Canon EOS 7D

Zoom H4N vs. Rode VideoMic

Jonathan Fantucchio

Jonathan Fantucchio

An H4N has 2 condenser mikes built in and is a versatile state of the art 4 track recorder that takes 2 phantom power XLR inputs, and has many,many other uses. That H4N can do what the rode can do and much more. Neither the rode nor the H4N can defeat the 7d's built in Audio Gain Control by themselves. At least with the H4N you can record separate audio. If you can only get one it's the H4N no question.

Mo Li

Mo Li

agreed!! but can the rode videomic 3.5mm input get directly in h4n? i am worried for the 3.5mm input wont be recognized as stereo mic, but rather guitar!

Mike P

Mike P

I just picked up an H4n... actually, I did a test with the onboard H4n mic to see how it holds up (as I was planning on using the onboard mics for ambient audio and the XLRs for dialogue; the test is on my vimeo page).

So far, the best thing about the H4n is that it's battery powered, small and ultra portable (like the 7D). Plus it offers audio quality that is above par. My bro talked right into the mic and the results were pretty awesome (without post-processing, so it'll be even better/cleaner in practice with an XLR mic attached.) He switched to 120degs to capture a convo between two people and the results were pretty workable (not perfect, but that's what shotgun mics are for).

Realistically, if you were planning on using the H4n as a hotshoe-mounted microphone, it'd still give you results much better than the Rode attached directly to the 7D simply because of the Auto-Gain Control of the 7D.

EDIT: Looks like Fantucchio said the exact same thing with fewer words.

Jonathan Fantucchio

Jonathan Fantucchio

Actually Mike your post made me think of what settings my H4N would need to match the Rode's output as this video vimeo.com/7412515 made the 7d sound pretty good. One thing is certain is that the Zoom's instructions are terrible.

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

If I had no choice but to choose one I would get the Zoom because of the headphone out socket. The 7D itself doesn't have a headphone out so whilst the Rode's microphone is better for general usage than the Zoom's, the need to hear what's going to be recorded is essential (duh).

I have a Rode Videomic myself and am planning to buy the Zoom so I get the best of both! It also means the sound man can go for wonder to get the best audio.

Mo Li

Mo Li

i have a senheiser mke400, which is like the rode videomic. But does the h4n take the 3.5mm input as stereo mic? or rather a guitar?

Jonathan Fantucchio

Jonathan Fantucchio

Hey Dan, can you help me and elaborate a bit technically on how the Rode's mic is better. I am trying to learn the sound stuff and i am having some challenges.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

No one asked this but, I just picked up the RODE NTG-2. Man, it looks goofy on the camera but sounds out of this world. I used the NTG-1 for some time now. Its cheap but you need phantom power for that one. So the NTG-2 would be a really nice choice for the 7D.

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

Jonathan you've got me in a tight spot. I'm not that technically proficient in audio but I've come to the conclusion that Rode microphone is better than that of the Zoom. Mainly through listening to comparison tests and watching different videos with similar mise-en-scene set ups to measure the difference.

The Zoom is primarily an audio recording device, I'd say the microphone is secondary function.

Also, you can't put the Zoom on a boom pole. Well, you can but you won't be to modify settings during a take. I have the Rode Videomic with a boom pole, dead cat, and a 10m 3.5mm cable. So, I'm gonna get the Zoom so I'll be able to monitor and record a separate, high quality audio track during shoots. Perfect!

Christian Mazza

Christian Mazza Plus

Wow, thanks for the input guys. I think the Zoom would be a better option, mostly because of the headphone out for monitoring and not to mention control over your audio. Has anyone found any hot shoe mounts for the H4N? ...other than gaffer tape? :)

Jonathan Fantucchio

Jonathan Fantucchio

There's ton of cheapos on ebay from china. I got one for about $10. They work well as you can see from my avatar.

hvimeo

hvimeo

how far can the h4n pick up the sound? can it up the sound from more than 20 feet away like the rodeo video mic can do?

