B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of January 22, 2023


This has been a light week with only a couple of announcements for those into video production. Tascam made a niftier version of its 32-bit handheld audio recorder with the Portacapture X6, and Teradek launched the Prism Mobile, a professional camera-back encoder for 4K HDR streaming.

Tascam Portacapture X6

A handheld audio recorder has been a mainstay of the indie filmmaker's kit for a long while now, and Tascam has always had some sweet products in the running. The brand's latest X8 model upped the ante with 32-bit recording and now we have an even niftier Portacapture X6 to check out.

Handheld audio recorders are an almost essential part of any video producer's, musician's, field recorder's, or podcaster's kit and it's very nice to see them getting updated. The current trend is to pop in 32-bit float recording. The amount of data being stored in these files is so great that you effectively are working with unlimited dynamic range. This is "set it and forget it" because you'll be able to recover anything too quiet or loud without issue. (Not 100% true, since good technique is still very important, but you get the point.)

Anyway, this isn't the first time we have seen this tech―many field recorders picked up the tech. The handheld recorders are just now seeing it show up. Tascam did it with the X8, although that was a larger device with 6 inputs; many people don't need that many on an average day. The X6 provides everyday users with a more portable (and more affordable) recorder option.

TASCAM Portacapture X6 Multitrack Recorder
TASCAM Portacapture X6 Multitrack Recorder

The X6 does trim a couple of features from the bigger X8. It only has two XLR inputs (not even 1/4" combo) and a smaller touchscreen. Sampling rates max out at 96kHz compared to the X8's 192kHz. It also gives up a 3.5mm input and a camera-specific output. It does keep the pair of mics on top for picking it up and hitting Record, although these are no longer detachable. All things considered, this should all still be quite workable for most people.

Built-in settings will make it easy for newcomers to pick it up and get the audio options they need for their particular style of recording. The recording app options include Manual, Podcast, Field, Voice, Music, and ASMR. Additional features, such as a low-cut filter, noise gate, limiter, compressor, and 4-band EQ, will let you get your audio ready for listening right after you finish recording.

The Portacapture X6 looks like a nice little piece of kit that should make audio recording a touch easier (or at least less worrisome), thanks to 32-bit. It's the type of recorder I wish I had when I was starting out.

Teradek Reveals Prism Mobile Camera-Back 4K HDR Streaming Solution

If you are working with a broadcast camera system and are looking to add a reliable 4K HDR streaming solution, then Teradek was already a name to consider. The company's latest, the Prism Mobile, is even more convenient because it mounts on practically any camera with a standard V-mount or Gold-mount battery plate on the back.

Teradek Prism Mobile
Teradek Prism Mobile

Claiming the title of lowest-SWap, LTE-enabled (with two 4G modems) camera-back video encoder in its class, the Prism Mobile will help many turn Teradek's rigs into a serious streaming solution.

There are two built-in 4G modems, and the extra connections will allow for bonding across nine different networking options, including Ethernet, modems, and hotspots, for an extremely reliable stream. Mounting on the back of a camera via the battery mount makes it non-intrusive and easy to attach. Also, since it draws low power, it'll run for hours in this configuration.

As for video support, it'll handle DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 with ease, including HDR metadata. Internal recording is available as a backup to SD card or via USB. This is a serious streaming solution for professional video productions. If you want the tech but don't need it mounted on the camera, there is a desktop version as well.

In Other News…

Thanks for checking in this week! Let us know in the Comments section, below, what you're most excited for.