"How are the mic preamps with a good quality external microphone. Better
than... say a Sony D-7, D-8?"
Personally I have had no problems with them so far. I made my first "for
real" recording last night, and I experienced neither clipping/distortion
nor excessively low level. And I heard no egregious or objectionable noise
(hiss, or hum, or whatever).
However I did read someone on another forum complain that very loud
environments present a problem with the normal input gain setting, and that
he HAD experienced some clipping/distortion, even with his record level set
There IS a means whereby one can pad it down, but unfortunately one has to
invoke one of those weird "mike settings" in order to activate it. Someone
posted the manufacturer's explanastions of those settings here yesterday,
but the explanation was complete gobbledygook to me, and I've asked for an
explanation. So far none, but I'm still hoping.