If you’re a photographer, I’m sure you must have heard about a light meter. For those of you who haven’t, it is used to measure light in order to get the perfect exposure for your pictures. Physical light meter costs a lot and not everyone can afford them. But you can get light meter apps on iOS and Android for a fraction of the cost and carry it in your pocket.
Light Meter Devices (Physical)
Before we begin with the light meter apps, let’s take a quick look at physical devices.
A light meter is a handheld device that reads the light in your surroundings. As I said, it doesn’t come cheap and might be out of budget for many analog photography enthusiasts. Since most of the cameras nowadays have an inbuilt light meter, having an app is simply an add-on. So if you’re into film photography moreover you can afford a light meter device, here are some best-seller light meter devices you can check out.
- Dr.Meter Digital Light Meter ($38.89)
- Sekonic Flashmate Light Meter ($219.00)
- Extech LT40 LED Light Meter ($93.01)
If you’re still pondering over the accuracy of these light meters, let me tell you they work. These apps are used by hundreds of photographers. However, you must note that unlike a device, it might not perform so well in extreme conditions such as a very dimly lit environment. With that being said, let’s move on to light meter apps.
Light Meter Apps
1. Exposure Light Meter
This one is a fairly light app as it’s under 2 MB. You can start measuring as soon as you download Exposure Light Meter. Simply set the ISO (top right) and point towards the subject you wish to capture. The app shows the aperture value and shutter speed according to the current exposure. As you move the camera, you’ll notice the exposure value change at the top of the screen.
There is also a capture button which freezes the screen and captures photo with the current exposure values. This might come in handy if you do not wish to remember the values in your head.
Get Exposure — Light Meter for Android
2. Light Meter
While the previous one was limited to the basic light meter function, this one has more feathers in its hat. You multiple features like camera meter (light reflected from the subject), sensor meter (incident light), manual calculator, white balance meter, etc. In addition, you can also read the EXIF data that is, the ISO, shutter speed, and various other image values.
Remember if you’re uploading the picture online, make sure to remove EXIF data to hide sensitive info such as location, capture date, etc. If you wish to hide elements on the preview screen, you can do that from the preferences tab as well.
Get Light Meter for Android
3. Light Meter
I know it is named exactly the same as the last one. However, there are few differences that may come in handy for both analog and digital photographers. There are three modes in total – Incident which allows you to calculate aperture and shutter speed, EV compensation, and Auto ISO that automatically calculates the best setting for a shutter/aperture combo.
Apart from that, you get additional features that lack in most apps. Some of these features include ND filter (up to 5.0), EV calibration, spot metering, zoom, etc. There’s a live camera mode as well. It’s a premium feature ($1.5/one time) and comes with a 3-day trial.
Get Light Meter for Android
Lightmate has the sleekest interface of all light meter apps so much so that it’ll nudge you to use it more. The settings are more or less similar to other apps. You can choose the ISO and shutter values as per your camera specs. The app has two modes which are aperture and shutter priority mode. You can switch quickly between them by tapping on the shutter value.
The developer also recently introduced an experimental pin-hole camera feature to calculate exposure. So if you’re on iOS, Lightmate is definitely worth checking out.
Get Lightmate for iOS
5. Light Meter – Street
Consider Light Meter a light meter pro alternative for iOS. The app has a very simple interface and is easy to use. To begin, just set the ISO and Light Meter will show you the matching exposure value. Users can view various exposure levels instantly. Moreover, you can also highlight the time and aperture of your choice.
Unlike other apps, it saves your last measurements and displays them so you get a headstart when you wish to use the light meter app again. A feature I most like is the power saver which stops the camera reading when not in use to save battery.
Get Light Meter – Street for iOS
Closing Remarks: Which Light Meter App to Choose
Most users try analog photography first and abandon it later. It requires time and effort in addition to a lot of patience. Don’t worry, you can also use your iPhone’s camera like a pro. If you’re confused about using these apps, check out YouTube on how to get perfect explore for your photos.
Also Read: 9 Best Vintage Camera Apps for Android