ARRI Orbiter & SkyPanel Tech talk
The ARRI Orbiter was first announced just prior to IBC 2019 in Amsterdam. ARRI has held a Tech talk hosted by the Head of Product Management at ARRI Lighting, Florian Bloch where he talks about the Orbiter in a lot of detail. If you are interested in the Orbiter it is definitely worth a watch.
Florian also talks extensively about the Stella lighting app as well as new accessories for the SkyPanel.
New SkyPanel Accessories
Thee is new SkyPanel accessories including the DoP Choice Eyelight for the Octa 4 softbox. There are also new diffusion strengths available for the Octa 4.
There is also a new double bracket available so you can use two S60-C SkyPanels with the Octa 4.
ARRI has also announced a new B-Mount battery adapter for the SkyPanel lights. B-Mount was developed by ARRI and Bebob. B-Mount is a 24 Volt Battery Mount solution. ARRI is also looking into the feasibility of being able to use two 24 Volt B-Mount batteries so they could power an S60-C or S120-C at full power.
The Orbiter is already available to pre-order, but they aren’t expected to start shipping until Q3 this year.
We covered the Orbiter at IBC and you can see our interview with ARRI above.
Orbiter’s top features are a variety of optics including open face, projection, dome, and light banks, ARRI Spectra six-color wide gamut light engine; extremely powerful output for maximal brightness and perfect colors; the Lighting Operating System (LiOS) with powerful software features; integrated color sensor for matching ambient light; weatherproof housing; a removable, intuitive control panel; perfect smooth dimming to zero; a full suite of connectors and sensors; and an internal power supply, wireless DMX, and battery input. Orbiter’s state-of-the-art technology and versatile design makes it an optimal lamphead for today and for the future, with endless possibilities for updates, configurations, and enhancements.
- Variety of optics including: open face, projection, dome, and softboxes
- ARRI Spectra six-color, wide gamut light engine
- Extremely powerful output for maximal brightness and perfect colors
- Lighting Operating System (LiOS) with powerful software features
- Weatherproof housing
- Integrated color sensor for matching ambient light
- Removable, intuitive control panel Full suite of connectors and sensors
- Perfected smooth dimming to zero
- Internal power supply, wireless DMX, & battery input
With a wide variety of optics to choose from, Orbiter transforms into the versatile light for your application without sacrificing beam, output, or color quality. The Quick Lighting Mount (QLM) in Orbiter allows for optics with vastly different properties to be attached to the fixture.
The high-output, directional beam of the open face optic is ideal for throwing light long distances. The high precision of the projection optics creates a perfect circle of light that can be shaped with cutters, focus, and gobos. The dome optic provides omnidirectional, soft light, great for illuminating large spaces, and a universal QLM adapter creates a direct mounting point for Orbiter-specific Chimera and DoPchoice products. With versatility built-in.
ARRI Spectra six-color LED light engine
Orbiter’s processor is four times faster than the SkyPanel with 125 times more memory, setting the stage for extensive software features and updates in the future.
Including a red, green, blue, amber, cyan, and lime LED, the ARRI Spectra six-color light engine translates into a wider color gamut, more accurate colors, and most importantly, higher color rendition across the entire CCT range. Skin tones look natural, and hues are precisely reproduced. Orbiter has a larger CCT range of 2,000 to 20,000 K with ultra-high color rendition across all color temperatures. Using a combination of three dimming techniques, Orbiter’s electronics provide smooth dimming down to zero without color changes or jumps.
Orbiter’s new light engine consists of six different LED colors that perfectly complement each other to achieve outstanding color rendition for every type of camera and the human eye. Compared to SkyPanel or L-Series, the new light engine in Orbiter offers a wider color range (ie. color space) with double the color channels.
The six new LED colors have been selected to create a more continuous spectrum that results in ultra-high values in metrics like CRI, TLCI, or TM30-15.
All individual LED colors are selected by minimum binning variation to achieve a great spectrum and thereby very natural skin tones. ARRI Spectra utilizes a new generation of LEDs which is only available from ARRI.
LiOS – The new Lighting Operating System
Orbiter takes advantage of more than five years of software development from the SkyPanel. Its new software called LiOS (Lighting Operating System) includes all the innovative features of the SkyPanel plus others.
