Convergent Design Titan follows the tradition of the company as it is not a hardware device but a software option for their existing lineup up monitors/recorders, such as the Odyssey7Q+, Odyssey7Q and Apollo. With Titan, you’re able to pull 3 HD signals from just one 4K source plus a fourth live-switch signal. Convergent Design Titan You heard about the Convergent Design Apollo, right? The device is capable of taking up to 4 HD streams and record them simultaneously. That’s neat, but you’ll need 4 sources (read: cameras) for that, of course. Now, the freshly announced Convergent Design Titan option is kind of a reverse Apollo. Feed the recorder of your choice which has the Titan option installed with one 4K source and you’ll be able to pull 4 HD signals out of the thing: One: A downsampled HD image from the whole 4K frame Two: A selectable windowed HD area from the incoming 4K stream Three: Another windowed HD area Four: A live-switched feed from the 3 HD streams, including an EDL All you need is one camera (which is capable of putting out 4K over SDI or HDMI, of course), a Convergent Design monitor/recorder of your choice and that’s it. Everything is being recorded in to one SSD, which makes editing much easier as all the clips are already in sync and have matching timecode. Titan also accepts 4K RAW data from the Sony FS5, FS7 & FS700 cameras. In terms of live-switching you can choose between hard cuts and dissolves. supported models for the Convergent Design Titan option There’s no need to buy another hardware device, as all the recent models are being supported such as the Odyssey7Q+, Odyssey7Q (limited to 3G SDI) and Apollo, of course. There’s no need of purchasing any of the other available options such as the RAW bundle, either. Applications Let’s say you’re up for the task of shooing an two-subject interview with a tight deadline. With the Titan option you can pull of a very minimal setup but still get a wide shot, two close-ups and a live edit of the whole thing which you can hand over to the client immediatly after the shoot. This is really neat, I think! Of course this is only for setups which require a really fast turnaround time and still demand for high quality results. For someone who likes sticking to the 30 degree rule this option really won’t be an option as you’re producing jump cuts all the time. But for small crews with tight schedules this could be a great addition to their toolbox. Pricing and Availability The Convergent Design Titan option is $1295 but there’s an early bird special which is $995 and will be valid for a limited time only. Titan is expected to be available around the beginning of October. source: Convergent Design WebsiteRead more
Convergent Design has announced its latest firmware update, which they’re billing as their most significant yet. Users of the Apollo, Odyssey7Q+, Odyssey7Q, and Odyssey7 will benefit from 23 new features including dual SSD recording for redundancy, 3:2 pulldown removal & A/V Align for syncing different camera sources, Sony FS5 Raw support, Live Switch Dissolve transitions and Eight-Channel Audio recording. Convergent Design has been providing some of the most widely used external in-field recorders/monitors for some time. Their Odyssey7 line has proved very popular with camera operators (particularly those using Sony systems) and their more recent Apollo Recorder has pushed them into the compact multi-cam recorder sector (check more info on that here). This latest firmware update brings a host of new features to their in-field recorders. We’ll highlight the key updates and you can check out a more comprehensive list and the bottom of the page. Apollo Double Master Recording You can now utilize the double slots on the Convergent Design Apollo to capture files to two SSDs simultaneously for an instant backup. Apollo A/V Align Each camera has slightly different latency from another. This feature will compensate the difference in signals from multiple types of cameras to keep your video and audio in sync. 3:2 Pulldown Removal Despite capturing in progressive, many cameras will output signal via an interlaced stream, a 3:2 pulldown is widely used here and converts the signal to a progressive source for recording. This new removal feature will allow such signals to intermix with native 24p feeds, meaning a wider range of different cameras can be used in a multi-cam configuration. Live Switching Dissolves This feature adds 3 different speeds of dissolves in live switching on the Apollo. Shortcut button access allows alternating between cuts and dissolve edits. Eight-Channel Audio Eight tracks of audio have now been added per SDI video input. This is available for all Odyssey and Apollo recorders, the latter in Dual-4K and Quad-HD configurations meaning a total of 16 and 32 tracks respectively. Sony FS5 Raw Support Odyssey 7Q and Odyssey 7Q+ now get support for Sony FS5 RAW. You can record in CinemaDNG or Apple ProRes. 4K60p, 2K240p, and up to a 4K120p burst. IO Flare 4K Raw Support Similar support is added for the IO Flare 4K. You can now record in CinemaDNG, 4K60p on the Odyssey 7Q and Odyssey 7Q+ with this camera. Convergent Design Apple ProRes Transfer Tool v2.4 The existing Apple Transfer Tool from Convergent Design allows users to add XML files and stitch two native files together ready for the edit. Version 2.4 adds a few features and bug fixes, most excitingly for Apollo users with multitrack files; select which tracks to transfer, offload a Live-Switch or Quad-Split instantly to then later offload all of the files. Convergent Design has clearly been busy maintaining their product line of recorders; it’s great to see companies preferring this over phasing out existing lines by bringing out new products every year. FS5 users will certainly enjoy this update. Like the FS700 before it, Convergent Design has unlocked the RAW aspect of the camera giving us a constant 2K 240fps feed, along with continuous 4K 60p recording and 4K 120 burst modes. The update brings many bug fixes and a small update also, check out the full list here.Read more
