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Zoom Q2HD Reviews

3.5 stars based on 24 customer reviews
  • Wayne Solomon
    from Shelby, NC April 2, 2013Music Background:
    Average guitarist and vocalist for bluegrass gospel, choir cantatas, jamming bluegrass, etc.

    Zoom Q2HD Superior Over Flip (3rd generation)

    I have used the Zoom Q2HD on two different occasions, one in low light drama at church w/ dark scenes and spotlight, and one occasion at church in daylight with max resolution. The video and audio on both environments are simply outstanding for a pocket camcorder. This camera far exceeds even the 3rd generation Flip, which I also have. Two big issues are the increased controls (more bells & whistles) and the surpassing of the 2 hr limitation on recording time with the Flip. The Zoom Q2HD will be my camera of choice for virtually any recording!

  • Les Konley
    from Parker, CO March 14, 2013Music Background:

    Cool Gadget, Great Sound

    You are not going to take this camera with you up the mountain to video tape your snow skiing tricks, or to the football or basketball game to catch all the action. The only way this thing will take good video is if it is not moving around. That's why you NEED a tripod. In the field, a telescopic monopole works great to hold it steady (you can get a monopole at B&H), a regular camera tripod will work perfect, and just setting it up on a tabletop or shelf or whatever is just as good... as long as the camera is STILL. This is NOT the hero cam, so you're not going to be using it like that.

    Of course, catching all the SOUND that goes with the video is where this thing shines! I recorded a WM garbage truck stopping at my driveway, and the school bus dropping off my daughter, both from a distance of 75-100 yards, and the low end when played back in the studio made it sound like the rumble of the truck/bus engine was right there in the room with me - so it has awesome low end in my opinion. Great stereo field and good pickup; can't turn the gain all the way to 10 in most situations, that's too high. Handling the camera while recording only adds shockingly loud sounds during playback. As others have said, the center button is touchy, although that problem only shows up when you're IN THE MENU. When not in the menu, you can practically fat-finger the record button and it has a more positive response starting-and-stopping recording, so I had no misfires when I intended to record. Aside from the not remembering the camera setting (off for audio only), all other settings are remembered after powerdown. It always powers up with the camera turned on.

    I plan to use the thing to record singer-songwriter buddies when they are playing unplugged, and in general with ANY situation where the sound is too important to miss out capturing along with the video (jamm sessions). I also have a Zoom H4n, and this thing sounds just as good or better. Both have quite a bit of hiss from self-noise, but considering I've been recording since buying my first portable Craig cassette tape recorder in 1976, how can I complain? Being able to slap in a 64GB XCSD card and capture 720p/1080i HD (compressed) +96KHz audio (raw) in such a small package, with the capacity of 8-10 hours in my pocket... this is Science Fiction!!!!

    It records .MOV's and does NOT playback other formats, such as .avi or .mp4 (I tried). So you can't really use it to playback videos from other sources without first converting to .MOV. The screen is really too small to use it as anything other than a portable RECORDING device anyway. The unit is surprisingly light; I already dropped it onto tile from about a foot off the ground, and it just bounced without damage.

    It burned through the alkaline batteries which came with it probably before the unit had been powered on for an hour's worth of getting familiar with it. But you're not going to use alkaline batteries, you're going to use LITHIUM AA batteries... which last far longer. The unit has 2 settings for batteries: > alkaline or > Ni-MH, so there's not a choice for Lithium... not sure why it would even care?

    Anyway, very cool gadget with great sound and definitely intended for recording nuts with emphasis on audio.

  • Ron D. Henry
    from Williamsburg, VA (USA) March 12, 2013Music Background:
    Artist/Recording Engineer

    A great product for on the spot video

    You've got to get this product. It has all the quality functions you need to record any performance or maybe a lecture. Also buy the accessory pack as well. You won't be disappointed!!

  • Tony Kramer
    from November 15, 2014Music Background:

    Just what we were looking for

    Have used the Q2 at almost every gig for a few months now and have only got praise for it. OK the picture quality could be a little better but the sound quality more than makes up for it. We use it on full HD 1080/30 and 96/24 sound and always use it plugged in to a power source. Can't expect too much from AA batteries. Large files divide on download but stitch back together perfectly even when uploaded to YouTube and joined afterwards.
    The volume control is what makes this a perfect tool for us. No squashed audio that comes from using normal video cameras with automatic recording level. Have never got the volume knob above 2 (we're quite a loud band) and haven't had a distorted or tinny recording yet. Even recorded outdoors with the windshield on and got great audio. You can always edit the audio (normalise etc) after with most video editing programs that allow audio export. Audio can also be edited with the software included with the camera although I haven't tried it yet.
    Knocked half a star off for picture quality but even that is nit-picking.
    Spend a little time with this and you will get really good results. Certainly good enough for demos etc.

  • Steve
    from Racine Wi. USA October 9, 2014Music Background:
    semi pro musician

    excellent item

    it's an excellent recorder with very good quality video and exceptional sound!. I wish the battery lasted a little longer.

