CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
TASCAM DR-60D Linear PCM Recorder for DSLR Filmmaking and Field Recording (Discontinued By Manufacturer)
- High Quality HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) Mic Preamp, Upgraded AD Converters and Clock Crystal
- 2-XLR-1/4" Combo Locking Inputs with +48V Phantom Power and 1 Stereo 1/8" Input with Plug-In Power
- 4 Channel Recording up to 96kHz/24-Bit and Multiple Record Modes including TASCAM's Dual "Safety Track" Recording
- Soft Touch Controls for Eliminated Handling Noise plus Slate Tone Generator
- Records to Standard SD Card, Mini-USB for Transfer, Camera Mount on Top and Camera Screw on Bottom
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DR-60D 4-Channel PCM Recorder with DSLR Video Functionality
TASCAM‘s DR-60D is the new audio recording solution for on-set filmmakers and videographers using DSLR cameras. Until now, filmmakers have been using bulky audio recorders designed for music and also trying to transform the inferior audio technology built-into DSLR Cameras. TASCAM has now designed an answer for pros and amateurs alike.
Key DR-60D Features
- 2 XLR-1/4" Combo Inputs w/Locking Connectors, HDDA Mic Pres & +48V Phantom Power
- 1 Stereo 3.5mm Input w/Plug-In Power
- Camera Out, Headphone Out & Line Out w/Independent Dial Controls
- Soft Touch Keys, Peak Limiter, Low Cut Filter & Slate Tone Generator
- Dual "Safety Track," 4-Channel & Auto Record Mode
Easy to Use Menu Operation & Soft-Touch Keys
The DR-60D is incredibly easy to use, employing TASCAM’s very popular user interface and external controls for every major operation. The body structure, soft-touch keys and dials are designed specifically to help eliminate handling noise. The multiple record modes including, 4-Channel Record, Auto Record and TASCAM’s Dual Record “Safety Track” Mode (first made popular on the DR-40) make the DR-60D one of the most versatile recorders on the market.
DUAL MONO and DUAL STEREO mode automatically provide a back-up safety track in case the initial levels where set too high and clips/peaks were encountered. The safety track can be set to record from -6dB to -12dB lower than the initial take.
Recording Quality & Inputs/Outputs
The DR-60D is a brand new 4-track solid-state recorder utilizing TASCAM’s decades of experience. The recorder employs high-grade pre-amps, legendary D/A converters and a durable but lightweight structure and shape. This device will fit snuggly under any camera or into any rig, and record up to 96kHz/24-bit high quality audio straight to SD/SDHC media. Filmmakers have at their disposal (2) ¼”-XLR Locking Combo MIC/LINE Inputs, 3.5mm Stereo MIC Input, Camera In, Camera Out, Line Out and Headphone Out. Both ¼”-XLR Combo Inputs supply +48V Phantom Power and the 3.5mm Input supplies Plug-In Power for microphones requiring a bias voltage.
TASCAM has spent years perfecting the DR-60D for the DSLR Filmmaking market. Everything was thought of, from the Slate feature for marking tracks, the RC-10 Remote compatibility, the quality of its internal workings, the design, the controls and connectivity. To take it one step further and ensure the DR-60D as the DSLR Audio for Video Recorder of choice, This is a product that will open doors, create possibilities and feed creativity. The DR-60D is another legendary product from a legendary company, TASCAM. DR-60D is the (until now) unrealized product filmmakers have been waiting for.
Top Customer Reviews
The form factor is a definite improvement over most handheld recorders because it mounts better on camera rigs and is far more practical for solo operators, shooters who are also acting as audio recordists. This is because controls and display face the operator. In many situations this side by side arrangement makes it much much easier to keep an eye on audio levels while at the same time framing shots.
Lack of microphones is no big deal. In fact, a plus. You can always feed a camera mic such as a Rode VideoMic or Shure LensHopper if needed. But for most applications, camera and mic positioning are wildly different; that's why people buy these things - for the XLR inputs and access to professional mics and mic technique.
The dual level recording features of this recorder is a huge deal for the intended audience. Face it, devices like this see a lot of use on shoots that do not,have a dedicated professional audio recordist. In situations where crew members wear multiple hats, this recorder's design to capture duplicate safety tracks at a lower level is very compelling.
