In the range of portable all-in-one mini-recorders at an affordable price, the competition was tough, facing Zoom H4, Edirol R-09, Tascam DR-1 and M-Audio Microtrack. Sony, after a short absence from the audio field, is coming back with its PCM-D50 digital recorder, cheaper younger brother of popular PCM-D1, which was released three years ago. D50 is much less luxurious, its case is aluminium, whereas that of PCM-D1 is in titanium, but it features the same backlit bargraph display, though without semicircular level displays. LCD screen is quite legible and menu navigation is easy. Unlike D1, the rotary recording knob is coupled, so channel balance cannot be changed.
The PCM-D50 recorder comes equipped with a high sensitivity, built-in, two-position electret condenser stereo microphone with flexible rotation for either X-Y or Wide stereo positions. Mics can be protected from the wind by a Koala windshield*. Of course these mics can't compare with Schoeps, Neumann or Sennheiser mics. But plugging in two Schoeps CMBi mics (internal battery powered) gives a very good result.
Inputs and outputs are the same as those of PCM-D1: stereo mini-jack microphone input, analog and optical digital line input, analog and optical digital line output, headphone output, built-in High-Speed USB port and remote control port.
PCM-D50 power consumption is quite low and provides 10 hour autonomy with 4 AA batteries. It can also be externally 6V DC powered.
PCM-D50 provides a 4 GB built-in flash memory and a Memory Stick port very useful for post production. Sample rates available are 22.05 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz, in standard 16 or 24 bits WAV file format which can be used in conjunction with all common audio production software.
PCM-D50 has a user-friendly ergonomic design and is ready to record less than one second after having been turned on. A 5 second pre record buffer can be quite useful not to miss the beginning of unpredictable sounds (bells, horn, train arrival…)
The Sony PCM-D50 is from now on available for rental, for 36 € per day. Further more you can contact our sales services to buy the PCM-D50.
* DC Audiovisuel is the exclusive distributor of Koala windshields.