With the surge in digital photography, one of the items that has fallen out of use (especially in the wedding photography community) is the light meter. Why? Well, when you are starting out as a professional photographer it may seem like a luxury to dish out a few hundred bucks on a light meter when you can just take a few dozen ‘test’ shots on your DSLR and/or ‘fix’ the exposure in post production.
But what if you want better results straight out of the camera? Having an in-depth understanding of how your camera ‘sees’ and evaluates light in a given situation can help a great deal – and that is a topic for another blog post. Soon, I promise! However, no matter how advanced the camera system and the built-in meter, it still depends on light reflected off of your subject and it can be fooled depending on the situation. This is where an incident light meter can help. You don’t want to drop a few hundred bucks on one? How about $35? That sounds better? Well, let me introduce you to the Luxi Light Meter for iPhone by Extrasensory Devices..
The Luxi is a small white plastic diffusion dome that fits over your iPhone’s front-facing camera. It is held on via friction (pretty well, I might add – just be careful you don’t yank it off because you can scratch your phone).
So how does the Luxi perform? Well, for a $35 light meter – a lot better than you might expect! Obviously, this sort of device is limited in its accuracy since it is only as sensitive as the camera on your phone. That being said, the performance is impressive, especially considering the price point.
The device is very small, meaning it won’t take up much room at all in your camera bag, and it comes with a loop to affix to a lanyard. After sliding it on your iPhone 4 / 4s / 5 / 5s – open your light metering app. You can use the free Luxi app by Extrasensory Devices (the makers of the Luxi) or