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FS700 4K Odyssey 7Q Raw test

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It looks like camera technology is finally starting to catch up with the demands of professionals and consumers for those in the large sensor market. For many years we have had to battle with lens adaptors and DSLR cameras to get the filmic look, but now things are starting to look better with the introduction of cameras from the likes of Black Magic, Sony and Canon in recent months.

One of the cameras I own myself is the Sony FS700. It’s a great camera for my needs because it shoots super slow motion, is lighter than an Sony F5, and also had the promise of 4k recording when launched. Sony solution to the 4k though was a bit ridiculous. The R5 recorder add-on was a bit of a joke, turing the camera into a huge monster.

Compressed frame grab

Compressed frame grab

Along comes Convergent Design with their Odyssey 7Q which promised to capture 2k raw output from the FS700. It’s only in recent weeks that I acquired the 7Q and only had a chance to do a few small test in 2k but I had to say I was a bit disappointed with the results. There were quite a few bugs to be ironed out.

Just this week Convergent Design released their firmware update to the 7Q which now gives it the ability to record 4k Raw and 1080p 10bit 4.2.2. ProRes sampled from 4k. I have since carried out a few tests in both of these modes and I have to say the results are breathtaking. Previous external recorders I have used have given very little difference in image quality, but there is a very noticeable difference in the 4k to 1080p recording compared to the FS700’s internal 1080p.

Test clip below recorded in 4k Raw, transcoded to ProRes 4444 in DaVinci Resolve.


4k raw is just incredible. The image is so sharp and clean. I seemed to have problems with noisy blacks before the firmware update, but they seem to be much better now. The very little testing I have done in 4k mode has borough me to some conclusions though… I’m going to have to get plenty of fast storage and processing power for the images.

A small 25 second clip too up around 12GB of SSD space. The footage is going to eat up a lot of hard drive space. On productions where you need the highest quality it is worth it though. You only need to look at one of the Raw frames to see the detail. It’s definitely possible to pull printable still from the video you shoot.

Parrot Raw DNG 4k sample frame (18192)


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