The Zoom H1n is the smallest handy recorder from the Zoom product line, but it serves the purposes.
The Zoom H1n is the smallest handy recorder from the Zoom product line but it doesn’t differ from the other models in terms of audio quality. The differences are mainly features on the other models. The bigger and more expensive recorders differ in number and type of connections, so maybe on the hi.end model you can connect up to microphones and/or the connection is done via XLR.
The Zoom H1n is priced at arround 90,– which is a very fair price but with this price tag you can’t expect a heavy duty recorder. The material is plastic which doesn’t feel cheap but i don’t want to drop the device on the floor.
So far i used the Rode SmartLav+ or the Rode Videomicro for audio recordings. The SmartLav+ microphone is designed to be used in combination with a smartphone and thats the recording situation for most audio recordings with this microphone. The Rode VideoMicro can be used either with a smartphone or a camera depending on the connection cable. The Rode videoMicro is pretty quiet on my Canon camera.
I did a little video on this:
The Zoom H1n offers two built-in microphones and is powered by two AAA-batteries. Instead of batteries i use Eneloop rechargable batteries and this can be set in the preferences of the recorder. The recorder uses Micro-SD memory cards with a maximum capacity of 32 GB.
With this Micro-SD card you can record up to 15 hrs in the highest recording quality ( (96 K/24Bit), and this is much more than i need. Otherwise choose one of the compressed .mp3 formats.
The display is clear and bright enough to be read in brighter environmants. With the gain control you can level the audio so it won’t exeed -12dB.
The Zoom H1n offers one line-in connection for an external microphone and a line-out for either monitoring audio via a headphone or sent the audio signal to a camera. In addition the Zoom H1n can be used via the USB port as a card reader to copy the audio files from the device to your computer or as a audio interface.
With these connections the Zoom H1n is very flexibel and can used as a recording device, as a mic for the camera or your computer and even as a microphone for a smartphone.
Level your camera
The Zoom H1n offers a very useful function. It can generate a testtone of -6 dB at 1000khz which can be used to level the gain in the camera correctly.
Just lower the gain in the camera to the lowest value and then try to hit the -6 dB with the volume control on the Zoom H1n. If this is not enough slightly increase the gain in the camera.
Once you dertmined those values difference in the audio level can be controled with the gain control on the recorder. With the Canon 6D MK II this value is arround 44 and the Lumix just needs a volume level of arround 4.
The Zoom H1n is despite of low price very flexible and can be used in many different setups. Just the material could be a little more durable but then you wouldn’t get this recorder for under 100,– €.