Last year we reviewed the Lumu Labs Light Meter for iPhone, a device combining a simple easy-to-use app & light sensor that connects straight into the 3.5mm input of you phone, the result is a fuss free and affordable light meter. Lumu Labs are back with the Lumu Power Kickstarter, their next generation product that now also accurately measures color temperature. If you haven’t already, please check out our review on the Lumu iPhone Light Meter. We liked its simple, elegant design & accurate light metering. Also a Kickstarter campaign, the Lumu Light Meter reached nearly $250,000 in backing and is now an off the shelf product. I feel this is an important aspect when considering backing a Kickstarter; raising the money is only half the journey. Back to the new product, the Lumu Power iPhone Light Meter takes the goodness of the original light meter and adds another sensor on the reverse side to measure colour temperature. Gone is the more universal 3.5mm connector. The Lighting port offers a more successful and accurate colour analysis. How accurate? Insanely, according to this video: The app recognizes which sensor you have faced forward and automatically changes the menu whether you are looking to measure light or temperature. The app looks very sleek and easy-to-use, swiping between menus allows you to analyze exposure, color temperature and luminance values. The previous version featured ND exposure adjustment, calibration adjustment, continuous metering and a zero lag interface; the same can only be assumed for the Lumu Power. As the Lumu Power utilizes a Certified Apple Lighting connector it will only natively work with iPhones 5 and newer. Why a light meter? Yes all modern cameras have ways of measuring light and temperature as well as displaying them in numerical and graphical form. A light meter (particularly an iPhone light meter) is more mobile; you can measure aspects of your scene (a window, the side of a subject faces) and compare readings quickly and efficiently. Not only on set but they’re great in pre-production for judging predicted lighting and camera setups for a particular location judged on ambience light levels. The Original Lumu Light Meter costs $149, the same early bird price offered up for the Lumu Power that will apparently cost $299 full retail. The half price is only valid for the first 250 backers, then it jumps to $199. For more info and rewards check out the Lumu Power Kickstarter page.Read more
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. The 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. When 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. 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. In 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] The 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. Very 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. There’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.muRead more
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