Are light meters outdated? Lumu doesn't think so and neither do its supporters, whose pledges more than doubled the Kickstarter project's goal on the first day. In fact, it took less than five hours for the company to raise its minimum start-up target of $20,000.
This tiny device, which reads the light via a sphere about the diameter of a quarter, is an incidenct light meter. As such, it reads the light falling on the subject rather than the light reflected off the subject, which generally gives a more accurate reading (digital cameras use a reflective light meter). The meter plugs into the iPhone's headphone jack, so no batteries are needed, although we have to wonder how much power it demands from the iPhone's battery. Suggested exposure settings are shown on the meter's app and can be saved to the cloud, along with other data, for future reference. Otherwise, just set the exposure on your camera (digital or film) and you're good to go.
Lumu has also designed a leather case and a neckstrap for carrying the light meter when you're out shooting. While different packages are available on Lumu's Kickstarter page, pledge a minimum of $99 now for a $50 discount and free, worldwide shipping. The Lumu is expected to ship this October with an estimated retail price of $149.
It's a very cool idea and one that, from its fast and furious Kickstarter support, seems to fill a need for an ultra-portable, easy-to-use light meter. Since the Lumu works only with natural and continuous light sources (and not flash), we imagine that the Lumu's convenient size and portability would be its main selling points. Even though there are more sophisticated professional light meters on the market (which are usually more expensive), the Lumu team's enthusiasm and attention to detail holds promise for this diminutive iPhone accessory.
(For a comparison, see our story on another iPhone light meter, the Luxi.)
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