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1 hour ago, Michael Panfeld said:

Seriously, a set of cables that end in a 1/4 plug or an XLR to 1/4 plug adapter would prevent you from using this machine? 

It's not as crazy as you make it sound.  Not being able to share cables between machines is a problem for me too.  If I were to buy the F8 as a backup, I'd want to be able to drop it into my setup as quickly as possible.

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Fred: On a FB group page for mixers, one of the members said that he had been working with Zoom for months, giving them feedback on what pros are looking for.  Let's hope you are right and the manage

You sure it was the recorder and not the battery? I used the f8 a couple of years ago without problems in worse conditions.

Once we (I) realized the problem, everything was changed, even units on the shelf, theory be Damned. Units that come in for repair are also updated. This is a mandatory, no charge, no time limit updat

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19 minutes ago, Abe Dolinger said:

It's not as crazy as you make it sound.  Not being able to share cables between machines is a problem for me too.  If I were to buy the F8 as a backup, I'd want to be able to drop it into my setup as quickly as possible.

Absolutely.  why bother to purchase a $75 set of cables or 8 XLR=>1/4" adapters when you can spend $4-6,000 to but a 2nd 788T as a backup and not have to spend an extra 2 minutes when you switch to a backup in an emergency situation.  Makes perfect sense.

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1 minute ago, Michael Panfeld said:

Absolutely.  why bother to purchase a $75 set of cables or 8 XLR=>1/4" adapters when you can spend $4-6,000 to but a 2nd 788T as a backup and not have to spend an extra 2 minutes when you switch to a backup in an emergency situation.  Makes perfect sense.

I'm a happy owner of two Nomads.  That decision still makes sense to me.  If you wouldn't do that, that's fine, that's your call! 

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3 hours ago, Michael Panfeld said:

Seriously, a set of cables that end in a 1/4 plug or an XLR to 1/4 plug adapter would prevent you from using this machine? 

Absolutely. I definitely don't like the idea of using TRS jacks in a professional application. They are far more flimsy and prone to breakage than XLR. Pressure on the side can cause them to bend, break or lose contact which can ruin a take and the equipment. Especially in a bag setup where there is often strain on the cables. I've had to replace the 1/4" jacks on nearly all my bag headphones. So yes, it would be potentially prevent me from using this machine. 

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Here are my initial thoughts on improvements after playing with the unit for about a week. 

I realy hope zoom will continue support and add features in the future.

Some of these things might be an easy fix. Others maybe not so much. Im still pretty new to the machine so please chime in if you disagree or if there are workarounds i have missed.

 


- Clip indicators should be able to reset and go away after a set amount of sec. I find pressing stop+5 shortcut risky during take.

- Shortcut to flip pots from trim to fader. Plus a clear visual representation of the different modes from any screen.

- Better connection with Bluetooth device. If i close the window on my iPhone during take i cannot reconnect again. Also make it easier to go from iPhone connected to iPad or vice verca.

- Option for 4GB file size could be implemented?

- Would be nice if the timecode jam screen could display the TC int ext difference.

- Headphone presets. Would be nice to easily switch back and forth between a couple of different monitoring presets without menu diving. 

- When selecting a parameter in the menu by pressing the scroll wheel i think the screen should go back to the previous screen. 

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Piero - I have the same exact issue. Purchased two Kingston SDHC4 32 GB cards and had both fail the full media test. Contacted Zoom. It appears they are aware of this specific issue and plan to implement a fix in the next firmware update. Until then they suggested using a different card that passes the full test.

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On 8/3/2016 at 7:38 PM, gabrielstewa said:

Piero - I have the same exact issue. Purchased two Kingston SDHC4 32 GB cards and had both fail the full media test. Contacted Zoom. It appears they are aware of this specific issue and plan to implement a fix in the next firmware update. Until then they suggested using a different card that passes the full test.

Hi Gabriel,

yes, at the moment I'm using two LEXAR 32GB 633x SDHC Class 10 without problems (they are not included on the recommended SD cards list but they passed the full test), and they are not too expensive.

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>>

Here are my initial thoughts on improvements after playing with the unit for about a week. 

I realy hope zoom will continue support and add features in the future.

Some of these things might be an easy fix. Others maybe not so much. Im still pretty new to the machine so please chime in if you disagree or if there are workarounds i have missed.

 


- Clip indicators should be able to reset and go away after a set amount of sec. I find pressing stop+5 shortcut risky during take.

- Shortcut to flip pots from trim to fader. Plus a clear visual representation of the different modes from any screen.

