Tag Archives: tascam dr-08



I've been using the Zoom H1 and Tascam DR-08 as 'body packs' instead of using a Wireless setup. I'm still using the old Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Microphone setup, and I have to say that i'm quite happy with the workflow. You just can't beat this combination for the price and speed in getting things setup. For more demanding audio, of course I have a different set of tools. In my book, I found a clear winner as far as the type of work this combination is being used for, and it's the Zoom H1. Why? Leaving it at the highest bitrate for basic short audio capture provides you under 1 hour on a 2GB microSD card and they both work great. You can drop down the audio bitrate and grab yourself more time, but what if you really need even more? Well I just shot a few events in which this setup was used, so to be safe we needed to go with the 8GB MicroSD Cards that I showed in this post: http://cheesycam.com/canon-60d-shipping-actually-shipped/. BTW, they've been working flawlessy and such a good price for those microSD Cards.

Unfortunately, possibly a Tascam Firmware issue, the Tascam DR-08 could not see the 8GB microSD card. Only the Zoom H1 was able to see and utilize the full 8GB providing 4 times more recording time. You never know how long it's going to take for an event to get started, or how long until it's over, so I just felt safer with the unit that can house the larger microSD card. Here's another tip that's a bit related. Regular batteries don't stand a fair chance with today's electronics. I hear many people complaining about how fast a battery grip with AA's, LED lights, or an Audio Recorder can run down batteries very quickly. I push the Eneloop batteries not only because they are rechargeable, but because they DO hold 4 times more capacity than a regular battery. If you want to use your Zoom H1 as a body pack, give it a fighting chance and put some quality batteries in.

Buy Zoom H1 via Amazon
Buy Zoom H1 via eBay

Buy Sanyo Eneloop Power Pack Kit via BHPHOTOVIDEO
Buy Sanyo Eneloop via Amazon



Damn, i've been catching Twitter pics and news clips about the Canon 60D in stock and shipping all day today. It's still a very rare find, but I managed to check out a few of my 'secret fishing holes' and it should drop in on Tuesday. Yeah, I tried to get it in earlier, but Jewish holiday they say.

Check out an early review @ https://nicolesyblog.com/2010/09/16/hands-on-with-the-canon-60d-first-impressions/ who shows off some of the in-camera filters. I think the 'Toy Camera' filter looked pretty good, and would be tons of fun in a Timelapse project. Curious if they stuck with the same Intervalometer as the T2i.

So i'm excited to see how this thing sizes up against it's 'older' siblings. I have another big event out of state that i'll be dragging this thing to, so I stocked up on the 32GB Transcend SDHC Class 10 Cards which is a deal right now.

Sandisk-8GB-MicroSDI also noticed that the Zoom H1 and Tascam DR-08 only come with 2GB microSD cards. At the highest bitrate, i'm getting short of one hour total record time. If this this is going to be useful in a Catholic ceremony it's gotta run at least half a day! I managed to find some Sandisk 8GB microSD Cards for fairly cheap. With 8GB at the highest 96/24 I should be able to get close to 4 hours of total record time.



I got a tip about a new Tascam DR-03 Digital Portable audio recorder that looks similar to the DR-08 model. This product hasn't even been released yet. This model goes for fixed microphone positions over the flexible ones as the DR-08, and comes in cheaper than the Zoom H1. It's also advertised as a 'Solid State' recorder, so does this mean no MicroSD option? There was very little to no information about this recorder right now, so I emailed Tascam directly. After finding out The Tascam DR-03 only goes up to 48 KHz/24 bit compared to the DR-08's 96 KHz / 24bit, I lost some interest.

Although it's not the highest quality portable recorder, if you're not an Audiophile, even the compressed version of my Tascam vs Zoom H1 screwed up test wasn't all that bad. By the way, I did update the old article post with some Audio WAV samples for those who were asking. They are the large RAW files up to 80MB. So if you're looking for something in a slimmer profile than the Zoom H1, and don't mind the 48KHZ / 24bit audio, check out the new Tascam DR-03 SOLID STATE DIGITAL RECORDER .


Tascam DR-08 vs. Zoom H1

First let's get into the right mindset about why i'm testing these two Ultra Portable recorders. If you're looking for the best audio recorder for your DSLR, then nothing beats bang for the buck than the Zoom H4n. That's not what this is about. The Zoom H4n is a great device that can support 90% of your audio needs, but there's going to be times when you can't go tethered and things have to be discreet. You'll have to go with a wireless setup and a LAV microphone. When it comes down to 'quality effective' wireless gear, you're looking at $600 dollars a pair. This is what 'this is' about.

These new Ultra portable recorders can act as a nice option instead of using a Wireless setup. For under $150 dollars you can have a truly effective source of audio that is not tethered to the camera operator, very discreet, and less prone to issues that can arise with wireless gear. I'm lovin' these things. Of course, these two products look like they are competitors in the same space and naturally everyone will wonder which way to go. Right now let's just talk strictly 'Form Factor' and size for use as a 'Body Pack'. I'm going to skip to the results and say in my book, Tascam is the clear winner.

