Zoom announced a new field recorder with the no-nonsense name F3. Features include 2-channel recording with 32-bit precision, app-based remote control, and a built-in USB audio interface.
32-bit recording is available for two recording tracks at sample rates up to 192 kHz. If the small field recorder is connected to the computer or an iOS device via USB-C as an audio interface, the F3 reaches a maximum resolution of 24-bit / 96 kHz. There is a loopback function in there as well, which makes the device suitable for streaming.
Dual A/D converter stages and low-noise microphone preamps (borrowed from the manufacturer’s F-series multitracks) promise high-quality recordings with enough headroom to never worry about overloads. Of course, Zoom also thinks of film recording, which is why the compact device (weighing 242 grams) attaches directly to microphone arms with a Velcro fastener. Remote control at a distance of up to 10 meters is also possible via the F3 Control app for iOS (Android is coming later this year.) Wireless timecode is also an option with the BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter and UltraSync Blue accessories from Timecode Systems.
The F3 shows the input signal as a waveform in real-time on its LC display. A headphone output is available as well, and a line output makes it possible to record directly into a camera or another device. Sturdy side braces, a standard tripod mount, and non-slip rubber feet are included. The robust metal housing and locking XLR connectors are designed for use in a variety of environments.
The F3 operates for up to 8 hours with two alkaline batteries, and up to 18 hours with two lithium batteries. Alternatively, operation via the AD-17 power pack or a USB battery pack is possible. Recordings are stored onto microSD cards with up to 1 TB of storage. According to Zoom, 1TB permits 180 hours of recording time at the highest resolution.
Price and availability
The F3 should be available in the second quarter of 2022, but Zoom hasn’t revealed the price yet.