I have never owned a light meter though I owned my first camera 20 years ago. It is a Canon EOS 500. It was once the lightest SLR camera at that time. It is an automatic camera doing everything for me. I am still very happy with the metering. After I migrated to fully digital, the metering issue has never bordered me.
Recently, the idea of having a light meter has come back to me. This gadget may help improving my pictures’ quality.
Before I invested in a physical light meter, I found there were a couple of free light meter apps in the iOS market. I gave them a try.
The colorful model is . . .
Let’s start with the GF Meter
There are many buttons on the UI. It took me some time to figure out how to do the metering. The descriptions in the scrolling menu is not helpful at all. The words are just too long to show on the phone screen. Eventually, I found that I need to click on the sun icon and take a picture of the object to get the metering done. The app then suggested an exposure of 1/30s and it gave an awkward description of “Campfires. Interiors with bright florescence lights.” It made no sense to me.
The second candidate is Light Meter.
The third one is also called Light Meter. Users can select the spot to measure the exposure. I like this feature.
Its scrolling setting of time, aperture and ISO is intuitive. It gives the estimate of 1/50s exposure.
The last one is the classic looking myLightMeter.
It has only one button at the bottom. The “window” at the center of the screen is where the object to be measured. One thing I like most is it gives the exposures from F1.4 to F22 on the same screen. It is how a light meter is supposed to work. In this test, the measured exposure is 1/60s.
Among the four candidates, one gives 1/30s, one gives 1/50s, and two give 1/60s.
The pictures taken by Canon 40D . .
Here comes the pictures taken by Fujifilm X10.
From the pictures of both cameras, the optimum exposure should be 1/60s.
Among the four, I prefer myLightMeter.