January 7, 2011

Zoom Q3HD Review

Do you remember when handheld recorders were great for capturing your buddy doing ridiculous things at the club but you couldn’t hear anything? Did you ever go to a concert and try to record the show with your your phone and then pine over the abysmal audio quality. Well the Zoom Q3HD is for those of you who want to film those same antics and provide you with unrivaled audio quality.

When I go to concerts I love to record the bands I am watching so I can show my friends how great the show was. While the video usually looks good, the sound is almost always awful and my friends are left wondering why I thought this band was so great. With the Zoom Q3HD I can rest assured that my audio will sound just as good as my video looks and I can keep the comments from the peanut gallery at bay.

There are a lot of portable video recorders out there but none of them have the impressive sound quality like the Zoom Q3HD. Not only does this handy video recorder record in HD but it also has great condenser microphones to round out this device’s performance. The ability to adjust audio levels based on the type of recording situation is unique to this handy video recorder and a lot of other video recorders should take their cues from Zoom.

Check out our review of the Zoom Q3HD and show us your videos if you record something cool.


Hey guys my name is Taylor, I work here at the video production team at uniquesquared, and today we’re talking about the Zoom Q3HD. Now a lot of you are probably already familiar with the Q3 recorder. It’s got the same XY condenser mics that you find in the H4N field recorder. Now there’s some new functions in the Q3HD and I’m going to run you through some of them. Alright let’s talk about some of the improvements on the Q3HD. First of all the ability to record in full 1080 is great, in addition to that you also have your HDMI out. So if you want to do a streaming video of what you’re recording you can do that. You can also look at what you’ve just recorded in playback. Now what’s great about this is the SD card casing. Originally you had a plastic casing on the Q3, and on the Q3HD it’s a more rubber casing. It’s a little more rugged, it doesn’t feel quite as flimsy and breakable as the one on the original Q3. Another feature that I really like, and this was a problem that I ran into recording on my Q3 was this switch right here between video and audio. Now I’ve unintentionally hit it and gotten only audio when I wanted audio and video. That has been improved on the Q3HD because that feature is now selectable in the menu. so you never have to worry about unintentionally flicking the switch on and off.
So now that we’re talking about the menu, let’s go ahead and look inside at what some of the features are. The video tab allows you to select your video quality from standard definition all the way up to full HD. The sound tab, much like the video tab, allows you to select your desired level of audio quality. The Lo Cut feature is great for reducing wind noise when you have to record in the field. The scene tab allows you to adjust the light sensitivity. Night for dark shots, concert setting to reduce saturation of stage lights or auto. The auto mode allows you to set either up and down or either one way down for mic sensitivity. Up and down will automatically increase and decrease levels based on your recording and one way down will decrease levels based on the highest input level. So one of the great things you can get to complement this Q3HD is this optional accessory pack here. Now as you can see on the table it’s already got the tripod hooked up to it, but we also have some other things in the accessory back like this windscreen which is great for wind noise reduction when you’re out there recording in the field. It’s also got this real hard shell casing to keep it safe while you’re out there. In addition you have your HDMI and TV cables which are great for looking at playback. And if you run out of batteries you’ve got your AC adapter right here.
So to learn more about the Q3HD visit us here at, also check us out on facebook, twitter, and also our blog which we’re constantly updating with the latest information on professional audio and digital recording equipment. Again my name is Taylor, be you, be unique at


  1. Tim says:

    from what i can see and have heard, the zoom Q3 HD is excellent! Because i have the original Q3, which is great for it’s fantastic convenience and ease of use. But only felt maybe the picture quality could be a little better! Well now they have done that and probably the sound is even better too! Wish i had the HD one now!:s

    But what would be really great, maybe alot to ask, would be an option for a mic socket, for a separate or detachable stereo mics.

    Also a remote control would be an excellent feature.

    But It is a great piece of kit how it is nonetheless!

    1. taylor says:

      Thats a great idea Tim. An external mic and remote control option would be great in certain situations. Maybe at the NAMM show Zoom will have some new video/audio recorders to showcase. We will be reporting live from the show so check back with us to see if they unveil something new.

  2. Tim says:

    Ah, great! Thanks for your reply, and informing me. I would definately be interested in all new developments.

    Best regards