Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478-D-U Light Meter – A Beastly Companion to Photographers

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Sekonic's new Litemaster Pro L-478-U Series
4.9 / 5 Rating
Pros
  • Customizable exposure settings
  • Touch screen
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Disposable AAA batteries
  • Complex connectivity
  • Reboot time
Sekonic L-478D-U Light Meter is an excellent companion for your main camera. The ease of use and the wide range of customization options, as well as its relatively long warranty period, make this digital light meter a top choice, despite of minor drawbacks such as the disposable batteries or the complexity of the connectivity.
Design and display5
Accuracy and precision5
Operating range4.5
Usability5
Weight and dimensions5
Warranty4.5
Price5

Nowadays, a good camera alone might not be enough to take a spectacular photo. That is why photographers normally spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to buy powerful lenses capable of taking photos even afar from their subject. Nonetheless, good lighting and setting the correct ambience of the environment are also necessary, in order to capture the feel of the theme, especially if you are conducting an indoor photo shoot. While there are many gadgets which provide lighting, these are normally manually operated and can be a bit frustrating to use. Enter the latest light meter from Sekonic, the L-478D-U can be manipulated using a touch screen, has the ability to save your various presets and includes radio controls for flash power settings.

The Looks

Features

UsabilityThe 2.7” LCD colored touch screen provides a pleasant experience. You are just one swipe away from controlling various settings, based on a clear and efficient layout.
Operating Range Ambient Light (ISO 100) Incident: -2 to 22.9 EV; Reflected: 3 to 19.9 EV
Flash Light (ISO 100) Incident: f/1.0 to f/128.9; Reflected: f/2.8 to f/128.9
Frame Rate 1 – 1,000 fps
Illuminance 0.1 to 180,000 fc / 0.63 to 2,000,000 lux
Luminance 0.29 to 290,000 fl / 1.0 to 980,000 cd/m²

Works between 6F - 122F. Storage ranges between -4F - 140F.
ConnectivityConnects with other devices via USB cord to sync with PC for firmware upgrades and for controlling settings directly when using the main camera. Wireless/radio control is also enabled via PocketWizard, Elinchrom Skyport or Phottix Strato II.
Dimensions5 inches long, 1 inch wide and 2 inches thick. Weights about 4.6 oz (the size of a smartphone).
WarrantyA 3-year exclusive warranty is available to this device.
PriceThe list price is around $600, but luckily, you can get it for as low as -.

Consideration

Photography aficionados will surely love Sekonic L-478D-U Light Meter because of the efficiency it provides in modifying settings and navigating the menu. It uses two AAA batteries, which can be a downer for some. However, this digital light meter is flexible and able to measure flash incident light for both still image and high definition videos. The menu can also be changed depending on your taste. You may opt in letting it as is or hide some modes for a more simplified system.

The 2.7-inch wide touchscreen gives you the ability to navigate instinctively, because you can simply touch the settings you opt to adjust. The simple layout presents a clear view of the exposure settings and the other data you want displayed. This includes a variety of analogue exposure scales and the option to hide things you do not often use. On the other hand, there is a physical button which provides access in order to deepen the navigation of the main system. There is also a PC sync terminal for direct and corded flash metering and a USB terminal for firmware updates and for loading exposure profiles. The device uses a retractor lumisphere which can be rotated 90 degrees clockwise or 180 degrees counterclockwise for its light receptors. This is also removable, in case you want to use other attachments. Sekonic L-478D-U Light Meter also provides a filter compensation mode which allows the users to apply multiple effects at once. Measuring other factors such as luminescence, difference in exposure readings and percentage of flash to ambient light in the scene are also provided with this product.

You can also do calibration and custom profiling with your personal camera by conducting exposure tests and processing these to the Sekonic Data Transfer Software. Thereafter, you may opt to save it as a personal profile. Sekonic L-478D-U Light Meter can save as much as ten distinct profiles. In case you want to utilize its wireless function, the applicable Pocket Wizard software must be up to date. This allows the L-478D-U to be the main unit for control in this mode. It should be noted that other settings in your camera which might affect the performance of this device must be turned off for optimal usage.

As regards to other aspects, Sekonic boasts a strong after-sales service by giving this product a three year warranty for repairs. All other software applications needed to optimize the performance of the L-478D-U are also provided once you buy the unit. The device can be used for a wide range of cameras such as Nikon and Canon.

Sekonic L-478D-U vs Sekonic L-478DR-U vs Sekonic L-478DR-U-EL vs Sekonic L-478DR-U-PX

Sekonic L-478D-U vs Sekonic L-478DR-U vs Sekonic L-478DR-U-EL vs Sekonic L-478DR-U-PXThe differences between these models are mainly related to the triggering mechanism and the unit color. The standard L-478D comes without any power control, which makes it the perfect choice for filmmakers. The L-478DR includes the PocketWizard, which has a range of 100 ft. and operates in 344MHZ-345MHz (USA-Canada) or 433MHz (EU).  The L-478DR-EL comes with the Elinchrom Skyport trigger, which works on wireless frequency (2.4GHz). The last model, L-478DR-U-PX uses the Phottix Strato II technology for Channel/Group triggering.

Conclusion

The update to the already excellent Sekonic product line is a much welcome device for photography lovers. The customizability of this product and the intuitive menu navigation set itself apart from other digital light meters.

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