How the FS700 with Odyssey7Q changed how I make films

Josh Becker Sony FS700 + Odssey 7Q

Josh Becker is a DOP and animator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a regular contributor to the CrumpleBlog. Check out Josh at and facebook.

As a freelancer, I tend to wear a lot of hats. One day it’s a web video that will be compressed online, the next it’s documentary that needs to meet broadcast spec, and another it’s a stylized product shot that requires a high frame rate with RAW quality. While there are some great cameras in the sub-$15000 price range, I’m not aware of any camera rigs under $35,000 that can accomplish what the FS700+7Q combination is pulling off.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the FS700, Sony’s mighty sub-$8000 camera that put slow-motion capabilities in the hands of the everyman. Released in the summer of 2012, the camera was equipped with a 4K sensor but was limited to capturing 1080p AVCHD to an SD card or a Sony Flash Memory Unit, with frame rates up to 240fps. Of course, the high frame-rates also came with a “gotcha”: an 8-second limit, due to the camera’s internal buffer that holds the footage before writing it to the SD card or FMU.

Fast forward to November 2013. Convergent Design had announced the Odyssey7Q monitor/recorder earlier that year and after some manufacturing setbacks, units were finally trickling in to dealers. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an Odyssey7Q in early December, so I have watched this baby learn to crawl and now finally begin to stand.

The Odyssey7Q, to get the most out of the FS700, requires the FS700 to have firmware v3.0, which comes with the FS700R model or can be added by sending an older FS700 to Sony and paying an upgrade fee. This enables full functionality of the camera’s 4K sensor and RAW output from the 3G-SDI port, unlocking a whole slew of capabilities.

Forget What You Knew About the FS700


It’s a brand new camera. Sure, it’s the same FS700 you’ve seen in the hands of action-sports shooters or on indie music video sets but what’s happening under the hood, specifically in the guts behind that beautiful 7.7-inch OLED screen of the Odyssey7Q, is all new.

The FS700 sends the following RAW signals:

  • 4K RAW at 24/30/60fps, 120fps 3.6-second burst mode
  • 2K RAW at 24/30/60/120/240fps

In addition to capturing all of these signals, the Odyssey7Q has the ability to receive the FS700’s 4K RAW signal and compress it to an amazing 10-bit 1080p ProRes HQ file, which is virtually free of any aliasing and moiré. More specifically, it clears up a really ugly issue that the FS700 had when recording internally with AVCHD, check out the left edge of the water being poured. A picture is worth a thousand words:


Hands On

Over the last 8 months, I’ve used the Odyssey7Q in a lot of shooting environments and conditions. From the sub-zero temperatures of the Minnesotan tundra to Dominica’s 16-mile Boiling Lake hike. Since the day my Odyssey7Q arrived, I have rarely shot without it.

To begin, the Odyssey7Q has an outstanding 7.7-inch OLED monitor built into it. The capacitive touch screen allows you to toggle focus enhancement tools, waveform monitors and histograms, and exposure tools. In the past several months, aside from a few specific instances, I’ve set aside my Alphatron EVF in favor of viewing from the Odyssey7Q monitor. Part of that is due to the fact that the monitor will need to be attached regardless, the other is due to how Odyssey7Q exposure/focus tools make shooting so much easier.

Now for some drawbacks: I tend to treat the FS700+7Q as a single unit, in my mind. But the reality is that you’re using two devices to capture your image. That’s two menu systems to figure out, two batteries to go dead, two sets of preferences/settings to keep an eye on. If you want to switch from “4K to HD” shooting to 2K 240fps RAW mode, you have to not only change the mode on the FS700, but you will need to navigate a few layers deep in the Odyssey7Q settings menu to put it into RAW mode.

Now, the FS700 isn’t up for any awards in ergonomic excellence and unfortunately the Odyssey7Q won’t change that. While the Odyssey7Q is smaller than the official Sony RAW capture solution, it still adds some bulk to the already awkward FS700.

Putting It to the Test

Here are a couple of projects I was the DP on, where we used the FS700+7Q combination. First, is project I shot on the island of Dominica, where I was constantly shuffling through different modes to shoot 4K RAW, 2K RAW, and 1080p ProRes, depending on what we were trying to capture.

Another recent project was shot completely with RAW, the first installment of a three-part ode to summer titled, “JUNE.”

Sony’s Swiss Army Knife

I guess what it comes down to for me, as an owner/operator, is having a weapon in your arsenal that can adapt to nearly every situation you throw at it. Just as I may need to rent or borrow a power tool for a special DIY project, I may need to rent special cameras or gear for a shoot. But having that perfect set of tools on hand that will accomplish 99% of your tasks can be a huge advantage. I checked out my FS700’s “operation time” clock, and had I been renting my FS700 instead of owning it, the usage time would have been roughly $23,000 in camera rental costs alone. Considering that a portion of those hours were racked up from people renting the camera from me, I would say that the camera has well paid for itself.

