Tascam DR-100mkII for $245 – Deal Alert

Tascam DR-100mkII

Tascam’s DR-100mkII is currently available for $245 (reg. around $300). This is one of the better handheld XLR recorders out there, one that I think is better than the Zoom H4n. You can read my comparison review between the Tascam DR-100mkII, Zoom H4n and Olympus LS100.

You can find the Tascam DR-100mkII deals here at B&H Photo and here at Amazon.com.

Zoom H4n and Tascam DR-100MkII Killer Deals

Tascam DR-100MK II Kit

B&H has a pair of great deals on the Zoom H4n and Tascam DR-100MkII XLR audio recorders right now. Both units come in a combo with a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones, which run $100 on their own. I swear by the Sony MDR-7506 headphones. They are the absolute best bang-for-your-buck studio headphones on the market – and have been for years. They are worth every penny of the $100 asking price.

The Zoom H4n and Sony MDR-7506 headphones is $309 here at B&H Photo.

The Tascam DR-100MkII and Sony MDR-7506 headphones is $339 here at B&H Photo.

Both units retail around $300. I have used both XLR recorders extensively and firmly believe the Tascam DR-100MkII is the better unit and certainly worth the $30 premium over the Zoom H4n kit. The Tascam has a lower noise floor and better control scheme. For more details, check out my comparison review of the Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-100MkII and Olympus LS-100.

Rode VideoMic HD Brings Serious Audio to HDSLRs

Rode VideoMic HD

The thing about shooting video with HDSLRs is the necessity of using a dual system for audio.  I’ve tried several mics that plug-in to the 5D’s mic port and there are many good ones; however, none replace the quality you get from an external recorder and a shotgun mic (my favorite being the Rode NTG-3).

Even if you’re rolling with something small like a Zoom H4n, you need a couple of mounting points for the recorder and mic, which needs to be in a shock mount to avoid noise from camera handling or cords tapping against your gear.  Now, that simple little HDSLR run-and-gun kit looks like your TV’s cable box vomited on top of your camera.  And, you’d better not forget to hit record twice (camera and H4n) before you call ‘action’ (*raises hand). [Read more...]

HDSLR Gear That Saves the Day

I’ve been working on a short film project recently with my church (along with our in-house video director/my very good friend Nick, and some very talented volunteers). The short film is something we plan to use as part of our Easter morning service later this month.  We’re shooting it entirely on the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D. We shot most of the scenes in one day at two locations (around 25 total set ups for a 16+ hour shooting day).  Yesterday, we wrapped up with the intro scene, which calls for the lead character in a vehicle talking on a cell phone.

I thought I would share some of the random little tools that really saved the day and helped us get the shots (and audio) that were critical to this production. [Read more...]

Firmware Friday: Nikon Compacts, Pentax K-5, Panasonic G2 & Zoom H4n

Camera   Firmware Update

Below you will find this week’s firmware updates.  Hit the manufacturer website links for more details and download instructions for the firmware.

Nikon Coolpix S6000 version 1.1 – “When the self-timer, flash mode or macro mode setting was accessed but then closed without adjusting the setting after applying exposure compensation, the exposure compensation setting was reset to 0.0. This issue has been resolved.” [Nikon Website]

Nikon Coolpix S8000 version 1.1 – “When the self-timer, flash mode or macro mode setting was accessed but then closed without adjusting the setting after applying exposure compensation, the exposure compensation setting was reset to 0.0. This issue has been resolved.” [Nikon Website]

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 version 1.1 – “added a function for recording 3D pictures. added a function for playing back 3D pictures. Improved operability of AE lock by maintaining the setting even when touch shutter function is used.” [Panasonic Website]

Pentax K-5 version 1.01 – “Increases the number of continuous shot at RAW format and High sensitivity shooting. # Improved stability for general performance such as exposure range on HyP mode.” [Pentax Website]

Zoom H4n Handy Recorder version 1.70 – “Added the function that recording level of INPUT1 and 2 can be set individually.” [Zoom Website]