About two months ago, Convergent Design announced a significant price drop on their popular Odyssey 7Q+ recorder. A couple of weeks later and it seems it is time to administer the same treatment to their flagship product, the Apollo. All new Apollos ship with a 256GB SSD included Just another price drop We live in exciting times! Over the last few months, the ability to record with the full potential of your given camera with the help of an external recorder became much more accessible thanks to some generous price drops. Just a month ago, Atomos announced a $500 drop on their Shogun lineup of monitors/recorders. Two weeks earlier, Convergent Design announced a similar price reduction for their Odyssey 7Q+ monitor / recorder. Now, they’ve done it again: for a limited time (until Midnight MST April 30, 2016 to be precise) they are offering a $1,000 saving on their flagship recorder, the Apollo. The recent price drop of $500 on the Odyssey 7Q+ is still in place as you can see in the chart above. The way things stand at the moment To summarize the various price drops of recent times I created a comparison chart for your convenience. It only lists the high-end models of the two major manufacturers, Convergent Design and Atomos. Prices valid as of April 6th, 2016 Note that Convergent Design adds a free 256GB SSD with their Apollo and Odyssey, that’s $249 additional value. Of course, this chart is just a brief reference. You’ll need to compare the different products closely in order to make a reasonable decision. It seems that there is a lot of competition going on between the two companies and this is a bonus for us — their loyal customers. Maybe we will see a completely new product from Convergent Design for this years NAB which will aim to stand toe-to-toe with the newly released Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame monitors/recorders by Atomos. The new HDR feature of their lineup is a very unique and promising tool in order to use these recorders for what they were created: working in the field with all the vexations like direct sunlight, dust, rough handling and so on. Right now, the pricetags of the Atomos lineup are very competitive and so are the specs. On the other hand, the Apollo (and the Apollo option for Odyssey) and its ability to record up to four streams of HD simultaneously is a unique feature on its own. In the end, you’ll have to decide which piece of gear fits best with your given application. For the full press release, check out their NAB special on their website.Read more
Convergent Design must have been paying attention with regards to public opinion of their update policy. Today, they’ve announced a major firmware update for their whole line of monitors/recorders: The Odyssey 7Q / 7Q+ as well as the Apollo. Alright, that’s a lot of nerdy tech talk in the headline. Let’s dive straight in: The so-called 2016.01 update brings numerous new and unique features to all three monitors/recorders. First of all, it allows dual 4K or UltraHD recording with the Apollo. The 7Q and 7Q+ need the (paid) Apollo upgrade to support that feature. As both the Apollo and the Odyssey 7Q+ are equipped with 6G SDI inputs on the hardware side, it’s now possible to use the HDMI connector as a 4K input, as well as the SDI A and SDI B connectors as a single 6G input for 4K or UltraHD Video. For example, you could feed the recorder with one of your 4K streams over HDMI while connecting the second source over the SDI A input. The 6G SDI interface is supported by some Blackmagic Design cameras, like the URSA mini. If you are using the Odyssey 7Q, you still can record dual 4K or UltraHD, but as the 7Q only sports 3G SDI inputs, you will need to use a dual link 3G SDI connection. Use SDI A and SDI B for your first source of 4K video and the SDI C and SDI D Inputs for your second source. In both cases, the available recording formats are 23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps, 29.97 fps or 30 fps. If you aren’t a proud owner of the Apollo or one of the Apollo upgrades for the Odyssey range of recorders, there is still something to announce! With the new firmware update, the 7Q and 7Q+ recorders are now capable of recording a single stream of 4K video @ 50fps / 59.94 fps / 60 fps over quad-link SDI. Again, there is no need for an Apollo or the Apollo upgrade for the other recorders to enable this new feature. Nice! The only thing is, you’ll need a camera that supports video output over quad-link 3G SDI, such as the Sony F55 or the Panasonic Varicam35 (you are familiar with the menu already, am I right?). Next up, the Apollo and Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ with Apollo upgrade are now capable of recording four 1080p streams @ 50 fps / 60fps at the same time. Also, the developers tweaked some requested features such as switching between the different streams while recording and they improved the workflow while in ‘live switch’ mode, as well. Now, the previous program channel becomes the preview channel automatically, so you just need one tap to switch between two often used streams. Check the video below for all the details regarding the 2016.01 Odyssey and Apollo firmware update. It’s about to be released, check the convergent design’s upgrade site to download. That’s a lot of stuff for a free update, and it’s really nice to see how Convergent Design is improving their range of monitors/recorders. Maybe Atomos has become a role model for that kind of policy? As I covered the recent price drop for the Odyssey 7Q+, I mentioned the different approaches of both companies regarding firmware updates. With this update, convergent design might have changed their mind a bit which would be great for their customers. Still, they offer paid stuff like the Apollo upgrade or the RAW bundle upgrade but with this firmware feature boost, there is a better balance between paid and free upgrades, I think. EDIT: Convergent Design just contacted us in order to clarify their update strategy. They are pointing out that they have delivered several firmware updates over the past years, all free of charge. Every update included new or improved functions for their Odyssey line of monitors/recorders. Some of the added features were responses to requested features, some contained brand new functionalities. I appreciate the heads up and I apologize for any confusion. So, the race is on! What do you think the next move from Atomos headquarters should be?Read more
