Jul 10, 2013
As an amateur film photographer I am astonished when my camera-savvy grandfather tells me that he used to just know the correct aperture and shutter speed for any situation. Light meters are the obvious solution to this, but they are really a pain to drag around and, for a quality item, can be well over $100. For the past few months I have been using various light metering mobile apps, but these obviously have their shortcomings and are not incredibly versatile. Also, they work using reflected light instead of the preferable incident lighting. Honestly, I was smitten immediately by Lumu, today’s KickStarter Spotlight, which solves all of these problems and delivers a tiny, powerful, and accurate mobile light meter.
So what makes a good light meter? Accuracy? Well Lumu is accurate up to +/- 0.1EV and can measure light from -4 to 20 EV or .15 – 250,000 lux. Okay, well how about usability? Lumu hits this ball out of the park, even including a custom made font to add a touch of class to their powerful Android and iOS app. Said app boasts an impressive bevy of features that are not limited to just photography. These include the standard exposure, aperture, and ISO, but add the ability to find the average value and contrast differences between multiple images as well as shutter angle and FPS time value for filmmakers. As I mentioned earlier, the app looks great and I have no doubts that it will be a total pleasure to use. But what about portability? Lumu is so small and understated that it borders absurdity. Coming with the appropriately titled Lumuneck, the quarter-sized Lumu and its headphone jack plug into a small necklace and the whole thing becomes a fashionable way to transport a full fledged light meter.
In short, I think I have shown my unrestrained love for this product. My only reservation is the price; with early-bird spots discounted to $79 and retail price probably at $99, the Lumu light meter is not as inexpensive as its size would suggest. This is partially due to the incredibly sensitive light sensor, but I still see this as turning off some of its core audience; namely those on a budget who want a quick and easy way to get exposure reading. But, all that aside, the project is great, and its funding has exceeded expectations literally tenfold. So, maybe this one doesn’t need the collective help from the internet, but it is still worth a look nonetheless.