After months of using the FS700+7Q, I’m confident that it can handle essentially any shoot I throw at it.

Odyssey7Q Firmware Update – 4K RAW 120FPS Burst

This week, Convergent Design released the latest firmware (v. 2.10.141) for the Odyssey7Q monitor/recorder. Among many new features, Sony FS700 users were given a nice surprise: The ability to capture a 3.7-second burst of 120 frames per second in beautiful 4K RAW.

From the Odyssey7Q, you end up with a folder containing 440 CinemaDNG files. Played back at 23.976fps, that’s slightly over 18 seconds of smooth 4K.

The Return of End Trigger

A detail worth mentioning is that this is the only mode of capturing FS700 RAW with the Odyssey7Q that can use the “End Trigger” activation. For those who are unfamiliar: End Trigger mode constantly rolls footage to a buffer inside the FS700 and pressing the record button will actually capture the 3.7-second window that occurred before you pressed record. To many, this feels like some sort of witchcraft time travel. It is great for unpredictable events, maybe you are waiting for a bird to fly away. Rather than rolling for several minutes, you can simply hit the record button the moment after the bird flies away.

On the Odyssey7Q, RAW slow motion was a double-edged sword. You had the range and quality of RAW plus the ability to record until your SSDs were brimming with footage, but without end trigger you could end up rolling footage for several minutes before those birds flew away. If you aren’t rolling while it happens, you won’t get the shot. And when 1TB is a measly 20 minutes of 240fps, you could be in for a data management nightmare.

The new 4K 120fps burst helps bridge the tradeoff that was common before: resolution vs. frame rate. Prior to this firmware release, increasing the resolution from 2K to 4K resulted in a drop of maximum fps from 240fps to 60fps. Now, although only for a 3.7-second window, there is a new sweet spot for getting full 4K resolution with a taste of that addictive slow motion. And think of all the storage saved!

The Birds and the Bees (plus BBQ and Basketball)

I took the new firmware out for a spin and grabbed a couple quick shots using the 4K 120fps burst. Nothing fantastic, just a few situations where you may want the extra resolution of 4K, the safety of End Trigger, and a touch of that sweet, sweet slomo. I settled on four shots: A bird grabbing some take-out, a bee in my yard, firing up some charcoal, and sinking a two-pointer.

And rather than cutting down each shot to the “good” sections, I opted to leave all 440 frames in, to illustrate exactly how long of a shot you end up with while using the 4K RAW 120fps burst. The basketball shot is only 220 frames, as it was shot using End Trigger Half mode (only fills half of the buffer).

Here is a preview on Vimeo:

Below, I’ve rendered out ProRes HQ files, processed as BMD Film (flat) through DaVinci Resolve. Regarding the RAW files: each burst of 4K 120fps ends up as a 5.91GB folder. I’m not currently planning on uploading the RAW files because that’s pretty chunky.

ProRes HQ – Bird 1.76 GB

ProRes HQ – Bee 1.61 GB

ProRes HQ – BBQ 1.74 GB

ProRes HQ – Basketball 931 MB

(NOTE: Clips are for testing/educational use only.)

FS700+7Q and The Future

With each firmware released for the Odyssey7Q, more power is unlocked from the FS700. With this combination, we can now capture 4K RAW at 24/30/60/120 frames per second (120fps limited to burst mode) and 2K RAW at 24/30/60/120/240 frames per second. In addition to RAW, the Odyssey7Q has the power to take in the 4K RAW signal and use all of that information to create an incredible 10-bit 1080p ProRes HQ files that has virtually no aliasing or moiré, up to 30fps.

Future firmware updates will include 4K ProRes, freeing us from the massive file sizes required of the RAW DNG files. We also have custom LUTs to look forward to, as well as 10-bit 1080p ProRes HQ up to 60fps.

I’m excited to see the future development of the Odyssey7Q and utilizing all of the power that it has unlocked from this camera. Thanks to the whole Convergent Design team for creating such a great device. I know I’ve given Mitch and Andy at CD an earful in the past regarding features, bugs, and updates, but without the hard work of them and their whole team, these capabilities would have never been unlocked.

Josh Becker is a Director of Photography and animator located in Minneapolis, MN. Check out Josh at and facebook.

31 Comments. Leave new

John Fishback
July 24, 2014 5:41 pm

Beautiful, stunning imagery. I’m curious what lenses you use with the FS700.


