Suppose you’ve ever used a Canon 1300D. You probably know just how useful it can be for recording video. Still, just like most cameras in its class, the built-in mic isn’t the best. There’s nothing more disappointing than capturing great video only to have it ruined by its terrible sound quality. So, what can you do about it? Well, you can invest in an external mic. In this case, the best external mic for Canon 1300D is the Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder.
The Zoom H1N Handy Recorder is a great entry-level device. It’s an affordable way to get quality sound straight to your Canon 1300D and make your videos sound much more professional. Best of all, it’s a standalone recorder which gives you loads of flexibility. For example, instead of mounting the mic on your camera, you could place it closer to your subject.
Here’s a glance at the Zoom H1N recorder:
- Made by Zoom, a company that specialises in audio recording devices
- Has loads of one-touch control buttons on the front
- Comes with two X/Y 90-degree stereo mics
- Weighs only 86 grams
- Is only 1.2 inches long
Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder has an excellent reputation, among both new and experienced filmmakers. Generally, people love it for its low cost and simplicity. In this review, we’ll look at why this recorder makes for the best external mic you could use with your Canon 1300D.
Performance And Functionality
The Zoom H1N is a versatile option for your Canon 1300D. You can pair it with your microphone using a 3.5mm audio cable. Or, you can use it as a standalone recorder and combine the audio in post-production.
Let’s start by looking at how the Zoom H1N Handy Recorder performs and functions as an external camera mic for the Canon 1300D.
Sound Quality And Storage
This device records audio in WAV format. Depending on what your needs are, you have several options when it comes to the quality of your recordings. You can choose from 44.1 kHz/16-bit, 48 kHz/16-bit, 48 kHz/24-bit, and 96 kHz/24-bit. Of course, there’s a tradeoff here. If you select the lowest quality setting, you’ll use less storage and can record for much longer. Still, even if you record at the highest quality setting, that’s not such a big deal. You can always upgrade your camera’s memory cards.
When you use the H1N to record directly to your Canon 1300D, your camera will record the audio as part of the video footage. If you use it separately, however, then the sound is recorded to a Micro SD or SDHC card. The H1N is compatible with cards of up to 32 GB in capacity.
Inputs And Outputs
Zoom’s H1N recorder comes with 3.5 mm input and audio output jacks. Using it with the Canon 1300D is easy. All you have to do is connect the H1N’s output jack to the camera’s input. This way, you’ll be recording audio directly with the video footage you’re capturing. Alternatively, you could also use the H1N as a standalone recorder by placing it closer to your subject. The recorder also has a Line In jack should you need it.
The recorder also has a USB port for power and data transfer, as well as a Micro-SD card slot. We’ll talk about that in more detail further below, so keep reading!
Battery Life And Power
The Zoom H1N has a battery life of 10 hours. That’s plenty, especially when you’re busy doing lots of filming on your Canon 1300D! Still, if that’s not enough for you, remember that there’s a USB port on the recorder as well. You could hook this up to a power bank to recharge the recorder on-the-go or keep it powered as you continue recording.
USB Data Transfer
Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder comes with a USB port built into it. You can use that port to charge the device, of course. However, this is also great for data transfer. By connecting it to your PC or laptop, you could transfer your audio files to and from the recorder easily and quickly. That helps to speed up the post-production editing process. Also, it makes it much easier for you to make copies and backups to keep your recordings safe.
Zoom’s H1N comes with an audio output jack and a built-in speaker. As you might expect, the built-in speaker on a device this small isn’t that great. Plus, if you’re filming out in the field, it’s going to be hard to hear using that tiny speaker. A better option would be to use the audio output jack with headphones to hear better.
But of course, if you’re recording directly to your Canon 1300D, then you’ll have to use the camera to listen to that audio. Thankfully, the 1300D does have its built-in speaker and audio output jack, so that won’t be too difficult.
Great Overall Reputation
Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder has an excellent reputation, as mentioned before. But where does this reputation come from? Simply put, this device is loved by users because it provides a lot of value for the price you pay. The mic performs well when used with the Canon 1300D whether you’re doing an interview in a quiet room, or running around in the street recording a guerilla documentary. For aspiring filmmakers, it’s hard to find a great mic that doesn’t hurt their wallet. Zoom’s H1N is the solution to that problem.
User Interface And Control System
The reputation of Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder also comes from its simplicity. Despite the professional sound quality it can produce, the H1N is so simple to use, a child could operate it!
Front-Facing One-Touch Controls
Recording audio is as simple as pressing the big red record button at the middle of the device. Better yet, the H1N also has a dial at the top that allows you to control gain levels easily.