They both record the same audio quality, so when used with a LAV microphone and thrown in a pocket, they are equally as effective. The Zoom is the winner for being cheaper, and having a tripod mount, possibly better microphone configuration, and a form factor designed to be used as a handheld microphone. If you're wondering about how you can mount a Tascam on your DSLR rig, a simple Cheap Shotgun Microphone Shock Mount would probably work well, and would be functional to dampen handling noise.


The Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Audio Recorder is the winner for having a smaller profile which is more comfortable to be used as a 'body pack'. It will fit nicely in a pocket, or throw it into a cell phone case with a belt clip option. The Zoom H1, although can be used in the pocket, loses to the Tascam for this one feature. This is the one feature I'm looking for between these two items. So if your only plan is to use it as a 'body pack w/ LAV mic' go for the Tascam. Again, for the idea to replace a wireless body pack the audio is sufficient. Yes I know it doesn't compare to the Zoom H4n, but try sticking that in your pocket. For you Audiophiles, more audio tests and comparisons will be done soon.

[Update] Here's a video talking about the test, and the RAW files can be found in the links below. If you're wondering why one would be larger than the other, it's mainly because I started one recorder after the other, causing one file to run longer in time. You'll hear a bit of fumbling around as I get things setup, and clap several times for me to sync audio to the video. I did not want to cut, alter, convert, compress any of these files so as to keep things as original as possible for you to listen.

Download Tascam DR-08 RAW wav - file size 83MB
Download Zoom H1 RAW wav file - file size 77MB

Cheapest price BHPHOTOVIDEO.com: Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Audio Recorder


Thanks to Steve for coming out and strumming a few chords as an audio test of these two Ultra Portable Audio recorders. Unfortunately I screwed up big time. It was late, I was in a rush and just pulled everything out of the box and started recording. I sorta rushed with the lighting too, but that cheap 3 Piece lighting kit definitely came in handy - found here: http://cheesycam.com/new-800w-barndoor-softboxes-3pcs-lighting/

The Zoom H1 recorder right out of the box is set to it's highest recording level, while the Tascam DR-08 audio recorder was set to a much lower compressed version. I didn't find out until I got home which doesn't make this a fair fight. Still the Tascam DR-08 sounds pretty amazing with the audio compressed much lower than the Zoom H1. I'll be doing this test again but next time getting the settings better matched. Didn't want this simple test to go to waste, so I'll just post it up as an example of why using a portable audio recorder over the 'in camera Microphone' is always the better choice.



Like I had mentioned, the Tascam DR-08 was due in today's mail bag. Here it is in all it's plastic glory. Not that plastic is totally bad, even the Zoom H1 has it's share of plastic for the build. I haven't placed them side by side yet, but the Tascam appears to be in similar size and function. Will do a nice little test later tonight for audio quality and then run through the pros and cons of each item that I can think of.



2 more Zoom H1 Digital Portable Audio Recorders finally arrived from my pre-order. Wow, seems like that took forever, but I don't feel bad since even the top retailers are still showing 'out of stock' on this item. So in short, the pre-order still worked. Now i'm just waiting for my Redhead Windscreen for the Zoom H1 to drop in any day now for some wind tests examples.


One more day and the Tascam DR-08 should drop in for a nice side by side review against the Zoom H1. Since the H1 is already slightly cheaper it has an advantage, but i'm curious to see if Tascam can get more market share in the DSLR Ultra-Portable Audio recorder game.


Tascam DR-08 on Sale

The Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder is designed to target the same audience as the Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder. In fact many of the audio specs and recording features are dead on to the function of the Zoom H1 recorder. Even though the Tascam DR-08 was announced and released earlier than the Zoom H1, I doubt it ever really 'took off' as quickly with DSLR video shooters for a few reasons. Zoom already had a huge foot in the door from the H4n multi track recorder. DSLR users spread word of this inexpensive quality recorder and it quickly became the standard. Besides the lack of marketing into DSLR video the Higher pricing possibly played a rold in holding Tascam back from exploding as quickly as Samson's Zoom.


The recent announcement of the Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder
was almost invisible to the DSLR market. The estimated street price of $200 or higher for something so tiny and less functional than the Zoom H4n didn't make much sense to DSLR shooters. The reason this article is being posted now is the recent drop in pricing over at Amazon. This Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder is now available for $135.00 getting the pricing closer to it's Zoom H1 competitor.


Besides the slim profile which would make this a more suitable 'in pocket' audio recorder to replace wireless setups, there's also more flexibility to the microphone positions than that of the Zoom H1 giving it the ability to lay flat on the table and still target your subject. The Tascam does require more batteries than the Zoom H1, but i'm more interested in the build quality and relative size comparison against the Zoom H1. For $200+ dollars the pricing on this portable audio recorder would be a huge deal breaker. Now that pricing is coming in at the new $135.00, just slightly over the Zoom H1's $99.00 dollars, i'm curious if the extra $35 dollars is worth the upgrade. If you're interested too, I'll have the Tascam DR-08 vs Zoom H1 Portable Audio Recorder side by side comparison later this week.

Here's the link to purchase: Buy Tascam DR-08 Portable Audio Recorder on Sale