help not only for normal audio, but for dialogue as well. We all know the pain of trying to re-align out-of-sync audio all too well, and are fully invested in the idea of making syncing audio and video much easier.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the F1 is all about versatility and high-quality audio while on the move. But it doesn’t only cater to those who focus on sound, it also answers the pleas of those who want to create high-quality videos as well. If you’re looking for something versatile, light, durable and portable, then the Zoom F1 is just what you need.

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Blog Written By: Isabella