Let me tell you why that’s great for filming: if you want to adjust the gain levels as you’re recording, the dial lets you do it silently. With other devices, you’d have to press buttons that would click loudly and ruin your audio!
Aside from that, the H1N also has eight other buttons to give you more control. Half of those are playback controls (Stop, Forward, etc.), while the rest control the device’s other features. There are buttons for adjusting audio quality levels, enabling the Lo-Cut, Limiter, and Auto Level features.
The Lo-Cut feature helps you eliminate low-frequency rumbles and other soft noises. In the case of sudden loud noises like bangs and pops, the Limiter feature will help you keep sounds within an acceptable range. Lastly, the Auto Level feature automates the device’s controls, so you don’t have to worry about tweaking things manually.
1.25-inch Monochromatic Display
One of the most useful features of Zoom’s H1N Handy Recorder is its display. The device comes with a 1.25-inch monochromatic display that’s easy to read and understand. It shows you all the necessary information you need with a battery meter, sound levels, and indicators of which features are on or off at any time. With this display, you won’t have to operate blindly and press buttons repeatedly just to get things right.
Both sides of the device have their buttons. On one side, you have your standard volume controls for the device’s built-in speaker and an audio output jack. On the other, you have the on/off and settings controls.
Build Quality And Design
Aside from its performance and functionality, the design of the Zoom H1N is what makes it perfect for use with the Canon 1300D.
Lightweight And Compact
Zoom’s H1N is lightweight and compact. The device weighs only 86 grams, and it’s only 1.9 inches wide, 1.2 inches high, and 5.4 inches deep. That means this device is easy to pack and carry around wherever you go. Better yet, filmmakers can hide the H1N on their subjects to capture great dialogue without it appearing in the video! That way, you won’t need someone to operate a boom mic, which cuts down on your overall production costs.
More important than that, its small size and lightweight nature make it easy to mount on the Canon 1300D without too much additional strain on your hands. That’s crucial for if you’re filming without using a tripod, especially when you’re on the move.
Zoom’s H1N is also easy to mount on the Canon 1300D. All you’ll need is the mount adapter that screws on the H1N easily. Then, you can slide the mic on and off the camera’s hot shoe on top. When it’s tightened into place, the H1N doesn’t move around at all. That’s good news for if you’re running around with the camera trying to capture footage. The last thing you want is to worry about losing your mic while you’re on the move!
Still, mounting it on top of your camera isn’t your only option. If you’re interviewing someone, for example, you could mount the H1N on a small tripod to put on the table in front of your subject.
It’s essential to take note of the buttons on the Zoom H1N. Firstly, they don’t produce an obnoxiously loud clicking sound whenever you press them, unlike some other recorders. So, if you ever do need to touch any of those buttons while you’re actively recording, the sound is barely noticeable on the final audio.
Also, because of where the buttons are on the recorder, they’re easy to operate quickly and even blindly after a while. What I mean is that once you’re familiar with the buttons (which doesn’t take long since there are only a few), you should be able to operate them purely by feel. Making on-the-fly adjustments will be simple once you get the hang of it.
Finally, we’ve arrived at the one part of Zoom’s H1N recorder that does get a lot of complaints. Zoom made the H1N’s casing out of plastic. That is very common even with other brands. The problem here is that Zoom seems to have chosen a cheap-feeling, less study plastic as the body for the H1N recorder. Everything else about this device is excellent. Sadly, where it loses points among users is in something as fundamental as its casing.
Why is the plastic case such a big deal, you ask? Well, it gives off the impression that you might break it if you drop it too hard. For anyone recording videos on the move, that’s terrible news. The main advantage of this great recorder is that it makes for a very affordable external microphone for the Canon 1300D. But what good is that if it could break easily and you end up having to spend money on replacements?
Should you get the Zoom H1N Handy Recorder as your Canon 1300D’s external microphone? Yes, you absolutely should.
You see, the Canon 1300D captures excellent video footage. Sadly, it’s quite lacking when it comes to sound quality. For anyone who uses that camera Zoom’s H1N is an inexpensive way to upgrade its ability to capture great sound, which gives the final video a much more professional feel.
Still, this isn’t just an excellent option for novice filmmakers or hobbyists. As an experienced professional, you’ll definitely appreciate how Zoom has built this device.
In terms of weight, the H1N won’t add much, so it won’t make your camera that much heavier. So, you don’t have to worry about tiring your hands out too quickly. You could even run around capturing footage on-the-move and probably forget that you have an external microphone attached to your camera!
Plus, it’s physically small, which means it won’t stick out awkwardly when you mount it on the camera’s hot shoe.
Despite the shortcomings of its plastic casing, the Zoom H1N is the best external mic for Canon 1300D. It deserves its excellent reputation, and almost any reviewer will tell you the same