REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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SekonicLitemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter
 
4.7

(based on 126 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (93)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (26)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (71)
  • Compact (62)
  • Lightweight (61)
  • Durable (27)
  • Great picture quality (7)

Cons

  • Flimsy construction (4)

Best Uses

  • Family photos (46)
  • Weddings (42)
  • Landscape/scenery (34)
  • Travel (22)
  • Video (17)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (31), Semi-pro photographer (19), Photo enthusiast (18), Photography student (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (82)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Welcome To S-Log, JPEG and RAW

I usually don't ask for much at Christmas, but after attending a Shane Hurlbut lighting class, getting a light meter was on the top of my list of equipment I wanted. So, thanks...Read complete review

I usually don't ask for much at Christmas, but after attending a Shane Hurlbut lighting class, getting a light meter was on the top of my list of equipment I wanted. So, thanks to my wife for buying me this little piece of heaven. Next year socks.

I have a Sony A7s and it's tricky to figure out proper exposure with the S-Log the camera provides.

The L-478DR has made it possible for me to measure exposure correctly so I am not stuck in post for hours trying to fix the faulty footage.

The touch screen is easy to manage and it is highly customizable for my needs in the field or in the studio. The case it comes with is kind of cheap so I would suggest getting the higher end case that Sekonic also sells. Thank you again Jennifer, aka my wife.

Because of the popularity of L-478DR the internet has ample tutorials featuring the unit and has helped relieve any confusion. I am new to the light meter world so this was important tackling the learning curve.

I have a Norman light system I am looking forward to using with it next.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Touchscreen is a drawback

The meter is quite nice, though I've concluded the touch screen is a drawback -- it attracts attention in dark rooms and is hard to read outside. There are three brightness settings in...Read complete review

The meter is quite nice, though I've concluded the touch screen is a drawback -- it attracts attention in dark rooms and is hard to read outside. There are three brightness settings in menus, but it doesn't auto-dim. It does look cool when you can see it, which of course counts for something. It also isn't as responsive as it should be. Maybe it will grow on me. I can sometimes be a little old fashioned. I was surprised that the display isn't the Gorilla-Glass capacitive touch screen we're used to. It's soft and flexible -- feels a little fragile -- it's a pre-iPhone kind of touchscreen. Overall build quality is otherwise acceptable; hard plastic, glossy front, nice rubber side grips. the hardware buttons have a firm, quality feel.The meter takes a couple very frustrating seconds to boot every time you turn it on. Every other meter I use is either always on or instantly on with the measure button. I don't know how to get used to this. I've gotten into the habit of hitting the power button, by feel, as I grab it from my pocket to have it nearly ready by the time I'm looking at it. It's still a pain.It takes AAA batteries! This is a huge plus. As I considered the 758 I dreaded the thought of those awful and awfully hard to find CR123s.DTS profiling is awesome I guess, but only becomes truly useful (to me) when measuring reflected light. Reflected readings are inconvenient, at best, with this meter. An attachment which replaces the dome is required. You have to switch back and forth. It's very awkward and an additional $[$], or so, for the attachment. If this is important to your work (or play) I would consider the 758. Otherwise, seeing your clipping points on the display is marginally helpful when measuring scene contrast with the retracted dome. Personally I find the profiling procedure arduous. The required target will also set you back another $100, or so.It triggers my Pocket Wizards! I have low-end PWs on bare-bones equipment, so won't be playing with the high-end features. So far it has been perfectly reliable though, so no complaints, and no more sync cord. I have to say the ability to remotely control flash output with on-screen sliders is really cool (so then the touchscreen kinda becomes a necessity). Since I don't require that functionality at this time a used L-358 might have been a better choice for me.Do I recommend it? Well, I think most studio-based photographers will love this meter. I can't recommend it for anyone shooting outdoors, because of the display.

Reviewed by 126 customers

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4.0

Mixed feelings

By Ivan

from Panama

Verified Reviewer

Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

I've had this L-478DR over two days since it was delivered by B&H.

What I like:

- Uses two AAA batteries
- Footprint. I think the size is good. Small and pocketable with the lumidisc retracted.
- Many features like Shutter priority/Aperture priority, flash non-cord, multi-flashes, PocketWizard radio, etc.
- 1/10 steps increments can be turned on/off, so I can read the Aperture numbers like in my camera. This is important to me.
- Numbers in the screen are big enough and clear (despite the not high end screen). Theme in blue makes the contrast better in my opinion.
- Lumidisc (dome) can be retracted, so no additional hardware to buy (like with kendo 1100/2100/2200) for metering flat surfaces
- I've compared the accuracy readings against my kendo kfm-2100 and most of the times the readings are the same. Other few times, they are different for 1/10 or 2/10 steps.

