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Luxi turns your smartphone into incident light meter

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Luxi promises more accurate light meter readings with its diffusion dome.

While several apps promise to turn your smartphone into a light meter digitally, Luxi takes the idea one step futher by adding a diffusion dome that, along with an app, aims to make for a more accurate incident light meter. 

Like a professional incident light meter, Luxi is designed to more accurately measure lighting for an entire scene, rather than just reflected light. Readings can be used to set up your smartphone shot or to set the shutter speed and aperture on your DSLR. 

Expected to retail for $24.95 USD, Luxi could make for a very affordable light meter.

Accessory maker Extrasensory Devices, or ESD, is currently collecting support for Luxi via Kickstarter

Luxi is designed for the iPhone 4/4S and 5; an Android version is not anticipated. It is expected to  retail for $24.95 USD. Kickstarter backers can still catch a deal by pledging $17, which will entitle them to an iPhone 4/4S version. The accessory could start shipping to Kickstarter backers as early as May.

ESD claims Luxi will work with existing light meter apps that use the front-facing camera -- though we'd be concerned that any light absorbed by the diffuser would affect the readings. Supporting our concerns, Luxi developers are working with the makers of the Pocket Light Meter app to create a Luxi mode within the app specifically designed to work with the accessory. 

Comments

Total comments: 42
speculatrix

the Elixir2 program for android will allow you to read the ambient light sensor easily, just add a diffuser, and work out how to calibrate the numbers shown ;-)

0 upvotes
Spectro

put it on android and I would consider it. I just got a film camera and a sprocket rocket. Nice to have a meter that isn't over $200. I been using my d7000 to meter for my film settings.

1 upvote
WillemVO

Wow, that's for me ! Most usefull assessory since a long time !

0 upvotes
carlosdelbianco

One of most useless products I've seen in a long time.

0 upvotes
T3

So you're calling all incident light meters useless? LOL. Tell that to companies like Sekonic, Gossen, Shepard/Polaris, etc, which have been making light meters for photographers for decades and continue to do so. But the big difference is that the Luxi uses your existing iPhone (and all the existing iPhone's electronics), and the dome attachment only costs $25, whereas a typical dedicated incident light meter will start at around $150.

4 upvotes
Stu 5

It's only useless in the hands of someone who does not understand how to use it and the benefits it can offer.

It is the complete opposite of useless.

2 upvotes
pgphoto_ca

They need a Wireless version now...

where you take the exposure with the Iphone...change de setting remotly and with liveview you take shot...and look at the picture on the Iphone (or Ipad)....

That will be a killer app !!! :)

0 upvotes
spodzone

You can do just as good a job with half a ping-pong ball for $0.10.

0 upvotes
paulbysea

When will more companies realise there are more Android phones out there than iphones and therefore greater potential profits?

2 upvotes
Stu 5

There are many more different models of Android phones which would require different sizes to be made which cost more money which means less profit.

2 upvotes
T3

Some people aren't too bright. Obviously, the Luxi has a physical *hardware* component that has to be designed to fit a particular phone's body. The problem with Android phones is that there are way too many different models, with differing body designs, body thicknesses, camera positions, etc. That's not the case with the iPhone.

This is also the same reason why there are so many third-party cases, covers, and accessories for the iPhone. If you're a manufacturer who wants to sell a case for a phone, you do it for the iPhone rather than making a dozen different cases for a dozen different Android phones!

Stats also show that iPhone users buy more paid apps and accessories for iPhones than Android users do for their Android phones. So you're not just going where the users are, but you're also going after the users who are most likely to spend money.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
graybalanced

Your "therefore" logic is faulty.

