March 26, 2013

OLED Monitor? 4K RAW Recorder? Convergent Design's New Odyssey7 Series Combines All of the Above

Convergent Design, one of the first companies to introduce a small and portable external recorder with the Nanoflash, just unleashed a brand new 7.7" OLED 1280 x 800 external monitor that also doubles as an external recorder capable of receiving 4K RAW as well as uncompressed and DNxHD formats. That's right, the company has decided that your external monitor isn't good enough, and your external recorder is a little boring, so the best of both worlds should be combined into one device to rule them all. Here is the introduction video from the company:

Just a few of the specs:

Display:

  • 7.7" OLED, 1280x800, RGB 8-Bit, 3400:1 Contrast, 176° Viewing, True Blacks

Inputs:

  • HD-SDI 3G ports: Single/Dual Link, 2-Inputs, 2-Outputs
  • Odyssey7Q has 2 additional Bidirectional HD-SDI 3G ports
  • HDMI Video I/O: HDMI 1.4a support

Video Formats:

  • HD/2K RGB 444 8/10/12-Bit up to 60p/60psf,
  • HD/2K YCC 422 8/10-Bit Up to 120p, QHD/4K 422 up to 30fps,
  • ARRIRAW (16:9) 12-bit up to 60fps, ARRIRAW (4:3) 12-bit up to 48fps,
  • Canon Raw QHD/4K 10-bit up to 60fps
  • HDMI Video Formats: Up to 1080p60 422 8-bit

Recorder Options:

  • Avid DNxHD up to 1080p30/1080i60, HD/2K Uncompreseed RGB 444 up to 60fps,
  • HD/2K Raw up to 120 fps, ARRIRAW (16:9) up to 60fps, (4:3) up to 48fps, Canon RAW QHD/4K up to 60fps
  • Odyssey7Q adds Four Stream recording up to 1080p30, 4K Support,
  • High-Speed (120fps) and Simultaneous RAW + Proxy (DNxHD-36) mode

Recording Media:

  • 2.5" professional server grade SSD in 240/480/960 GB sizes,
  • 500MB/sec read/write speed, SATA-3 (6 GHz) interface,
  • compatible with off the shelf USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt adapters

Other Monitor Capabilities:

  • Focus Assist, YRGB Waveform, Histogram, False Color, Vectorscope, Zebras,
  • Odyssey7Q adds ability to monitor four video streams in a quad-split display

There are still plenty of specs I'm not even including above just for the sake of clarity. The Odyssey7 can take 2-channel embedded audio, and the 7Q adds support for 8. Apple ProRes is curiously missing from the device, but I would imagine just like with anything else this is a licensing issue (though it's likely coming at some point according to this). I think the ability to rent licenses for a short period of time is incredibly useful. If you're someone who is constantly working with a specific camera, but maybe you need to use an Alexa in RAW for a couple of days out of the year, it's more convenient to just rent a license than to rent another external recorder.

It is a little confusing which features the two devices share in common, but it seems that the Odyssey7 can do pretty much everything the 7Q can do, but the 7Q just does more of it. Now, what about price? Well, they are officially introducing them at NAB this year, but we do know that the Odyssey7 is starting at $1,300. The website seems to indicate that this is just for the monitor, so the price will start adding up the more features and recording options you add to it. Nothing is listed for the 7Q, so it is probably much more expensive right from the start, especially considering their most expensive recorder, the Gemini, starts off at around $5,000.

Regardless, Convergent Design is giving users the option to start off with a basic package and work their way up as they need more functionality. The Gemini is a rental-only for many people, and I also see that being the case for the 7Q with all the bells and whistles added -- but we'll likely get more pricing information next month at NAB.

To read more about both devices, head on over to the Convergent Design website.

Link: Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q -- Convergent Design

Your Comment

59 Comments

Let's stay on the topic of the Odyssey7 OLED Monitor/External Recorder :)

March 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

This looks like a very cool option for those that need it, but I'd like to point out that Sound Devices has had the PIX recorders out for almost two years and they do the exact same thing (although I'm not sure if their screen is OLED) for around the same price point.
Not only that, but they come with Absolutely incredible audio features as well. I guarantee Convergent Design cannot compete with SD's audio features.