Hey John, I use a variety of Nikon-mount lenses. Currently, I use:

17-55mm f/2.8
24-70mm f/2.8
80-200mm f/2.8


11-16mm f/2.8
100mm Macro f/2.8


24mm T1.5
35mm T1.5

Zeiss ZF2:

50mm f/1.4
85mm f/1.4


Thanks for sharing your feedback Josh, can’t wait to test out my 7Q ! regards.


Wondering if you have tried Motion’s Optical Flow or Twixtor to double or quadruple your 4K 120 frame rates, and was the quality better than using 2K 240fps ?


Hey Rick, I haven’t tried that yet. Maybe I’ll give it a go and post the results. Although I know there are a lot of factors that can effect the quality of how Twixtor performs, it can be a bit hit-or-miss.


Doubling 120fps with Twixtor or Optical Flow will never yield beter results than shooting 240fps. If everything is perfect it can maybe match the real thing.


For the slow motion effect, yes, 2K 240fps is much better. But this 120fps mode is 4K, not 2K. So you have a significant increase in resolution. On top of that, you’re reading every pixel off the sensor, where the 2K 240fps mode is line-skipping, which results in aliasing/moiré. 4K is very clean and free of these image issues.


The wide, non 16×9 footage looks awesome. Did you use anamorphic lenses ?


Thanks! I haven’t used any anamorphic lenses on this setup. The Dominica video was simply a 2.39:1 crop.


Great article.

Roman Matysek
July 27, 2014 6:07 pm

I would like to ask abou the display lag of the Odyssey. Does it suffer of any picture delay compared to FS700’s “internal” display? I had an Alphatron Retina EVF and it suffered with 2-3 frames lag. Cineroid Retina has less than one frame. Thats great. Thank you for answer.


Hey Roman, yes, unfortunately there is a little bit of lag on the Odyssey7Q. Interesting that you say the Cineroid only has one frame of lag, I haven’t tried it myself so I always attributed the lag to a fault of the FS700 (I experienced it with HDMI with the Zacuto EVF, and SDI with my Alphatron and Odyssey7Q). In fact, I recently ran into an issue where I was jamming timecode into the LTC IN on the Odyssey7Q, but the timecode saved in the clip’s metadata was three frames behind the visual timecode on our slate, due to this lag. Basically, the LTC IN was “instant” (coming from a timecode box) but the visual frame was lagged. You can see here what I’m talking about here. Talking to Convergent Design, they may build in a timecode offset to correct this… of course that doesn’t fix the fact that there is lag to begin with.


Amazing article Josh! Thanks for putting this together and really impressive work.



Great article – thanks for posting!


thanks for this great article Josh. Love your works with the Odyssey. Could you explain the RAW workflow you used for those stunning footages?. Thanks again.


just wanna ask about HD recording
1. how about the recording 200fps/25p in the Odessey 7Q? Is it longer than the 2K Raw?
2. can it recording simultaneously to the SD card & the 7Q


Hey Josh, Awesome work! Thanks for the article. Been stuck between the c100mk2 and the fs700 for an upcoming indie feature, and you may have just been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Any additional thoughts since last go round? Cheers, Sebastian


Do you need to upgrade the fs700(4k firmware) in order to shoot with the 7Q in raw? Or you can just plug the 7Q to the fs700 and shoot RAW 4k? Thanks!


The FS700 must have v3.0 or higher firmware (this comes standard on “FS700R” models). You also have to purchase the FS RAW codec from Convergent Design for $795.

Travis Johansen - Minneapolis, MN
January 17, 2015 9:35 pm

Great write up Josh! It’s crazy seeing how much of an improvement the FS700 gets in terms of sharpness and resolution with just the 7Q which arguably would be a necessary accessory (a screen) for the camera anyways.
The majority of “camera reviews” that show amazing work I just attribute to the crazy accessories, crew, location, and of course filmmakers talent – your work definitely has all of those elements covered – but I still find it inspiring that it doesn’t look like you necessarily have the giant crews and uber tricked out setups. It’s cool to see you aren’t using Cineprimes or other $$$$ glass.

Travis Johansen


Thankyou so much really interesting. I have the FS700 without firmware update and I am really looking hard at the upgrade to to the new Sony PWX- F7K . My camera is less than 3 years old cost 10k probably get 5.5 to 6k second hand is it worth spending the extra 4k AUS $ to get the new camera. Which shoots 4k internally plus a bunch of other improvements. ? Considering I have to purchase the FS RAW codec from Convergent Design for $795 and Odessey Q7 $1,695 (APX $3,000 AUS$) I would appreciate your thoughts , plus have you tested out the new Sony 28-135 cine lens , it’s really attractive to me considering the sony 18-200 has no zoom control , I really miss that as when using the canon lens and I don’t use my EVF I get some out of focus vision . I know the Q7 will help greatly in that but I shoot a lot of action sports and can see myself not fitting it and a lot of my subjects are constantly moving.