  • Lester Drye
    from concord nc June 9, 2014Music Background:

    zoom q2hd

    This is a great recorder for audio or video.I searched the net to find a reliable recorder for video and audio. I use this recorder to record church services.This recorder has great sound and video.It is very easy to operate fits in the palm of your hand.The price you pay for this recorder is great. I just love this recorder.

  • Daniel
    from March 20, 2013Music Background:
    Recording and live sound engineer, composer and arranger.

    Zoom Q2HD

    Excellent little unit that sounds great. The adjustable lighting is a wonderful addition that will save hours of correction in the editing suite... I have already paid for mine by recording a local band. Gotta like that!

  • Steve Larkin
    from Tn, USA October 26, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Jammer

    Zoom Q2HD

    Good video recorder with easy functions. Standard batteries are easy to replace to extend record time. Video quality is very good and recorder is small enough to be carried and available for unexpected photo/video oppertunities.

  • tom vincett
    from libertyville il. October 1, 2014Music Background:
    sound/recording eng.

    zoom q2hd

    picture quality is great, esp. for the price. only used once on live audio, and it was outside. so hard to tell.

  • Dwayne Barker
    from Rockford, Illinois July 5, 2014Music Background:
    Professional session guitarist

    nice for the price

    this camera is pretty good. not quite what I expected but the price was right

  • Sean
    from Grapevine, TX June 1, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician - 30 years

    Thumbs up!

    I wasn't expecting much, and thought about asking for a RA number to be included with my order, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality and ease of use. I hand it to friends in the crowd to film our shows, and have gotten great results!
    The audio input can be too easily moved and I might suggest a click wheel in future upgrades of this product, but you get a lot of video value for this price.

  • Bobby Vachon
    from Franklin, NH December 25, 2013Music Background:
    Fireside Trio

    Great sound quality

    I got the Q2HD for Christmas. The sound quality is great for such a small portable unit. The video in 1080 mode beats most cell phones, but the lighting needs to be just right to obtain a nice video without grain. The mic gain adjust is a great feature, and easy to get to. I'm not a fan of the handy share software that comes with the unit. I think windows movie maker does a better job. Batteries don't last long. I bought the On-stage mic stand mount adapter, which allows the Q2HD to be mounted on the end of a mic stand. This is a must have as the video quality is much better if the unit isn't moving around while recording.

  • Michael
    from Cape Canaveral, FL November 26, 2013Music Background:
    Live gigging musician.

    Great Tool!

    Exceptional audio and video for the price. Easy to use too.

  • Customer
    from United States November 1, 2013

    Review for Zoom Q2HD

    Overall the Q2HD is really great for recoding practice sessions and getting instant feedback. The video camera is high quality, and thus far I haven't experienced and issues with the audio and video being out of sync. However, the sound does seem to lose some depth when recording multiple instruments.

  • Earl
    from Singapore August 3, 2013Music Background:
    Choral Conductor

    Audio and video is good... Not best with poor lighting... big file recordings get cut when transferred to computer...

    I'd say audio and video is good enough... just that it's not as good with low light conditions...

    Something I have never figured out... When my video recordings go over 3 gig, the big file gets divided into smaller file sizes when I transfer to computer and it sucks coz you don't know where it splits the video, and most of the time it cuts in the middle of a song that even combining them in a video editing software, linking is not seamless... :(

  • Customer
    from December 19, 2012Music Background:
    20 years guitar and singing in bands, duos and solo.

    The Zoom Q2HD is a nifty bit of kit.

    The short story is this thing is simple to use and gets decent results with a few minor issues, none of which are a deal breaker.

    Pros: Sound/Video is excellent and the included software is easy to use. Navigating the various menus to change settings is logical and quite intuitive.

    Cons: Menu navigation is hampered due to the small size of the main rear buttons. So if you have large fingers using the butt end of a pen or like object is necessary if you want to hit the center button with precision. The unit isn't made of the most solid plastic and if dropped or stepped on...well let's just say this thing isn't built like an SM58.

    Quick tip: Find an eye glasses case to store and transport this thing. I had one that fit like a glove. Everybody knows somebody who wears glasses and probably has an old case they can spare. Leaves plenty of room to store extra memory cards to boot!

  • Customer
    from September 25, 2012

    Zoom Q2HD First Impressions

    My first impressions are that this recorder has markedly improved the sound quality of the handheld recorder, not just above the previous Zoom but above other portable video recorders such as a Flip. The video quality is above par, not great but certainly more than enough considering its portability. The biggest challenge has been the light adjustments to the camera. It sets them automatically and sometimes it will darken a scene and you can't get it to brighten back up. Overall though the options within the settings, the final quality of the video and audio make this a great snag.

  • BuleriaChk
    from Santa Barbara, CA USA April 28, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician (Flamenco)

    Zoom Q2 and Screen Capture

    The purpose of this review is to alert purchases to a specific issue: that of screen capture (capturing the live image to your computer HD while watching the image on your monitor).

