The Zoom Q3 isn't for the consumer who wants the best quality picture. It's for someone who wants professional-quality high definition audio. It doesn't hide this fact, since it's own slogan is "a little bit of video... a whole lot of audio." See what the footage looks like for yourself in the video above -- I took it on a test drive around Jungle Island in Miami.
It's handy, like a Flip, and makes it real easy to upload videos to YouTube. I can see it being real useful for someone who wants to record their music, but also have some video to throw up on YouTube.
For about $250, it comes with a windscreen, carrying pouch, 2GB SD memory card (which only gives you about an hour of recording time, so you'll want to buy a larger card), an AV cable and two AA batteries. It can also be powered by an AC adapter, which is sold separately. There's a switch to record video and audio, or just record audio. It has an output jack for TV and a tripod mount. It saves files as .mov and comes with basic built-in software to transfer and edit length of videos.
No instructions were necessary to understand how to use it. Just hit record to start and stop a movie. Hit the trash button to delete, and the play button to... well, you get it. And although the video quality isn't stellar, it performed as I expected and didn't give me issues.
Resolution is about the same as video taken on an iPhone 3GS: 640 x 460 pixels and 30 frames a second. The 2x digital zoom isn't good, and there are no menu options to adjust video settings, like white balance.
Now if only they would make one with HD video!