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

Daniel Nakamura-Craig

Or you could buy a cheap tripod and put it on that. Providing the subject that you want to record doesn't move.

Christian Mazza

Christian Mazza Plus

I found the perfect mount for the H4N: Manfrotto 482LCD Micro Ball Head with Hot Shoe Mount (Amazon / $48.90).

ageel

ageel

Thanx for the good info. h4n is on my wishlist already ^^
For those who want to monitor the audio on 7D, they can use the RCA A/V out cable and use a converter that you can connect the red/white cables to and it has an input for the headphone jack and it should work.. I recall reading this somewhere but never tried it.

The only drawback of this is that you need to carry the A/V cable with you + the converter.

Emiliano Castro Vizcarra

Emiliano Castro Vizcarra

hi every one. Pleas help with this. I have a 7D CAMERA, and i buy the micrfone ntg-3 you recomend to buy the phanton baterry o tu buy the ntg-2. what its the best think to doo?
thanks you

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

Get the NTG-2. It takes a AA battery so you will not need Phantom Power.
I have a demo of this in my videos.

Alan Natale

Alan Natale

When it comes to audio for me I always insist on two things, headphones and meters. The 7D has neither, the H4N has both. I'm bummed because my editing style is so scattered (it's how I work) so to have separate audio is a big honking downer but, hey, it's the price to pay for such amazing video imagery.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

Do you use FCP. If so try Plural Eyes. Its makes syncing audio very easy.

David  - SkyJamVideos

David - SkyJamVideos

If you can save a bit more the Marantz PMD661 it is a better build than the H4N. Pre amps are better too. I had the H4N and there are a lot of things I could say about it's design and build.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

Just want to say I continue to LOVE the ZOOM H4N. There is nothing like it.

Son of Sizemore

Son of Sizemore

Josh, as you seem to be a fan of the H4N, I wondered if you could help me. I just bought one and all recorded sound thru the onboard mics (and even using my Rode mic) seems to have a LOT of noise on it, particularly the left hand audio...is there something I've done wrong or is there a setting I should change? Any help HUGELY appreciated :)

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

Ummm.. I thinking...Do the meters look ok? They should be full but not red. Is there anyway you can post a sample? Im trying to think but Ive only had great outcomes with it.... There are a lot of other H4N users here too. I will point you in the right direction.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

This guy really knows his stuff too. He uses the Zoom H4N and may know what could be going on. Be sure to let us know how it turns out..
vimeo.com/mattsfilms

Son of Sizemore

Son of Sizemore

Cheers Man! Everything looks okay to me, and I've used an H4, which sounded great...I may push for a return on this unit as I think there must be a fault. But thank you for the help anyway, its cool of you :)

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

Yeah. Do that. Whoever you bought it from should take it back with no problem. Im sure the next one will work great for you!

Nathan Rios

Nathan Rios

Hello everyone, uhhh. I read all these post and I still cant decide. I see the rode and its so simple, but i do love the sound quality of the zoom. I no nothing of sound so i need help. Can you just simply stick your zoom on cheap hot shoe and just record sound like the rode? I don't really want to mess with settings. Thanks!

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

No the ZOOM does not go on the shoe. It all synced in post processing. If you are not big on working with the audio in post, then you will love the simplicty of the Rode.
Or save and get both. They work great together.

Angel Vicente

Angel Vicente

Hello, I have a Canon eos 7d and want better sound quality but I have a doubt: it is possible to Connect directly the 4n to the 7d in order to avoid syncronization in some occasions? If yes how about the resulting quallity?
Cheers from Spain.

Angel Vicente

Angel Vicente

And...How about connecting the headphones out of the H4N to the audio in of the 7D and use it as a reference for syncronizing? have you tried it?

Thanks a lot.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

? Im not sure I understand... Syncing is not hard though. A good clap or one of those dog trainer clicker things is all you need.

Angel, if you can explain your question, I will test it for you.

DonVintage

DonVintage Plus

Dog clicker... great idea! I was snapping my fingers, and they got tired.

