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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Video, Amazing Audio
This is a tiny recorder that is almost as small as the H1. It has very nice video (better than the iPhone video) but it has
amazing quality audio.
It feels better made than the H1, and the card entry is better made than the flimsy cover on the H1 in which people have
had it break off. Samson appears to have gotten the memo on this.
The sound is...
Published on August 31, 2012 by Peter Hyatt

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great machine with design flaws
Just used my Q2 for the first time. Good video, good but low level sound, intensely bad battery life. I would say that the video quality is marginally better than my iPhone, the sound is far superior - even if you have to crank the recording level to 11 for voice - but 2 fresh AA batteries barely lasted 30 minutes. I expected much better - the Zoom H1 audio recorder...
Published 17 months ago by J. R. Hayes


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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Video, Amazing Audio, August 31, 2012
By 
Peter Hyatt (Orrington, Maine) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
This is a tiny recorder that is almost as small as the H1. It has very nice video (better than the iPhone video) but it has
amazing quality audio.
It feels better made than the H1, and the card entry is better made than the flimsy cover on the H1 in which people have
had it break off. Samson appears to have gotten the memo on this.
The sound is amazingly clear, as I tested it on acoustic guitar and vocals at varying distances, and
it came out clear, but with a rich sound of a Martin guitar not lost in translation somewhere.
It appears to have low noise, similar in quality, perhaps to the Zoom H2n, and can be used solely as an audio recorder, saving battery
usage. I got a 16g card so it will go for almost 4 hours of video at a lower rate, with tons of hours as audio only.
Recording at the higher rate is a nice option, far above CD quality, and something most consider to be Zoom's standard now.
The menu is easy to operate and the user will not likely need the instruction booklet for very long. It is intuitive and the
USB connection is easy. Differing from the Q3HD is that it does not take external microphones and will only work on more
modern televisions (not the old sets) using a HDMI cable. The auto settings for both audio and video are nice for those of us
who are just looking to grab some nice video of the kids' sporting events, and when it is time for a more serious video of a music
performance, we have the option of setting the gain for ourselves, as well as the lighting settings. At HD720/30, a 16gb card gives me 3 hours 17 minutes, While the audio can be set all the way to 96/24! (the video goes up to 1080/30 dropping me to 2 hours 30 minutes of video time.
Transferring to the computer is easy, and also something the menu display makes for anyone to use.
It is a great little unit, with a better feel than the H1, and has wonderful sound with the mics setting from Mono to 150 degrees (90 degrees is working well for the acoustic guitar/vocals recordings).

I love that the microphones are protected.

It is a useful tool also for guitar/music lessons and You Tube broadcasting is a breeze. The unit also works as an interface. You can turn on the sound monitor to keep up on your recording, which is another nice little feature. ***** Stars.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit quirky, but a great recorder for concerts and meetings., November 14, 2012
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
While others below have had such difficulty with this product, I have been able to get it to work correctly. Albeit with a little finagling. If you are running Windows 7, or are not getting sound during your streaming (Ustream, Skype), please do yourself a favor and go to Zooms website and download and install the webcam audio driver. Once you have done this, you will be able to stream video AND audio to your live stream account.

What Zoom does a terrible job with, is the fact that the included 2gb card has the software for the unit on it. People usually throw those out, and don't even bother (like I did) to read the instructions. The unit simply won't install correctly without the software that is supplied on the included card. Since I put an 8gb card in the device, I learned this the hard way, and zoom does not make this clear out of the gate.

Also, read the included PDF in the download from the zoom's website, it is clear as a bell as to how to hook this little recorder up.

Now, onto the unit itself, it has FANTASTIC audio, and the video is not terrible either. Not the best, just good enough for me. Honestly, what do you expect for $200? The menu system works, and you can choose which audio format you want (AAC or PCM) from the menu as well as the resolution you desire. You MUST select what you want, I'm sure the other reviewer below didn't bother to check for the audio settings in the menu before he/she reviewed the device.

