Overview: The Zoom Q4n Handy Video Recorder is a high-definition video
and high-resolution audio recorder, designed with musicians in mind. Compared to
its predecessor, the Q4, the Q4n has an improved lens with an f/2 maximum
aperture, shorter minimum focusing distance (14"), and a wider angle of view
(160°), compared to f/2.8, 21.7", and 130°
for the Q4. The Q4n also adds digital zoom, and higher resolution video. The Q4n
can record video up to 3M HD, with hi-res audio up to 24-bit/96kHz PCM. It has a
removable LCD screen, and a built-in X/Y microphone system.
Video Recording: The Q4n can record 3M high-definition and standard-definition video in
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (MOV) format in several different settings:
|Recording Setting |
|Frame Rate ||Video Bit Rate |
|3M HD 2304 x 1296 ||30 fps ||24 Mbps |
|HD 1920 x 1080 ||30 fps ||24 Mbps |
|HD 1920 x 1080 ||30 fps ||16 Mbps |
|HD 1280 x 720 ||60 fps ||16 Mbps |
|HD 1280 x 720 ||30 fps ||15 Mbps |
|WVGA 800 x 480 ||60 fps ||8 Mbps |
|WVGA 800 x 480 ||30 fps ||5 Mbps |
Audio Recording: Audio can be recorded in uncompressed WAV format or
AAC compression. WAV format should be used for recording the best possible audio
quality, and if you are not concerned about the file size. If memory card space
is limited, you should record in AAC format. The following audio settings can be
- WAV: 96kHz/24-bit, 96kHz/16-bit, 48kHz/24-bit,
48kHz/16-bit, 44.1kHz/24-bit, 44.1kHz/16-bit
- AAC: 320 kbps, 256 kbps, 192 kbps, 128 kbps, 64 kbps
SD Card Slot: Video and audio are recorded onto SD, SDHC,
and SDXC memory cards up to 128 GB. You should use SD cards with
a Class 10 speed rating or higher, as well as format the card in the unit, for
best results. A list of tested and confirmed SD cards is available on the
Lens/Image Sensor: The Q4n features a 16mm fixed focal length
lens (35mm equivalent) with an aperture of F2. It can provide clear images
from 14.2" to infinity. The Q4n also has a 1/3" 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor for
producing the high-definition video images. The Q4n does not take still images.
Digital Zoom: In order to change the angle of view, you can
apply Digital Zoom magnification to the image. The Digital Zoom can be set to
0.75x, 0.85x, 1.00x (no zoom), 1.30x, or 1.50x.
Scene: In the menu, you can change the Scene setting
depending upon the lighting conditions:
- Auto: camera adjusts to lighting conditions
- Concert Lighting: best setting for live shows,
concerts, and other situations with bright lights
- Night: best setting for night and other dark situations
- Concert-Low Light: for use in small concert halls with
dim lighting conditions.
- Dance Club: for venues with dramatically-changing
lighting, such as a dance club.
- Jazz Club: for small clubs or similar venues.
- Concert Hall: best setting for classical concerts,
recitals, or other similar performances.
- Rehearsal Studio: for recording in a studio setting.
- Garage: best setting for recording band performances in
- Outdoor: adjustments are optimized for outdoor
- Sunset: for recording outdoor scenes with rich sunset
Upside Down: The Q4n can be mounted to a standard tripod, or
a 3-pronged action camera mount, to give you a wide variety of interesting
angles and perspectives. It can even be mounted upside down. When video is
recorded while the unit is upside down, you can invert the video 180° by
selecting "Upside Down" in the menu.
X/Y or A/B Microphone Configurations: The Q4n Handy Video Recorder has two matched
unidirectional microphones that can be configured in an A/B or X/Y stereo
configuration. The microphones can be raised by a sliding lever on the rear
panel, then rotated into one of two positions. The microphones are capable of
handling sound levels up to 140 dB SPL. A foam windscreen is included to significantly
reduce wind noise when the recorder is used outside. You can engage a low-cut
filter to eliminate low-frequency noise, if needed. The mic orientations can be
changed to the following recording techniques:
- A/B: When the microphones are aimed away from each
other in an A/B configuration, the mics capture the surrounding environment
as well as the main sound source. This method is good for recording the
reverb of a hall, or for meetings with people talking in different areas of
- X/Y: In the X/Y configuration, the mics are aimed in a
crossing pattern. This captures sound from a nearby sound source with
natural depth and width. The result is a 3-dimensional sound stage for solo
performances, live rehearsals, and field recordings.
Auto Gain Settings: You can set the Audio Gain manually, or choose one of three levels for
the automatic gain:
- Concert: for band performances, concerts, and other
- Solo: for solo performances, and other quiet sounds
- Meeting: for meetings and field recordings
LCD Screen: The recorder has a flip-out, 2" LCD
screen for framing your subjects during recording, and to play back your videos.
The screen can flip out 90° and rotate 270°, allowing you to view yourself
during self-recordings. You can record with the LCD closed to save battery
Self Timer: You can delay the start of the recording by
setting the Self Timer by 3, 5, or 10 seconds. The Self Timer can only be used
when the LCD is rotated towards yourself.
Battery: The Q4n is powered by the BT-02 Lithium-Ion
rechargeable battery (3.7V 1050mAh 3.89Wh). The battery can charged in the Q4n
when it is connected to a computer via USB (charging time: about 3 hours), or
when connected to the optional Zoom AD-17 AC adapter (charging time: about 2
hours). Estimated battery life is about 3 hours (recording 720p/30fps
video with LCD unit closed). You can monitor the remaining battery life in the
LCD screen during recording or playback.
Inputs and Outputs: The rear panel contains connections for
- HDMI Output: A Micro HDMI (Type D) connection is
provided for connecting the Q4n to an HDTV. In the menu, you can set the
output format to NTSC or PAL.
- USB: A Mini-B USB 2.0 port is provided for connecting
the unit to a computer to charge the battery and to download recordings.
Through this connection, the Q4n can be used as a memory card reader, a USB
microphone, or a web camera for live video streaming. You can also connect
the Q4n to an iPad when using an optional
Apple Camera Connection kit.
- Microphone Input: You can connect an external
microphone to the unit via a 3.5mm mini jack. When an external mic is
connected, the built-in mics are disabled. In the menu, you can turn on
Plug-In Power for those mics that require it.
- Headphone/Line Output: A 3.5mm stereo headphone/line output is
provided for connecting headphones or other audio equipment for monitoring
Mounting: The Zoom Q4n has a standard 1/4"-20 tripod thread
on the bottom which allows you to attach the recorder to a standard tripod. A
3-prong adapter is included that enables you to mount the Q4n on an action
Optional Mounts: Because of the versatility of the Q4n,
unique mounts have been made available. The GHM-1 Guitar Headstock Mount lets
you clamp the camera to the head of a guitar to give you an "on stage"
experience. The MSM-1 Mic Stand mount lets you mount the Q4n to a microphone stand
for recording live performances on stage or in the studio. These optional mounts are available directly from the manufacturer.