I'm bringing this up because I was sure the PIX recorders would be mentioned in the article, but surprisingly were not.

March 26, 2013

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Joe Ramos

PIX recorders are definitely amazing, and certainly Sound Devices will have better audio quality, but this can handle up to 4K RAW at high frame rates, and has a 7.7" 1280 x 800 OLED display vs. a 5" 800 x 480 screen on the PIX. The PIX maxes out at 1080p 30fps.

Comparisons don't really make that much sense until we know all the pricing information though, which is why I left them out.

March 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Gotcha. That was actually a really obvious one-up for Convergent Design, so my bad Joe :) I still have a bit of learned, blind dedication for my former employers :) Great people at SD!

March 26, 2013

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Joe Ramos

I think they make the best audio recorders, hands down - I own a 702.

March 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Wait! - you mean we can't somehow turn this into a thread about Canon or Red?? Come on...

March 26, 2013

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David

Hahahahaha! Blogs would be boring w/o trolls.

March 26, 2013

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fiftybob

Too many specs to keep track of, but sounds amazing. My question is the scarlet's look around function allows for 4k frame size recording externally at 3k internal frame size and framerates, however at no external recorder manufacturers allowed for more than 30p over a sdi or hdmi stream. Does this recorder potentially mean that scarlet users can record higher frame rates at full rez downsampled 1080 with look around now or is it dual link?

March 26, 2013

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ryan

They updated the Gemini to handle 60fps from what I understand, so theoretically what you're saying should work now with that recorder.

March 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

would this work with the sony fs700? it has a terrible built in monitor and requires a field monitor but i always have to shoot run and gun style so this could be a great lighter weight solution for raw recording 4k.

March 26, 2013

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I'm curious about the same thing, would love to know.

March 26, 2013

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Austin

I didn't see sony raw mentioned

March 26, 2013

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ryan

This commercial is hilarious. i didn't think it was possible to make a sentimental advertisement about RAW recorders... i was wrong haha. odyssey seems cool though.

March 26, 2013

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Michael

I would like to see in future a similar thing and cheaper for dslr shooters to prores/dnxhd that want monitor and recorder in one device

March 26, 2013

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matt

March 26, 2013

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Sam

with HD screen and some sofware stuff like peaking, waveform, film quides

March 27, 2013

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matt

Man, when i saw that price, 1300... I freaked out. Then i saw it was only for the monitor.

Sadness rules my life

March 26, 2013

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Lumberjacksatan

I'm very against the idea of having to own a license to use the product's full hardware abilities - even if that means renting it from job to job. That's old thinking.

March 26, 2013

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alex

I feel the same way. I'm sure it helps keep the overall cost down, but it seems like it would be a hassle. Otherwise it seems like a very impressive device.

March 26, 2013

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Marc B.

...and when you add up the licenses it will cost $$$...
...nothing new here..nothing revolutionary...
...yet another NFS equipment false alarm....
...you may now return to your normal programming...

March 26, 2013

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sammy

You guys realize that every single codec built into any recorder has a license paid by the company making the hardware? Often this is just included into the price of the device, but if you never plan on shooting ArriRAW or Canon RAW, why would you want the hardware company forcing you to pay more money just so a small percentage of people can take advantage of it?

March 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Sure that's why they did it. But it just comes off as an inelegant solution.
Having to call in and rent a codec for 24 hrs. ???
Inelegant or maybe just crazy.

March 28, 2013

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sammy

You can also buy them indefinitely. They are simply giving the option of renting.

March 28, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

In my opinion this will be more usefull with canon CXXX cameras since alexa is going XT, Red does internal raw, BMCC does internal raw, dslr only do 1080p, and for the sony F series cameras i'm pretty sure that by the price of this gemini full equipe will be much expensive than and actual Sony Raw Recorder. So I don't expect much future for this product and of course for only monitorin or recording pro res or dnxhd there are out there cheaper monitor/recorders...so....and by the way what a cheesy commercial :)

March 26, 2013

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Jesuan

Which begs the question, would you spend +$5K on a recorder for a $6.5K camera? Maybe. But it feels a little weird.

