Tascam DR 70d busted-1

I picked up the Tascam DR 70D a few months ago to replace my Tascam DR 60D. The DR 60D has been a great unit over the last few years and still does a decent job, but the attractive size of the new DR 70D tempted me into an upgrade.

Tascam DR 70d busted-5

There are a number of good upgrades to the Tascam DR 70D over the original. With the DR 70D you get individual volume controls for every channel, XLR channels for every input,  a 3.5mm stereo input option for channels one and two and a better overall control layout. Menus are virtually unchanged and recording mode labels in the menu system are still as confusing as the original.

Audio quality in the Tascam DR 70D is pretty comparable if not identical to the Tascam DR 60D. Each channel features the same 64db of gain available in the DR60D, and the noise floor seems to be about the same so don’t expect much change in that department.

Tascam DR 70d busted-3

While the Tascam DR 70D is thinner and provides a lot of upgrades to its older brother, there are still some problems with build quality. This is actually one of the more frustrating aspects of the DR 70D design. Tascam lulls you into a false sense of security with the what appears to be a metal 1/4 20 tripod mount. While the mount is metal, it’s cheap cast pot metal. This is something that’s supposed to support a full DSLR camera and lens , yet it snapped off on me after only a few uses.

While I under understand that a device at this price point isn’t going to be as durable as a $1000+ Sound devices unit, it should be able to withstand normal use. After all, every picture you see of the Tascam DR 70D shows it under a camera, yet mine managed to break under the weight of a 5d mark III and Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 lens. While that’s a somewhat heavy combination, it shouldn’t be enough to send your camera crashing to the ground.

Tascam DR 70d busted-2

This piece of low grade cast metal and a bit of plastic are all that keeps your camera gear in place.  It’s unfortunate that Tascam decided to go cheap on this portion of the DR 70D, This problem ends up being a black spot on what would other wise be a great little field recorder.


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