Anyway, to sum it up, this unit is a little difficult to setup for streaming audio and video, however it can be done with a little elbow grease.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW TO MAKE IT WORK WELL!, April 17, 2014
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
#1 Best Camera AUDIO Recorder on the Market for the Price!
Zoom's by-line used to be:
"A little bit of video and a whole lot of audio"

The reason you buy this recorder is you only have 100 bucks and you want killer audio recordings to accompany your average videos.
Believe me, an average video with great sound is much better than a great video with lousy sound.

For one to get both, you will have to shell out a lot more money or get fancy with various equipment. This is a handy, quick to grab camera that records audio very well.
You can hold this up to a savage drummer punishing a crash cymbal with near perfect clarity. The bass and subs come through most excellent. Great for concerts, loud events and people with little money.

NOTE:
Not convenient for editing the video files without using third-party software applications like Adobe Premier, Sony Vegas, ProShow, etc. Many times I find myself using something like Xilisoft Video Converter to convert them into *.AVI files which are much easier to work with in Windows apps. The good news is nowadays, there are many more options for editing and working with *.MOV video files than just a few years ago.

This unit records *.MOV file types.
*.MOV files are difficult to work with for a novice in Windows.
I suggest NEVER using the included "Handyshare" application. It is total junk, and will only frustrate you.

If you record and cannot see video or hear no sound:
(how is that possible...to "hear no sound."?? -lol.)
...but I digress:
First try different settings on the Zoom camera.

Windows does not natively recognize every video & audio codec.
Windows must be updated to recognize all the different types of audio & video formats, just like when Windows 95/98 first came out, it didn't recognize what an MP3 file was, so you had to use a third-party application like WinAmp or RealPlayer to play the music file. SAME THING TODAY.

I suggest Googling "K-Lite codecs" and download the free updated drivers for Windows.
This will also update Windows to understand many different, old & new, file types.

Once you install a "codec pack" (codec means "compression-decompression") Windows will most likely recognize the files and play them correctly.
If you have the Zoom camera set to high fidelity PCM audio, try setting it to 320kbps AAC audio. This is a slightly compressed form of hi-fi audio that Windows understands and recognizes.

I can tell you that Windows 7 with the updated K-Lite codecs play the files just fine on all settings.

HDMI connected to a TV: No Sound?
If you connect this camera to a TV using the HDMI output, you need to go into the settings Menu on the Zoom camera under the INPUT category and select Output Monitor ON. You also have to use the correct/proper HDMI cable. Some of the cheaper ones are crap. (some of the expensive ones do not work either!)
Also you need to make sure that you have not inadvertently turned down the volume. This is easy to do until you get used to the little 4-way circular control on the unit. I have a few times tried zooming in and out only to find that I was just moving the volume level and not the digital zoom without realizing it. Zoom is left & right and volume is top & bottom (up & down)using the 4-way control on the back.

I also know that some computers can't "keep up" with the large video files so easily with the *.MOV format.
I recorded a 1920x1080 video using the highest audio settings (96KHz/24-bit) and when I played it back on the PC, the audio was out of sync. - When I converted it to an AVI file type, it played perfectly in sync with sharp video. I hate *.MOV files, but I LOVE THIS CAMERA!

Most people buy this for recording bands and concerts because of the great audio.
If you are a novice, average user and you have no special needs for clear audio at loud volumes, you may want to buy a cheap regular camera that records videos...like your mobile phone.

If you are in a band, or just a drummer who hangs around musicians...this is the camera for you! (lol)
Remember: A little bit of video and a WHOLE LOT OF AUDIO.

I have owned and used the older Zoom Q3 (640x480) Handy Recorder for a couple years and have waited for the price to drop on the HD version. It has and I am a proud and happy owner.
The audio is just about the same, but the full size HD video is a nice plus, even though it's not great video with many options, it is significantly larger, clearer & better than the older version.

If you have the MIC gain setting to Manual, be careful not to bump or move the little thumb wheel control on the side of the camera when recording unless otherwise necessary. The new version only has Auto, Low & High MIC settings, so be glad you can manually control the MIC on this model, even though it may be inadvertently moved during recording.
The older (and newer) models do not allow to manually adjust the MIC input gain level, and what would happen is when set to Auto, a loud sound would lower the gain automatically to the point where only loud sounds would be audible. Example: A drummer plays a loud beat, stops and then talks to the camera. Because the Auto setting(s) have lowered the level greatly, you cannot hear him talk. This problem was overcome by using the manual thumb wheel control on the side. I like it!

