Odyssey 7Q and 7Q+ get expanded 4K ProRes recording options

4K DCI ProRes recording from RAW sources


The Convergent Design Odyssey series of monitors and recorders has been a work in development since they first shipped in the fall of 2013. Since then, they have been rolling out regular firmware updates to fully enable the capabilities of the monitor/recorder.

Now we sit a little over a year later, and the latest 4.10.100 firmware update (released on Dec 19th) has enabled 4K RAW to Prores HQ recording from Canon C500, Sony FS700, and Sony FS7 cameras. In October of 2014, the 3.10.100 update had previously enabled FS700 4K RAW to UHD Apple ProRes recording, as well as non-RAW 4K sources to both UHD and 4K DCI. But with the December update, that support has now been extended to include UHD and 4K DCI from C500, FS700, and FS7 RAW sources, at up to 30 fps.

4K ProRes recording is a really nice feature for those who need very high-quality acquisition, but are willing to trade RAW footage for a lightly-compressed 10-bit ProRes master. This will open up high-quality imaging options for long-form shooters and documentarians who cannot handle the annoyances and overhead of a RAW workflow.

I DP'd a documentary in August where we captured around 80 reels of C300 footage…that would have been very costly to do with a full RAW workflow, but ProRes HQ might have been an option. And 4K resolution would have been nice to have at times, so I'm very happy to see this new feature as an option moving forward.

Some 7Q early adopters have been understandably frustrated by the year-long feature rollout…it certainly has been a work in progress. However, I've been really impressed with Convergent Design's communication with the user community. Throughout this process, they have maintained good communication with users, answering hard questions on forums and user groups, keeping users abreast of the development process and future roadmap. 

I had been watching the 7Q featureset with interest since it first came out, but chose to hold off on purchasing until the available features matured. In the decade I've worked in this industry, I have watched so many companies fumble their product rollouts…the first few years of the RED One (and MX) release, ViewFactor's failed wireless follow focus project, Birger's multi-year lens mount failure, and Redrock's extended development of the microRemote FF. Watching these companies, I've learned that Making Things is difficult. There are delays that many seem to hit, and nobody seems to anticipate. For those that succeed in shipping a finished product, some come to market with a reduced feature set from the original concept.

One of the things I appreciate about how Convergent Design handled the release of the 7Q is that they shipped a feature-limited, yet working product from the outset. This is not unlike the way ARRI introduced the Alexa. And it looks like Convergent Design will continue to develop the Odyssey line, adding new camera and feature support in the coming months. I'm glad to see a track record of supporting the Odyssey product with fixes and features as new options emerge in the market. As such, I purchased my own 7Q in the fall of 2014, when the feature set matched what I needed at the time. I would recommend that strategy with any new product…only buy when it fully works for you. 

In late Dec 2014, Convergent Design shipped the 7Q+ update, this hardware change added 4K over HDMI support, something the 7Q hardware did not support. This monitor design was identical to the 7Q with the exception of a new HDMI chipset, and required a new purchase..there was no hardware upgrade option for 7Q owners. However, Convergent Design has offered a very generous Loyalty Program offer for 7Q owners who want to upgrade to a 7Q+…basically giving them credit and the ability to roll existing codec purchases over to the new device, and then sell the old device with all those features still enabled. That's a big deal, as these codec licenses add up quickly! They also extended all 7Q monitor warranties to January 1st, 2016. The Loyalty upgrade offer is open until March 31st, so you have some time to weigh your options. In my opinion, this situation has been handled as fairly as a company could handle it, and as April approaches I'll consider upgrading my own monitor to a 7Q+. 

So I say all that to say this…the Odyssey 7Q and 7Q+ now have expanded 4K RAW-to-Prores recording options. These tools greatly expand the usefullness of this already amazing monitor/recorder, and I'm looking forward to putting them to good use in my own 7Q. Here is the full press release.

Odyssey7 / Odyssey7Q / Odyssey7Q+ Firmware 4.10.100 Released

(December 19, 2014, Colorado Springs) Today Convergent Design releases a firmware update for the Odyssey7, Odyssey7Q and the new Odyssey7Q+. This release adds features, improves current functions and fixes some previous issues. Highlights of the new firmware include :


4K 10-bit HDMI Support
4K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 24
UHD Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
1080p60 10-bit HDMI Support
1080p Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 50p, 60p

NEW FEATURES (Odyssey7Q & Odyssey7Q+)

Extended Warranty (Odyssey7Q only)
All Odyssey7Q warranties are automatically extended to January 1, 2016. 
(See bulletin to Odyssey7Q owners for details.)

Multi-Stream HDMI Input
Allows HD video signal over HDMI as one of the inputs for Multi-Stream Monitoring.

Multi-Stream 720p Input
Allows 720p HD video signal for Multi-Stream Monitoring.  Mixable with 1080i and 1080p HD video.

Sony FS7 (with XDAC-FS7 extension back) Support
Record modes available with FS RAW Record Option
4K RAW 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
2K RAW 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88 (120), 200, 239.76 (240)
4K RAW to 4K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 25, 29.97
4K RAW to UHD Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.08, 25, 29.97
4K RAW to 2K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
4K RAW to HD (1080p) Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
NOTE: FS7 S-Log3 supported in RAW & Apple ProRes record modes

Sony FS700 4K RAW to 4K/2K Apple ProRes
Additional record modes available with FS RAW Record Option
4K RAW to 4K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 25, 29.97
4K RAW to 2K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94

Canon C500 4K/QHD RAW to 4K/UHD Apple ProRes
Additional record modes available with Canon RAW Record Option
4K RAW to 4K Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
QHD RAW to UHD Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30

NEW FEATURES (Odyssey7, Odyssey7Q, Odyssey7Q+)

HDMI Record Trigger
Start/stop recording on Odyssey from Panasonic GH4 (with new GH4 firmware) and Sony a7S.

HDMI Timecode Support
Capture timecode data from Panasonic GH4 (with new GH4 firmware) and Sony a7S.

1TB Odyssey SSD Support
Allows the use of the new Odyssey 1TB SSD in Odyssey monitor/recorder.

Custom Frame Guides
Up to four user-programmable frame guides in six color options.  All four frame guides plus one preset frame guide can be displayed concurrently.

Playback Notes
Expanding PLAY Markers functionality, a Notes text field is now available in Clip XML data as well as a Good/Bad take indication.  Used in conjunction with new CD APPLE PRORES TRANSFER UTILITY 1.5, a Final Cut XML can transfer Markers and Notes to FCPX, FCP7, Adobe Premier and Resolve 10 & 11.

PSF Video Output Option
Certain modes add choice of true progressive (p) or Progressive-Segmented Frame (psf) video output for expanded compatibility with other equipment.

OLED Calibration Controls
RGB Gain and Saturation controls added for the OLED display, with reset.

Matt Jeppsen is a working DP with over a decade of experience in commercials, music videos, and documentary films. Editorial ethics statement can be found here, and you will find a cinematography reel and contact info at mattjeppsen.com


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Matt Jeppsen is a DoP based in Sydney. Reel and contact info at www.mattjeppsen.com