Convergent Design has announced an interesting new recorder that offers a very compact solution to multicam recording workflows. The Apollo takes the same form factor as the popular Odyssey 7Q and 7Q+, offering up to 4 channels of recording from 4 separate sources, with a final 5th channel as a multicam TX or quad recording. This will condense a lot of multicam users hardware. The Apollo is a switcher, ISO and TX recorder; it has the ability to record up to 4 ISO (isolated camera) channels, switch between the 4 as well as recording to a final channel TX (transmission record) or a quad-split reference view. You’d be forgiven for mistaking it for the Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ recorder, the Apollo uses a similar 7.7″ OLED touchscreen display, dual proprietary SSDs and a host of camcorder battery plates as well as an AC adaptor; all these features contribute to keeping the form factor small and compact. Here’s from the Convergent Design press release, bold highlights by me: “Field producers can take it on location, record from any four HD cameras, view a quad-split playback on the way home and drop all four cameras in perfect sync into a single timeline to dive immediately into an edit. Reality programs shot in cramped cars with tiny cameras can slip Apollo in the glove box or under a seat. A concert performance can be captured by recording four camera ISOs along with recording a Line Cut that can also be sent to a large live display at the venue. Live-streamed events can be covered with four-camera switching without having to bring in a large flypack. Apollo can also be used as a secondary recorder/monitor; using our battery & wireless video receiver bracket makes for a great handheld Director’s Monitor. And Apollo’s advanced built-in Image Analysis tools can be used to match the cameras during setup. Apollo addresses many modern multicamera field production needs in a single 1” thick device.” Good new for Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ owners also, around the same time of release you’ll be able to pay for an upgrade that will enable you 7Q/7Q+ recorders to have the same multicam features of the Apollo. Doing a lot of work in Live Events in the past I can see great use of the Convergent Design Apollo in multicam scenarios. It maybe considered one of those nervy steps where you’re putting all your faith in one piece of hardware (ISO, TX and switcher). However you usually always have in-camera recording too that can serve as your backup; the Apollo has a feature enabled where it will keep recording other channels even if one drops out. Post work time can be reduced. Not only will you be supplied with a ProRes TX recording but also a multicam sequence synced and ready for editing can be supplied via an XML EDL file. I question its use as a functional mixer; cutting critically between shots is never ideal as a touchscreen interface. Not a lot of information is in the press release discussing this feature, however a second quarter 2016 update brings a “Remote keyboard control pad” which I hope is a form of hardware that links to the Apollo to offer physical buttons for mixing. Speaking of future updates, the Apollo will be 4K enabled up to 2 channels of recording early next year, as well Avid DNxHD support and Cascade Interconnect, linking up to 3 Apollos for 12 channel HD/6 channel 4K workflows. Specifications for the Convergent Design Apollo Recording HD video recording, up to four signals simultaneously 1080p24 / 1080p30 / 1080i60 / 720p60 (60hz territories) 1080p25 / 1080i50/720p50 (50hz territories) Apple ProRes HQ/422/LT Record four HD signals and one quad-split view Record four HD signals and one live switch Up to four SDI inputs or three SDI & one HDMI Embedded audio or analog input Loss of any signal does not interrupt recording of other channels Apollo Media Manager App outputs four separate files or one master multi-camera QuickTime for simplified post Dual SSDs allow spanning (long record time) or mirroring (simultaneous backup) 3.5 hours recording time at highest quality [2TB of 4x HD signals & live switch, 1080p30, Apple ProRes 422(HQ); 8.5 hours in Apple ProRes 422(LT)] Switching/Monitoring No Genlock required Touchscreen interface Monitor outputs for switched or quad view Two SDI outputs, one HDMI output Preset or Custom Monitoring LUTs Image Analysis tools: False Color, Focus Assist, Histogram, Pixel Zoom, Spot Meter, Vectorscope, Waveform, and Zebra 7.7” OLED panel for true blacks and accurate colors Other 7.9”x6.1”x1” / 20×15.5×2.5 cm 1.2lbs. / 560g Under 20w power draw, 6.5-34v with battery mounts available Two 2.5” SSD slots (Convergent Design SSDs or qualified 3rd party models) Magnesium case / Gorilla Glass cover / stick-on/peel-off screen protector No fans or vents The Convergent Design Apollo should start shipping December this year. The manufacturer’s list price is $3995, which includes an SSD to USB3 adapter, 5-pack of SSD mounting handles and a universal AC power supply. Owners of the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q and 7Q+ will be able to purchase an Apollo Option for their devices as an upgrade for $1795.Read more
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