video cameras (Q3 experience)

John Hatton john_hatton at SIL.ORG
Thu Apr 8 10:46:37 UTC 2010

Steven wrote:

>I just got a Zoom Q3 to try out in PNG.  Has anyone else used these yet?

I just returned from 3 weeks of recording with the Q3 in a remote village
here in PNG.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  Sure, the video
quality is poor (640x480), but the audio seem good (but I'm not actually
qualified to measure it).  The people love being able to see each other's
and their own recordings so easily.  The device is almost toy-like, but this
can be used to one's advantage, helping people relax and enjoy the process.


1)      It can be hard to keep the gathered crowd of kids (in my case,
seeing moving images for the first time in their lives) from making a lot of
noise.  So next time, I'll fashion some kind of hinged cover for the screen,
to make it less interesting.

2)      The display does not tell you which recording number you're on, so
it's difficult to put in your notebook which recording goes with those

3)      There were times when I would have really liked an external
microphone jack.

4)      Transfer to a computer through the handy built-in USB plug is very
slow.  The SD card can be removed and plugged into the computer for faster

5)      You get 24-bit, 96 khz when recording audio only, but only 48 khz
when simultaneously recording video.

By the way, I found that using the BOLD-PNG-supplied Olympus to play back a
vernacular consent questionnaire, while recording with the Q3, worked very

John Hatton 
 <> SIL Papua New Guinea,  <>
Palaso, &  <> SIL International Software Development
Chat Google Talk: hattonjohn Skype: hattonjohn Google Wave:
hattonjohn at



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