Friday, November 11, 2011

Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM recorder

The Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM recorder is not your average camcorder. It boasts full HD video and high quality audio, but how well does it perform in the real world? Read on to find out!

The 20M does not have the typical shape of a video camera. The camera and recorders are at the top of the camera, not at the front. The positioning of the camera and recorders would present a problem when trying to record video with the 20M above your head- EXCEPT for an ingenious feature. The makers of the 20M devised an upside-down recording feature that makes upside down right side up, and vice versa. This feature allows even over-the-head recording.

Even though it has an unusual design, the 20M is comfortable to hold, due to the rubberized grips and light weight. 

Ease of Use
The LS-20M's controls are relatively simple. There is a prominent record button, stop button, menu button, list button, erase button, and the navigation wheel. However, I still haven't figured out how to use A-B button and the Fn.

Menus don't have numerous sub-menus to wade through and the menus are generally easy to navigate.

Battery Life
I got about 1.5 hours of continuous video recording before the LS-20M needed to be charged. The LS-20M records non-stop audio much longer than video before needing to be charged.

The LS-20M delivers impressive audio. The LS-20M can record music and make it sound GOOD, too. In addition, there are plenty of advanced options to choose from when recording audio. Record Cut Filter blocks out low-frequency noise, making it perfect for recording at a press conference or at a meeting.   Microphone sensitivity is adjustable. However, leaving everything set at auto still provides great sound.

This Olympus records gorgeous video. The colors are realistic, and the quality is excellent. It's 1080p- need I say more? Check out the video above. However, the 4X digital zoom fully zoomed in is icky to look at.

The LS-20M does not lack video features! It has some fun special effects like Rock, Sketch, and Pinhole. The 20M also sports other more practical features such as: white balance, high ISO mode, and reverse angle recording. It also has a PC camera setting that allows you to use the LS-20M as a webcam. Unfortunately, this feature did not cooperate with my computer.

All in all, despite its advanced features, the Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM recorder isn't as intimidating as it may seem. The LS-20M makes taking high quality video and audio very easy. It would be great for people who are not satisfied with the quality of audio available in traditional video cameras.

Product Info

MSRP:$299 from Olympus
    Great video quality and excellent audio, lots of features, easy to use
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  1. were u able to solve the pc connection issue?? I too, am having a difficult time using the LS-20M as a webcam. Windows only allows me to use it to view what's on the stick. I am not having any luck using it as a webcam...

    1. Hi Mike,

      No, the webcam feature never did cooperate for me. I'm not sure what the problem was, but maybe it was an operator error by me. :)


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