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Zoom Q3HD Reviews

4.0 stars based on 29 customer reviews
  • Lisa
    from Brooklyn, NY September 12, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    The Q3HD is awesome. I chose to go with the Q3HD instead of the Q2HD because the Q3HD has better mics. I've used the Q3HD for the last month or so, and it's delivered great audio and video to record my music performances. If you're a musician who needs great audio with good video, the Q3HD will serve you well. Files transfer easily onto my computer, and you can edit video files right on the Q3HD. Blows the Flip camera out of the water. Love how it runs on real batteries, and not a rechargeable. I get a little over an hour of video recording time on batteries.

  • Jason Anschutz
    from Sturgeon Bay WI December 8, 2011Music Background:
    Musician (piano and percussion)

    Amazing little video camera!!!

    I've been a musician for over 15 years (specializing in piano and percussion) practicing every day only to get better. Searching through numerous catalogs, I wanted to find a video camera that: a) didn't cost a lot of money and b) provided great video and audio quality. When I ordered this video camera, I was a little skeptical since the camera was small but the microphpnes on top made it look professional. My package came in the mail and was anxious to try it out. When I tested this camera on playing piano, I was blown away. This video camera is amazing for sound and picture quality. When I'm ready, I'm recording piano and percusion performances with the ZoomQ3HD and posting them on youtube. I am so pleased with this product and would recommend it to anyone interested in getting awesome audio, sound and picture qualities. Thank you Sweetwater!!!

  • LonCee
    from new york city November 16, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    Great Video and Audio gear who ever thought this machine can do so much,to be so little.I protected like my condenser microphones case with in a case.Its really something

  • Customer
    from July 27, 2011


    Woderful piece of technology! Opens the doors to imagination.

  • Steve Gardner
    from Custer, SD July 4, 2011Music Background:
    part time pro musician

    Easy to use with great audio and video

    I used this recorder to capture our band at an indoor arena for an hour show. The sound and video quality are unbelievably good.
    Actually my wife did the recording from in front of the stage.
    This was the first time we used the Zoom Q3HD and it worked extremely well.
    The only problem is that the video quality really deteriorates if you use the zoom.
    Also, I didn't read the instructions at the beginning of the instruction manual that you must load on your computer to use the "sharing" software. (I reformatted the SD card and started recording on it).
    Be sure and buy the accessory package for the camera.

  • Golfmanbil
    from Florida December 29, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician and recording Hobbiest

    WOW !!!

    I waited a long time for this to arrive ,and it was worth it!
    Amazingly easy to use, compact, solid and very well engineered.
    I used it the day I received it to record a broadway show and the recorded video and audio from the show played back beautifully in High Def with stunning sound . This little thing is game changing.
    I bought it to record video and music to upload to YouTube. The device allows you to connect stereo headphones for monitoring and has a stereo line in mini jack which accepts an input from my mixer.
    I run through a Voice Live 2 Unit and this records my guitar, vocal and harmonies without a hint of noise. The recordings are perfect.
    What an amazing age we live in! For great sound and video, get this unit, you will love it. Comes with memory card and software for editing.

  • gridsleep
    from Hudson Valley December 10, 2010Music Background:
    Religiously Eclectic Amateur

    Mighty mite

    Q3HD is smaller in person than I expected. Much like the Korg MicroX orange case looks a lot bigger once you have it sitting on your table for the first time. This ZOOM little wonder is pretty much like the TARDIS: it's got a lot more talent packed inside than the size would indicate. It comes on in a second, records like a dream. Depending on choice of format, a 2GB SD card can hold up to 28 hours of audio. The video is really, really good, definitely DVD quality, as is the audio. This is a bloody good piece of electronics. The control panel is easy to navigate. Definitely get the accessories pack. It really shouldn't be optional. You're going to need all that stuff eventually. I can't recommend this enough. It is tough, well thought out, easy to handle and performs as a video cam and sound station with an astonishing excellence. This is a must-have item for anyone, not just musicians and fans. I've been using mine as a bench recorder for the sound coming out of my Kaossilator and Kaoss Pad. Those three instruments together make for a battery powered pocket movie studio. No ****, this is it. I go nowhere without my Q3HD. And neither should you

  • Keith
    from Cincinnati, OH January 21, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Classical Musician, Hobbyist Sound Recorder

    Exactly what I needed

    I've used a Zoom H1 for years now to record practice sessions, rehearsals, and audition tapes. When looking to upgrade I decided to try out the Q3HD, as many groups are moving towards DVD audition tapes. It's really fantastic.
    I was a bit worried about the limited gain settings (auto, high, and low), but turns out the auto setting works really well. When set to "auto" and "down only" you can sound-check the loudest part of your program and the Q3HD will auto adjust to put that level below peak and remain there the rest of the recording. None of that infuriating fluctuating auto gain crap. Well done!
    Gets 4.5 stars for the short (hour or so) battery life. I highly recommend getting the wall plug.

