Convergent’s new Apollo: ‘a production studio in the palm of your hand'

Written by RedShark News Staff

Convergent DesignConvergent's new tablet-sized Apollo

According to Convergent Design its new tablet-sized Apollo is the industry’s first genuinely portable HD multicamera recorder/switcher. And it’ll be 4K from next year too.

Apollo certainly packs a lot into a small space and a mere 560g. It’s capable of recording up to four HD video signals simultaneously, along with a fifth channel of either a live-switch between the four or a quad-split reference view. It can also function as a four-channel live switcher while simultaneously recording the four isolated HD video signals, which Convergent says is a unique feature that puts clear blue water between it and other devices of its kind.

It’s powered via a camcorder battery (under 20w power draw, 6.5-34v with battery mounts available), has no fans and vents, and as all cameras stay in sync with matching timecode, all of the multi-camera media can be stored on a single SSD, which should improve turnaround time in post. And further speeding things up, by using the new Apollo Media Manager App recordings can either be exported as separate Apple ProRes files or as a single multi-camera QuickTime file that drops directly into the timeline of supporting NLEs such as Final Cut Pro-X. 

Two SSD slots allow for either twice the record time (which is 3.5 hours at highest quality) or mirror recording for safety backup. And built-in Image Analysis tools can be used to match the cameras during setup. 

It’s looking good for the $3995 unit which is due to ship in December, but wait, as they say, there’ s more. A free firmware update scheduled for Q1 2016 will add two-channel 4K video recording, DNxHD recording, and cascade interconnect between up to three Apollos for up to twelve HD channel or six 4K channel simultaneous recording.

And finally Odyssey7Q and Odyssey7Q+ owners will be able to purchase an Apollo Option for their devices as an upgrade for $1795.

More, including detailed specs, after the break.


Convergent Design Introduces Apollo

The First Truly Portable Multicamera Recorder/Switcher

(Colorado Springs, CO) 10/28/15 – Today Convergent Design announces Apollo, the industry’s first truly portable HD multicamera recorder/switcher.  Apollo can simultaneously record up to four HD video signals, along with a fifth channel of either a live-switch between the four or a quad-split reference view.  Apollo can also function as a four-channel live switcher while simultaneously recording the four isolated HD video signals.  The size of a small tablet and able to run for hours on a camcorder battery, Apollo is truly portable and the only device of its kind that can both record multiple HD camera feeds as well as live-switch between them.  It’s a production studio in the palm of your hand.
All cameras stay in perfect sync with matching timecode.  A single SSD contains all of the multicamera media, dramatically reducing turnaround time for post.  There are two SSD slots on Apollo, allowing for twice the record time or mirror recording for safety backup.  Apollo utilizes industry-standard 2.5” SSD media, either manufactured by Convergent Design or qualified 3rd party models.

“Apollo is designed to answer many modern production needs.”

Using the new Apollo Media Manager App, recordings can be exported as separate Apple ProRes files or as a single multicamera QuickTime file that drops directly into the timeline of supporting NLEs such as Final Cut Pro-X. 
“Apollo is designed to answer many modern production needs.” said Convergent Design President Mike Schell.  “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.”
Additional functions are planned for release in the first quarter of 2016, including two-channel 4K/UHD video recording, DNxHD recording, and cascade interconnect between up to three Apollos for up to twelve HD channel or six 4K/UHD channel simultaneous recording.  These and other additional functions will be made available via a free firmware update.  A remote keypad control unit will be offered along with a rack mount and other accessories.
Apollo is scheduled for release in December 2015.  Manufacturer’s list is $3995, with an SSD to USB3 adapter, a 5-pack of SSD mounting handles, and a universal AC power supply included.  Owners of the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q and Odyssey7Q+ will be able to purchase an Apollo Option for their devices as an upgrade for $1795.

Apollo Features/Specs at a Glance (subject to change, planned for initial release)

Monitor
•  Four HD Streams
•  Switched/Quad View
•  Image Analysis Tools
•  Custom 3D-LUTs
•  SDI and HDMI I/O

Record
•  Apple ProRes
•  4x HD + Quad/Live
•  Single File
•  SSD Media
•  Embedded Audio

Switch
• No Genlock Required
• Touchscreen Interface
• 2x SDI/1x HDMI Output
• XML EDL for Post
• Compact/Lightweight

Play
• Switched/Quad View
• Output to HDMI/SDI
• Intuitive Controls
• Playlist/Scrubbing
• Clip Markers
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 Specs
• 7.9”x6.1”x1” / 20x15.5x2.5 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
Additional features in free firmware update (Early 2016)
• Dual 4K/UHD recording (Apple ProRes in 24p, 25p, 30p)
• DNxHD recording
• Record XML file Edit Decision List from Live Switch
• Remote keyboard control pad
• Audio delay
• On-screen source naming
• Cascade interconnect for 12-channel HD / 6-channel 4K recording

Tags: Production

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