Convergent Design Odyssey 7 and 7Q get another new firmware update – adds 1080P 50 and 59.94 ProRes recording

By technical editor Matt Allard:

The Convergent Design 7Q recorder on a Canon C500
The Convergent Design 7Q recorder on a Canon C500

Convergent Design is pumping out  firmware releases for their Odyssey 7 and 7Q recorders at an astonishing rate. With only 29 days passing since the last release the latest one adds a raft of new features such as 1080P 50 and 59.94 ProRes recording and improved high frame rate recording for the Canon C500. It is good to see a company committed to steadily improving their product. 

While this release is perhaps not as feature heavy as the last,  it does provide some very useful additions that users will welcome. This is what has been added according to Convergent Design: 

• Higher Frame Rates For Apple ProRes 422(HQ) In 1080p 
Apple ProRes 422(HQ) recording is now enabled in 1080p50 and 1080p59.94. A very useful addition as there has been a distinct lack of 50 and 60p external recording options available in any recorder on the market. This is of course available on the 7 and 7Q.  

• Integrated Deck Control And Scrubbing in Play Mode
Scrubbing through clips is now available both while the file is playing as well as when it is paused. The last firmware update improved the playback feature set immensely and Convergent Design has tweaked it again to make it more user friendly.  

• Selectable Pixel Zoom Drag Orientation
When using the finger drag function to select the section of the image visible in Pixel Zoom function, the drag orientation can be set to follow the finger move (drag the image) or oppose the finger move (drag the window). The pixel zoom drag was a very clever feature introduced in the last firmware release. This new addition makes it even more versatile. 

• Canon C500 High Speed RAW SupportCanon Cinema RAW “4K Half RAW” mode 4096×1080 is supported at 50p/60p and 100p/120p.  The Odyssey7Q currently supports the original full frame height version of the Canon 4K half RAW, not the “4Kx1K” cropped mode.  Only the highest frame rates in the Slow & Fast modes are currently supported.

To be clear this is not a letterbox.  Canon has two modes for getting to high speed.  At 4096×2160, their uncompressed 10-bit RAW saturates dual-link 3G-SDI.  So in order to go faster they have to reduce resolution.  The “4K half RAW” solution is to keep the 4096 but only use every other line of vertical resolution.  This is known as line skipping.  The resolution is “extrapolated” (Canon’s term) in post, meaning that they use information from the rows above and below to fill in the missing lines.  By halving the resolution they can double the frame rate pushed through the camera, so it can get up to 120p.  The other solution Canon offers is a 4096×1080 crop from the sensor, which is referred to as “4Kx1K”.  That would be your very wide aspect letterbox.

• Sony FS700 4K2HD Recording Up To 60p
FS700 4K RAW to HD Apple ProRes 422(HQ) is now available up to 60p (59.94).  50p is also available. As mentioned before this is a fantastic new feature and being able to finally record 50 or 60p externally will make FS700 owners lives a lot easier. 

Hopefully we will see 4K ProRes implemented before the year is out as I think for a lot of users compressed 4K recording is a far more friendly way of using the FS700 if you want to record 4K – currently it is limited to RAW only in 4K. I am also sure with the impending release of the Atomos Shogun that Convergent Design will also be working hard to make the Odyssey 7Q capable of record the 4K HDMI outputs of the popular Sony a7S and Panasonic GH4.

On location shooting the 'Humanoids' documentary for Aljazeera with the Odyssey 7Q
On location shooting the ‘Humanoids’ documentary for Aljazeera with the Odyssey 7Q


• New POV RAW Record Option Available For Purchase or Rent
The POV RAW Record Option is for various special function cameras with RAW output.  The RAW data is captured as Cinema DNG files.  The POV RAW Record Option is $1495 to purchase or $99/day to rent through the Convergent Design website.

The cameras currently supported include the IO Industries Flare 2KSDI and the Indiecam indieGS2K.  Supported RAW formats for these cameras are as follows.

IO Industries Flare 2KSDI 2048×1080 23.98 – 60p 10-bit RAW
IO Industries Flare 2KSDI 1920×1080 23.98 – 60p 10-bit RAW

Indiecam indieGS2K 2048×1080 23.98 – 60p 10-bit RAW
Indiecam indieGS2K 1920×1080 23.98 – 120p 10-bit RAW
Indiecam indieGS2K 1920×1080 23.98 – 60p 12-bit RAW

While this new recording option won’t be used by the majority of users it does show the continual development of implementing the 7Q to work with an even larger array of cameras on the market. 


• FIXED Time of Day timecode issue
• FIXED Backward file compatibility during firmware updates
• FIXED “Ticking” audio after 720p file recovery
• FIXED Black dots in live image when overexposing or white-clipping
• FIXED False-triggering when Odyssey set to camera trigger
• FIXED Timecode triggering in 720p
• FIXED False “Warranty Void” notice on some units from previous firmware
• FIXED 1080psf audio sync issue in Playback
• FIXED Pixel Zoom mode distorting of image on OLED
• IMPROVED Touchscreen response
• IMPROVED Touchscreen recalibrates by engaging F1 Lock button

Go to www.convergent-design.com/firmware-downloads.html to download the latest firmware, update instructions, firmware release notes, quick-start guides, and the latest Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q manuals.

An Odyssey SSD or Odyssey Utility Drive is required to perform the update.

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