Field Report: Olympus DM-620

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Olympus DM-620

When trying to decide on a digital recorder you may feel overwhelmed with the selection available. There are so many brands, styles and microphone architectures, that you have to first decide what you want to do with your portable recorder. The Olympus DM-620 may be your be all end all decision. The 620 is flexible and expandable for nearly any future use.

First, the most unique feature of this recorder is the Tresmic 3 microphone system. Tresmic captures a wider stereo sound with two mics mounted left and right of the top of the recorder and a third mic in the middle. The middle mic is omnidirectional and can be adjusted to affect the width of the stereo pickup, from 180 degrees to about 45 degrees. The center omni-directional mic captures lower bass ranges with stunning clarity.

The center mic can be turned off, but the added ambiance of the center mic makes the recordings on this device pop. Take this recorder to a meeting hall and catch the speaker with the mic zoomed in, or questions from the audience using the full 180 degrees of coverage. Full coverage is also good for capturing surrounding noise without overpowering an interview.

Performance at a glance
• Mic and headphone jacks
• Built-in speaker
• Frequency response 20Hz-20kHz (center mic on) or 70Hz-20kHz (center mic off)
• 4GB built-in memory. Up to 32GB memory with microSD/SDHC
• Records linear PCM (WAV), MP3 and WMA

Mic sensitivity can be adjusted on the fly by using the left and right buttons on the front of the recorder. These mics can be very sensitive and cover a large distance. The recorder comes with five preset recording scenes and three more user designed scenes for your recording uses: lecture, conference, meeting, dictation and music. Lecture, for the lecture hall focuses on the center speaker, the mic sensitivity is high and the zoom mic is picking up more forward sound. Conference setting still has high sensitivity, but the zoom mic is collecting a full 180-degree range of sound. Meeting is a middle sensitivity setting and dictation has low sensitivity. For music, sensitivity is set by the user. All of these settings can be adjusted and then saved if the settings are going to be used again.

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