Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
  • image



    My blog post on this news: (some of it repeated below)

    I thought the Zoom F8 when it was announced was a groundbreaking new recorder in what it brought to a new low price point for soundies.

    Now the F4 is even cheaper ($650 vs $1K), and has nearly everything the F8 has! Except for most notably the lack of extra XLR inputs (8 vs 4, thus the names: F8 vs F4. The "F" = field recorder, "H" = handheld recorder such as H1/H4n/H5/H6) and the lack of an app for the F4 to mix on a tablet like you can with the F8. Oh, and in a more minor point the F4 has a monochrome screen vs the 4 color screen of the F8.

    But everything else (such as pre amps, and time code) is basically exactly the same as the F8!

    Some specs

    Designed to provide big Hollywood sound on an affordable indie budget, Zoom F4 is a 6-input / 8-track professional field recorder featuring super-low-noise preamps and timecode with pinpoint accuracy. The unit provides recording and playback resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz with impressive audio specs including an extremely low noise floor (-127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to +75 dB), with +4 dB line-level inputs. The on-board temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) generates timecode at 0.2 ppm accuracy and supports all standard drop-frame and non-drop formats, as well as jam sync for external devices.

    The advanced on-board limiters provide overload protection for all inputs and outputs, which lets you capture audio in a wide range of environments. Limiting can be applied simultaneously at full resolution with 10 dB of headroom and features controls for setting threshold, attack, and release.

    The F4 offers four combo XLR-1/4" inputs, a 1/8" stereo input, and includes a Zoom mic-capsule input for recording six discrete tracks with an additional stereo mix, all at full 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. Additionally, inputs 5/6 can function as a camera return for audio monitoring only for confidence checks. The dual-SD card slot features simultaneous recording to both cards allowing you to make a backup or split recording with all eight tracks on one card and a stereo mix on the other. Each of the four XLR-1/4" inputs offers a dedicated preamp with gain control, phantom power, a six-segment LED level meter, plus a Record Ready and PFL switch. In addition to the 1/4" headphone output with a dedicated volume control, the F4 provides two main balanced XLR outputs, as well as two sub outs on a single unbalanced 1/8" stereo mini-jack, enabling easy connection to a camera. All timecode I/O is provided on BNC connectors and the unit includes a variable-frequency slate-tone generator to confirm levels.

    An easy-to-read 1.9" LCD display is suitable for use in all lighting environments including dark low-light sets to bright sunlight. The on-board mixer not only provides user-adjustable level, pan, and input/output delay, but also offers high-pass filtering for noise and wind reduction, phase inversion, and Mid-Side decoding. The F4 ships with a camera-mount adapter, AC power adapter, and download codes for Cubase LE and Wavelab LE.

    • Six-input / eight-track multitrack field recorder with integrated mixer
    • Six discrete inputs, including four with locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors, a stereo 3.5mm input, and Zoom mic-capsule input
    • Compact and lightweight metal chassis, weighing just two pounds (without batteries)
    • High-quality mic preamps with up to 75 dB gain, less than -127 dBu EIN, and +4 dB line inputs
    • Support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording as well as 96, 88.2, 48, and 44.1 kHz, plus 47.952 and 48.048 kHz for HD video compatibility; 16-/24-bit resolution
    • Accurate timecode (0.2 ppm) I/O on standard BNC connectors; dropframe/non-drop formats with Jam Sync
    • Two different power supply options: 8x AA batteries or external DC battery pack with 4-pin Hirose connector
    • Dedicated gain control knob, 6-segment LED level meter, and PFL/Solo switch for each channel
    • Phantom power (+48V/+24V) on every preamp
    • Advanced on-board limiters for input and output
    • High-pass filter, phase invert, and Mid-Side decoder
    • Input delay of up to 30ms per channel / output delay of up to 10 frames per output
    • Compatible with all Zoom mic capsules; optional ECM extender cable enables remote positioning
    • Dual XLR balanced Main Outs plus 1/8" stereo mini-jack Sub Out
    • Dedicated headphone output (100mW) with front-panel volume control
    • 1.9” white, backlit monochrome LCD
    • Dedicated PFL display with viewable trim settings
    • Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, up to 512GB each
    • Records in BWF-compliant WAV or MP3 file formats
    • Support for extensive metadata (BWF and iXML); input time, date, project, scene number, etc.
    • Built-in tripod mount; camera-mount adapter also included
    • Use as a 6-in/4-out USB audio interface (@ 96 kHz)