What i dislike:

- The touch screen feature. The screen is not glass and not as sensitive as my iPhone, so, first thing I did was to install the bundled screen protector. It makes a little worse the touch screen sensitivity, but I prefer to protect the screen.
- The boot time takes 3 seconds, every time you turn on the meter. My kenko 2100 starts up instantly.
- The pouch bundled does not protect the meter. I had to order the deluxe bag for the l-478
- Batteries are not lasting as my kenko 2100, which only uses 1 AA.
- The three buttons (memory, power, measure) feel flimsy. The kenko ones feel solid and better constructed.

Other thoughts:

First thing I did when received the meter was to install the latest version of DTS software for Mac 5.0.1 (El Capitan supported), and then connect via USB the meter to update it. My 478DR came with a firmware from 2013 and it was updated to version 20_01.016 from Dec 2015 with no issues. Once updated, during the boot it displays "L-478DR-U", so this L-478DR is basically the -U model with different box.

I like the meter as a complement for my kenko 2100.

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5.0

Product was received timely, works perfectly as described

By Jim Osdale

from San Dimas, Ca.

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

So far so good, I have used the meter several times now and it works as expected.

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5.0

Pro L-478DR

By David356

from SLC, UT

Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

Fantastic meter, definitely a step up from my of Gossen Luna Pro F. It will be nice to have this new meter for shoots.

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4.0

Good product

By Alex

from California

About Me Photography Student

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Purchase Optional Viewfin

Best Uses

  • Family Photos
  • Sports/Action
  • Video
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

Easy to use, the only thing I do not agree is selling the Sekonic Corporation 401-364 5-Degree Viewfinder separately.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

It works with Pocket Wizard triggers

By harrisgirl

from SE Idaho

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy to Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Portraits
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

    It was discouraging to order another model of the Light Meter only to learn, through a You-Tube video that it wasn't compatible with Pocket Wizards. B&H was willing to have the item returned, but I had to pay the nearly $20.00 shipping. I found this discouraging since the item was not clearly marked as to compatibility. So, it might be wise to call and confirm first!

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    5.0

    Glad I bought it

    By 595 Dave

    from Beaverton, OR

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

        Works well. Great addition to camera bag

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        3.0

        Expensive

        By Peter

        from NYC

        Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

        Accurate metering, good features and battery life has been substantial. Cheaper feel than I was hoping for but light weight and effective.

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        4.0

        very nice

        By kidney

        from hong kong

        Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

        If there wasn't any discount, I thought I would not buy it in near future as it is quite expensive. I have tried some functions and it worked well. The sensitive of the meter is high, just a little movement, the suggested optimum shutter speed/iso/aperature will change once you remeasured. Not yet tried the remote flash function as my flash are not the product of pocketwizard.

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        5.0

        Perfect exposures

        By bestphototoday

        from Southampton, NY

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy to Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • 5 Degree Spot Meter

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

        This is now my number one tool when shooting in the studio. Easily adjust the exposure range from the meter via its ability to control my various pocketwizardss.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter Tops

        By PhotoHound

        from Toronto Ontario Canada

        About Me Photography Student

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy to Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos

          Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

          My area of interest is Macro and close up photography. This meter surpasses My expectations. For it's ease of use and sturdiness. It is a tool that will last me for years of solid use. To this point I really cannot find any weak areas about the meter to complain about.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          One Competent Light Meter

          By PhotoJim

          from Newnan, GA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

            Only capability it lacks is a spot meter. Otherwise, incident, flash (two modes), many other features and an extensive touch screen menu. Takes some learning to operate all features.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Touchscreen is a drawback

            By davelawler

            from Worcester, MA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Wireless Capabilities

