March 27, 2013

Convergent Design Odyssey7 + 7Q

A full-featured 7.7-inch OLED monitor that can also be a high-quality recorder (for Avid DNxHD, raw and 4K formats) is the attraction of Convergent Design’s adaptable new Odyssey7 and 7Q products.

As a monitor, it costs from $1,295, with the recording capabilities available as optional upgrades (online licenses for the various formats, such as DNxHD). Given that some users might only need a format like Arrirraw for a few days shooting, the licence for this will also be available for daily rental.

Most of its rivals, if they include a monitor at all, have smaller monitors (such as the Atomos Ninja-2 and Samurai with their 4.3-inch and 5-inch 800x840 pixel screens - although the new Samurai Blade will have improved 1280x720 screen plus recording for $1,295), whereas the Odyssey units have been designed as high-quality monitors from the outset. The 7.7-inch OLED has a 1280x800 RGB pixel array, promising wide colour gamut and 3400:1 contrast, with “virtually no motion blurring and true blacks”.

It also includes an array of professional features: waveform, RGB parade, zebras, 1:1 pixel, focus assist (peaking), vectorscope, histogram, LUT support, false colour and more. Thanks to Bluetooth LE, there is also simple remote control through iPhone and Android apps.

Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q simplify on-camera setups, eliminating the need for separate products. Simplicity also drove the overall architectural design, gaining greater reliability, lower power, and less weight,” said Convergent Design President Mike Schell (pictured below).

“The user interface is simple and easy to use, minimizing set-up time and on-set frustration. The Odyssey automatically detects the incoming video format and, when possible, sets up the entire recorder/monitor, based on camera metadata (Arriraw, Canon Raw, 2K Raw, etc.). The 1280x800 OLED allows for an uncluttered video display,” he added.

As a recorder, Odyssey7 and 7Q support Avid DNxHD (up to 120 frames per second), uncompressed HD/2K RGB 444 (up to 60fps), 2K/HD Raw, Arriraw (4:3 and 16:9), and Canon 4K Raw. All the recording formats are extra-cost options, and outright purchase or rental is claimed to be “at competitive rates”. Recording options are rented in 24-hour blocks, with unused blocks available for future use.

Solid state

Convergent Design is now offering new 2.5-inch highly reliable “Server-Grade” solid state drives that support read/write bandwidths in excess of 500MBps per drive, enabling Canon 4K Raw at 60fps on a single recorder. Its dual SSD architecture can be configured in spanning mode (to double record times), RAID 1 mode, for auto-backup or in RAID 0 mode for data-rates in excess of 1GBps.

“A new nanoFlash or an advanced Gemini was due or in development. Gemini RAW was announced at NAB 2012. While in limbo waiting on SSD technology to catch up to our design, it was decided that we could re-engineer the recorder, and simultaneously reinvent the monitor,” explained Amber Cowles, the company’s Marketing and Communications Director (pictured above).

Quad split

While the Odyssey7 is intended for single stream support (up to 4K Raw), the Odyssey7Q adds additional bi-directional HD-SDI 3G ports. It also has extra processing power to enable certain extra cost options to support: four-stream HD/2K monitoring (quad-split - it also includes a four-channel live switcher) and compressed recording, 4K video and high-speed (120fps) support, and simultaneous recording of proxy (DNxHD-36) and Raw video. The price of the Odyssey7Q hasn’t been set yet, “but will be competitively priced” and use the same 2.5-inch media as Odyssey7.

A wide range of battery accessories, mounting options, and sunshade, are planned for both products. The Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q will be launched at NAB (booth C6713).

Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q Specifications:

HDMI I/O (Up to 1080p60 422 8-bit)

SDI Video I/O - SD/HD/3G Support: Single/Dual Link, 2-Inputs, 2-Outputs

Odyssey7Q adds 2 Bidirectional HD-SDI 3G ports to allow: 4 HD-SDI 3G Inputs, and 2 HD-SDI 3G Inputs OR 2 HD-SDI 3G Inputs and 4 HD-SDI 3G Outputs

Digital Audio I/O - 2-channel embedded audio (48KHz, 24-bit); Odyssey7Q adds 8-channel support

Analogue Audio I/O - Mono Speaker, 3.5mm headphone output, mono unbalanced consumer input

Remote Control - RS-232 I/O, programmable GPIO

Timecode - LTC I/O (BNC) or Embedded SDI/HDMI TC

User Interface - Capacitive Touchscreen, Two mechanical Function Keys

DC Power Input - 10 to 34 vDC with built-in reverse polarity protection; built-in power switch – Power use: 8 Watts (monitor only), 8-15W (monitor and record mode)

Size - 7.9 x 6.1 x 1.0-inches (200 x 155 x 25mm), measured from end of BNC to SSD tabs

Weight - 540 grams / 1.2 lbs, cast-magnesium case

Recorder Options

- Avid DNxHD up to 1080p30/1080i60
- HD/2K Uncompressed 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)
- Simultaneous RAW + Proxy (DNxHD-36) mode

By David Fox

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