Yes, it eats batteries like you wouldn't believe!
I ordered some Tenergy Premium 2500mAh rechargeable batteries. A fresh pair of them lasted for almost 3 hours in full HD and hi-fi audio mode. Make sure the camera settings are set to "Ni-Cad" when using rechargeable batteries.

Easy Power Adapter:
Buy a cheap one dollar USB wall socket charger and hook up a USB cable to the unit after turning it on.
You can even take out the batteries once it has powered up.
Zoom also makes a power adapter you can buy that does the same thing.

I have seen killer video recordings made with iPads and iPhones, but the audio was always terrible. This in turn made the whole video terrible. The Zoom camera takes average video and turns it into a killer recording worth watching, and hardly ever annoying when viewing loud & live events. I know of no other device that does this, and does it well, for under one hundred dollars.

Yes, I am bummed out that the newer models do not have a metal camera mount insert like the older ones. Fragile plastic threads are the new design so be careful and gentle.

The jury is still out on the "video aspect ratio."
When the zoom is fully wide, it still seems a little "zoomed in".
I think this might be a good thing in the long run. Most times you are standing at a distance and the extra "zoomed in ratio" will most likely be appreciated more times than not. This model has a 4x digital zoom function. It works "okay."
I have many times found myself having to use the "zoomed in max" to get "close enough" from where I was standing.
If you are very close to your subject, this might be compromising, such as close range in a small space.

The "view monitor screen" is very small and sometimes hard to see.
When you are playing video back on the camera you can make the video bigger by holding down the PLAY button and it will switch to a larger Landscape view, and you turn the camera sideways to view it.
You cannot do this in record mode.
While in record mode, the screen displays the video and audio settings as well as the MIC setting. This helps.

I highly recommend getting a tripod or what I use, a "Microphone Stand Adapter" to hold this while video recording.
I also urge you to get a protective case.

Smaller, lighter and "plasticker" than before, but hey, it's smaller & lighter!
(just be careful with it.)

You will probably want to buy a much larger memory card. I use a 32GB card with a speed rating of 10. Zoom advises using a speed rating of "6" or higher.
The 2GB card that comes with it will provide about 15 minutes of full HD video and Hi-Fi Audio.
If you select lower settings, you can get more "time" but may sacrifice some video quality...then again, you may never really notice it whatsoever. This is not a twenty-thousand dollar television camera.

One more thing: Update the firmware on the camera.
Mine came with version 1.0 - The newest version on the Zoom website is 1.2
I found it by Googling "Q2 HD camera software update" - once again, I only installed the FIRMWARE upgrade. I did not update or use the webcam driver or HandyShare "crapplication." (I just invented that word...street creds & props accordingly.)
You will need to download and install the Firmware using 32-bit or 64-bit version for Windows.
(see the website)

So in recap:
The reason you buy this is because you want to easily video record loud events that generally distort most cameras in this price range.

You are not expecting great video for this price range, but do expect great audio with average HD video!

If you want to "work" with these video files, you will need to use third-party applications, editor software, converting software, etc.
(You will probably learn a bit about *.MOV files and video processes.)

Use the USB port for unlimited power from a wall socket.

Facebook may not recognize all audio/video types, but YouTube does.
If you ever have a "problem" try uploading it to YouTube, and then download it back from YouTube after they do their conversion processing...for you! This works for virtually all video files.

Happy to help!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Husband's Video Confessions of his Classical Violinist, March 28, 2013
By 
ken yasuda (SMYRNA, GA, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
I purchased the Zoom Q2HD several weeks ago to record my wife Martha playing her violin; the music to be performed comes from her own arrangements that she has written over the past 10 years. After some editing, I plan on uploading these videos to YouTube and some other popular Video sites to help market Martha's 35 plus music books.

