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Header image for article Unique Features of the ARRI Orbiter

Unique Features of the ARRI Orbiter

ARRI recently announced their extremely bright, versatile new light: The Orbiter. The Orbiter is a tunable, customizable, ultra-bright point light source directional LED. The output of the Orbiter is comparable to corresponding HMI systems. Now that’s a sentence worth repeating: its brightness is comparable to that of an HMI!

In the world of LED fixtures, we really needed a point source LED and ARRI has delivered. The list of capabilities is long in this versatile light as it is essentially one fixture, but with the wide range of optics and accessories available, it can be used for countless applications; that opens the door to wide creative freedom for DPs, directors, gaffers, lighting directors, and even still photographers. This means you can essentially transform it into any type of light without sacrificing beam characteristics, output, or color quality. Virtually every aspect of this light is breaking new ground – and has been carefully designed.

 

Optics

The truly unique part of the Orbiter is its Quick Lighting Mount, which allows you to choose from a variety of optics with completely different properties in order to achieve different qualities of light for different applications, effects, and moods. The mount of the Orbiter has a 5-pin digital 48v interface, as well as a 5-pin Lemo port for future possibilities, in order to drive and recognize all of the different optics. It is a quick attach and turn mechanism similar to a PL mount, so switching between options is extremely fast and toolless. The optional optics are grouped into four categories: open face optics, projection optics, dome optics, and light bank adapter. If you’re looking for a strong point source LED, there are a variety of high output directional beam open-faced optics, including 30, 50, and 60 degree, that will throw light long distances or create a broad light source. Another option is the projection optics series, including three fixed 15, 25, and 35 degree versions with even illumination and color distribution, perfect for situations where you need long throws. Although the Orbiter is a point source light, you can also add three different sizes of Domes (fabric spheres) to create a large soft source. In a few seconds, you have changed the quality of the light from a point source hard light to a soft source. Lastly, the light bank adaptor creates a direct mounting point for standard soft boxes that are already on the market.

 

ARRI Spectra Six Color Light Engine

The Orbiter is a brand new light engine with six channels, including red, green, blue, cyan, amber, and lime. These brand new LEDs are 76x brighter than previous generations, with ultra-high quality color rendition (CRI 99 color matrix) covering 90% of the REC 2020 color spectrum. This means a lot of creative freedom when color correcting, as well as future-proofing for future deliverables. You can even achieve 20% higher output if you step down the color rendition from High Color Rendering Mode to High Output, still with a CRI above 90. With a color temperature range of 2000 to 20,000K, as well as extremely smooth dimming, the dense arrangement of over 190 new generation ARRI-exclusive LEDs is selected in order to achieve the greatest spectrum and as a result, very natural skin tones.

 

Computer with LED Optics

Heard the saying digital cameras are now computers with lenses? This luminaire is essentially an extremely intelligent computer with LEDs and optics. The internal processor, designed from scratch, is four times faster than a SkyPanel and contains 125 times more memory (allowing you to save up to 240 favorites). Its intuitive control screen, LiOS — short for Lighting Operating System — is the software platform for Orbiter and offers many powerful features. In combination with the removable control panel, the LiOS allows the user to intuitively navigate through all modes and settings. Orbiter supports eight color modes:

  • CCT (Correlated Color Temperature)
  • Individual Color (control each of the six LED colors directly)
  • HSI (Hue Saturation Intensity)
  • X, Y coordinates
  • Source Matching
  • Gel Selection
  • Effects Plus
  • A new color sensor mode

Of special note, the new Color Sensor Mode is used to create and match ambient light momentarily or continuously, allowing you to match surrounding ambient light sources. 

 

Mechanical

ARRI seems to have thought of everything, including a smart, portable, weatherproof, and durable build. The Orbiter has a top handle for easy carrying, as well as the option for an ARRI attach/detach quick toolless yoke. There is also a dedicated location for a safety cable with a shock absorber so that any fall that would take place is absorbed and diminished. The unit also has rubber feet in order to minimize footprint. There will be two frames available, one with 4x and one with 6x in order to "gang" together multiple Orbiters into one large source. If you do rig more than one in a mount, the lights can still be controlled individually or together as a group.

All in all, Orbiter's high output and CRI, wide color gamut, range of optics, software, build, and future-conscious features make it extremely versatile for a wide variety of markets and applications. Not to mention a welcome, crucial addition to the LED landscape.

Megan Donnelly
Training Manager, AbelCine CHI

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