It’s nothing new to expect your mobile phone or tablet to be able to do anything, but could a well priced mobile app make traditional light meters redundant?
Cine Meter II turns your iPhone®, iPod touch®, or iPad® into a shutter-priority reflected light meter, an RGB waveform monitor, and a false-color picture monitor. Cine Meter II works on any iDevice with a camera running iOS 6 or higher. It expands the original Cine Meter app with several added features:
- Cinematographer-friendly controls let you set shutter angle, ND filter compensation, and arbitrary filter factors.
- Use the front-facing camera for “lightmeter selfies” – use yourself as the model when lighting a set (not available on iPhone 3GS).
- The zoomable spotmeter lets you measure light precisely from a distance (iOS 7 or later only, on iPhone 5, iPod touch 5G, iPad Air, iPad mini 2G, or later devices).
- Incident-light readings including lux/foot-candle measurement with Luxi™ ($30), Luxi For All™ ($30), or Lumu™ ($149) attachments.
- True Color Metering with suggested color corrections to match a target white balance (iOS 8 or later; Luxi photosphere required.
See the light: Cine Meter II not only gives you exposure information, it shows you at a glance how evenly your greenscreen is lit, and where high-contrast hotspots and shadows are. With Cine Meter II, you can walk around, light your set, and solve problems long before your real camera is set up, making pictures, and running down its batteries.
- The light meter shows you your stop as decimal readings (such as 3.2, good for cameras with EVF iris readouts) or full stops and fractions (like 4.0 ⅓, good for cine lenses with marked iris rings). You can meter using shutter speeds, or shutter angles from 5.6º to 360º (especially useful when using Digital Bolex and Blackmagic cameras). You can add neutral density filter corrections and arbitrary exposure compensations.
- The waveform monitor shows you how light levels vary within and across a scene. It shows you how even the lighting is on a greenscreen or white cove, and lets you see hotspots and imbalances at a glance. The waveform’s RGB mode shows you color imbalances in the image and gives you a handy way to check for color purity on a greenscreen or bluescreen.
- The false-color picture lets you define allowable contrast ranges, and see instantly which shadows are underexposed and what highlights risk clipping:
Cine Meter II runs entirely on your iDevice: it doesn’t use WiFi or mobile data. If you have power in the battery and light in front of the lens, it will work.
READ BEFORE YOU BUY:
Cine Meter II is NOT a flash meter; it can’t measure strobes.
It’s designed solely for cine/video work and isn’t optimized for still photography; for example, it’s shutter-priority only.
Cine Meter II gives you *absolute* light meter readings, but *relative* picture and waveform monitor levels:
1) Cine Meter II’s picture and waveform monitor do not use the *exact* exposure shown by the light meter (they are close to the meter reading, but can differ from it slightly). The picture and waveform monitor show you *relative* levels within a scene, not *absolute* levels based on the meter reading.
2) You can’t *preset* exposure or color temperature in Cine Meter II. To compare exposures and colors, you lock Cine Meter II’s auto-exposure and auto-white-balance settings while looking at a known good reference, such as a gray card. The picture and waveform monitor then show you levels and colors relative to your locked settings.
See http://www.adamwilt.com/cinemeterii/details.html#How_It_Works for details.
(Why am I telling you this? I would rather have you understand these limitations up-front and not buy Cine Meter II, than have you buy Cine Meter II unaware of them and be disappointed.)
Cine Meter II does work as a standalone metering app, although the colour metering and incident metering require a Luxi photosphere attachment. Cine Meter II is available on the App Store for £18.99/$25. If you purchased an earlier version of Cine Meter II, the update is free.
Along with the app, you’ll also need to pick up a ‘Luxi For All’ – Luxi For All is a diffusion dome attachment for your mobile device’s front-facing camera. When paired with the app (currently available on iOS and Android), Luxi For All will help you determine the best settings for your DSLR or other camera, so you can take perfectly exposed pictures.
We’ve yet to have the chance to trial this product. It would be great to hear from anyone that has used it as this new update looks like a real game changer.