- Better connection with Bluetooth device. If i close the window on my iPhone during take i cannot reconnect again. Also make it easier to go from iPhone connected to iPad or vice verca.

- Option for 4GB file size could be implemented?

- Would be nice if the timecode jam screen could display the TC int ext difference.

- Headphone presets. Would be nice to easily switch back and forth between a couple of different monitoring presets without menu diving. 

- When selecting a parameter in the menu by pressing the scroll wheel i think the screen should go back to the previous screen. <<<<<

 

 

All really good ideas.

 

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I just returned from my first extended documentary shoot with a Zoom F8.  Field camera is a Canon C300, and we used a Tentacle TC box for jamming the code. I set the internal clock on the F8 to time of day.

I chose to set the timecode mode to INT RTC Run.  This setting was referenced in both the Zoom Manual, and a Tentacle Tech Support site.

I synced the Tentacle to the TC out of the F8, and then hooked it up the Tentacle to the C300 camera, jammed the Camera TC to the box and kept them connected.  It all seemed fine - the TC on both machines seemed in perfect sync.  I would re-jam the sync again later in the afternoon.

But the sound and picture files are never TC matches in the edit room.  They are close but never a match, and never consistent in offset.

After much research and discussions with Zoom Tech Support and Tentacle Support I figured out the problems:

1 - I turned the Zoom F8 mixer off occasionally to conserve power.   The mixer always had a power source, even when turned off - internal AA's.  So I thought the internal clock should have been completely solid.  Zoom tech support says no - anytime you power down you need to rejam TC.

Second problem - the Zoom F8 TC mode I chose - It turns out the only solid and accurate setting of all the modes offered is INT Free Run.  (and only when power is continuously on). They say RTC is a good choice if you want to conserve power.  But it's not useful for syncing to other machines.  (?)

It is difficult to rejam regularly while doing run and gun documentary shooting. But I do have two Tentacle boxes. Zoom have suggested syncing them on their own, giving one to the camera and attaching the other to the Zoom F8 External TC input and Jam syncing both units. It should work, but it's rather an expensive and inefficient work around, as it will take 2 boxes out of commission. 

It took a long time to track down the roots of this problem (and is taking a long time to sync everything we shot). 

Zoom kind of shrugged their shoulders about the power-down issue and the unclear Manual instructions about which TC Mode was optimal - they've said they will try and make things more clear when they re do the manual. 

Tentacle, on the other hand have been great  - they did a series of tests in house to help me trace the problem.  And they even sent me an extra BNC sync cable so I can at least maintain sync using 2 of their boxes when I'm in the field. 

So, lessons learned. 

 

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Lalalaaa, edited out a stupid rant, read one letter wrong..

Really shocked that timecode isn't stable after power down.

But then, what was powering your unit? Sounds like you had to restart a couple times. That would mean if you powered everything with an external battery then the zoom is a real power hungry device

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i seem to remember reading somewhere (here?) that the F8 doesn't hold time code when powering down. really should be in the manual though. hooking up a tentacle to both units seems a logical choice and not *that* expensive.

sorry to hear you had these troubles, but also surprised you didn't make a proper workflow test or at least sent the footage to an editor for checks after one or two days.

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6 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

Rec run runs the timecode when you press rec, starting from a given number, which means if you want to be in sync, you have to press rec the exact same moment as camera. That's why it didn't work. Basic timecode knowledge. Not being smug, just stating facts.

Hey Olle,

Re-read Markhamstreet's post. He said he set the timecode mode to "Int RTC Run" not "Int Rec Run" mode. Directly from the manual here's a table explaining the different modes:

image.thumb.jpeg.118f0d8463173f2f76b7bdf

The main issue here is that for all intents and purposes, the RTC (real time clock) should be extremely accurate even after powering down (rated 0.2ppm), but it has been noted by other F8 owners that if powered down, the RTC will not retain accuracy. I suppose this is due to there not being a coin battery or something of the sorts to help continue powering the RTC even after the machine is powered down, as both Sound Devices and Zaxcom do.

So the actual solution here is to not power down the F8 if you want it to remain accurate, or, to use sync boxes like the tentacle sync on both camera and the F8 so that even if you power down, you won't lose timecode sync. Perhaps not ideal, but again at $1k, we can't expect this tiny recorder to be the perfect solution for everything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While testing my new Zoom F8:  - I purchased two LEXAR 64GB 633x SDXC class 10 - U3 professional sd cards.  - after my recorder's approval, in the store !

