Initial statement: We’re not getting paid for writing this. We just want to share some thoughts with you. If you find this review more or less useful, please do not hesitate to share it. We’ll be more than happy to read some feedback from you. That being said, let’s begin.
Exactly three years later, after months of shooting, hours of editing, some more or less successful firmware updates, is the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ still that good?
TL;DR: Yes it is, and let us tell you why.
Is it 2018 ready?
The industry has come a long way since 2014 when Sony NEX-FS700 was first introduced. Six years in video and technology industry is like an epoch compared to other branches. We've seen some impressive products from Blackmagic Design with URSA Mini Pro, Sony with NEX-FS7 (the successor to FS700), Panasonic with EVA1 or Kinefinity with TERRA 4K Cine Camera capable of doing things the old NEX-FS700 can't do.
So why do we stick with it while there are many better devices on the market? The answer is simple – Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+.
If you add 7Q+ to FS700's 4K sensor you get a modern device capable of doing amazing things. For example 240fps in 2K which is perfect for all our needs. The main platform for publishing our stories is Youtube (or Vimeo). Our Clients usually choose 1080p as their preferred resolution. Odyssey's 2K slow motion gives us some margin while 4K 60p gives us lots of framing possibilities.
Yes, there are a few. The first inconvenience is the energy demand of 7Q+. It requires a lot of power and quickly drains our batteries. It is easily fixed by buying higher capacity batteries.
The second flaw was more serious. There was bug which ruined some of our footage while we were working on the Shaguar project. A firmware bug which caused the unit to put random artifacts on the compressed footage. It was fixed 3 months later with an update.
But will it last?
Convergent Design keeps updating the firmware of the unit, fixes some errors and adds new features.
FS700R ended its life and isn't supported by Sony anymore. It has a great sensor, neatly packed in a bit bulky body, capable of doing many things with an external recorder. We even decided to abandon Canon ecosystem and now we stick with Sony cameras.
So is the whole set future proof?
It is, for a while. The set is bulky, heavy, doesn't have IBIS (or any other internal image stabilization). It covers a lot of needs, delivers beautiful, flat image, superb slow motion and a great codec. Convergent Design has given FS700R a second or even a third life. Odyssey 7Q+ is a perfect extension and a both a great recorder and a neat OLED monitor.
We've expanded our setup and added two more cameras – Panasonic GH5 and Sony A7RIII. Both give us extreme versatility and mobility along with Zhiyun Crane stabilizer.
You can expect our review after fully exploring their possibilities. Meanwhile please don't hesitate to follow us on Instagram and show some love if you like what we're doing. Peace!