NAB 2015: Convergent Design Unleashes Massive Updates for the Odyssey7Q Plus and 7Q 4K Recorder/Monitors

Convergent Design are one of those companies that have very few products, but are really good at what they do. Their recorders have become industry standard on pretty much any shoot involving a Sony FS700/FS7 or Canon C500 when 4K recording is required. The Convergent Design Odyssey7Q family of 4K recorder/monitors lead by their flagship 7Q+ model have been 4K production favourite tools for quite some time now.

Recently the company announced their commitment to continuously support and expand the functionality of their Odyssey family line-up. Unlike most other manufacturers who presented new products at NAB 2015, Convergent Design unleashed a slew of upgrades for their Odyssey7Q and 7Q Plus models.

The Odyssey7Q recorders can now record up to 4K/60p and 2K/240p slow-motion out of the box in ProRes HQ/422/LT from compatible cameras at no additional cost to users.

This is certainly huge especially for Sony FS700 shooters as well as Sony FS7 operators as well. The company also announced full support for custom 3D LUTs allowing cinematographers and camera operators to load their own 3D LUTs into the Odyssey7Q/7Q+ and route to different outputs to fit their needs. 3D LUT's has been a highly demanded feature and soon the Odyssey7Q family will have it all. The 3D LUT support will be available in a firmware update by the end of April 2015.

See more from information from Convergent Design below.

Convergent Design engineers are always working to expand the capabilities of the Odyssey family of monitor/recorders. Today the company announces that Apple ProRes 4K/UHD will be possible up to 60p and 2K/HD will be possible up to 240p. The new capabilities will be available for all currently supported Apple ProRes formats, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, and Apple ProRes 422 (LT).

We are pleased to provide these capabilities at no cost to our clients,” said John Schell, Hardware Design Manager, Convergent Design. “While designing the Odyssey Family of Products three years ago, Convergent Design had a vision of a comprehensive solution for monitoring and recording. This vision pushed us to design a multi-generational platform to support cameras and formats not yet developed. The capability built into the Odyssey platform from the beginning allows us to continue to unlock new cameras, formats, and features, giving our clients new tools to express their creativity. The addition of 4K60p and 2K240p Apple ProRes shows the continuing vision of the Odyssey platform.”.

High frame rate material is useful both for creating slow motion material and more immersive content. Several networks and distributors are specifying 60p frame rates for UHD deliverables. Some cameras can only output higher frame rates in a RAW data format. RAW data at high frame rates consumes vast amounts of memory. Instead recording high frame rate material in Apple ProRes significantly reduces on set media needs, slashes offload times, dramatically simplifies post workflows, and shortens post schedules.

The first input format scheduled to be made available with the higher frame rates are the RAW data signals from the Sony FS7 and FS700 for clients utilizing the Sony FS Record Option on the Odyssey7Q and Odyssey7Q+. This will allow the recording of 4K RAW -> 4K/UHD/2K/HD Apple ProRes up to 60p, 2K RAW -> 2K/HD Apple ProRes up to 240p, and 4K RAW Burst -> 4K/UHD Apple ProRes up to 120p (available on the FS700). The new capabilities will be made available in a free future firmware update to all users who have purchased the FS700 record option.

Future support will include Canon C500 4K RAW, Canon C500 HD video (up to 120fps), Sony F5/F55 4K/UHD video, and others. All Apple ProRes frame rate expansions will be provided via free firmware updates. Current owners of Record Options will receive increased capabilities within their Record Options at no additional cost.

Convergent Design announces that the upcoming April 2015 free firmware update for the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q will include fully integrated custom 3D-LUT functionality. Clients will be able to generate LUTs at no cost in DaVinci Resolve, load them into the Odyssey and match them perfectly in post. 3D-LUTs allow viewing of material with sample color, contrast and exposure corrections, while recording files in RAW or flat Log modes for the greatest range in post adjustment.

Our implementation of 3D-LUTs is a first in the industry,” explained Mike Schell, President, Convergent Design. “We accept the most popular form of 3D-LUT. The Odyssey can not only display the LUT on its OLED screen, but it can send the LUT out to other monitors via SDI and HDMI. The Odyssey can also send the LUT to its Image Analysis Tools such as the waveform and histogram. And all of these outputs of the LUT are individually selectable, so that clients can tailor their use of the system however they like. That’s incredibly powerful, replacing an entire cart full of equipment. The Odyssey7Q+ is a LUT box, router, engineering scope, monitor and recorder all in one, and we are providing this added performance at no additional cost.”

3D-LUTs are accepted in the form of .CUBE files (aka Image Cube). The free version of DaVinci Resolve can generate these LUTs. Using a free App that will be available on the Convergent Design website, the .CUBE LUTs are converted to a secure binary file, protecting a client’s personal designs. The converted LUTs are loaded into the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q via Odyssey SSD or Odyssey Utility Drive. Hundreds of 3D-LUTs can be organized into folders and stored on the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q. LUT-ted signals can be selected to view on the OLED screen, sent over two SDI outputs and an HDMI output, and applied to the Odyssey Image Analysis Tools. The application of the LUT to the signal can be selected independently for each output, allowing for a variety of uses.

A cinematographer can use an Odyssey7Q+ as an operating monitor with LUT applied, while sending a “flat” signal to an engineer over SDI 1 and a LUT-ted image to the director over SDI 2, and a LUT-ed image to the clients over HDMI. A DP could view a scene with the LUT applied while simultaneously viewing a waveform display in the corner showing the source signal. A window may appear blown out with a LUT applied but the source signal that is recorded shows detail in the highlights, so the DP knows that this part of the frame can be “pulled back” in post. Time, money and momentum are conserved on set by not stopping to adjust lighting and exposure.

Because the LUTs used in the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q are initially created in Resolve, what is seen on set will match what is applied in post, with the freedom to make adjustments as desired. A repository library for 3D-LUTs will be hosted on the Convergent Design website, to which all Odyssey users are invited to participate. 3D-LUTs stored on an individual Odyssey are protected so that no one can steal a client’s “secret sauce” look.

The new custom 3D-LUT monitoring and routing functions will be included in the upcoming April 2015 firmware update. The update is free and the custom 3D-LUT functions will apply to the Odyssey7Q+ and Odyssey7Q models. A future firmware update will allow the 3D-LUT to be “burned-in” and recorded onto Apple ProRes files.

To order your Odyssey7Q+ recorder (including 2 x FREE 256GB drives for a limited time only) head over here or call us at 0208 977 1222 Mon – Fri 9am to 6pm GMT.