Angel Vicente

Angel Vicente

Thank you very much Josh,
I was thinking on one of those cables mini-Jack to mini-jack. What I was thinking was connecting one end (mini-jack) in h4n headphones out and the other mini-jack to the 7d's audio in.
Sorry for my English and thanks again.

Angel Vicente

Angel Vicente

Finally I have mine. I have just tried and if you connect one cable from the headphones out of the h4n to the audio in in the 7d THERE IS A LOT OF NOISE, it is not clean at all, so the only way is syncronizing.

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

I think you are right about that. Also try PluralEyaes. It's a plug in for FCP that syncs for you!

Kidmerican

Kidmerican

Along with added noise, the 7D's auto gain control will kick in and likely screw up the quality of your audio if you do that.

Jon Onstot

Jon Onstot Plus

You need an attenuator cable to reduce the line-level signal coming out of the H4N down to mic level input on the 7D. Attenuator cables are available at B&H and Amazon. Do a search.

Angel Vicente

Angel Vicente

Unfortunately I am not in the MAC world. Do you know another sync software for Windows?
Thank you in advance.

Steve Miles

Steve Miles

There is a newer stand alone product called dual eyes which will sync your audio like plural eyes but it will work with any NLE editing software like Premiere Elements. A big difference is that it is designed to sync only a single camera not multiples like plural eyes syncs. (Although you could work around this limitation in post) I think it's at about the same price point as plural eyes, around $ 150 direct from Singular Software.

Kidmerican

Kidmerican

I believe there's a beta of PluralEyes for premiere that you could try out, although I haven't. Also if you have Sony Vegas for your PC, there's a version of PluralEyes for that.

Steph Knight

Steph Knight

I have read all the comments, And im in the same situation as I have a 7D with Rode mic however I am going to shoot a documentary in spain, thus I want to have reduced background noise, as it is going to be a documentary, therefore im stuck as I dont want to leave the country knowing that I will come back with crappy audio even thought it may all be cleared in post.... hmmm what to do..

Steph Knight

Steph Knight

and what about attaching the zoom h4n to the rode mic when undergoing interviews.

Evil Flip

Evil Flip

what kind of interviews? On the street, or in a setup (like in someones home, or office)? And will you be alone or with a crew? the thing I like the most about a Zoom (I have the H2) is that you can hide it anywhere. I had to do an interview (behind a desk) and I could just leave it on the desk (behind a plant or just outside of the shot). the set up is quick and you have no problems with wires. another cheap trick I use is put it on a boom pool (but you need somebody to handle it). you can also plug in a lavalier and put the zoom itself in the pocked of the interviewee. and ofcourse you can always put in on your camera. so it's very diverse. and placing it somewhere else also minimises the sounds your camera/lens might make. but then again, if you need to work quick (like on the street) and alone; I'd say use the Rode.

Jake Lucas

Jake Lucas Plus

I have a 7D and and a Rode videomic and have found I am picking up background sound during interviews in a public place, say in a mall or street, I will be alone with no crew, say I want to reduce all background sound to a minimum and just have the subjects voice what is the best way to do this with the Rode videomic? I would really like to know soon as I have a very important interview coming up.

Christian Mazza

Christian Mazza Plus

Wow, haven't been on this thread in awhile.. I've been using both, just depends on the subject matter. Although, at work they just picked up a bunch of JuicedLink preamps (juicedlink.com/audio-preamps-mixers-etc/product-list/jl-dt454) and it does a solid job. Way better than BeachTek but I can see how people would get frustrated with setting it up, it looks like a gear head made this strictly for gear heads.

It's nice having meters and your a/v synced at ingestion. But I'll admit, the H4N is still my fav. and with Plural Eyes syncing in post is easy as pushing a button. That's my 2cents..

Ryan Hargrave

Ryan Hargrave

I have some friends that ran a webseries on Revision3 and they used the H4N then switched to the JuicedLink. The sound engineer said the juicedLink had a little more noise in it, but the guys editing loved it becuase it simplified what they did. They recorded everything via XLR and a Sen. shotgun mic.

