We are now on eBay offering the Zoom Q2n Modded for Full Spectrum for sale. The Zoom is an action style camera but has far superior audio than any other camera like it. GoPro can't compete in the audio department with the Zoom. Here's our EBAY PAGE. If you want another camera modded like the SJ4000, SJ6 Legend, Zoom Q2n-4K or the Zoom Q8 then contact us from the main page here or on eBay. We're considering offering a MOD Service for those who already own one of the cameras listed and don't want to try it themselves even after watching our videos. See images below for the modded Zoom Q2n. As you can see, it looks absolutely the same as a non modified Zoom Q2n. The last images are of the Zoom without an IR light and with one. Also shown is the IR light, Charger and 18650 Batteries used for it. Recommended AA Lithium and Micro SD also shown. The Zoom lens can be replaced completely with a 170 degree lens as well, so you'll get 10 degrees more viewing vs the stock lens.
The Zoom Q2n and Zoom Q2n-4K Pros and Cons
1) Battery Life
Pro and Con
This camera uses 2AA Batteries to power it giving you about 1.5hrs of record time on the highest setting for both video and audio, that's using branded batteries mind you. Now this is on par with most action style cameras available. Honestly, this isn't that great... which is why we use Energizer Lithium AA. They cost a bit more, generally about $12 for an 8pk but just 2AA of these will get you a solid 4hrs on this very same camera! That's right. Would you rather have AA batteries that you can get nearly anywhere or rechargeable ones that cost around $20ea that you'll need several of to get you through a full nights investigation while having to keep charging them... That's your call but I know what I'm using.
BTW, don't use rechargeable AA unless you want 45min of record time. They can't handle the high drain like Lithium can. And yes this can be powered through an external USB, without AA batteries, just make sure its above 1A USB power or it won't work UNLESS your cord is quite short. Like around 12" or less. It worked being powered by my TV just fine, I used no AA batteries making the ad video below... If you don't mind Lithium AA Batteries and their cost, then it's definitely a Pro.
2) Audio Quality
The audio is far superior than any other action style camera I have seen reviews on or ever personally used. It has a dual XY Mic layout that you can adjust the gain [low or high] for preferred sensitivity. That's great for EVP's! Did you know if you already have a better mic that you can input that into the Zoom as well? You can. You don't need to do that (personally I do with my Zoom H2n but that's another story) because the audio is just that awesome. The highest audio quality may have playback issues in windows but doesn't seem to be an issue with Mac or iOS. Maybe a codec can fix that for windows users.
I also used the Audio jack input to digitally record music to the SD card. It was WAV so I converted it to .MP3. It even has a digital display to show your XY Mic levels so you can monitor the peak.
I'll be honest here. This isn't the cheapest action style camera out there. A cheap one would be the SJCAM SJ4000 if you wanted to know and can be under $70 now. The Zoom Q2n will run you from $129 on sale (Amazon) upwards to $159 which is the standard regular price. The 4K model is $199 and sales down to $179. Also note the SJCAM will come with loads of GoPro compatible adapters and the Zoom will come with two generic AA batteries and that's all. We used to use the SJCAM and always swore by them but at the end of the day, the audio they produce was just terrible and there's no way around it (unless you sync up a quality digital recorder with it which we did often).
Whether the Zoom is worth on the low end price of $129 (4K $179) is a yes for us but the high end of $159 (4K $199) is a no. Actually the 4K model is worth the $199 price as you'll see more reasons below.
The Zoom lens is 160 Degree Wide angle and can easily be replaced with a 170 Degree lens from an SJCAM. 4K model is a 150 Degree. Replacement lenses of that are usually $10 or so, meaning you don't need to buy an SJCAM just for the lens. The stock Zoom lens can be modded as well relatively easily. The issue is once you remove the IR Filter or AKA Hot Mirror, you have to screw the lens in slightly further to get the focus properly. With the stock lens, it's not threaded all the way up so your fingers will hurt screwing it into focus but it's possible. It's just easier to get a $10 lens and be done with it. If you do this on the 4K, I recommend a 170 Degree replacement as you'll get some vignetting but very little when using a 170 Degree lens. If you plan on using this outdoors, I suggest you pick up the lens hood to prevent rainbow lens glares. Tilting the Zoom forward can help prevent this without the lens hood.
5) Video Quality
It's standard 1080p 30fps like all cameras these days do. Q2n-4K does 4K/30fps and 1080p/60fps. I wish it was 60fps personally but the audio more than makes up for that in my mind. A 128gb Micro SD will get you over 9hrs at the highest video and audio quality. 5hrs at 1080p/60fps on the 4K. You'll just need 4AA Lithiums to nearly max out that record time. Did I mention you can turn off the camera and use this as a digital recorder? You can, downside is the files are .WAV format only. WAVPad is FREE though... Under indoor CFL Lighting, a modified Zoom will NOT look modded. The same can't be said when outdoors though.
6) Video Output
This is a feature I use all the time. You can Listen LIVE to what your Zoom is picking up and adjust the volume levels as well as sensitivity to the mic to better the experience and audio recording. And yes this can be done while recording video. Not only that, you can output the video signal to an HDMI TV and still record at the same time! The audio is also fed through the HDMI signal for those wondering. Now there is about a .5 sec delay but I guess that can depend on the TV or HDMI cable length. I connect them to a TV to focus the lens back after modding it.
