Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q Prototype hands on.
The other day I got my hands on the yet unreleased Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q RAW recorder / monitor. The prototype was 75% there but this one was specifically set up for getting 2K out of the FS700. The quality of the screen is pretty impressive on the unit at 1280 x 800….Well its actually 1280 x 700 as 100 of the lines are used for menu items. Remember the 7Q is actually a quad monitor which allows four input signals as well as quadrant assignment and switching. The touchscreen on the proto was very responsive and easy to read. A huge step over the Gemini 4:4:4. The 7Q also has 1:1 pixel which is great for checking focus and even works in 4K mode. Tap the screen two times to punch in 1:1 and four times to punch in for 4K. Also featured are full screen, quad screen and overlay waveform (luma, RGB, Parage, Red, Green, Blue, etc. Histogram, False color, Zebras and peaking are all built into the unit as well and both work great with a nice level of adjust ability.
There is a Bluetooth antennae built into the unit which will allow remote control and menu settings on a smartphone. This is a future offering and will not offer a proxy window of what is being recorded. You can also assign the inputs and outputs as four inputs and two outputs or two inputs and four outputs all are bidirectional. There is also HD-SDI to HDMI cross conversion built in. All the inputs are 3G-SDI
The FS700 support option will the be first offering from Convergent with a roll out on options for the device spread out over the year into 2014. I got to see and try 2K 120fps and 240fps out of the FS700 into the 7Q and it worked fine. 4K was not yet available as an option but I am told 4K DPX is coming. The second option will be the Canon C500 which will have uncompressed RAW recording capability as .RMF files spread across two SSD drives. A 4K compressed codec is also in the works but I cannot mention the name of said codec as it has not yet pasted qualifications, etc (and therefore legally they cannot say). Avid DNxHD will be a standard offering with the 7Q and will be an upgrade option for the base model 7.
No more fans required. Entire back is a heat sink.
Some of the big things I noticed are that the SSD offerings have changed. Originally there was going to be a 960GB drive but now it is 256gb and 512gb only. This is due to new drive qualifications and testing of the unit where Convergent had found better drives that use lower power at a higher speed. The new drives no longer have to cache and record later and only take 10 seconds to format. This is a big improvement although I think the bigger capacity was still appealing. High bandwidth formats like Alexa RAW and C500 RAW both require you to have two drives mounted. Both formats require Clip Merger software to mux the files into one folder in post as files are spread across two drives for parity and speed. Mind you, Clip Merger is very quick and can process a terabyte of data in under a minute.
Also of note you will no longer need a proprietary transfer station as the new SSD’s are 2.5″ and will work with the Seagate thunderbolt adapter/dock. However the unit will only work with Convergent SSD’s and there will not be any others qualified to work with the Odyssey.
Overall the prototype worked great. The 7Q is planned for release sometime around the first week of September with option upgrades and option rentals to follow. If you are looking for a high quality monitor and are also in the market for a recorder the 7Q is a great option. The base model however will only allow for DNxHD and does not have the same amount of inputs etc as the 7Q so think about future needs vs the now.
Compact but feature rich.
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