    Available for $650 at

    660 x 486 - 33K
    872 x 334 - 517K
    872 x 321 - 507K
    872 x 262 - 368K
    885 x 270 - 408K
    665 x 528 - 589K
  • 21 Replies sorted by
  • The unique feature that I like about my Tascam DR 680 is that I can use all eight channels with a super high-end digital front end like a Grace Lunatec or even RME. With a digital front end, it can't be beat. I'm sorry Zoom did not provide this, but the more competition the better in this segment. Also, "extremely low noise floor of -127". Sorry, -127 is not extremely low. It's low, and low enough, but converters and pres have been made using inexpensive parts that reach the lowest noise levels for decades, this is just baloney.

  • Little known fun fact: the Zoom F4 can also record to Blu-ray disks as well as SD cards! ;-)

    As the new Zoom F4 is "#1 New Release in Blu-ray Recorders" on Amazon, that is a new feature we didn't hear about from Zoom​... that it can record not just to SD cards but to Blu-rays as well! ;-) ha

    That isn't even the oddest thing about this Amazon listing, it indicates the RRP is $799 and won't ship until November 30th! :-o

    Yet Zoom has stated pricing of $650 and shipping in October ( B&H Photo Video Pro Audio​ has expected availability of October 11th), thus I'm guessing that is two more things Amazon got wrong.

    Zoom F4 smaller.jpg
    630 x 394 - 71K
  • I purchased the Zoom F4 earlier this year, but only just now got around to uploading an unboxing of it that I filmed ages ago on my cellphone:

  • Damn, what a bargain! I spent more than that, but don't regret a single penny of it.

  • A damn cool feature I wish would be implemented in the Zoom F4/F8

    We ALL have recorders which record to more than one piece of media at once (for a safety back up), thanks to the dual card slots in the F4/F8.

    But why can't we have recorders which allow you to pull out your back up SD card then pop in whatever rubbish SD card they brought along to then copy over from your main card the day's shoot into their card they brought along (and you could have the option to throttle the speed if need be). Because of course you don't want to risk using the production's card during the day's shoot itself! :-o

    MixPre10T is kinda doing that, as they have a USB port which you can copy your single SD card slot to. But what if they don't bring a USB drive? But a SD card instead.... the MixPre10T doesn't have two SD slots. I wonder, can the MixPre10T copy from the USB drive attached to a SD card?? Guess that would be a work around, so you could handle either a USB drive or a SD card brought along by the producer,

    Anyway.... I hope Zoom could implement this feature to mirror files (or rather, whole folders! :-D ) at the end of your day.

    Much much better option than either using their card during takes, or giving them your card... only to never see it again :-(

  • If you link two of them using the timecode start stop, and use Y cables for the inputs (which is the safest way to record) you will then have four cards and fully redundant recording machines--with the same timecode. Not too bad.

  • That isn't what I'm referring to though, you don't want to use production's cards to record with. Thus the easiest approach would be to copy over at wrap using your own recorder that you have with you.

  • @IronFilm sorry if I misunderstood--I always run two machines, so one card out of the four is no biggie. But I probably wouldn't get it back....

  • Just got notified B&H has a Zoom F4 for $420 daily deal.

    Pounce on it! Is the golden perfect recorder for any one to start out on, and that is unbelievably cheap.

  • The price has dropped in Europe too.

    F4n on the horizon?


    We are pleased to announce the F4 v3.0 Firmware update. For existing users of the F4, this update will add some key functionality found in the new F8n.

    Advanced Look-Ahead Hybrid Limiters
    Advanced Look-Ahead Hybrid Limiters add a 1 millisecond delay that enables the limiters to “look ahead”, anticipating clipping before it’s recorded. Limiting can be applied to each of the 6 channels simultaneously at full resolution, with 10 dB of headroom and controls for setting threshold, attack, and release. * Zoom AutoMix™ function. * Improved TC accuracy when powered off * Digital Boost for headphone monitor (up to +24dB) * Ability to record to SD card and USB Audio Interface simultaneously

  • @IronFilm , how is F4 compared with mixpre-3? Now that is half the price of sound devices one. I'm looking to upgrade my marantz pmd 661