In the store I ran the quick performance test = OK  ( I tested one card and bought the 2nd without testing it )

Home I ran the full ( long ) performance test several times : SD card-slot 1 = NG ?!  - SD card-slot 2 = OK 

I exchange my sd cards - sd-card in card-slot 1 to card-slot 2 = full ( long ) performance test =  SD card-slot 1 = NG ?!  - SD card-slot 2 = OK 

Problem is the sd card or/also the card-slots ?

 

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From my experience slower cards seem to test better on the F8. I don't think its speed related but more based on newer card tech (tuned for cameras?). I would love to get F8 users to contribute to a list of compatible (passing) and non compatible (failing) SD cards. 

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On 2/2/2016 at 7:38 AM, johnpaul215 said:

Is not just speed, it's compatibility of the card itself (seems the "standards" are not absolute when cards are made).

That also goes for recorders from Zaxcom, Sound Devices, Fostex etc.

 (I partially wrote this before, then decided not to post it, because it contains somewhat proprietary info)

The big difference between SD/CF cards and SSD drives is that SSD drives have the TRIM command - this lets the product tell the flash management chip inside the media which sectors are truly un-used, and therefore can be erased immediately.  For all solid state media, only sectors that are already erased can be written to at full speed, so after a couple of full recordings, most SD/CF cards exhibit severe write speed impairment (because they have to do a sector erase for every write call). - it needs a couple of passes, because the card may have kept some empty sectors in a cache for wear rotation.

All built in cards tests work by writing for a short time and seeing if the worst case write speed was acceptable, so they will show false positives if the card is in a partially erased state.   Even extending the test doesn't help, at some point afterwards you'll run into the "needs sector erase" phase.

Ask the manufacturer if their built-in format actually does a full sector erase, or just initializes the file system. Only a full sector erase will put the card into its factory fresh state with maximum potential write speed.    Full sector erase formatting can take 10 minutes for a 32GB card, we've found.

Products in this category are writing multiple files at the same time to a card.  Especially for SD cards, that is exactly opposite of the use case they are generally optimized for (single stream of photo or video data).   Cheap computers like the Raspberry Pi are known to go through SD cards (i.e. break them) because as a general purpose Linux, there are a lot of processes writing log files, etc. SD cards are not usually designed for a lolt of wear-levelling, so once any sector hits it limit, the card just "dies".

There's also the issue of the how the CPU in the product talks to the media.   For CF cards, there's the issue of what level of DMA is supported (cards with greater DMA level than the processor just won't get used that fast).   If the card was optimized for use only at the fastest possible speed, running it slower may cause unusually slow access.  For SD cards, especially with the new Video type, the product is talking to the card over a legacy serial bit stream interface.    How fast is it being driven? (may be slower than max in order to help with radio noise emmissions, or because it just doesn't need that performance).   If the card is a super fast one for video, why would the manufacturer optimize the access over the legacy serial pins?  That explains why faster cards are not always better.

All manufacturers develop their own methods for quantifying and qualifying the performance of media in their products, and publish that data as a list of tested cards when available.  

Knowing this, how could going off-list in your media choice ever be attractive?

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Finally got a chance to use my F8 on a student film last night. Damn, it's so much better than the H5 the school lends them. I don't really have much experience in location sound, but I could tell I definitely got better audio than most student films get. I'm very happy with this purchase. 

I had to boom and mix, so I set it up on a tripod at waste level and then put the iPad on top of the tripod. It made it super easy to see the faders and meters and really easy to take a hand off the boom and adjust something really quick. I don't really like circular trim knobs on a touch device (they are super hard to fine-tune), but the faders are good.

The one thing I don't like is it seems impossible to add new folders onto the SD card with the iPad? Not sure if it's true, but I can't figure out how to do it -- so if it's possible, please let me know! It was annoying to have to disconnect the iPad in order to use finder on the device itself and it'd definitely be easier and quicker to enter text on an iPad rather than with the menu knob.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone had a problem with files disappearing on the F8?  Editorial says I'm missing two takes (the only two takes of that shot) from a shoot 2 weeks back. At this point both original SD cards have been formatted but both the original and duplicate card dumps are missing those takes, although I believe editorial just dumps the slot one card onto two drives.

Does the F8 'write over' takes with the same name?  I'm struggling to understand what happened here, and the only possible solution I can come up with is that I incorrectly named the scene number and the f8 'wrote over' the takes.  But it seems crazy that this would be possible without some sort of error message.  This was on firmware 2.0.

 

 

Edited by PhforAndAfter
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