Given the primary purpose of this purchase, what is of paramount importance is the quality of the audio in these video recordings. In this regard, the Zoom Q2HD exceeds even Martha's very high expectations. The stereo audio is extremely clear and picks up the nuances of the playing (both Martha individually as well as with another player). In addition, the quality of video is more than satisfactory for placement on the Internet.

The instructions that came with the Zoom are more than sufficient to get you going quickly (I printed a larger PDF version found online...given my rather poor eyesight), even if you have little to no video taking experience.

The Zoom Q2HD is powered by two AA batteries (supplied in the box); this does not provide enough energy for more than half an hour of shooting. The solution to this problem is to use the AC adapter (sold separately) when taking your videos...I chose this power option and it works flawlessly.

All in all, this is an excellent video recorder for the priced!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the best Camera I have found for the price, January 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
I am quite impressed with this little Camera. I have to admit when I got it i questioned my purchase. It kindda looks like something that came out of a Cracker Jacks box. The performance is a quite different story. The audio is quite excellent and the video is not bad either. The price of this little camera sews the deal. I recorded a show at a club that I play at quite regularly. I was skeptical of how the video would turn out as the lighting in the club is quite low, and the acoustics are pretty bad as well. I set the camera to record at 720p and 24bit audio on auto gain. When I stopped the recorder I plugged my Bose headphones in to listen to the recording and was literally blown away. It really sounds like it was professionally recorded, and when I came home and plugged it in to the HDMI on my 42 in widescreen, the video was clear and the audio over my Sony stereo system was excellent. There are a couple things about the camera i do not care for. The center button is a bit quirky as you try to push it, it has a tendency to move the arrow coursers n the menu. If you use a pen or pointer it works ok. I have fat fingers so that is kind of annoying. It uses two AA batteries and records about an hour and a half before the batteries are used up.
So for someone looking to record their own show I think this little camera does an excellent job for the price.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality audio, sketchy video, February 3, 2013
By 
Geek Girl (NH United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
I had the Q3HD and used it for a couple of years until it was lost. By comparison, the Audio on this model is just as good as the Q3HD, and the video is just as bad. Seriously, my iPhone takes better video. :-( From a musician's point of view, this has a key advantage over the Q3HD: the ability to connect it to my computer and use as an external microphone for my computer. This is a handy feature, as I sometimes want to record and mix to my computer, but didn't have a decent external mic.

Disadvantages vs. Q3HD:
- They control pad button is hard to push- it is so deeply recessed that you will hit the toggle switch on the side, but not the button in the middle. And this from a person who has small dainty fingers.
- There is no built-in USB dongle. This was handy, as sometimes I forget mine. :-)

Things I don't like about this:
- My main complaint is if you change a setting, it is lost as soon as the unit turns itself on or off. I most often want to record only audio, not video (I don't care about the vid, and I prefer smaller files). I am constantly having to frob with the menu settings to turn the camera off, as this setting is forgotten every time the unit powers itself off.

- This unit has an editing feature- Q3HD did not. However, it's not very useful... it is *incredibly* slow and painful to fast forward through a recording you are trying to cut. And it just plain won't forward past the first few minutes. All in all, completely useless. This is a shame, as it would be lovely to have a way to quickly split large recordings without having to xfer to a computer.

- Fast forward and reverse options, in general, suck. Plan on spending a lot of effort to hold down the button. And if you happen to nudge the toggle switch the wrong way, game over: you are back to the start of the recording. There is no way to start at the end of a recording and rewind- major bummer if you are looking for something at the end of a long session. The Q3HD model was just as bad in this respect.

- Like the Q3HD, the leveling algorithm is not that great. If the drummer nails it, it will lower the recording level for the rest of the session. This means sometimes you get things recordings that just are not at all at the right level.

- The front battery door is really cheesy plastic- I'm sure it will break soon.

I have not tried the streaming capabilities, as I really have no interest in those...

I bought this because it is easy to stuff a memory card into it and record a multi-hour session. My iPhone doesn't typically have that much free mem. When I do 5 days in a row, I can just shove in a different card, and not worry about my phone running out of memory.