  • Howie Cambpell
    from Charlottesville, VA May 24, 2012Music Background:
    Pro since 1974, currently on the road.

    Zoom Q3HD Does it!

    After seeing the quality video and sound my friend got with his I decided to try the Zoom. I had a chance to use it to record a weekend event I ran sound for. Although the files are huge, the quality is superb for the size of the unit. It's easy to do a quick edit so you don't have to download large files, and you can do just audio, or both audio and video. I'm pleased with it. I also purchased the accessory bundle and a 16bg SD card. The one negative is it chews up batteries FAST, so I got some rechargeable and use the power chord whenever possible. I recommend this product.

  • Paul
    from Philadelphia, PA March 25, 2012Music Background:

    Plug and Play!

    To some degree, I am still figuring the finer points of this delightful little toy... but the weekend I took it out of the box, I banged out 6 videos for my you tube page. I am very happy with the ease of use and the quality... I have only worked in the low light of my basement and have been impressed, and of course the sound is delicious compared to any other camera I have used. The software that comes with the Q3HD is very nice too, it adds nice effects that really make the audio come to life. I generally create my videos in Windows Movie maker, so I do need to change the format to work with them... but with the software editing capabilities that come with the Q3HD, this is not a necessity. Easy to use, high quality results. I recommend this highly. (Go ahead and grab the accessory pack right away too... its worth it).

  • Ac
    from Virginia March 15, 2012Music Background:

    Great practice tool

    I purchased this to record our band practices as well as my own practice. I was not that concerned with video. The sound quality is superb! I have also found the video to be great As well. Dim light is not an issue. I am very pleased with purchase , and so is my band. Give it 5 stars for audio/video, 4 stars for price and battery life. Very happy overall

  • philome pierre
    from broooklyn ny February 28, 2012Music Background:
    recording engineer

    Q3HD is our new band member

    right out the box i took the Q3hd to my friends live performance..everybody was blown away by the quality of the audio &the pictures.Great stuff.

  • Jack James
    from Gainesville, Florida September 25, 2011Music Background:
    Teacher-Music Theory, Blues, Rock, Jazz Guitar, Vocal Coaching

    This little unit is great and versatile! Easy to use; not too many buttons or multiple staging functions, which makes it a snap to use right out of the box. Store your videos in your 'Documents" file if you want. Go to U-tube live or after massage. It's all good. Rehearsals can be seen and heard and sound is digitally top notch; watch it on your T.V., just plug into video! Get a bigger SD card for long-term internal file. Care for this unit with kid-gloves; armored case is a good idea. Careful, fragile but well worth every dime!

  • Zmuzik Productions
    from Memphis, Tn April 18, 2011Music Background:
    Production Company, Musician.

    This Camera is awesome

    This camera sounds awesome. I have posted several videos on my. This camera has a major flaw. It is not a camera that you should drop. It looks like it is going to break. But other than that OMG OMG OMG YES!!!!! Perfect for those loud musical events!!!!!!!Stuart is a great salesman there and her takes care of us!!!!

  • Michael Whipple
    from Medford, OR, USA November 15, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Working Musician

    Get the 3...

    The Zoom Q3, with the X-Y mics from the H4n, sounds excellent, if a little thin on the low end, but I've found that the line-in (1/8" stereo mini-jack) is worth the upgrade from the Q2 by itself. I've used it to capture a live gig using a board mix into the line input and was very pleased with the result. i would also recommend the accessory package primarily for the AC adaptor. By combining AC power, a 16GB SHARC card, and the line input, I was able to "set and forget" the recorder and capture entire sets at highest video and audio resolution. Nice. One thing that would make it nicer, would be to include file splitting utilities on the HandyShare software, like the current functions of trimming and effects. Much nicer to split files on a computer than to navigate the Zoom's on-board interface. A longer USB cable, or simply a USB port, would also be welcome...Overall, a handy and effective little unit.

  • Dayna Hutchinson
    from Murray, KY March 2, 2012Music Background:
    None, bought for a professor who tapes presentations.

