Karen Nakamura, who was recently interviewed on WNPR about her upcoming documentary film and the Margaret Mead Film Festival, has a tip on her blog about some cool new gear for audio recording in the field.
Gizmodo blogs about the new Samson Zoom H-4 field recorder, which seems extremely promising. At only $300, it is less expensive than either the Edirol R-09 (which is what I have) or the Microtrack 24/96 (which is very popular). The interface for the Samson looks absolutely fantastic and it has two XLR balanced inputs, which none of its competitors have.
My students all have tiny MP3 recorders that are the size of portable USB drives. While the sound quality and battery life is lacking on these, the big advantage is that you are never caught unawares if the opportunity for an interview arises. But for serious field recording, especially for linguistic anthropology research, something like the Samson Zoom H-4 seems really promising!