There are many 4K recorders on the market, but two recorders/monitors stand out from the rest.
Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ vs Atomos Shogun
Both products are great recorders that will help you get the job done. The deciding factor is what that job requires. These recorders have unique functions that set them apart from each other and with both in similar price ranges, picking which one is right for you may be tricky. Let’s take a look.
Aesthetics and Physical Attributes
The first thing you notice when picking up one of these recorders is that beautiful screen that always seems to put a smile on your face. While the Odyssey 7Q+ does have a slightly larger screen at 7.7”, the resolution of the Shogun’s 7.1” screen is 1920×1200 compared to that of the Odyssey 7Q+ which is 1280×800. On a side note, the Odyssey 7Q+’s screen is OLED to give you great looking true blacks.
Even with the Odyssey 7Q+’s bigger size, its weight is almost identical to that of the Shogun. Plus, the Odyssey 7Q+ is almost half the size in depth (thickness) of the Shogun. After some use we also noticed that the Shogun got noticeably hotter than the Odyssey 7Q+, although that might depend on the SSD (solid state drive) you use with the Shogun. The Shogun does draw less power so you can run for longer periods of time without swapping batteries.
The Odyssey 7Q+ makes it easy to quickly find where all your inputs/outputs and buttons are by the labels on the front of the unit. It is clear to see that the Odyssey 7Q+ has a slight advantage when it comes to physical attributes; however, the Shogun does have some tricks up its sleeves in other aspects.
Recording and Encoding
The Shogun is the clear winner when it comes to audio. It comes with a breakout cable for XLR inputs while the Odyssey 7Q+ only has a 3.5mm jack input. Whether you want good reference audio for editing or just don’t have the resources to record audio separately, the Shogun is perfect for those situations.
Both units record to ProRes; however, Avid DNxHD will be available soon on the Shogun. Currently the Odyssey 7Q+ is the only one out of the two able to interpret raw and record it to Cinema DNG, although you have to purchase raw options separately to have that functionality. The Shogun should be able to also record raw by the end of the second quarter of this year. The Odyssey 7Q+ can also record to uncompressed DPX and is the only one able to record true 4K (4096 x 2160) as opposed to just 4K UHD (3840 x 2160).
One of the most notable differences between the recorders is their number of inputs and outputs. The Shogun has an input and output for both SDI and HDMI. The Odyssey 7Q+ however has 2 SDI inputs and 2 SDI outputs with 2 addition SDI connections that are capable of being inputs or outputs. Essentially you could have 4 outputs or 4 inputs (for multi-camera monitoring). The Odyssey 7Q+ also gives you an HDMI input and output. The Odyssey 7Q+ has a MultiStream mode that allows you to have up to 4 cameras split on its screen with the ability to output to a bigger monitor. Convergent Designs states that there will be a future update to allow you to record 4 HD signals simultaneously or 3 HD signals with live switch right on the recorder.
The Shogun does have one potential advantage with its SDI input. The SDI input is said to be 12G while the Odyssey 7Q+’s inputs are only 3G. With nothing really able to output anything past 6G, the Shogun may be a long term investment should 6G and 12G become popular sometime in the future.
The Odyssey 7Q+ has slots for dual 2.5” SSDs while the Shogun only has one. The one drawback to Odyssey 7Q+’s media capabilities is that it is only rated to work with Convergent Design’s SSDs. The Shogun, on the other hand, is approved to work with multiple SSD manufacturers and even allows for use with HDD and even CFast cards.
Bottom line is that if you have a budget to keep or if simple HD/4K recording is all you are looking for, the Atomos Shogun might be a better buy. If you are working on higher end productions or would like a recorder that you can invest in for the long haul with more features including multiple inputs and outputs, then Odyssey 7Q+ by Convergent Design is what you need. Be aware that Convergent Design also offers 2 other Odyssey 7 models with less features and a smaller price tag.
Both recorders are reliable and will get the job done; it all depends on what you need and your budget.