Tascam has updated a recorder found in many of prominent dslr filmmakers, the DR-100 mkii. Some of the changes are not a visible as some but trust me this is closer to the tool many of us has been clamoring for. I can safely say this is now a professional tool on a budget.
The first of the changes are the locking xlr connectors. Not xlr 1/4 combo jacks, just plain old xlr. A first sign that this isn’t just a musicians tool.
Another little improvement is the addition of a digital and proper line input. Why is this important? Simply when you are using a mixer, line in will bypass the internal preamps. Resulting in the warmer cleaner pre amp of the mixer. The digital input is really exciting, it’s a 1 to 1 signal with no loss. Pairing the digital output of the Sound Devices USB pre2, this recorder sounds like a $3000 setup from hollywood for under a grand.
Perhaps the biggest change is the quieter higher gain preamps. Before with the original DR-100, the preamps were more suited for musicians performances. Great if you had a concert to record, not so much for dialog. Now mics like the ntg2 and sgm-1x can be used without the high noise floor many recorders have. Actually according to avisoft, the mkii has the quietest preamps in this price class.
I know by this point you are saying stop quoting the video and get to the point, is this any good? This recorder has set a new benchmark in the under $300 price range. Heck this can hang with the big boys. The next step up sound quality and feature wise is the Fostex FR2le or the Marantz pmd661. Both will run in excess of $500.
If your just getting started, or a seasoned pro, this hands down is a worthy addition to any filmmakers arsenal.