March 26, 2013

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Wow, I guess nobody wants a high quality OLED monitor and a recorder that can record 12 bit Raw and proxies at the same time all in one for sub 2 grand.

March 26, 2013

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ryan

I hope this unwarranted backlash doesn't pervade all the new tech press releases that will be coming out in the next few weeks, it'll really take the fun out of NAB especially if you don't get to go.

March 26, 2013

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ryan

for under 2 subgrands is just for the monitor..if you want to add Raw, proxies or whatever you have to pay for it....so it will be very expensive

March 26, 2013

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Jesuan

So, DnxHD is not free, as in you have to rent that too ...?
----
more info from elsewhere:
"We are scheduled to start shipping the Odyssey7 on July 15.
We are scheduled to start shipping the Odyssey7Q in September.
The Recorder Options are due in Q4, 2013.
Dan Keaton, Convergent Design"
----
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?304792-New-Convergent-Design-qu...

March 26, 2013

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Tommy

I wonder if this will be compatible with the Fs700 4k raw coming this summer.

March 26, 2013

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Seems like since I purchased the fs700 (sept) ive been waiting for news like this and wow it feels like forever. I did figure we would start hearing some things during NAB time. Am I currently happy with Sony's 4k answer for the fs700? HELL NO. I don't care what they do to make the f5 and 55 4k ready, the modular system seems work fine for those cameras but for the fs700 it's just plain ridicules. What a crock, who would want that long "hotdog" hook on the back recorder with a interface unit and battery hanging off the back? In my opinion it's just primitive and if I known then how they would offer it I would've chosen another camera. Slo mo works when you need it, the 1080 image is fine but man, since I saw Sony offerings I've been a little taken back. No camera is perfect (we all know that) but jeez their 4k system looks outdated already. It's just huge not mention expensive, I'm hoping this works, if not does anyone want a fs700 for a good deal?? Thanks

March 26, 2013

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Anthony Marino

So I'm getting the drift that if a camera/video recording company is going for 4k picture they're 'jumping on the bandwagon'. I don't think it's just me that likes the 4k picture. It's fascinating, and beautiful to probably everyone. Of course every video recording company should be going to 4k---else they be left behind.

My question is who will get to mass produced 8k recording the quickest? With nano materials like graphene going beyond 8k is clearly possible too. Some scientists even speculate that holograms may be produced some day using graphene. So maybe there should be no talk of going for 4k being bandwagoning.

An intro video to graphene for those who've never heard of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX8ClPVkD1g

March 26, 2013

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Gene

What's the brightness nit?

March 26, 2013

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J

As a Premiere Pro user, I'm not sure this will be useful without ProRes unless one wants to record uncompressed.

March 26, 2013

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Steve

Having RAW is great, but offering ProRes 422 would do it no harm.

March 27, 2013

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Tulio

No need to freak out about the upgrade price...

I called them and they said it'd be around $800-$1000 upgrade... which I don't think it's that bad at all considering what you get for it and the competitors pricing...

Also, it will have ProRes but they cannot officially announce it until Apple signs off on it.

March 27, 2013

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Jordy

I will believe it when I see it -- I don't think they've successfully yet negotiated ProRes with Apple on any of their devices, have they?

March 27, 2013

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Steve

We have decided to include DNxHD and a similar compress codec in the base cost of the unit. So for $1295 or $2295 you are getting the best, most robust 7" OLED monitor on the market and compressed recording. All you need is to buy an SSD, priced around $2.50 per gig.

April 25, 2013

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With so many external monitor/recorders with such high functionality showing up in the market, how many of you would ever consider buying a camera that has no internal recording or viewfinder/monitor? I mean, RED is already kind of doing that, but I mean something affordable, designed to work with the maximum number of third-party peripherals... Just a little informal market study.

March 27, 2013

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duane

My only problem with this is that it has NO Prores .... if it did it would be a no brainer, but it looks fantastic

March 27, 2013

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nigel Thompson

Seems that recorders of this capability all run around $5000+. Do they really cost that much to make (licenses included) or do these companies just decide that's what people should pay regardless of build cost?

March 28, 2013

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dixter

If you watched the video, it says right in the beginning that the NanoFlash was a very successful product and they sold around 5,000 units. That's why prices in the pro segment are so high!