Market share alone guarantees nothing. Study after study shows that even as Android overall market share has matched or surpassed iOS, the resource allocation vs profit decision for developers does not track with market share at all. For example, Flurry Analytics estimated that if a developer creates an app on both, the iOS version will earn $1 for every $0.24 earned by the Android version. They found this out after deciding to verify developers's anecdotes that they make 3 to 4 times more money on iOS than on Android. Analyst Gene Munster estimates that iOS has 70%+ share of mobile app dollars. In other words, it doesn't matter how many more Android devices there are, if Android users would rather use free apps than pay developers.

2 upvotes
speculatrix

on average, noone makes a profit on iphone or android apps with an upfront cost, so advertising is the only way to make money, and therefore android with more devices deployed is a better bet.

as for "fragmentation", this is mainly FUD from people who (a) don't understand how android has good backward compatibility (b) don't understand that some apps are poorly written and thus don't cope well with different screen sizes.

0 upvotes
mr_ewok

Luxi turns your smartphone into incident light meter.... an Android version is not anticipated.

would be nice if there stands "iphone" instead of smartphone!

3 upvotes
Martin_PTA

Agreed! I wouldn't have wasted my time opening the article.

1 upvote
PixelMover

Nice, but until it can measure flash too, I'll stick to my trusty ten year old Minolta Flashmeter V. Never shoot without it. Histograms on your LCD are based off the jpeg preview image. Helpful, but never 100% accurate. I learned photography shooting slide film so I put my faith in my light meter :)

2 upvotes
T3

I can see a future where a wifi-enabled camera would be able to communicate with this Luxi app. The camera could send your iPhone its ISO setting, or Aperture setting (if the camera was in Aperture Priority mode) via wifi, for example. And when you took an incident light meter reading with the Luxi, the app would send this data to the camera so the camera could set the proper exposure. Furthermore, you would be able to let the Luxi app monitor changing lighting conditions, and regularly update the camera's exposure settings based on the changes in incident light levels automatically.

Wifi-enabled cameras and accessories will allow a lot of cool things to happen between various devices (cameras, phones, printers, storage devices, etc.)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
T3

It's about time someone made this. It's a no-brainer for any photographers who uses an iPhone, and appreciates the value of incident light metering. I have a Sekonic L-358 handheld light meter that I hate using because it's bulky (0.40 lbs/0.20 kgs), the UI is clunky, uses a CR123A battery, and its one more thing to have to carry around. And on top of that, it costs about $310!

In comparison, this marvelous iPhone accessory is only $25 and adds mere grams to your existing iPhone. Plus, the app UI looks so much nicer, slicker, and easier to use. Sekonic does offer a new color touchscreen lightmeter, the L-478, but it costs $389 and is still bulkier than an iPhone.

It makes sense that there wouldn't be one for Android because Android phones come in so many shapes and sizes. I currently use an Android phone, but fortunately I was planning on switching over to an iPhone as soon as it gets a larger screen (>4"). So I'll definitely get one of these Luxi's.

0 upvotes
Hentaiboy

You guys are missing the point. The diffusion dome is a physical device that attaches to the phone. So to make an 'Android version' it would have to physically fit:

Samsung (multiple models)
HTC (multiple models)
Motorola (multiple models)
Sony (multiple models)
etc...

With Apple, there's only 2 models.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
speculatrix

make a bluetooth model then it doesn't need to attach to anything except the subject. even better, you can return to camera on its tripod whilst reading off light sensor some distance away.

0 upvotes
Peksu

I'm an Android user, but even before reading it seemed obvious that there couldn't be an Android version. It would have to be tailored for every model out there (or not support them), the cameras have different sensors and different contrast curves, even adjusting it for your phone manually would require multiple parameters.

1 upvote
shutterhappens

I can shoot a photo with my DSLR, check the histogram, and reshoot another one without having to fiddle with another device.

3 upvotes
Stu 5

That is not the same. A DSLR is not a incident light meter. It is reflective. There is a difference. You would have to use an adapter to make it an incident light meter and then go up to your subject and point it back to the direction you were intending to take the photo from.