Hey Josh. Great work! Curious what hood you’re using with the 7Q for outdoor sun.
The snow board shot at the top of the page is what I’m referring to. Looks like a great solution.

Josh Becker
March 3, 2015 6:31 pm

Hey James, thanks! The hood I had been using is the Odyssey7Q hood+fabric from The longer hood option is nice because it could wrap all the way around the Odyssey (instead of just top and sides). I have also used the Hoodman hood, which I like quite a bit. I stopped using the Westside AV hood because it didn’t fit around the cage I bought for my Odyssey. The Hoodman fits around the cage since it uses adjustable straps and primarily just rests on the edges of the screen (it doesn’t need to bolt to the sides like the Westside AV hood). But both are nice for different reasons. Good luck on the search!

Justin Liddell
May 15, 2015 10:27 pm

I have an FS700R, Sony 28-135 cinema lens and Odyssey 7Q combo. I noticed that there’s a grid in the footage when I shoot in 4k raw and 4k prores towards the sun with a lens flare. I was just wondering if you had the same problem or any fixes for it.

Here’s a link to a couple of screenshots on Dropbox.


Very interesting write-up and beautiful videos!

I am contemplating buying an used FS700 now that the prices are down, and plan to team it with a raw recorder, either an Odyssey or Shogun. I am really mostly interested in shooting raw with the camera, and I plan to use that SlimRaw raw compression software: to cut down on raw data size. It looks like people are using it with fs700 dng raw from the Odyssey 7q. Do you have experience with it, Josh?

I wonder how do you feel about the fs700+Odyssey combo nowadays, a year after writing this post? Would you recommend this combo now?

Jesse Achtenberg
July 15, 2015 9:25 am

Hey Josh – your writeup is one thing that convinced me to get a 7Q for the media office at Peace Corps. I have a question about your rig. Have you found anything that lets you shoulder-hold the 7Q in a comfortable way? What I’d love would be something that can mount the 7Q where a traditional flip-out LCD would go, on the side of the 7Q, and let me hold the FS700’s zoom rocker either as shipped on the right side of the camera, or detached and mounted to a handle. I do tons of run-and-gun and the 7Q on top of the FS700 just doesn’t work well. What do you do? Or do you generally hold the FS700 low as it’s seemingly designed for?

Jesse Achtenberg
July 15, 2015 9:25 am

Sorry – that should say “shoulder-hold the FS700.”

Josh Becker
July 16, 2015 2:49 pm

Hey Jesse, unfortunately there isn’t really much for options of holding the stock FS700 grip… I was never a fan of that thing on the side. Do you have a 15mm rail set for your FS700? If not, I would recommend looking into Zacuto’s universal VCT baseplate. They also sell an FS700 Grip Relocator, that will allow the handle to mount to the 15mm rods on the Universal baseplate. As for the Odyssey, how are you currently mounting it? I’ve mount it in a variety of ways. One easy (and cost-effective) way is to get an accessory arm like this one from SmallRig. One end can go into a cold shoe on the FS700 handle, and the other end into one of the 1/4-20 threaded holes on the sides or back of the Odyssey. And remember, the Odyssey can auto-flip to be used upside down, so you might have to experiment to find what works best for you.

As for how to hold the FS700… I’m kind of all over the place. The parts I mentioned above should work well for shoulder mounting, but there have been several times that I would just cradle the FS700 in my arms like a baby. Or look at the picture on the blog of the snowboarder. I’m actually holding up the FS700 with my left hand on the follow focus and my right hand just gripping around the rosette area where the grip normally attaches. Sometimes you just have to man-handle the thing.

Hope this helps!


Hey Josh,

Really excited to get my fs700 after reading this, and particularly watching your videos, which are amazing. I was just wondering what water housing you used in your ‘Dominica’ video. Really nice results, you’ve got me excited!


Iam amazed what you brought out of your fs700. I am just thinking of getting atomos shogun, as I read bad comments on odyssey (beside the price and getting being outdated) but I love the HFR 4K soo much…:0.
May I ask what waterproof housing you used in Dominica that could contain your oled recorder too?
My biggest issue with fs700 and its internal avchd is the huge amount of noise(!!!) Even in good light, and the bad color reproduction. Do you think its me, the avchd or else? Could you get rid of the massive amount of noises with recording externally?
Thanks you soo much for your answers in advance!


Have you tried the approach of stopping the lens down with changing shutter speed to verify the range of the ND chart?


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