For the Q8, Zoom has essentially taken its Q4 Handy Video recorder launched last year and given its video capabilities a resolution boost while also adding microphone modularity.
That means that the new videocam can record MOV format videos at up to 2,304 x 1,296 pixels at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps, and includes two WVGA video recording modes. Light is allowed through to the 1/3-inch 3 megapixel CMOS sensor via a 160 degree wide angle (F2.0/16.6 mm) lens, and users can frame up a scene using a 2.7-inch rotating LCD touchscreen display panel. There's 4x digital zoom, a self timer function and scene and auto gain presets to help with different lighting and acoustic conditions.
The interchangeable mic capsule system is reported compatible with all of Zoom's existing capsules apart from the EXH-6 TRS/XLR Combo Capsules, and allows videographers to snap in different microphones according to requirements. The Q8 can record up to four audio tracks simultaneously, there's support for up to 24-bit/96 kHz multi-channel audio and the recorder comes with a low-cut filter, audio mixer, compressor and limiter.
There's a built-in 400 mW mono speaker as well as a stereo line out jack for headphone monitoring. External microphones or instruments can be plugged directly into the videocam courtesy of two XLR/TRS combo inputs (with analog-style gain wheels, phantom power and a -20 dB pad).
The Handy Recorder records directly to SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards, sports mini-USB and micro-HDMI ports, and its 1,700 mAh Li-ion battery is claimed to offer more than 2 hours per charge.
The Zoom Q8 is expected to start shipping in March for a suggested retail price of US$399.99 and will come supplied with a detachable stereo X/Y microphone capsule, a foam wind screen and a three-prong action camera mount adapter.
The introductory video below runs through all of the Q8's main features.
Product page: Zoom Q8