Josh Webber

Josh Webber

Can you connect the H4N to your computer for FCP voice over?

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

I dont think so. You can record your voice over to the H4N, then just pop in the SD card.

Kevin Daly

Kevin Daly

Indeed you can. When you connect the H4N to the computer via USB you can select between having the computer read it as a USB mass storage device or as a microphone to do things like record voiceovers.

Kevin Dayrit|knive.dytria

Kevin Dayrit|knive.dytria

Just wondering, is it possible to connect the headphone out of the h4n to the mic input of the 7D with a cable so synchronization won't be a problem?

Ron van Rutten

Ron van Rutten

I was actually looking at the Zoom H1 vs The Rode Videomic. Both are around the same price, but I cant find any tests. Syncing shouldn't be a problem so it's all about sound quality.

Will be shooting video at concerts so I have loud music pumping through the speakers. Anyone a suggestion?

Abe Robledo

Abe Robledo

I'd like to know the same thing, I have a concert that I'm filming next month and have no idea what I'm going to do about the audio. Should I just get the Rode VideoMic Pro or do I get the H4n1 and place it in the back at the center?

Dfilmon // Motion Designer

Dfilmon // Motion Designer

awesome, I really wish I knew a lot more about a lot of things, audio being one of them. I'm a Motion Designer // AE Cinema guy but I love video and audio as well and deal with it often enough to get a 7D lol.

Random but u guys ever find yourself thinking, crap there's a lot of stuff I don't know about I mean even as a Motion Designer I'm had to dabble in Actionscript 3.0 for some web(nightmare), html, css and Jquery, 3D--after a nightmare of a time decided to stick with cinema and even photography setting up lights and what have you.

now I'm learning more about Graphic Design and am really humbled-- it's a universe of creativity out there which is why i feel really fortunate that there are communities of people who kinda specialize that you can humbly learn from, it's an awesome time to be alive as a Creative :)

Chris Westerstrom

Chris Westerstrom

i'm with you dfilmon, that's why I frequent these boards

but I guess their comes a time when it's best just to say fuggit and do something creative instead of worrying about the technical aspects too much and worrying about what you don't know. It's a dilemma I find myself in often

Chris Westerstrom

Chris Westerstrom

and by that I mean, confidence in my creativity, not so confident at the technical stuff (I leave every shoot worried hahaha)

Abe Robledo

Abe Robledo

same here man, I was on my way to a concert the other day to shoot and a nervous wreck about technical stuff but once i got there I just let my creativity confidence take over.

Ross Grant

Ross Grant

Guys, just waiting to buy a new Canon 600D when it's released end of March and need good quality sound for interviews done both audio only and video interviews too.

Anyone used to doing video interviews tell me the best set up to get good audio from the interviewer behind the camera as well as the subject being interviewed. Don't quite know how to set it up but could do with both people being heard well.

Also can I use the H4N as a Skype microphone. I record a lot of podcasts through Skype.

Thanks!

Josh Ratliff

Josh Ratliff Plus

I think the Zoom H4N is what I would use. If you want to make a podcast, why not just record to the H4N and add a little music and post it to the web? But, let us know about skype...that would be neat I think.

I also just got the Rode VideoMic Pro. I love it!

JB Horn

JB Horn Plus

I just got the Zoom H4N and i love it. Even with the Rode you cant cancel out the Automatic Gain Control in the 7D so you will still have the hiss

My personal opinion is the H4N, more control

Jean-François Mercier

Jean-François Mercier

Hi Josh, are you using a 7D? I'm thinking to buy the new Rode VideoMic PRo. Even with the 7d's built in Auto Audio Gain Control, do you still get a less noise with this new one.

ID Conception

ID Conception

Zoom H4N is my final choice... heard there is still some noise even with the new VideoMic pro of Rode. Hope they will update the firmware someday.

This conversation is missing your voice. Please join Vimeo or log in.

This is a Vimeo Group. Groups allow you to create mini communities around the things you like. Check out other interesting groups. Groups