We first looked at Zoom's Q3HD Handy Video Recorder when it was announced in October. The point-and-shoot unit combines HD audio recording with 1080p video at 30 frames per second, a 2.4-inch LCD screen for immediate playback and ... you can now get your hands on one.
Zoom is primarily known as an audio specialist, so it's not surprising that sound quality was the priority for its first Q3 Handy Video Recorder offering which featured 640 x 480 resolution video recording. The new HD version gives the video side of the equation a boost with full 1080p at 30 frames per second or both 30 and 60 frames per second at 720p. Inside there's a 5 megapixel CMOS sensor and the lens has a fixed aperture of F2.8 with no optical zoom (4X digital).
On the audio side the Q3HD records up to 24-bit/96kHz WAV or up to 320kbps AAC and uses the same microphone capsules as the company's H4n Handy Recorder (a device that has cemented a place in gizmag's on-the-road kit) arranged in a 120 degree x/y configuration.
The Zoom Q3HD costs US$299.99 with a 2GB SD card thrown in. The 2GB card is good for 45 minutes of HD video – shelling out for a 32GB SDHC card will get you approximately 7 hours of HD video according to Zoom.
There's also an US$39.99 accessory package available which includes a soft shell case, windscreen, AC adapter, HDMI cable, AV cable and tripod.