    Zoom Q3HD

    The Zoom Q3HD is really a great quality item. The professor seems to like the ease and accessibility of this video/audio recorder. It is more compact and lightweight than what she was using before. The only think I would suggest is maybe making the video time longer. Her classes are 50 minutes long and the battery life seems to last about 30. We have went to the rechargeable batteries so hopefully this make a world of difference. Maybe include a SD card with it, it is a great item and we are glad we purchased it and thank you for being so quick and so willing to help us in every way possible. Thank you and have a blessed day.

  • Jessica Roemischer
    from MA March 1, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Pianist, Composer


    I use this to record YouTube videos straight from a Yamaha GT-1 digital grand. The thing I love is that I can plug straight into the Zoom using the stereo in - the Zoom was one of the first, if not the first recorder in this price range that allows you to do that. So I get great, pristine quality sound for a reasonable investment (mind you, the Yamaha was 12,000 new, but you could achieve this kind of quality more or less with other digital grand pianos.) The video quality is adequate for this kind of use. If you want to see the result, you can check the latest videos on my YouTube channel.

  • Joseph DeRosa
    from Reno, NV February 4, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, recording engineer, composer

    Compatible with mac? Well...

    I'm enjoying the Zoom Q3HD. It's everything they say, with one caveat. It doesn't work with mac iDVD or iMovie. Yes, you can use the software that comes with the Zoom, but it's very limited. I'm told there are other apps I can buy, and that there's a file conversion process, but I'm disappointed that a cutting-edge piece of gear and the world's best computer don't work together out of the box. I think Zoom should consider this. Anyway, I do recommend the Zoom Q3HD. Be sure to add an HDMI cable, wall wart, better memory card, and maybe a USB extension cable in your budget.

  • Customer
    from January 25, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Artist, Progressive Rock/Metal Guitarist

    Awesome camera!

    I am very happy with my purchase of this at Sweetwater.

    Right now, I am enjoying recording videos especially band performances and I could say the quality of sound is really awesome! I also like the Handyshare software that came along with it in terms of mastering the sound captured. Another good thing is that you can save the audio only for sole music playback. I don't upload it straight to Youtube though with the software though as I read that it creates sync problems.

    Reason why I gave it a 4 is because I feel the video is still not good enough. I don't find it THAT HD as other cameras would capture and show. Still I would choose this over the normal Q3 as there is some difference with it.

    You can check www.youtube.com/RelaxationII for my recordings with this.

  • Linda Wilson
    from Chillicothe, Ohio September 16, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist, audio video for facility, technical advisor for museum.


    Q3HD is a wonderful tool for short project video and audio projects. I was totally amazed with the clarity of the video. I had one draw back; I didn't order the kit with the adapter, stand and windscreen. However, I will be purchasing the kit soon. I knew that Zooms were great because I also own 2 of the H1. Rehearsal recordings are cyrstal clear. I would highly recommend this product.

  • Eric Sample
    from Burlington, Vt August 23, 2011Music Background:
    Music Prof


    This is a great machine-I just took it to Africa-
    ONE PROBLEM when the batteries wear out which the do quickly in the
    heat THE recording light appears to be on and it will not shut off-
    But it is not recording!!
    I had to pull the batteries and put fresh ones in.
    Keep fresh batteries in and keep unit cool and you should be fine.

  • Geoff White
    from Kent, WA, USA July 18, 2011Music Background:
    Song wrieter, band leader

    Zoom Q3HD

    Haven't used it much, but easy to use (I mean easy, I am a digital incompetent); good quality results. The auto range adjust is a really nice feature (use it to record ministry events, and it captures both the music, and the spoken word without adjustment: my H4 doesn't do this very well). Had one instance where ambient noise pretty much wrecked the audio, but I wasn't using the foam cover, nore had I engaged the low cut. In the same venue, the recording I made with my H4 with the foam cover was fine.

  • Jeremy
    from South West PA June 13, 2011Music Background:


    The camera was better than I expected. Picture quality was good and the sound quality was unmatched. Only cons are you need a wind screen most of the time when shooting outdoors, no light on the device for low light situations and you defiantly need to use rechargeable batteries. outside of those little issues, I'm very satisfied.

  • Steve Hardesty
    from Nashville January 3, 2011Music Background:
    Musician / Recording Engineer

    Excellant Quality with video and audio but don't drop it!

    This is by far the absolute best you can get for audio AND video for under $500 at least. I borrowed this unit from a friend and used it for several projects and was very impressed with everything but the case they housed it all in.
    Like some other Zoom Products (R16 and R24) this is housed in a completely cheap plastic case. It is VERY fragile. Just one drop to a hard surface and it will be $300 worth of scrap. If they would make a rubberized armored type of slip on cover (Like you can buy for an I-Phone) it would be just fine.

