Light Meter Review: Lumu iPhone App for Video

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Since their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year Lumu has been offering the smallest accurate incident lightmeter for stills photography. This week Lumu launched a new app that is targeted at videographers. The small, lightweight sensor goes in your pocket or can be carried with the practical necklace adapter. We looked at the new app with the Lumu device.

DSC00025DSC00024The Lumu comes in a small metal box with minimalist design in line with other Apple stuff. The App’s design itself is similarly attractive looking a lot like the latest Apple iOS.

Inside the box is a small leaflet, the Lumu and the necklace adapter that can be carried around the neck and hold the Lumu on demand.

There’s also a small leather case where the Lumu can be stored and protected if desired.

The necklace actually looks cool and only a little nerdy. The Lumu is held firmly though if accidentally pulled out on a shoot there’s a chance it can get lost.

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DSC00011When the app is started it asks for the Lumu. All you do is plug it in and the app starts. If it is pulled out while using the app the Lumu symbol appears again.

Everything is rather straight forward. The app is simple to use, probably simpler than an actual light meter, like my Kenko I’ve consulted for comparison.
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When compared to the readings on my Kenko light meter the Lumu iPhone app shows a value about half a stop lower than the light meter. [UPDATED:] I have re-calibrated the Kenko light meter, and I can confirm that the Lumu meter is very accurate.

DSC00017In any case the Lumu light meter app even has a setting to calibrate the meter in case it is off. Unfortunately when I tested the app the calibration process only worked for the lux meter (which is also a feature), but would reset the values on the video meter screen, so I could not calibrate it. [Update: The Lumu developers told me the bug is fixed and will be resolved in version 1.1 of the software which has already been pushed to the app store]

DSC00010The Lumu seems very responsive with no delay whatsoever, making it very easy to measure light and the experience is much like with a common light metering device. It is very easy to change framerates, shutter speed or ISO values and you can dial in ND’s quickly too.

DSC00026DSC00028Very useful is the double tap option to allow for continuous measurement when you don’t want to hold the “measure” button all the time. Additionally all values including exposure time display, ISO step sizes, aperture step sizes, and ND filter notation can be adjusted in the settings menu.

The incident meter uses a silicon photo diode. It can be used facing the front or back of your phone and the phone can be used facing up or down.

DSC00029There’s actually not much more to it. Just pop the Lumu on your smartphone and you have a fully functional lightmeter.

In conclusion the Lumu seems like a very cool idea for those who want to measure light accurately. Two thumbs up for the Lumu.

The Lumu costs $149 and is available in black or silver. www.lu.mu

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Review Rating
Author Rating
Aggregate Rating
5 based on 2 votes
Brand Name
Lumu
Product Name
Lumu Video
Price
USD 149
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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Reply
Myles July 29, 2014

re. ‘It’s possible that the Kenko is off as it is a few years old now, or maybe the Lumu is off.’ – perhaps if you’re conducting a test it would be a good idea to establish this..?

Reply
Matt August 1, 2014

+1. So you reviewed the product but we still don’t know if it’s accurate?

Reply
Sebastian Wöber August 1, 2014

I have re-calibrated the Kenko and I can confirm that the Lumu is very accurate.

Reply
Paul Bryant July 31, 2014

This will super handy on set:

“Put your phone away. What are you doing?”
“Taking light readings.” (Shuts down Instagram)

Reply
Charles Konowal csc August 1, 2014

Is a color meter app been considered?

Reply
Alex Lubensky August 2, 2014

I’d rather not use it on set. But, while scouting locations – this thing can make your small bag even smaller for less than 100$. Awesome.

Reply
mrmaple August 18, 2014

Nice, but because of digital, I haven’t used my Minolta light meter in 10 years or more.
Are people still using these?