By technical editor Matt Allard:
The Convergent Design Odyssey7
One of the most popular external recorders on the market has received another firmware update which ads some exciting new features.
The Convergent Design Odyssey7Q can now shoot 4K RAW at 100 or 120fps in burst modes with Sony’s FS700. The other big feature is the ability to finally use monitoring look up tables (LUTs) when dealing with Log footage from Canon, Arri and Sony cameras. Lastly my pet hate on the Odyssey – the playback interface has been completely re designed.
In addition to the firmware changes to the 7Q Convergent Design have also started to ship their lower model – the Odyssey7. Looking the same externally as the 7Q it has the same 1280×800 OLED display and image analysis tools like waveform and histogram. What changes is the lack of any RAW or 4K recording functionality – the 7 is currently purely a HD ProRes recorder. This brings the recommended price down by $1000 to $1295 US.
Here are some of the highlights:
NEW FEATURES, RECORD OPTIONS (Odyssey7Q only):
Sony FS700 4K RAW 100p/120p Super SloMo
Record 100fps or 120fps in 4K RAW in a 440 frame burst usng the camera’s internal memory buffer. Triggering is set on the camera at either the start of the memory buffer (capture the 440 frames after trigger is pressed) or at the end of the buffer (capture the 440 frames that occurred before the trigger is pressed). 440 frames equals 3.7 seconds of real time at 120fps and 4.4 seconds at 100fps. 440 frame played back at 24fps lasts more than 18 seconds.
This is a great new feature for FS700 owners. The ability to be able to record high frame rates in 4k raw is very impressive at any price point. There are very few cameras that can do this at any price point.
Monitoring LUTs For HD Video
Monitoring LUTs for the LOG outputs from several popular cameras are now supported in HD video recording in both Apple ProRes 422(HQ) and Uncompressed DPX (Odyssey7Q only). Cameras and LOG formats supported include ARRI ALEXA (Log-C), Canon C100/300/500 (C-Log), Sony F3 (S-Log), Sony F5/F55 (S-Log2), Sony F5/F55 (S-Log3) and Sony FS700 (S-Log2). All monitoring LUTs conform selected Log signals to REC709. Monitoring LUTs are applied to the OLED screen, video outputs and Image Analysis tools, but not to the recorded files.
Another great new feature that almost every Odyssey owner will use. It is very important to be able to monitor log material with a LUT. It looks like it is a preset REC709 LUT, but I hope in the future you will be able to load up your own LUT’s which I think is a feature most users would appreciate.
Advanced Playback Controls
This is a complete revamp of the Playback system. Standard deck-style controls for Play/Pause, single-frame step forward or step-back, and skip forward or back to next/pervious clip. Additionally, an interactive scrub bar allows the user to quickly access any section of a clip simply by dragging a finger across the OLED touchscreen. All recordable formats are supported and more detailed information is noted in the Play List.
Playback was something that used to frustrate me when using the Odyssey 7Q. I found the interface clunky and hard to use. When you have a great OLED monitor you want to be able to use playback in a easy and intuitive way. Convergent Design have obviously listened to customer feedback and addressed what I thought was one of the devices weakest points.
Expanded HD Video Format Support In Apple ProRes 422(HQ)
In addition to 1080p video, the Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q now support 1080i and 720p signals, as well as 24p signals embedded within 1080i video streams using “3:2 Pulldown”. New record formats in Apple ProRes 422(HQ) include: 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/(24 over)60i, 720/60p, 720/50p. Additionally, upon selecting 3:2 PULLDOWN, the Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q will remove the excess material and record a pure 1080/24p video stream for more efficient storage and ease of post.
It’s good to see the device finally support 1080i and 720p. For a lot of news and broadcast shooters the industry standard still is 1080i. Not being able to record this previously was a bit limiting.
Opacity is now selectable when using the Waveform. The background of the waveform can be either translucent as in previous firmware, or selected to be solid black so that the waveform display can be more clearly seen.
Dual-Link RGB 4:4:4 Support For Sony F3 (Odyssey7Q only)
Record RGB 4:4:4 from the Sony F3 at 1080/23.98psf, 1080/25psf and 1080/29.97psf.
Sort of good news if your the owner of a F3. Duel-link RGB 444 is very impressive out of this camera, but currently you can only record it as DPX files which I’m my opinion are just too big. Hopefully down the track you will be able to record 4444 ProRes like the Sound Devices Pix 240 can.
Record Options Rentals
Using the newly re-launched Convergent Design website, Odyssey7Q owners can rent ARRIRAW and Canon RAW Record Options. Rentals are based on 24hour time periods and are available for up to 31 day lengths. Rentals begin when a first recording is started. Indicators in the on-screen menus note rental time left and warn as the time gets low.
FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS:
• FIXED Occasional file corruption when using PIXEL ZOOM while recording Apple ProRes 422(HQ)
• FIXED Occasional file corruption when recording a 1080psf signal
• FIXED Playback issues at end of a file
• FIXED Image scaling in psf and interlaced signals that showed jagged lines in PIXEL ZOOM.
• FIXED Black line in image from Canon 5Dmk3 in 1080/24p
• IMPROVED Hide Menu/Video Functionality
FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS, RECORD OPTIONS (ODYSSEY7Q ONLY):
• FIXED Canon C500 QHD RAW (3840×2160) file corruption at 50p & 60p
• IMPROVED Sony FS700 4K/2K RAW S-Log2 to REC709 LUT
• IMPROVED Sony FS700 4K2HD S-Log2 to REC709 LUT
• IMPROVED Sony FS700 4K2HD REC709(800%) to REC709 LUT
• IMPROVED Sony FS700 4K2HD REC709 color science (internal LUT)
For the latest firmware, go to www.convergent-design.com/firmware-downloads.html to download the update instructions, firmware, release notes, guides, and the latest Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q manuals.
An Odyssey SSD or Odyssey Utility Drive is required to perform the update.
About the Odyssey7:
The Odyssey7 (CD-ODYSSEY7) is a monitor/recorder designed for on-camera use. The monitor features a 1280×800 OLED touchscreen with true blacks and accurate colors. Monitor functions include advanced Image Analysis Tools for exposure and focus, such as Waveform, Histogram, False Color, Focus Assist and Pixel Zoom. As a monitor alone, the Odyssey7 delivers an outstanding value beyond any competitor in the field.
The Odyssey7 is also a professional HD video recorder. It currently captures HD video in Apple ProRes 422(HQ) up to 1080/30p, 1080/60i and 720/60p. Future free updates will expand the available frame rates as well as add other formats of compressed HD video recording. An SSD slot will accept a Convergent Design Odyssey SSD, available in 256GB & 512GB. One 512GB SSD will hold 330 minutes of 1080/24p material. The Odyssey7 features full playback functions including file scrubbing. HD signals are cross-converted and output over both SDI and HDMI simultaneously.
The Odyssey 7 retails for $1295 which is a $1000 less than the 7Q.