0 upvotes
Vlad S

@ Stu 5:
the point is not whether it's the same or different; the point is that the incident light meter does not give any advantage over the instant review + histogram.

It would have been different if it could be used as a flash meter, but even then it is not nearly as useful as for film photography.

0 upvotes
T3

There are plenty of photographers who still use incident light meters. Metering light falling on your subject is a much more reliable means of getting perfect exposure than measuring light reflecting off your subject. Any time I start a portrait shoot, I start with an incident light reading.

1 upvote
Stu 5

@ Vlad S yes it does have advantages. It's a different type of light meter which I am guessing you have never use otherwise you would know this and you would know it's advantages. Also histograms are based on jpeg privews. They don't show you what is happening on a RAW file at all i.e. they are inaccurate.

0 upvotes
onlooker

@Vlad: "the point is not whether it's the same or different; the point is that the incident light meter does not give any advantage over the instant review + histogram."

Only if you are taking a single shot in a static scene. Incident light meter will provide a consistent reading that you can use over and over again regardless of whether someone in a dark shirt moves around the scene.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
RobG67

meh, no Android version. Looks like the iphone weenies need all the help they can get.

2 upvotes
plevyadophy

@Todd Ka,

For your information, other than in the USA and a few other places, Android devices outsell Apple smartphones and justifiably so in my humble opinion. So there is no economic impediment to a software developer writing photo apps for the Android operating system.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Feb 25, 2013)

That was my point. They don't seem to understand economics since Android devices outsell apple smartphones.

2 upvotes
Stu 5

Other than the fact the attachment has to be designed for each model of Android phone which does not make it so profitable. That would be a lot of different attachments.

1 upvote
T3

The economics don't work out for Android phones. You'd have to make one for the many various Android phone models whereas you only have to make one for the iPhone. It's the same reason why there are so many more cases, covers, and accessories for the iPhone and iPad whereas there are far, far, far fewer of these third-party options for Android devices. Again, we're talking about *physical* accessories here, not software. The Luxi is a *physical* accessory, in addition to an app. When it comes to physical accessories, third-party hardware manufactures much prefer to make them for iDevices because it makes so much more economic sense.

2 upvotes
Ak pinxit

Why would I want to set my DSLR according to Luxi reading if DSLR it self came up with the same results (as shown on the picture) ?

3 upvotes
Stu 5

You might want to read up about incident meters compared to the reflective meter built into a DSLR. In real world use you would be using the incident adapter by going up to your subject and point it back to the direction you were intending to take the photo from.

0 upvotes
T3

Plenty of serious photographers gladly spend $300-400 for handheld incident light meters. Measuring the light falling on your subject is generally a much more reliable and accurate method of setting proper exposure than measuring the light being reflected off your subject (which is what a camera's built-in light meter does). Read and learn before typing such ill-informed posts.

1 upvote
Stu 5

T3 it quite amazes me how many people don't seem to know the advantages of incident light meters. It seems only a few of us do!

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Feb 23, 2013)

No self respecting artsy hipster geek is going to make a photography app for android. That would require a basic understanding of economics...

3 upvotes
tbnl

No android? But why?

Besides, iPhone users don't need it. They're more like to just instragram their lunch anyways.

2 upvotes
T3

Which Android phone are you going to make the Luxi attachment for? There are too many different Android phones on the market. That's why they won't make one for Android.

It's the same reason why there are so many more cases, covers, and accessories for the iPhone and iPad compared to Android phones and tablets. Again, the Android devices come in so many different shapes and sizes that it makes less economic sense to make a physical accessory for an Android phone or tablet.

0 upvotes
acidic

Due to evolution having reversed course, humans -- er... I mean chimps -- have stopped using incident light meters.

1 upvote
wlachan

By the time your gadget is ready for action, I have already taken the shot using a dedicated meter.

1 upvote
solarsky

peace of paper & some transparent sticky tape...

2 upvotes
Total comments: 42
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