Build quality is good, but not superb. I wish the battery cover was better designed. It does not seem secure, and the latch does not inspire confidence. It would be nice if the battery door were tethered to the recorder's main body. These things need to be field tested, and survive transportation in equipment bags and long days shooting with frequent setup changes.
The worst problem with the recorder turns out not to be an actual problem, but marketing disinformation. I would not consider mounting my camera on the top of this recorder. You can tell from the photos that the 1/4-20 tripod screw and "camera" mount on top of this recorder are nowhere near the structural integrity of even the lowliest quick release plate. Then consider what kind of stress might be applied to the plastic body of the recorder, or how high quality the base mount assembly of this recorder might be. Am I going to fix a load on top like my Canon 5D Mk III with a heavy L series Canon lens? No way!
A far better alternative is to use a camera cage and mount this recorder above the camera. Camera cages can add a lot of cost, and it gets ridiculous when a low tech device like a cage or camera rig costs more than a Canon 5D Mk III or Blackmagic Cinema Camera. But you don't have to spend that kind of money to get excellent results. I use the Photography & Cinema (PNC) GearBox Cage that is very economical, and very good quality also. You can get it with or without a rod system. There are also great inexpensive accessories like an innovative follow focus from Hondo Garage. It was so cheap, I bought one out of curiosity, but it turned out to be wonderfully useful and functional.
Mounting this Tascam recorder on top of the PNC Gearbox Cage is perfect positioning for a solo operator. I've built two rigs like this, one for a GH3, the other for a 5D Mk III. The PNC GearBox has a spacer in the side handles that can be removed to better fit the rig to smaller cameras like the GH3. On my rigs, I added Arca-Swiss style quick releases from Really Right Stuff. They make camera-specific mounting plates, available in two types for each camera. One is an L-bracket which covers the baseplate for horizontal mounting, plus wraps up the side of the camera opposite the memory cards to provide another dovetail for orienting the camera vertically in the clamp. The second type of baseplate does not wrap up the side of the camera body, and thus provides horizontal mounting only. For use in the PNC GearBox cage, avoid the L-bracket design. It obstructs clearance between the camera body and the cage handle and obstructs attachment of audio and HDMI cables on the camera.
When you mount the Tascam recorder on top of a camera cage, the "camera mount" on the Tascam is useful for mounting anything else that might be attached to a camera rig. This includes LED lights, microphones, and wireless mic receivers. Most shoe mounts, including Rode VideoMic and Sennheiser Evolution wireless receivers, have 1/4-20 threaded holes in their shoe mount foot. This works out perfect, and the load presented by these accessories is also much more realistic than a heavy and expensive DSLR/lens combo.
If you build out a rig like mine, don't overlook the little inexpensive parts required to tie it all together. You will need short 6" 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male audio patch cables to connect the Tascam to the mic input on your camera. You will also need to get some 1/4-20 button head screws in various lengths to secure the Tascam and other devices to the PNC GearBox. I ordered an assortment from Really Right Stuff. Little hex head bolts are useful if you don't intend to swap components frequently, or you can find finger screw, which are bulkier but do not require a hex key to tighten or remove. My Tascam recorders are never removed from the PNC GearBox cage, so I prefer button head screws with hex head because they keep the cage streamlines and don't snag cables.
I far prefer the Tascam DR-60D to any of the offerings from Zoom, and I've owned both. This is a great recorder at a great price. It has some shortcomings, but nothing terrible and nothing you can complain about much at this price. Aside from the issues noted here, this recorder does produce wonderful audio, something we should not forget or overlook a mind all,the rigging and operational details.
WHO IT'S FOR: DSLR/Mirrorless video shooters who want to take their microphone OFF CAMERA (it can be mounted to the camera, but I can only think of a few small instances where you'd want to do that) and most importantly WANT A SAFETY TRACK.
SAFETY TRACK: Unless you need all 4 channels, the dual mode safety track is a life saver. Note that if you turn the volume up too loud in the monitoring headphones that the unit will shut down if you peak out the audio to protect the monitors ears. So, if you think peaking is at ALL a concern, keep the volume on the headphones down (not at level 10!). As for the feature, all it does is record a quieter version at the same time so that if you get mic distortion, you have a version of the same audio that has less or no distortion at all. For most cases, -6dB would be plenty of safety for just people talking. This really helped as I had this issue on my zoom recorder a few times and without using autogain (which introduced a LOT of hiss and weird ups and downs in the audio), it would ruin a take. Great for one-man crews and even those with inexperienced audio engineers. If you're interviewing people that are out of town or perhaps doing you a favor, you can't afford to lose an audio take over distorted audio so - this is a CHEAP solution.
