roXor media

martial arts, computers, dorks

Posts Tagged ‘Review

Zoom H2

h2_slant

My H2 Zoom arrived yesterday. I excitedly ripped open the packaging to find a box. So, I tore through that box to uncover…a box! This box wasn’t just the plain brown sort though. It had a big picture of the H2 in all its glowie, glorified, goodness.

I’d read some reviews claiming that the H2 felt very cheaply made, because it’s very light and plastic. They weren’t wrong. I did have some concerns about this before purchasing, but the praise about it’s audio quality and options for recording (for it’s price) out-shined any reservations. Let me tell you, the H2 did not disappoint. It’s pretty intuitive, even for someone who doesn’t know much about audio, per se. Some people really complained that the screen was barely readable. I must argue this point, because the screen was crystal clear. Small? Yes. Unreadable? Hardly.

The H2 Zoom has 4 microphones and 4 different mic configurations. Stereo Mode, 90 degree 2 channel mode (front-back mics), 120 degree stereo (using the back mic), and 4 channel mode let’s you record and then actually take the resultant files and convert to 5.1 surround sound. All four modes worked great. Overall, I’m very impressed with how quickly and easily you can setup and record with the H2.

While you can organize and pseudo-edit your files right on the H2, that stuff is really nothing fancy. Nice to have, but not required. The real benefits are that you can record in WAV or MP3 (including VBR giving you a whopping 8 hours recording time on the included 512MB card), a built in normalize function, the ability to add marks to your recordings on-the-fly, and being able to monitor your recording levels. Additionally, you can turn on the auto gain function, which will override the microphone gain switch and auto adjust your gain levels during recording. Nice for those times when your podcast co-host unexpectedly screams into the microphone (I think Dan would have liked this for me back in the day :P).

All in all, for about $160, this device is a really great deal and will serve well at the upcoming Gathering of Tribes where Dan and I will put it to the true test as we podcast interviews with some of the martial artists that will be coming from all over the country to pound us into the dirt.

I will admit, I’m still a tad nervous about the plasticynous (yes, it’s a word, I made it up) of the H2. We’ll see how it holds up in the dojo.

HAI YAAAAA!

P.S. – Here’s a completely unedited H2 Zoom, 320Kbps MP3 Test.

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Written by Sterling

April 13, 2009 at 7:30 am

Posted in podcasts

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My New Flip Camera

I got a new Flip video camcorder, it’s not very fancy, but it’s a lot of fun. Even my wife can use it 🙂

So, technically it’s a Pure Digital Flip Ultra Series F260 Camcorder. I got it from woot for $90 (woot’s the bomb!). The “Flip” in it’s name is due to the flip-up USB connector which makes it very easy to connect to your computer. This connection also allows you install the software directly from the camera itself, so you don’t have to worry about being at Uncle Bob’s and not being able to get to your videos, although it’s nice to never need to worry about my batteries dieing and not having a charger.

It can record 60 minutes at 640×480, and uses a DivX compression format. Not exactly sure what the bit rate is, but it looks good, even in the YouTube video the rocks show up nice and clear, with little artifacting. The functionality is painfully simple, the giant red button in the back records. That’s about it, you can also playback and delete videos if can’t get back to a computer before you fill it. The zoom is so lame it might as well not be there, but it might as well not be there anyway. That kind of functionally is not what this camera is intended for, I don’t see me ever using it. Another interesting feature is that it takes 2 AA batteries, I’m hoping it won’t burn through them too fast.

I’ve got a Canon PowerShot SD500, which I love, and it takes great video. There’s just something about this flip camera that makes you want to use it. Plus, with the flip I don’t need to find an SD card to USB converter.

I’ve also included a link to the original video, for those of you that have the DivX codecs, and care.
Flip Video Test

Written by Dan

March 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

Posted in videos

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