(PLEASE USE A DECENT PAIR OF HEADPHONES TO HEAR THE SOUND CLEARLY)
In addition to Zoom H4n ($299), I needed another recorder but small enough to put in a pocket. Zoom H1 ($99) was my first thought, but after some research I went for a different one: TASCAM DR-05 ($99).
When I received it, it was a little bigger than I imagined. I was home with my wife, and she was practicing a song that she'll be singing at a small concert this weekend, and I thought it was a great chance to do a quick test comparing the new TASCAM DR-05 and ZOOM H4N. And I also wanted to emphasize the necessity of proper external audio equipment when shooting with DSLR cameras.
ZOOM H4N was placed on top of the Canon 7D, and TASCAM DR-05 was placed on top of the desk left side of me. Both recorders were about 5 to 6 feet away from my wife. (She didn't memorize the song yet, so she had to look at the computer screen)
I didn't include any comments in the video, so you can be the judge of this test. In my opinion, H4n picked up bass sound better, but overall TREB-BASS balance was better with DR-05. I thought the conventional pick-up pattern of DR-05 caused some sound difference between left and right, but maybe it was partially due to the fact she was singing toward the wall on the left side, and DR-05 was closer to the wall than H4n. I'm thinking of doing another test outside where there's more noise.
This may be a bit too hasty of a conclusion, but possibly H4n is better for music and DR-05 for vocals.
The song is "Wonder Wall" by Oasis.
Update 6/15/11: You can watch her performing at vimeo.com/24954827
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