    I don't believe I can purchase this unless I can buy breakage insurance....Maybe homeowners will cover it, who knows.

  • Paul Hartmann
    from Hyde Park, NY May 28, 2012Music Background:
    Musician-serious hobbyist

    great camera/recorder lousy bundled software

    The camera is quite an engineering feat. My only complaint has to do with the included software. Take a look on you tube to see how many "zoom0004" (or other last number) listings you see. This is the auto-assigned name used by Handy share for all of its files and you are stuck with it. The software is miserable about saving & renaming files. There is also no allowance to really adjust your sound mix in the program, but file transfer into another better equipped program is nearly impossible.

  • alan esposito
    from hamden Ct usa November 16, 2011Music Background:
    was pro now hobbiyist

    great but batt life very short

    happy with what it does just not happy with the batt life need to carry spare batteries

  • Customer
    from December 6, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Student Engineer

    Great audio; picture not so great.

    I gave it four stars because the picture is still not what I was looking for. The center-point is really the microphones on this piece. Also, when you take a video in 720p, there really isn't that much of a noticeable difference, other than size of the files, from 1080p. Awesome little unit for recording internet videos for YouTube and what not. It has a line-in as well, so I just plug my recording interface directly to this device rather than use the microphones for doing sound clips of my instruments. I took it to a rock concert and the mics did great. However, the picture looked pretty bad because of the lighting.

  • Jon Malugin
    from South of Nashville and North of Muscle Shoals May 5, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    This this is great for recording sound and video and for hooking up to a TV it's awsome. Small , easy to operate, easy to carry around but the software that comes with it is "GARBAGE" Garbage Garbage, sorry but thats my opinion, if Zoom can fix the software then it would be the BOMB. Maybe if I had a new Computer like APPLE I wouldnt have so many problems with it, I have more than the recomended requirments in the computer department and High speed cable internet but it just slow slow slow conflict conflict conflict???? Whats up ZOOM?If I knew how the software was going to be I would have never purchased it. I'm gonna try a DVR and make DVD's, saving files and uploading, I dont know what's the problem ZOOM?

  • R. Kirt McLaughlin
    from Cortez, CO USA March 8, 2012Music Background:

    what was expected for the price

    The Q3HD is not in touch with audio/fidelity.

    If this item cost even $50.00 more my rating would be much lower.

    For starters, when one applies the "audio input jack", the 'built in' mics are turned off. The Q3HD has many disregards toward sound tracking. (not that this option was advertised in the first place, but I digress).

    Secondly, when I purchased the Q3hd I was led to believe that it was a musicians saber. Being able to capture "HD' video and "HI-FI" sound. simultaneously. The fact of the matter is that, the q3hd has very good mics with limitted ways of using them.

    For instance, the "mic gain" has 3 settings. AUTO(useless), HIGH (makes an acoustic guitar ,that is played live{Q3HD mics only} sound like an electric), & Low(the only acceptable/reasonable gain). Now, within this "Low" gain setting there is no articulation available to the artist. At best the Q3HD offers a low filter cut that can easily be obtained in post-production. Let's not get started on my qualms about the mics turning off when the "audio input" is utilized.

    Finally, I must say that every mechanical componinent on the q3hd is "plastic". I've already breached the teather of mounting the unit on a tri-pod/mic-stand after only 3 uses. Not to mention the flimzyness of the chassie and the USB/CD/power button components. The entirety of the unit begs for real construction. And I must point out the "built in USB cable. It's worthless on a PC. It doesn't reach, unless I perch it attop a block of wood that BLOCKS my hdisc drives. So now, I'm expected to spend $20 to $50 on an USB extension chord only to hear from the sales rep. @ Radio Shack that my device has a failed design? Just make a USB port, for cryin' out loud. Zoom's obligation to the 'speedia' has no place in my studio. A place where real audio work gets done.

    Zoom took a lot of time to "phone this one in", but it does what is expected for the price. AND NOTHING MORE! If I were a videographer, I'm sure I'd have plenty to say about the q3hd advertising itself as an "HD" video camera as well. But, I'm not, so I won't go there. As an audio producer however, I can say that the q3hd gives me a video diary for myself and my clients. And that's pretty much its usefullness.

    I remember when Dave Mustane endorsed 'Crate'. It's too bad that he's sunk to this level again, because I love his work regardless. And this review is not about taste, it's about sound. Shame on Dave, again.

    To conclude; the internal mics on the q3hd are GREAT, but the unit is not user friendly. It has surplaced commonsense with convenience.

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