LiOS’s eight-color modes include CCT, HSI, individual color, x/y coordinates, gel and source matching, lighting effects, and the new color sensor mode that measures ambient light and recreates it through Orbiter’s output. Other new features in LiOS include simplified DMX modes, performance-enhancing operational modes, over 240 slots for favorites to be stored, optics recognition, multi-language support, a custom boot screen, and more still to come.
Over 240 favorite colors or lighting effects can be stored in Orbiter. These favorites can be easily selected via an easy to use interface or via DMX.
Orbiter offers three operational modes to optimize the fixture’s performance for different applications. High color rendering mode provides the best color quality possible, high output mode generates the best brightness with slightly lower color rendition, while low noise mode creates a balance for quiet operation with decent output.
Color Sensor Mode
The new Color Sensor Mode in Orbiter will read the ambient color surrounding the fixture and reproduce the color with great accuracy. There are two measurement types: continuous and momentary. Continuous will constantly measure the ambient color and update the light output accordingly. Momentary will only take one measurement of the ambient color with the press of a button. This new color mode is perfect in situations where the light is changing. Orbiter can automatically adjust for color changes without any interaction.
ARRI hasn’t released any photometric data for the Orbiter yet, but they say that the light is an extremely bright and powerful, directional LED fixture with an output similar to that of the corresponding HMI systems. Orbiter’s high, yet tunable, ARRI Spectra light engine output can create hard shadows with defined edges. This revolutionary light engine is 76 times smaller than the L10’s light engine but produces the same power draw and greater output. A dense arrangement of over 190 LEDs gives Orbiter a point source-like aperture while maintaining full-color tunability with a new six-color LED mixture. These cutting-edge LEDs have never been used before in a luminaire and the arrangement creates a homogeneous color-beam field with amazing brightness.
Orbiter includes a lightweight internal power supply and a 3-pin XLR battery input for 48 V batteries. The light draws 400 W Nominal, 500 W Maximum.
Using a combination of three dimming techniques, Orbiter’s cutting-edge electronics provide smooth dimming down to zero without color changes or jumps.
Removable control panel
With a 4” full-color display, quick navigation buttons, and integrated sensors, the Orbiter control panel allows for easy use with a graphic user interface. Simplified menu structure and re-imagined user interfaces provide one-glance operational views and uncluttered screens. This design makes changing the color or finding a setting easier. In addition, the control panel is removable and can be used handheld with the aid of a 5 or 15 m (16.4 or 49.2 ft) control panel cable.
Including a full suite of input and output connectors, Orbiter is prepared for digital communication. Ethernet daisy chaining is now possible with two EtherCON ports supporting Art-Net 4, sACN, and TCP/IP. Two USB-A ports are used for LiOS updates and connection of third-party peripherals such as Wi-Fi USB dongles. LumenRadio’s CRMX solution is included, allowing for wireless DMX. Two 5-pin XLR DMX ports used for conventional DMX & RDM communication in and through, and a 3-pin XLR DC input for 48 V power station. An SD Card slot enables future expansion of the software. Finally, a USB-C port is available for computer communication and servicing.
Full suite of sensors
Included in Orbiter is a color sensor for measuring the ambient light, a 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer for sensing the pan, tilt, roll, and heading of the fixture, heat sensors for keeping the LEDs and electronics at exactly the right temperature, and an ambient light sensor for automatically dimming the control panel display. All these sensors make for a better user experience and increased control over the fixture. Available data improve workflow also in postproduction and service.
Robust, weatherproof housing
The outer design of Orbiter meets the demands of heavy, daily usage. A new weatherproof housing enables outdoor application by using an aluminum cast body with bumpers made of reinforced plastic. The handle makes transport comfortable and allows for handheld operation with very good balance.
Large range of applications
The fixture’s ability to throw light long distances with its open face or projection optics, while at the same time being able to serve as a soft light, brings the flexibility needed on film sets. Orbiter’s projection optic will enable broadcasters to have controlled, high-quality light in the studio, and with its battery power, Orbiter can easily be used on the move. The projection optic is the key feature for the theater and live entertainment market and Orbiter also exceeds expectations for continuous lighting in still photography.
Price & Availability
The accessories are also not cheap. An ARRI Open Face Optics Set 1 for the Orbiter LED Light (30 and 60°) is $1,210 USD and an ARRI Dopchoice Snapbag S For Orbiter is $980 USD.
The light is available in either Blue/White or in Black.
As far as availability is concerned, the first units will start shipping in Q3 this year, but additional mounts and optics won’t be available till early 2021.
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