A digital audio recorder is a great thing to have. The sound quality is always better than what you can get in your camera and if your camera offers no mic input, it's a great solution. The Zoom H1 is a great bargain and a fine recorder for the money ($99 and I do own one), but how does it compare to its older brother the Zoom H4n?
Today on DSLR Film Noob, Deejay does a literal comparison of sound quality. It's surprising how similar they sound, leading me to believe they have the same electronics. What's not surprising is that the extra $200 goes to options and build quality and if you need good sound in a rugged package, the H4n is the one you want. The Zoom H1 is great, but I also concede how flimsy the thing is. It's not something I would want to test in a harsh environment or even drop on the ground. It feels that delicate.
Another perk of the H4n is separate XLR inputs with individual level control. Deejay has mentioned the "audio clip protection" trick before and it's something you just can't do on the H1.