Camera Showdown-The iPhone Vs. The Zoom Q8 review

By March 15, 2017sound check

Camera Showdown-The iPhone Vs. The Zoom Q8 review

I did a quick impromptu synth jam recently, with the goal of comparing the Zoom Q8’s camera to the iPhone 7 plus camera.  One camera is a piece of hardware made specifically for recording videos and high quality audio, the other is a smart phone.  Surely the Zoom Q8 should blow the phone away, right?  Well…….

The Zoom Q8 camera to me is almost exactly what i want to be; a camera with both decent stereo condenser mics, and high quality XLR/line audio inputs.  Oddly enough, for a video camera the video quality is the feature that leaves the most to be desired.  Its audio options are fantastic for a musician. Whether you are looking to throw something together quickly, or get a board mix with some room mics, the audio options are perfect for video recording.  But, the video camera has a 160 degree wide angle lens, which gives everything you record a permanent fisheye angle.  If you zoom in it gets rid of some of the effect, but it’s still always somewhat visible.  On the other hand, the iPhone 7 plus has so many add on audio options (interfaces and even standalone mics).  To achieve a good audio quality will cost you, but the camera just looks great.

For this jam, I used an Arturia DrumBrute, Korg Minilogue, Arp Odyssey reissue and an Arturia Keystep.  I recorded to Multitrack Daw iPad app via my Apogee Quartet, then sent the audio out into the Q8’s inputs.   Heres a quick side by side comparison so you can see if this camera would fit your needs.

My takeaway- Most smart phones these days have such nice cameras.  A standalone audio camera company is going to have to step up its game if they wish to compete with the quality of an every day device that most people now own.