Having a good audio recorder in the field is invaluable for any filmmaker. (a.k.a. a field recorder or a portable recorder). Audio makes up half of the audio-visual experience. If it’s not as good as possible, people will tune out of the whole thing. Sometimes, we need to record our own sounds. Often, it’s dialogue, and sometimes, it’s background noise and sound effects. But whatever we need to record, a field recorder is often the best way to do it.
Here, we look at some of our favorites from companies like Tascam, Zoom, Sony, and Sound Devices. These are field recorders that we’ve checked out or even owned in recent years and suggest you take a look at, too. We’ve split this up into three sections. With a couple of high-tier, a few medium-tier, and some entry-level options.