    The Q2 does not come with the necessary software to do this, and as other reviewer have noted, it does not play well with either Adobe Premiere (Elements) or Pinnacle Studio. The problem seems to be the codec; I tried for several days to make this work with no luck. Either the programs would not recognize the device at all, or did not work properly - the above programs were built for Firewire and DV camcorders or with analog interfaces (RGB, VHS, etc.)

    That said, this program will capture with software from NCH (and others, but I only tested NCH). NCH does work with the H.264 codec, so you can get a live picture of what you are recording to a computer file on your computer screen. NCH Debut is a free (single user) video capture program, but I also tested NCH VideoPad editor which also captures the video so you can immediately edit it (the way PS12 and Premiere used to work with my DV camcorders).

    I'm hoping that NCH will upgrade to H.265 codec, which is what the Zoom Q4 uses. (I have ordered a Q4, so will have to test it when it arrives.) OTH, PS17 advertises that they can edit H.265, but whether it will recognize the device for live input is still questionable, and will have to be tested.

    I did get a refund for PS17 (upgrade from PS12). If you search on "Screen Capture Software", you will find alternaives to NCH that may work with these units as well.

    I will write a short update on the Q4 after I have had a chance to test it.

  • Phil Bowden
    from Kent, WA July 29, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Audio is good video is just ok

    I gave it 3 stars because I think is a very good camera for the purpose of getting a good audio recording with decent video quality. If you're looking for pro quality video, however, I think an iPhone would be better than this unit. I'm returning mine for this reason.

  • Shelly Hebert
    from Mandeville, LA November 7, 2013Music Background:
    Student Guitarist

    First Impressions

    Just got the Zoom Q2HD today (along with the Accessories pack) and as I sit here and write this review, I'm debating should I keep this camera or return it. It just doesn't seem well worth the $200 spent on it. Now granted, I haven't put this little sucker to the test yet, nor have I gotten around to fully tweaking the settings, etc. But from playing around with it for a few minutes, its doesn't seem to be up to par as advertised. My iPhone 5's video recording quality is better - this little guy, in dim light records just about the same quality as say a typical webcam does in dark to dim light. I haven't hooked up to my Macbook Pro yet, so can't comment on that - other then the software installment (of which you'll need to use the SD card that comes with it to access the installation file), was fast as a snap. I took my dog out for a brief walk (at night and poorly lighted area), recording to see how well it come out. Finish result was graining. Then I hooked up the camera to my 46" TV via the provided HDMI / mini-HDMI cable, very grainy looking and no sound. But now like I said before, I haven't fiddled with the settings or anything and I haven't tested it in brightly lighted areas, but so far - from right out of the box, my iPhone camera is much, much better.

  • Greg
    from WV May 21, 2013Music Background:

    What happened to my content???

    Ok, so we used the camera this past weekend at a gig we were playing and played back the video when we got back to the studio.Then, we proceeded to copy the content to our mac computer.Well, it lost data 1/3 of the way through the transfer and the show was lost!!!! I know it was there because we watched on on an HD TV and on the camera as well.Transfer of data from camera to computer is obviously a problem! I was told i should transfer directly from the sd card to computer NOT from the camera...hmmmm...thats not what I should have to do! GLITCH!

  • Ian
    from July 23, 2014Music Background:

    Do not buy...

    This is handy, but the video quality is poor and all the recordings no matter how you set it sounds tinny!

  • Aaron
    from Seattle, WA November 9, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Don't buy this.

    I've used this three times to record our band play live. I've plugged it straight into the wall and didn't use batteries. Each time I've used this it only records part of the show. I thought it was a memory issue so I put in a 32 gig card for the second show with the same problem. It's not a memory issue because last night I put in a brand new 64Gig card and it stopped recording two and a half songs in!!
    In the end it's just a useless but expensive piece of plastic and now I'm out three hundy :(

  • Aaron
    from Chelan, WA July 11, 2013Music Background:
    Professional... I played at RED ROCKS!!! :)

    Missed it by that much...

    I found a lot of things wrong with this recording device but here are only 6 things out of say 20 plus problems I found with it. This is written in a way to help you decide if this product is right for you.
    1.) Display screen is so super small that when it was barely discernible where the edge of the stage was.
    2.) No matter what concert I record and where I record it, the footage always sounds like a tin can.
    3.) If you have a PC... good luck using windows media player or iTunes to try and watch the video. The ONLY program I could find that would even play video was Quick Time and that was pretty glitchy.
    4.) If you record an entire concert and want to use the "divide" feature to split up the video into each individual songs, it will cut off the last 3 seconds of every song! You'll lose that last incredible ending of your favorite band or artist forever!!
    5.) This doesn't come with the power cord and so you'll have to buy that separately for an additional $40.00 :( Brand new double A batteries will only get you about 15 min of your favorite band at your favorite venue etc.
    6.) The whole device is pretty difficult to operate and very poorly made.

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