Best Budget Light Meter For Photographers in 2019

Most digital cameras come with inbuilt high-end metering and lighting makes it difficult for photographers to have their standalone light meter. Even professional digital photographers know that getting the best spot, recommended light levels or color temperatures and flash is vital to the success of any shoot, which is a justification for using a dedicated light meter.

We saw it fit to make choosing the best light meter an easy task and put together this list as some of the best meters you can purchase in 2019. Do not worry about the cost because we also know that you need something that works for the best price.

Look at our summarized table.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter...
Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for...
Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster...
Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster Color Meter...
Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305)
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR-U Light Meter for...
Product Name
Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter...
Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for...
Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster...
Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster Color Meter...
Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305)
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR-U Light Meter for...
Dimensions
2.6 x 1.8 x 1 inches
5.8 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
5.5 x 2.2 x 4.8 inches
7.2 x 2.9 x 1.6 inches
4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches
2 x 1 x 5 inches
Weight
4 ounces
5.6 ounces
8.8 ounces
8 ounces
3.52 ounces
8 ounces
Prime Status
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter...
Product Name
Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter...
Dimensions
2.6 x 1.8 x 1 inches
Weight
4 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for...
Product Name
Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for...
Dimensions
5.8 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
Weight
5.6 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster...
Product Name
Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster...
Dimensions
5.5 x 2.2 x 4.8 inches
Weight
8.8 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster Color Meter...
Product Name
Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster Color Meter...
Dimensions
7.2 x 2.9 x 1.6 inches
Weight
8 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305)
Product Name
Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305)
Dimensions
4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches
Weight
3.52 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR-U Light Meter for...
Product Name
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR-U Light Meter for...
Dimensions
2 x 1 x 5 inches
Weight
8 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price

The Best Budget Light Meter 2019

1. Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate

The Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate is a compact light meter that is small yet stylish. The meter combines both incidents and reflected light making it ideal for use as a primary meter for both the advanced and the beginner photographer, and as a backup light for the professional.

Pros

  • Guaranteed to work well for beginners
  • 33-degrees acceptance angle
  • ISO 12 to 12500 half-stop increments
  • Hold and read mode reading for 15 seconds
  • Allows for extended exposure and evaluation

Cons

  • Quality control issues relating to meter accuracy
  • Finding the correct replacement battery is not easy

2. Kenko 1100 Auto Digi Meter

Kenko 1100 is sold as a user-friendly design light meter for reading both flashlight and ambient light. The meter feels comfortable on your hand for its logical design. It has a large LCD reading 10ths stops and in ½ stop increments. This meter is a sensitive meter, and you can get to 8-128 frames. You can analyze your scene to determine the lighting ratio needed. This device should work in areas that need “opening” due to shadows created by natural (ambient) light.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use in ambient light
  • Most of its measurements deliver accuracy
  • Has the analysis function to gauge lighting ratio
  • Cord or cordless or cordless operations

Cons

  • The dome does not take a reflective reading

3. Sekonic 401-701 Spectrometer

The Sekonic Spectrometer is a design fit for motion and still photography that need quality results without compromising on color. The product has a full spectrum color LED that measure and capture display spikes to give the accurate color measurement. You also get color filtration information that helps in the light color modification.

Pros

  • Measures flash illumination using a wireless triggers connecting to a pocket receiver
  • Wide range measurements for color temperature and lighting
  • Color spectrum graph
  • Multiple light comparison

Cons

  • The big screen can be fragile
  • The price is on the higher side

4. Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster

Sekonic C-700-U is a world’s first when it comes to measuring every light and displays on a colored touchscreen. This particular one has a wireless flash in addition to CMOS linear sensor. The measurements can measure to 1nm increments that capture any spike in light output making unique color measurement accuracy.

Pros

  • Wide color measurement ranges and illumination
  • The ultimate tool for color control
  • Uses easy navigation key functions
  • Use it to set color differently

Cons

  • You need to press “okay” to get current dome readings
  • Cannot read the green spectrum

5. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate

Sekonic Flashmate is one of the smallest digital light meters that features dedicated modes for digital photography, HD filming, and cinematography. You use the device if you are looking for the ability to switch from incident to reflected light.

Pros

  • 40 degree reflected light metering
  • Incident metering for both ambient and flash lighting
  • Compact size
  • Cordless flash option when running on one AA battery

Cons

  • Batteries can run out quickly

6. Sekonic Pro L-478R-U LiteMaster

Sekonic LiteMaster U-series has unique features for both still and motion photography. The device uses a simple touch and go sliding menu. The full-featured Ambient- flash modes include the latest T-F mode that measure, compare, mix ambient results, and displayed on the color touch screen. The ISO settings of the LiteMaster matches the latest cameras.

Pros

  • Comfortable on hand and easy to use
  • Lighten up the shadows and reduce background detail
  • The series has special camera effects
  • The series has two motion capture modes for any camera use

Cons

  • Language on the screen is fixed depending on where you bought the product

The Buying Guide

Buying such technical stuff needs a proper understanding of what you need versus what you have. Choosing a camera may be the easiest thing to do than picking the correct light meter. Here is a simple checklist that should guide you when choosing the best budget light meter.

Reading Measurements

Most of the light meters measure the incident and reflected light. Depending on what you need to ensure that you get one that can measure both.

Power Source

Digital or analog light meters are still handy even for the most advanced camera operators. Analog give readings faster compared to digital but do not have any advanced features due to technological advancement.

Analog meters do not need batteries to operate; they work in different situations that may require extended shoots.

Budget

Like any other product, money plays a significant role in the final product that you will purchase. You can opt for a basic one that will not cost so much but still has all the standard features or go for the high-end ones that offer the best for professional photo operators out there.

Conclusion

Since we advocate for the best budget light meter, go for something like the Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate or one with more advanced features like the Sekonic Pro L-478R-U LiteMaster. These two should be able to serve your immediate needs.

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