If you are only recording shorter sessions, I would suggest instead an iPhone, the Blue Mikey external mic, and a tripod. You will get better video, and the Blue Mikey audio is at least as good (actually I think a tad better).

Despite all of the issues, there just isn't a better option on the market right now in this price range if you want excellent audio. As I mentioned, the iphone+blue Mikey is a good alternative if you aren't worried about memory usage. Also, the capability for use as an external mic on the computer is very helpful.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great machine with design flaws, March 29, 2013
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
Just used my Q2 for the first time. Good video, good but low level sound, intensely bad battery life. I would say that the video quality is marginally better than my iPhone, the sound is far superior - even if you have to crank the recording level to 11 for voice - but 2 fresh AA batteries barely lasted 30 minutes. I expected much better - the Zoom H1 audio recorder lasts forever on a set of batteries. If Samson knows their new baby eats batteries, they should include an AC adapter in the box.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wanted a high quality Sound and Video audition / industry demo device, March 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
I've been in the music business for more than five decades.

I've was a "signed act" and had songs published in the mid-to-late sixties.

Now I do lease/license releases for myself and the industry.

Many years ago I would record potential players or singers with a stereo reel-reel... later with a multi-track, particularly for drummers... to use for later review.

Additionally I would record myself for an "industry shopper" - for my songs... something I do as an interim product, before and/or instead of, what's commonly called a "Demo".

Having produced a substantial amount of product (mostly for others) that was meant to image well and therefore convey it's recording environment, I have, since my introduction to the Format/Technique, been a huge fan of "Mid-Side" micing... partially because it also reproduces an essentially perfect phase correlation for surround sound which many of us have recorded in/ for - since the late sixties. Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, etc., having put fully correlated surround sound phase processing onto many of their records since about 1966.

Enter Zoom Products for field-video AUDIO recording - amongst their various attributes; Zoom offers interchangeable "Mic-Heads" for some of their products. Among the various choices offered are "Mid-Side" mics.

I already have a reasonably good (though limited) HD video recorder... and as you might imagine... I have about any audio device I might need - as well as having computer programs or traditional means of syncing their outputs if required. OK as far as it goes, but an awful lot of hassle for some of the more moderate things that I [and all of us] do on a day-to-day basis.

The Q2HD is seemingly the exactly right product to fill that niche... quick set-up, outstanding audio, remarkably good video and no additional processing required for almost all of the basic projects for which any of us would use it. 1- record your band live for YouTube or DVD... better than you have any right to expect for the effort, 2- make a simple song-demo... with or without video... etc, etc.

Not only is this a pretty amazing Audio Device - partly because of it's mid-side adjust-ability for "room-focus" [mono to wide in many steps] and partly because of its remarkable sampling flexibility, but also because the actual mics that are built-in are well beyond what you have any right to expect at this price-point... you could easily pay more for just the mics, than the entire Q2HD, and still not get as good a sound quality.

Then there's the video - at this price it's almost just a "bonus" yet it has substantial flexibility in terms of Zoom/Framing, lighting and format - from pretty darn good... up to very, very good.

And --- although for me, thus far, it hasn't really been an issue one way or the other; the fact that the entire package not only fits in my pocket... I can even close the button-flap on an ordinary shirt so it can't fall out... is pretty cool for portability, I'd say.

Last-but-not-least; the menu is a jewel. well lit, easy to use, logically laid out and very flexible. In addition the metering, which comes up in the menu window is excellent and useful. Lastly, although, like the entire unit; the video viewer is small, it's nonetheless entirely usable.

It's a ZOOM product - I expected it to be very good. It's actually better than that. quite an impressive product. the Only hope I could have for "better" would be a mufti-channel version -- with, at best, the interchangeable mic-heads. Dreaming? Maybe not. Could be just around the corner.......... and I'd still be glad I have this (stereo) version as well!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great handy recorder, February 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
Great recording sound, easy to upload videos, easy to learn to operate, one of the best purchases for my music teaching studio
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, May 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zoom Q2HD Handy HD Video Recorder with 2GB SD Card and Two AA Batteries (Electronics)
Amazing product and functions.
As a profissional musician it will be very useful to record my concerts, class and recitals.
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