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Olympus LS-100
  • I wanted to discuss this audio recorder because I did not see any thread on it. I find it strange because during my research for an external audio recorder this looks like the best small/affordable handheld recorder. At $ 400 it is about the same price that many bought the zoom h4n, and looking at the video bellow it is a vastly superior recorder in terms of build, ergonomic and most importantly sound quality.

    The only advantage of the zoom apart from the price now which is more like $ 270, is that it can record 4 track from its 2 xlr and 2 internal mics. But as a filmmaker, I will always choose to have two quality preamps than some crappy zoom ones because most of the time we will use only one microphone. From everything I saw and heard the zoom XLR preamps are very noisy, unfortunately it is those thing/brand/model that gained traction from the early days of hdslr filming that would never go away.

    Furthermore if you look at http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm test, the Ls-100 is at the top part of the list, the best handheld recorder with XLR and better than the Rolland R-26 which is about $ 100 more. The internal microphone seems to be very good quality also. From what I read it had problem of latency for the headphone jack, but Olympus has remedied to that with a firmware update.

    Test of the Olympus Ls-100 compared to the zoom h4

  • 9 Replies sorted by
  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev do you think that we should go back to the other threat because it is only one post? If I post this one there, you will have two post with basically the same thing. What the last threat shows is that there are really not much interest in this recorder, which I find strange for the quality/price ratio.

  • I'll close other one.

  • Ok, you have a good, I would call cinematic example of sound clip of a car and footstep here http://soundcloud.com/ausavim/olympus-ls-100-test-1

    Another interesting podcast with some test comparing the sound devices 744, ls-100 and zoom h4n here http://www.startstop.com/ls100.asp

  • During Photokina I've spoken with one of the Olympus managers who is specialized on the sound recorders. He stressed the sound recording qualities of the LS-100 (PCM recording (24bit/96kHz) / MP3 / BWF; Maximum sound pressure level up to 140dBSPL; Adjustable 100 Hz/300 Hz Low cut filter; Limiter and compressor functions etc.).

    I have also found that the menu interface is rather confusing with all those multiple clicks to start/stop recording, where and how to store the record, etc. I've attempted to record a couple of tracks (with the help of another Olympus assistant) on my own SDHC, but when I came back home the tracks was empty, even though the directories and the .wav-files were created. Evidently somehow the track was recorded only to the internal LS-100 memory (it has 4Gb memory). Possibly, I had to re-format the SD-card prior to use it with the recorder.

    Another thing is that the LS-100 can not record 8 tracks simultaneously. The LS-100 features two channel recording with eight channel playback. Once tracks are recorded; up to 8 tracks can be edited simultaneously, mix-down onboard (overdub via its MTR feature), and even burn directly to a CD without a PC connection.

    Talking about the PC-software, at Photokina Olympus was advertising the partnership with German multimedia software company MAGIX, stressing the "intuitive editing of video material and effortless synchronization of the multi-track recordings." The MAGIX Video deluxe 2013 (Plus and Premium versions only) allows Automatic synchronisation of two cameras recordings via the audio track. I am not sure though what in this case "the partnership" means, since you can use the MAGIX Video deluxe with any cameras and sound recorders, while the software is not included together with the purchase of LS-100 and costs the additional ~100€ for the Plus, and ~130€ for the Premium versions, http://www.magix.com/us/movie-edit-pro/

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  • I've owned a few LS-100's for several years, as well as many others in this category like tascam 60d/70d, H2, H4N, H5 series, etc.

    The major positives for this recorder compared to the others are:

    1) the quality of the stereo pair is superior to most all stereo pairs in the same general category (handheld built-in to recording units, not compared to specialized stereo mics, of course). Very nice sound, full range, quality preamps make a difference. Obviously it needs to be close to the source.

    2) 4GB internal storage saves your behind if there's a card error, or you don't have extra media

    3) The battery life is extraordinary, around 6-8 hours per charge, which is very useful if you are used to the zoom's running through batteries all the time

    4) It's not picky with SD cards (like the zooms) and it doesn't need the SD card to load the firmware (tascams).

    The Major drawbacks:

    a) It's only 2-channel

    b) Double-press to record (not really a drawback, imo, but it still burns some operators)

    c) Pretty loud handling noise - i.e. you'd have to use it carefully on a boom or anything rig-mounted

    d) As with all of these styles, even the better dead cats don't really cover the mics perfectly. I mounted with some rigging in a blimp once, in a pinch

    e) Again like all of these styles, there is a single 1/4-20 mounting point on the underside of the unit. How hard is it to plan on multiple mounting places? ;)

    --

    This is a really great unit if you need a quality stereo pair close to the action, that is relatively discreet. It runs forever and has internal storage as a safeguard. If you are looking for a single unit, however, you probably want to consider something with more channels for greater flexibility.

  • @igorek7

    If you put in an SD card when the unit is powered on, the unit will prompt you - asking: "switch to SD?"

    The typical way is to change the storage type in the menu system