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New Zoom H5 Announced, A New King For DSLR Audio

By Anthony Thurston on May 24th 2014

There is no denying the DSLR is one of the most powerful consumer accessible video options out there. One of the biggest weaknesses though is, and has always been, the audio inputs on these cameras. This has given rise to portable audio recorders like the popular Zoom H  and Tascam DR Series recorders. Zoom-H5_Hardware-Ins-Outs Well, for all of you video shooters out there, Zoom just announced their latest addition to the audio recorder family, the new Zoom H5. This is meant as a direct upgrade from the widely popular Zoom H4n, and it looks to be pretty impressive. Though I have to wonder if it’s even worth upgrading from the H4n, which is still a very impressive audio recorder.

Zoom H5 Features


  • Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
  • Includes detachable X/Y capsule (XYH-5) with extended signal capacity and shockmounted mics for reduced handling noise
  • Compatible with all Zoom input capsules
  • Four-track simultaneous recording
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors each with selectable phantom power and -20dB pad
  • Analog-style gain controls for each input
  • Protective “roll-bar” type covers prevent accidental movement of gain controls
  • Plug-in power (2.5 volts)
  • Built-in effects, including low-cut filtering, compression and limiting
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • Auto-record, Pre-record and Backup-record functions mean that you’ll never miss that perfect take
  • MS decoding
  • Multitrack to stereo internal mixdown
  • Normalize, Divide and Trim editing
  • Voice memo and up to 99 marks per recording
  • A/B loop playback
  • Variable playback speed and variable pitch without affecting playback speed
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac/iPad with loop back function
  • Mountable directly to DSLR or camcorder with optional HS-01 Hot Shoe Mount adapter
  • Uses two standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Over 15 hours of operation with alkaline batteries

Zoom-H5_Hardware-Ins-Outs-2 Zoom-H5_Hardware-Ins-Outs-3 Zoom-H5-Front-And-Rear The new Zoom H5 is now available for pre-order from B&H and is expected to be available on July 28th. The price, $270, is pretty steep, but I think that for the quality and features, it is a fair price. What are your thoughts on this new audio recorder from Zoom? Is this enough of an upgrade for you to switch from your current recorder? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Spenno

    Does it use timecode? How do you sync it to the camera’s video?

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  2. Nicholas

    If the H5 has auto levels then yes, I’ll upgrade on release but won’t if it doesn’t. The auto on H4n is what I need in an event environment.

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  3. Matthew G. Monroe

    Love –– LOVE –– my Zoom H4N, but I’ll be making the upgrade to the H5 as soon as possible. Having interchangeable mic capsules AND built-in shock mounts for the mics is sooooooo damn smart, as is the “roll bar” over the level adjustment knob.

    Regarding the price: $270 is an absolute bargain for such a high-end equipment piece of equipment. As an old-timer in the production biz’, I remember (gladly) dishing out $3000 for a used, mono, reel-to-reel audio recorder (the original Nagra 4.2), and then later spending close to $9000 on a portable, stereo DAT recorder with time-code. $270 is chump change.

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