Zoom Q2n-4K review: video streaming for musicians on a budget

The all-in-one Q2n-4K recorder offers cheap and cheerful video but with great audio

The Zoom Q2N-4K held in female hands at a summer festival
(Image: © Lauren Scott)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Zoom Q2n-4K is billed as a 4K camera for musicians, and its X/Y stereo microphones offer much better audio quality than the visuals. This unique recorder is dinky and easy to carry, but I found the battery life wanting and the video quality grainy in anything but bright light. Still, it's a great budget choice for music teachers, YouTubers, and musicians and can handle live streaming lessons, band rehearsals and jams, and clips from festivals and gigs.


  • +

    Easy to operate

  • +

    Cute, take-anywhere size

  • +

    Brilliant audio recorder


  • -

    Eats up AA batteries

  • -

    No stabilization

  • -

    Poor LCD screen

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Zoom has been making portable sound recorders – known as "handy" recorders – for decades. Beloved by videographers and filmmakers, the company has also been a major innovator in the music space, launching multi-effect processors for guitar straps, iPhone microphones, and more recently in a world where everyone seems to have a podcast, podcast recorders.

One of Zoom's latest novel releases is the Zoom Q2n-4K, a palm-sized video recorder aimed squarely at musicians and users wanting to share their music online. It's an adorably small device, with a wide-angle lens on one side, an LCD screen on the back, and a wraparound microphone design incorporating an X/Y stereo array. It can function as a standalone webcam and audio recorder, making it an incredibly versatile product for music teachers and YouTubers equally.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sensor16MP, 1/2.3-inch
Lens150° wide-angle (f2.8/15.2 mm)
Video formatMPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (MOV)
Video resolutions4K: 30/25/24p, 1080: 60/50/30/25/24p, 720: 30/25p
Audio formats (WAV)96 kHz/24-bit, 48 kHz/24-bit, 44.1 kHz/16-bit
Audio inputsStereo input
Memory cardmicroSDHC/microSDXC (class 10 or higher, 256 GB ma)
Zoom Q8n-4K

Zoom Q8n-4K
The Q8N-4K is Zoom's more advanced choice for musicians, offering better handling with a flip-out screen. You also get two XLR mic inputs for up to four-track recording, but it's around double the price of the Q2n-4K.

Sony ZV-1F

Sony ZV-1F
Sony's cheapest vlogging camera has a flip-out screen and built-in stabilization, making it a better choice for move-about music YouTubing. It's more expensive than the Zoom Q2n-4K though, and you'll need a decent external mic for the same level of audio quality.

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar, Space.com, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.