Here's one new product from Zoom i've already went ahead and ordered. I've been looking at the Zoom F8 Multitrack Recorder for some time, but now that they have just announced this less expensive Zoom F4 Recorder with similar features as the F8, it's pretty much a done deal for me.
I also currently have all the various Modular Zoom Mic Capsules that I use with my Zoom H6, and the F4 allows me to continue to use them. What may not be clear is the Zoom H4 does have a 1/4" tripod mount underneath, and also comes with a Camera Mount Adapter. So you'll be able to use the Zoom F4 mounted under your camera (something I can't do with my H6). Available now (here).
kuban, there are lots of options:
Tascam DR-10L / DR-10C
JuicedLink's Little DARling Distributed Audio Recorder
Zoom H1 (with the Aspen belt clip: https://aspenmics.com/collections/all/products/belt-clip-for-zoom-h1-handy-recorder )
Would you know of any cheap alternative to this little audio recorder.
One BIG issue (for me): I would've liked a USB connector, so that I could hook up a USB battery pack for multi-hour power. The Hirosi and AA batteries and AC don't do it for me. That one's a biggie.
I have to agree with David Peterson. The lack of any iOS/Bluetooth capabilities for entering in Meta Data and remote monitoring control is a severe limitation of the F4. It seems Zoom listened to some of the feedback that they received from the field when creating the F4 with the addition of short cut buttons and larger knobs. I'm just not sure that you have to produce such a small package. I think that a reasonable form factor of about 9 or even 10 inches would help them give the recorder a better layout. The main attraction in my opinion for a recorder is workflow enhancements. Low noise preamps, ISO track recording and recording backups are a given at this point in time. I admit I've never been impressed with any of the functionality or the audio quality of Zoom's 'Handy' series. When I needed a low cost recorder, I've often used Tascam. The DR-70D and the recently released DR-701D. Whose quality (DR-701D) is very good. For a single shooter using a camera that supports Time code and Start/Stop via the HDMI port, (for single shooter applications, I'm using the GH4 or the JVC GY-LS300 - For the JVC I usually just throw a Sound Devices 302 in front) it can be a real helpful feature. It's great to have a highly accurate time code generator which is supplied by the F series Zoom's, but if your camera is not capable of 'Jam Synching' it doesn't do you much good. On the other hand, importing your footage and dropping in your audio and having it time synched because of the camera being your master time source into say Adobe PP CC, is a huge time saver. The F4 has some great features, very good sound quality and reasonable cost. But without being much of a 'workflow' enhancer, (I'm not going to enter in Meta data using a knob) I'm afraid it's pretty useless. Maybe F8 version II ? Don't know....
This device is very attractive. My main hesitation is one no one else seems to care about: monitoring. I tend to still use my Sounddevice mixer before my recorder because the precision of monitoring is superior. The F4 only has 6 small LEDs on the right / channel and the monitoring on the right is also very small. When I'm a one man band, I like to be able to see the LEDs clearly and precisely. This may speak to the fact that I am DP first and foremost and that I don't trust my ears as much. The monitoring seems so much better on the F8 that it's almost more of a selling point than the 8 channels for me. Am I the only one in that camp? Any advice for me?
Considering the price range, it looks like Zoom's answer to the Tascam DR-701D.
@David Peterson - The Tascam DR60D has a nice design, but preamps were never as good as Zoom recorders in my opinion. The F4 may not be better than the F8, but it's certainly better than the H6 which is the reason i'm adding it to my collection.
Pleased to hear you have pre-ordered it! As I'd love to see your review of it.
I'm keen on it myself, and took a good look at it (https://ironfilm.co.nz/news-leak-zoom-f4-with-six-inputs-and-eight-tracks-is-like-a-new-low-priced-zoom-f8/).
The biggest issue vs the F8 it seems to me is the lack of a tablet app for the F4 🙁 🙁 As being able to quickly and easily enter in meta data is especially important if you're the solo guy in the sound department and trying to juggle mixing/booming/lav-ing/recording/etc all at once. So while I'm very keen on the F4, I'm a little uncertain as to if maybe the F8 is still maybe the one I should save up for.
The F4 has less inputs (obviously) and a worse screen. But in most other areas it seems to be an improvement over the F4 (bigger knobs, camera return added, etc), the F4 certainly has inspired me to do something I've never done before.... I've sold off my first ever piece of gear (Tascam DR60D) to help fund a F4!