Pre-amps: Very quiet, on high gain with near maximum knob-controlled gain, it's still nearly silent with only a hint of hiss which is pretty darn good for the amount of gain we're talking about. The only way to get much quieter is to use a hotter signal mic. Speaking of mics, I've used this with two RODE mics: the VMP and the Lavalier. Both need high gain because they are not terribly hot signals even with the +20dB setting. I'd imagine a NTG-3 or something wouldn't need high gain. Both of these mics produce VERY, VERY clean and clear signal with no hiss with the right settings however. I am not an audiophile but the audio from this recorder does sound cleaner and less colored vs my zoom h2n.
Size: Good size, smaller than a DSLR, slightly bigger than a mirrorless NEX camera. I'd like to find a carrying bag or case to give to a boom op, but for a one-man crew, it easily attaches to a light stand or something to connect to a stand-mounted mic. Weighs essentially nothing, yet has pretty much all the controls on the front - which is awesome because I don't like digging through menus (where was that setting again?) when I'm in a rush as I usually am with video. You can also mount something like a NEX 6 on top of this and put a shotgun mic on the shoe if you want. It's a little weird to hold, but I think I might use this setup a little bit when I don't have the luxury of a boom op or a good lapel mic. Interested to try a similar setup with a wireless lapel receiver.
Build-Quality: honestly, I don't know why other reviewers call it plasticy and flimsey. It is plastic, but it seems very sturdy to me. Maybe not good enough to throw off a stage, but easily going to survive a camera bag or whatever.
CONS: I do NOT like that it actually shuts off when the output to the headphones gets too loud. Yes, I appreciate it saving my hearing, but there's a better way than just turning off. I have not found official documentation on this issue, but I don't think it's a problem with my unit per se. I haven't tested since I updated the firmware. However, be aware that it CAN turn off if the levels peak really badly (usually when you change gain drastically) and you have the headphones set very high. I only experienced this problem with the headphones at like 9 or 10. I had no issues at lower volumes no matter how hard I tried to trip this protection. That said, test yours and become aware of this limitation before you head out to record something really important.
Biggest Surprise: I REALLY like that I can set the file name to a custom value. That's really helpful for me as I can sorta sync it close to what's on my cameras so it's a little easier to manage to audio+video tracks. Granted, it's not perfect, but it sure does beat random numbering and the ability to name it something that will remind me of WHO or WHAT I recorded, is GRRRREATTT!
AC ADAPTER: Tascam sells an ac adapter for this, but it's $20. Don't bother, it's an expensive cell phone charger and that's it. If you have a USB phone charger that you can plug a MINI USB cable (not the more common these days micro usb) into then you've got an AC adapter for this thing already. Actually, I use a 20ft long usb cable I bought on amazon with a wall wart for a smartphone. The tascam one is rated at 1.5amps but I believe it only needs 0.5amps (output listed on almost all chargers). You can use a usb adapter with MORE amps than necessary, just make sure you have enough (0.5amps=500mA fyi). A nice feature here is that when plugged into the AC adapter, if you remove the adapter it will seamlessly switch to battery power. So you have kind of a "fail over" battery backup. Not sure if that'll ever save my butt, but it's nice to know I can add additional levels of safety on those critical shoots.
Final Verdict: I still use Zoom recorders for cheap "wireless" lav mics and for more portable ways to mic something like a PA system when I don't have an aux cable. However, this has replaced the zooms for my primary recorder.
I use this with my Canon VIXIA HF100, shooting stock video and local reality tv episodes. The screw this onto a monopod, then screw the camera on top. I've routed audio from the DR-60D into the camera, but I prefer to let this device record independent audio (I use MXL MicsFR-500WK wireless lapel mics with it), while the camera records audio from a shotgun mic. (I sync the audio tracks in Adobe Premiere Pro.) That way, I have more than one source for audio, in case something goes wrong with one of the tracks.
Overall, this is a great addition to my videography equipment. I absolutely recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the most part - okay device. Good recording quality. A little prone to static hiss on phantom powered mics. Very fragile XLR ports.Read more