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Anyone using the Q3HD for recording acoustic for YouTube? I found a few YouTube reviews of the product. just wondering what this group thinks about it.

Tags: Recording, acoustic, video

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Past posts has favored several types of video recorders.  Here's one article from the AG community and another from Mandolin Cafe.  Mandolin Cafe has a proliferation of video artists and postings so you can probably get a really good idea of quality there.  The best place to look for these videos is in the Song-A-Week social group.

The HD version of the Q3 may be better but where you will run into an issue is with the audio.  None of these cheap, quick video recorders do any justice to the audio.  It prefereable to record the audio separately and then sync it to the video.  Here's a good article from AG mag that goes over the details of doing this.


Most video cameras that cost less than $2000 have pretty sucky audio, as far as I have been able to determine. Cams that I bought because of their supposed better audio (the Xacti HD2000 and Kodak Zi8) were a big letdown. All the units I've tried have either limited frequency response or high self-noise or high distortion or aggressive compression/limiting/agc/alc processing OR a combination of flaws.


The Q3HD on the other hand actually does an excellent job with audio if you put it where you would put a microphone. It's basically similar to a Zoom H2 or H4 which many video shooters use to capture the parallel audio.


The issue with the Q3HD is the tension between framing distance and mic location. I've been using the Q by putting it very close to the instrument and accepting the quirky image that results, while recording my main image using a different camera.


The video quality on the Q3HD is mighty decent _if there's plenty of light_, but it's nothing special compared to the Flip HD cams or even the Zi8. It's the audio subsystem that makes it worth the extra money compared to these other fixed lens HD cams.



Yeah, I've done some stuff with the Q.


First look includes a comparison to a Kodak Zi8 (that was having a bad day) and Sanyo Xacti HD2000 (that I set less than optimally). I also created a YouTube video for my slack key channel that I edited inside the Q3HD and uploaded via my computer.


** Warning ** Don't use the Handyshare software provided by Zoom. Or perhaps I should say, if you are using Handyshare and find issues with audio sync in your YouTube uploads, stop using Handyshare. This problem has been widely reported by not corrected as of today.


Anyway, I then did a comparison to the iPhone 4 and much preferred the camera and recorder capabilities of the Q. The in-camera editing was better on the iPhone, though.


I've been using my Zoom H2 as a powered mic into my Kodak Zi8, and it works even better into the Q3HD. Conventional framing puts the Q too far away for optimal recording of an acoustic guitar in a normal living space, so the H2 can be placed close to the subject while the Q is several feet away. A simple 1/8" male to male stereo cable makes the connection.


I took the Q along on our December visit to O`ahu and shot a couple of videos using the Zoom along with a Panasonic Lumix TS2 waterproof camera. Sorry, no underwater shots, but a look at Hawai`i during the holidays:


"Mele Kalikimaka" the "down the neck" shot is the Q.

"Kane`ohe" the shot from down by the bridge looking up is the Q.


I was happy to get the Q3HD when they became available, but my big camera upgrade was a Panasonic GH2. I shot my first video with that using the Q for audio capture, but the Q video was good enough to include in the clip: has a bit of a writeup and is the video that resulted. You can see the Q3HD in the lower right hand corner of the main scene, it's wearing the wind screen from my H2, which worked surprisingly well.


My latest is an exploration of using the Q3HD with a focus on audio, then accepting the quirky framing that results. I did a bit of a tutorial and then edited four performances together into a single clip using REAPER as the NLE.


REAPER is a cool tool for trimming and even joining clips, and it gives immediate access to audio tweaks. It's very limited in video features, no fades or transitions or zooming or color adjustment or titles BUT it will trim and join and output nice quality video if you choose your render settings well.


We're headed back to O`ahu in a week or so and the Q3HD will definitely be going along again.



Reactivating this old thread :-)


I use Q3HD for recording my playing and interested in sharing/discussing the end-to-end production/publishing process.

You can see my videos on my Youtube Channel with some mix of English and Russian titles/description/comments, and videos with comments on my blog in English only (aka RUnglish :-) ) .


I've tried a few options and currently my process contains the following steps:

  • Recording Settings: WVGA/30, Auto level, 16bit, 44KHz (I am not sure about last two numbers - I just don't remember them right now)
  • Copy recorded files to my PC
  • Convert MOV files to WMV
  • Use Windows Live Movie Maker to prepare a resulting video
  • [Optional] Import WMV to Sonar Pro 8.5 for audio processing. Export Soundtrack to WMA, merge it with video in Movie Maker again
  • Save movie from Movie Maker to another WMV file (850/480, 16 bit, 44KHz)
  • Upload to Youtube


In the first few videos I did some with video resolution selection mistakes, so you can see black frames around videos.

I'll be glad to read about your experience.




P.S. Fran, thank you very much for your site - you've shared a LOT of very useful information!

Vladimir, I hope you've seen one of the later blog posts that offer a pretty streamlined workflow with the Q3HD. The free Audacity editor, with the addition of the free FFmpeg video libraries, make its possible to process the audio in the .MOV file of the Q3HD then save it as a WAV file. Then another free program, Avidemux, can be used to stitch the audio and video back together _without transcoding_, thus delivering maximum fidelity. "Remuxing" without transcoding (decompressing and recompressing) the video stream is also a lot quicker.

Here's a link to the blog post, there's a YouTube video demonstration linked in the post:



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