Video review: Tascam DR-70D recorder offers professional audio capture on a budget

By Technical Editor Matt Allard:

DSLRs and small mirrorless cameras are great because of their compact size, lower costs and versatile lens choices. Unfortunately most of them lack professional audio controls and features. They usually suffer from sub-standard internal microphones and no XLR audio inputs. Most professional news and documentary shooters will add an external audio solution to capture audio using these cameras. These usually come in the shape of an external XLR box/pre-amp like the popular Juicedlink and Beachtek models, a manufacturers solution like Sony’s XLR-K2M, or an audio recorder that captures sound separately and is synchronised with the video in post production (sync sound). In the past you could also feed the output of your audio recorder directly to the camera via a PAD cable from companies like Pinknoise systems, but more recently makers have provided a dedicated output at the correct level on some of their recorders such as the Tascam DR-60D.

The Tascam DR-70D
The Tascam DR-70D

Tascam have just released their new DR-70D 4 channel compact audio recorder. Shorter and flatter than the older DR-60D the unit features two in built microphones, four XLR/TRS combo jacks and the ability to output audio via a 3.5mm mini jack to a camera. For owners of cameras such as the Canon 5D mkIII, Panasonic GH4, BMPCC and Sony a7S the DR-70D enables you to record quality audio externally and internally to your camera at the same time. This provided the best of both worlds – you can create a backup/failsafe version of the audio at all times.

It can provide phantom power (+24v and +48V) and choose between a line or mic source. The DR-70D offers a lot of versatility for users. At $299 it should meet the needs of budget conscious shooters and is an ergonomic improvement over their previous DR60 models. For more details check out the Tascam website.

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