If you develop a product and if it is very successful you sell 5,000 units, you gotta cover your costs somehow! It's easy to make an iPhone or Android phone cheaper because they sell millions of it!

March 29, 2013

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Heiko

Stay tuned! ;)

April 25, 2013

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Hi,

I am Dan Keaton of Convergent Design. I will attempt to answer many of the questions posted so far.

First, I love Sound Devices gear. I have a 302 and a 744t personally. Their audio gear is top-notch.

For some, but not all, audio can be sent though their camera, then sent to the Odyssey7 or Odyssey7Q over HDMI or HD-SDI. For others, audio can be feed directly into our units. We may make some changes in this area. We pride ourselves in listening to our customers.

The Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q start out as Monitors only, but can become recorders, if desired. This is done by a simple on-line transaction. Our "Compressed Codec" option, due to its moderate cost can only be purchased.

All other recording options can be rented or purchased, as desired. Of course, renting adds a great deal of flexibility at a very moderate cost. With just an Odyssey7 or Odyssey7Q (and some SSD's) you can be prepared to record from a very wide variety of cameras, just rent what you need for the shoot.

The rental program is very easy and more than fair. Prior to a shoot, one can rent xx number of days for a certain option. Then the authorization code can be loaded into the Odyssey7 or Odyssey7Q prior to the shoot.

But this does not start the actual rental period. We do this so that you can prepare your gear (with the authorization code(s), but not waste any of the rental period until your shoot actually starts. Then if you shoot is delayed, you have not wasted one or more rental days. And if your shoot is interrupted, you have not wasted any money either.

Details: Once you activate a "Rental Period", a 24 hour countdown timer starts; and at the end, the feature is no longer available, but you can still playback any footage that you have recorded.

Thus, every day, prior to starting the shoot, just activate one day's rental, which helps save you money in case your shoot is interrupted. Alternatively, you can activate xx days at once, if you wish. Either way, this is easy on accomplished via a menu on our unit.

Also, all of the recording features are present in each Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q and available for testing, but there will be a permenent watermark in the images. The activation for an extra cost option allows recording with out a watermark.

The options are:

Compressed Codecs (Avid DNxHD initially) And we are working towards adding another very popular codec.

Full Uncompressed HD and 2K, which also includes High Speed Recording at 120 fps.

ARRIRAW 16:9 (up to 60 fps), 4:3 (up to 48 fps) These are the limits of the T-Link output of the ALEXA's.

Canon 4K Raw, 4K Half Raw (frame rates, recorded using one Odyssey7 or Odyssey7Q.

Lux Media Plan, IO Industries, IndieCam, Weisscam and P&S Technik

And for the Odyssey7Q only, the ability to record up to four cameras simultaneously (up to 30 fps in a Compressed Codec.

The pricing for all of these options will be released in May.

The Odyssey7 is $1,295 (US) Monitor Only, no recording options included.
The Odyssey7Q pricing will be released shortly, hopefully today.

I will add more comments shortly.

Respectfully,

Dan Keaton
Convergent Design

March 29, 2013

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Thanks Dan, your info is greatly appreciated!

March 29, 2013

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Gabe

For the Red and the Scarlet, we can only record the signals and formats that the cameras output.

For their high-resolution images, they only output these signals to their own recorders.

But, we know of some Red and Scarlet users that just love attaching our recorders and recording 1080p for when they do not need higher resolution images.

March 29, 2013

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We are working very closely with Sony and we are making great progress.

We hope to have an annoucnemt about the FS700 and our Odyssey7Q within about 10 days.

March 29, 2013

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hey Dan Keaton,
your product looks very nice, many of the desired things you could want all in one attractive package.
"We are working very closely with Sony and we are making great progress.
We hope to have an annoucnemt about the FS700 and our Odyssey7Q within about 10 days."

I look forward to your announcement on the Odyssey line and the fs700.
It just maybe a great solution for Raw recording and viewing in a water housing

March 29, 2013

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April 25, 2013

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thank you !
i cross my fingers for cool announcement of Odyssey+FS700 issue! can't wait!!

March 31, 2013

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