Shooting video with a DSLR can be a pain when it comes to your audio setup. Zoom has been a mainstay of external audio devices targeted at DSLR filmmakers with the H4N and last year's beefed-up—but expensive—H6. The new H5 presents an in-between solution at an affordable price.
The $270 H5 is similar to the other Zoom models with its XLR inputs and high quality 96 khz 24 bit audio recording. It runs on two AA batteries for 15 hours of operation, only slightly less than the H6 which requires four batteries. It retains the physical gain control dials of the H6 with an added roll-cage, but where the H6 has four XLR inputs and six possible tracks of audio, the H5 has two XLR inputs and four tracks. That's still plenty for the average user. The other major difference is the display. The H5 has a monochrome LCD not unlike the H4N, as opposed to the color display of the H6.
The H5 is a great addition to the Zoom lineup of audio recorders because the $400 price tag of the H6 was a bit much. Even though it offered some really great upgrades over the H4n, some of the H6's features were unnecessary for most. The H5 meanwhile, retains the more essential upgrades, while shedding some girth in the process. You'll be able to pick one up in June.