The Zoom Q2n lets you record high-quality audio and comes with a camera

zoom q2n camera header
Typically, microphones tend to be attached to cameras, not the other way around. But for Zoom, the company known for several popular audio recorders used in music and video production, starting with the mic first seemed like a good idea. The new Zoom Q2n combines a great microphone with an average camera at a very affordable price.

The device is about the size of your average action camera, but its shape is very different. The top is a large XY stereo microphone, with a small camera lens embedded in the body just below it. The Q2n is intended primarily for musicians who want to produce videos easily with much better sound than what you get with a typical consumer video camera. From concerts to YouTube music lesson videos, Zoom wants it to be easy for musicians to create their own videos.

To this end, the camera specs themselves are not impressive by today’s standards. Resolution is limited to Full HD 1080p at 24 or 30 frames per second. The lens features a wide, 160-degree angle of a view and f/2.0 aperture, but five different field-of-view settings allow it to focus in on a single subject when necessary. A built-in LCD screen makes it easy to frame shots and review videos. These should be sufficient for the intended audience.

As expected, the real selling point of the Q2n is its audio capabilities. It records 24-bit/96 kHz audio for studio-quality digital files. Zoom also promises distortion-free recording at sound pressure levels up to 120 decibels, enough to handle loud sounds without fear of clipping.

For users looking to simply add high-quality audio to an existing camera setup, the Q2n’s camera can be turned off completely, at which point it will record audio to a standalone WAV file suitable for use in video editing. Combined with the Q2n’s price of $150, it could become a great accessory for people working with traditional cameras, too.

Updated December 28, 2016: This article originally stated the Q2n could record video and audio to separate files simultaneously. This is incorrect. This feature is available on the Zoom Q8.

Buy on Amazon

Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Smart Home

These wireless security cameras are a wire-free way to protect your home

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.