            Cons

            • Touchscreen

            Best Uses

            • Studio Photography

            Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

            The meter is quite nice, though I've concluded the touch screen is a drawback -- it attracts attention in dark rooms and is hard to read outside. There are three brightness settings in menus, but it doesn't auto-dim. It does look cool when you can see it, which of course counts for something. It also isn't as responsive as it should be. Maybe it will grow on me. I can sometimes be a little old fashioned. I was surprised that the display isn't the Gorilla-Glass capacitive touch screen we're used to. It's soft and flexible -- feels a little fragile -- it's a pre-iPhone kind of touchscreen. Overall build quality is otherwise acceptable; hard plastic, glossy front, nice rubber side grips. the hardware buttons have a firm, quality feel.The meter takes a couple very frustrating seconds to boot every time you turn it on. Every other meter I use is either always on or instantly on with the measure button. I don't know how to get used to this. I've gotten into the habit of hitting the power button, by feel, as I grab it from my pocket to have it nearly ready by the time I'm looking at it. It's still a pain.It takes AAA batteries! This is a huge plus. As I considered the 758 I dreaded the thought of those awful and awfully hard to find CR123s.DTS profiling is awesome I guess, but only becomes truly useful (to me) when measuring reflected light. Reflected readings are inconvenient, at best, with this meter. An attachment which replaces the dome is required. You have to switch back and forth. It's very awkward and an additional $[$], or so, for the attachment. If this is important to your work (or play) I would consider the 758. Otherwise, seeing your clipping points on the display is marginally helpful when measuring scene contrast with the retracted dome. Personally I find the profiling procedure arduous. The required target will also set you back another $100, or so.It triggers my Pocket Wizards! I have low-end PWs on bare-bones equipment, so won't be playing with the high-end features. So far it has been perfectly reliable though, so no complaints, and no more sync cord. I have to say the ability to remotely control flash output with on-screen sliders is really cool (so then the touchscreen kinda becomes a necessity). Since I don't require that functionality at this time a used L-358 might have been a better choice for me.Do I recommend it? Well, I think most studio-based photographers will love this meter. I can't recommend it for anyone shooting outdoors, because of the display.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Professional - Excellent - Reliable

            By Captain PDP

            from New York City

            Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

            I love the ability to use this meter with my pocket wizard III and other pocket wizard transmitter receiver units. Also software program control.

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            5.0

            great light meter

            By ssphoto

            from california

            Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

            Everything i wanted in a light meter

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            5.0

            Great little Light Meter

            By EVPhotography

            from Eagle Mountain, Utah

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy to Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Portraits

              Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

              Been thinking of getting a light meter for years, but never did. Always thought, wasn't necessary since I had the camera and histogram. But it will save you so much time, never need to chimp when shooting again. You will get a perfect exposure every time. Easy to operate and has lots of nice features. I love the built in receiver for Pocket Wizards, very handy.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Litemaster Pro L-478DR is soooo cool

              By Tom

              from Prineville, OR

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Durable
              • Easy to Use
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

                This light meter is really easy to use. It works great for firing off my Pocket Wizard receivers, and adjustment is achieved with a touch of the screen! Nothing could be easier.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Perfect

                By Jaybe

                from Baltimore, MD

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Durable
                • Easy to Use
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Family Photos
                  • Studio
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

                  I have always used trail and error to get my studio settings right. This sometimes took a lot of time. I decided to try a light meter and man does it make a difference. I use impact transcievers but my partner uses Pocket Wizards. With Pocket Wizards you can test your lights right from the meter. It offers a lot of options. It was extremely easy to set up and figure out without reading the instructions. The only complaint I have is the case it came with is flimsy and will fall off easily.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Top notch meter for the digital age

                  By sierraimage

                  from Las Vegas, NV

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Easy to Use
                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                  • Flimsy Construction

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

                    Over the years I have had a dozen meters. I was glad to finally see one done with digital readouts that a guy over 40 can read. Good size fonts at least better than anything else I have seen. Some say it feels cheap. I don't think it feels cheap but yes is feels a little lighter than most older meters so that may be due to materials as of late. Love the simplicity and complex features at the same time. It works like a meter should when you are adjusting settings..it is well planned. The graphics on the screen are not the most state of the art, but it's plenty. You could always go back to tiny lcd digits. Great meter. I can't think of anything else I would change except maybe the memory button to be relocated which seems to get set by accident more than I would like. Weatherproofing it would be good since I don't think it's weather resistant.

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                    5.0

                    Love my light meter!

                    By PhoenXman

                    from Riverside, CA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact
                    • Easy to Use
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • No Spot Meter
                    • Touch Screen Sensitivity

                    Best Uses

                    • Controlled Environment
                    • Flash photography
                    • Studio
                    • Video

                    Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

                    After a small learning curve this light meter really delivers consistent results. It will be essential as I move forward with my creative photography and video projects. The touch screen will take some getting used to but the ease of use and features are well worth it. It works great with my Pocket Wizards, speedlights, strobes and continuous lights!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    LOVE!!!

                    By Stephanie

                    from Centerville, Ohio

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter:

                      I use this for reading ambient light during my photo shoots and in studio. it's great and so accurate! first light meter that i have ever purchased so I'm still learning all the capabilities and uses but for all the shoots i've done this far, I and loving this light meter!!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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