I’ve been happily using a Zoom H4N digital recorder since last October to record audio such as interviews. I use it primarily with a AT875 shotgun mic, which requires phantom power. It’s no problem, because the Zoom has a mode that provides it. But I’ve noticed the price you pay for using phantom power, at least with my AT875, is reduced battery life. WAY reduced. I generally can expect about two hours max of record time. And if you’re using rechargeable alkaline batteries, that drops to less than half an hour, as I discovered this morning.
But here’s a far worse discovery that I made today, which amounts to a serious design flaw with the Zoom: if you’re recording when the batteries die, you lose everything recorded on the clip up to that moment (it saves a 0 kb file, rather than a file with your data in it).
Bottom line: the Zoom H4n is a great recorder. Just don’t EVER let it run out of batteries, and it eats them like candy, at least if you’re using it with phantom power and an AT875.