Top positive review
Great audio solution for wedding video (plugs into sound system!)
Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2017
My company produces videos for corporations, weddings, and events. We use high-end equipment (GH5 cameras, stabilizers, drones, etc.), and have always hired out the audio to local companies to make sure we captured professional-quality audio. Going forward we wanted to do audio ourselves, so we were about to purchase some expensive audio gear (in the $1,000 range), but a friend let us use his Zoom H1 to evaluate. After testing the H1 and a few other recorders, we purchased one, and we haven't looked back. As far as value goes, it's hard to overstate how good this thing is for the money--and how super easy it is to use.
For the most recent wedding we shot, we connected my white Zoom H1 that we got on amazon for $65 to the wedding DJ's sound system using a .5mm 1/8" Male to 6.35mm 1/4" Male TRS Stereo Audio Cable that cost $12 on amazon. Once it was plugged in to the sound system, all we had to do was turn on the Zoom, adjust the volume input, and hit record. We left it in all day and captured audio for the entire day. Since the DJ had provided the officiating priest with a lav mic, all the audio for the ceremony flowed through his sound system.
Even though we will create only a 10 minute highlight video, having access to all of the audio for the day makes it very easy to pull into Adobe Premiere as needed. We also used it to capture some pre-ceremony interviews and communion. It's a powerful one-button solution. As other reviewers noted, it's plastic and breakable, but not flimsy or precious. Just treat it like you would any of your professional equipment and you will be fine. The quality is on par with (if not better than) the audio from past shoots for which we paid other companies thousands of dollars.
A few tips we learned to make it easy to connect to a sound system:
--Reach out to the DJ or audio folks ahead of time to make sure they are ok with you connecting to their sound board (good professional hygiene) and confirm that their connection is the standard quarter inch input I mentioned above.
--Use a bigger sd card than the 2 GB one that comes with it. Don't risk running out of space. The Zoom will show you exactly how much time is left, but don't cut it close. I have a 32 Gb one that works great. You'll be able to capture an entire day's worth of high quality audio.
--Bring extra batteries. At the end of an 8 hour recording day, the batteries were shot. Always have backups.
--Use a Movo windscreen muff. I used it outdoors in light wind and it cuts the sound of wind out completely.
--Monitor the device. If you can, it's best to have someone monitor the device regularly to adjust the audio input volume because most events like weddings will go from low speech volume at the ceremony (when you will need to raise the input volume) to very high volume during the dance/music (where you will need to lower the input volume almost all the way down). If you are a one or two man video operation and don't have the bandwidth to monitor the Zoom to make these adjustments, don't worry too much. Set the input near the middle and you'll get enough quality audio that is fairly easy to adjust in post production.
To summarize what you should buy: Zoom H1, backup AA batteries, 32Gb Micro SDHC card, windscreen muff, carrying case. I got all this on amazon for about $125.
I wish someone had left a review telling me how easy it is to use this way, because man does it make audio easy to work with.