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  • What are HMI Lights?Learn about What HMI Lights Are and How to Use Them in Your Film Production

    What are HMI Lights?Learn about What HMI Lights Are and How to Use Them in Your Film Production

      Learn about HMI lights and how to lighten up your video production. HMI Lights There are a variety of different lights that are used in common digital video or film production. To produce the image that you want you have to have the ability to control the light that hits your subjects, at least in part. To do this you will use mainly artificial lights, often in the form of portable lights and kits. You may use softlights for less dramatic images, tungsten balanced fresnels for a warm spot, and reflector cards to guide existing light. On the higher end you are going to have HMI lights, which stands for Halogen Metal Incandescence. In the hierarchy of portable lights HMIs are on the end of the powerful elite. HMI Details HMI lights are generally used when you need a much more dramatic set of lights, which is standard on larger film or commercial sets. They run at Daylight temperature, which gives a much cooler color at around 5600 degrees. These are comparable to things like Fresnel lights, except that they are much more direct and intense. HMI Issues There are two major issues when trying to use HMI lights. […]

  • How to Using HMI Light

    How to Using HMI Light

    HMI technology is not new. Evolved in the late 1960s, a lamp developer Osram began producing HMI bulbs for the film industry. I was immediately hooked on the idea of using a continuous light source that illuminates at day light temperature – 5600 Kelvin like that of an underwater strobe or electronic flash. Bright Watt for watt, Hydragyrum Medium arc – HMI’ lights are two to four times brighter than their tungsten equivalents. Their application has revolutionized the motion picture photography in films such as the Abyss, Titanic and IMAX production of Volcanoes of the Deep Sea. Since no filament is used, HMI lights are much more robust and less sensitive to shock and vibration. Generally the unit uses separate electronic ballast to regulate power input and they are the lights of choice for ROV in deep sea documentary productions. Until the last few years, those used in the movie industry were huge units of 600 watts to 2500 watts requiring surface supplied power thus logistics and the cost of rental precluded the use even by professional underwater photographers. However with the demand of underwater video makers, a few innovative German manufacturers have started to produce units in the range […]

  • Film Video Lighting is Everything

    Film Video Lighting is Everything

    Lighting is everything! Whether it’s natural sunlight, subdued ambience, perfect practicals or complex Hollywood style lighting, the image owes all of its power to light. An expensive but required type of light in most higher-end video production projects is HMI lighting. For pure lumen power, HMI’s are hard to beat. They can be temperamental, flickery and a pain to move but when you need them there is no substitute. HMI’s come in many different types but the main differences come down to a few simple things. Ballasts. Newer, more expensive ballasts are electronic. Older, cheaper ballasts are magnetic. Electronic ballasts are lighter, more energy efficient and can be flicker-free which makes a big difference when using different frame rates. Magnetic ballasts are bigger, heavier, use more power and can lead to big issues when not shooting at 1/48 or 1/60 shutter speeds. The choice is simple if you have the money but magnetic ballasts can work just fine in certain situations. Lens/Globe – The basic two types are Fresnel and Par. Focusable Fresnel heads which provide less punch but an-all-in one unit that are adjustable to a finer degree are good in certain situations where a little less light is […]