I also output the video signal to a Fieldview F6 HDMI Monitor to give me a 5" viewing screen which helps me a lot in the dark during investigations. The Zoom also works with OBS as a webcam, see below.
7) Still Pictures
Unfortunately, this camera does NOT support taking still images. Hopefully they can add this simple feature in a software update. Until then, you'll have to snag some screenshots.
8) File Size
At the highest quality for both video and audio, the files are usually 3.99gb (IIRC) and are around the 17min mark. The files appear to be seamless from on file to another but I can't say for sure if you lose a frame or so. It will automatically break the files for you and start another recording. The increased file size or should I say 'less recording for the same file size' has to do with the increased audio quality the Zoom has. Makes sense. A 1080p/60fps file of 55min will be around 25gb on the 4K model.
9) Screen Size
This may be an important feature for you but it doesn't apply to me. The screen is about 1.5" diagonal but the actual viewing area is much smaller at about 1". I do wish there was an option to turn off the interface but there isn't. Now as I said above that this doesn't apply to me is because I export my video signal to a 5" HDMI Monitor from the Zoom. Good thing is the output doesn't feature all the interface info from the Zoom. And what I mean by interface info is the battery level, record time, record settings and audio settings etc. These can't be changed during a recording so it would be nice to turn most of it off and allow the screen to be larger but that's a nitpick. Another quick thing is the screen viewing angle isn't great either. All this is minor when you consider that this is a wide lens so as long as it's facing your subject, it will capture it.
10) GoPro Mount Compatible
The Zoom has a tripod screw hole in the bottom so using various GoPro adapters you can pretty much mount this anywhere you like.
11) No Waterproof Housing
This is a stretch but most action style cams come with this these days. I'll give it to them that their reasoning may be because of the XY Mics would be muffled and I agree but at least a bumper case that can leave the Mics open and protect everything else like the lens would of been better than nothing.
12) Accessory Pack
Zoom, if you ever read this you should reconsider the accessory pack as being a separate purchase and include it for free. It has a Lens Hood that is necessary for outdoor use and overhead indoor lighting to prevent a lens glare rainbow effect. The lens cap in that Pack is a nice feature to protect the lens in storage. Ghost Hunters need not worry as you likely won't need the lens hood wandering around in the dark. The camera is expensive for what it is and this could sweeten the deal had it been included.
This can be used as a webcam in OBS. Initially, I had no issues getting the video on screen but the audio was muted. You may need to download the audio codec to fix that as it did for my Mac. Now the webcam feature was only 720p at it's max resolution which makes no sense to me but hey, it worked. I guess it has to do with it being Micro USB to Full USB? I assume it's USB 1.0 and that's why. You can also use it in Mic only as well.
14) Digital Zoom
The Zoom Q2n doesn't have any Optical Zoom. Only Digital. Digital is always bad when considering Zoom to be a function. All Digital Zoom does is digitally move the image closer by cropping the 1080p image without refocusing the image to be clear again. Thus making the image blurry or pixellated looking. Don't use the Digital Zoom as you will lose resolution by doing so. If you must, do that in editing.
15) Micro SD up to 128gb (4K is 256gb)
I've tested successfully a 200gb Micro SD just fine so just bear in mind that manufacturers only place the max of what was available at the time of release. Meaning they couldn't confirm a higher capacity would work if they weren't released yet. We use Sandisk, the Red / Grey ones as they're rated for 1080p and no higher. We suggest a minimum of 64gb as that will get you 5hrs at the highest audio / video quality, though we use 128gb. Don't use a high capacity class 10 card and your recordings will stop sooner and may not continue because the card can't keep up with the speed the camera needs to write the data to it. Use a SDXC card in the 4K and you can get a single file up to 256gb with no file breaks.
16) No Image Stabilization
Unfortunately, there is no Image Stabilization be it Electronic or even Digital. To help with that I even tried doing a makeshift mount to two of my motorized gimbals and that didn't work out. It was too large and heavy, I don't think it was the weight itself but rather the size overall. Slight nitpick but your video will be bouncy when walking. Also keep in mind that Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) also crops the image and takes away from the Field of View (FOV) because it slightly zooms in so it has room to adjust. So fitting this on a gimbal would be much better if at all possible. A simple solution is using a U-Grip. It helps and just try to make smooth movements.
17) Digitally Capture Audio
Yes you can capture audio from another Mic source using the input this camera has or simply record audio from another source using a male to male headphone cable. The audio is a WAV format only so you may want to convert that to another format but it's not necessary.
I LOVE this camera and that's not because we offer it for sale modded, (mind you we do have videos that you can follow and do this yourself) but because it's pros outweigh the cons in our mind. Yeah Lithium batteries are more expensive but are also very convenient especially considering not all locations have power to charge other batteries. The biggest con is the price of the camera but just be on the lookout for sales. I try to be balanced and show everything the camera does and doesn't do so you can decide depending on your needs.
What's also nice is that under my fluorescent lighting the camera doesn't even look modded when it really is. Take a look at our Zoom Ad video below which was recorded in it's entirety using the Modded Zoom Q2n and it's Audio. My rating is a 9/10 because it doesn't do 60fps, the small screen size and the original full price. See videos to see what I mean.