Digital vs Analog Lux Light Meter Comparison

A lux light meter is an essential piece of equipment for any serious photographer to own. It's a tool that allows you to see how bright parts of your frame are and what f/stop and shutter speed combo should be used for the best exposure. It allows you to precisely layer your frame with light. The key side of the subject would be the proper f/stop, while the fill and background would be slightly under.

Light meters cost a few hundred dollars to purchase, but they are well worth the investment. But there is one big question when it comes to buying one: should you get a digital or analog lux light meter?

Analog Light Meters

Analog light meters were around for decades before their digital counterparts. They both use the same method to work; the only difference is how the results are displayed. To use an analog meter, you first set the film speed. Then, you place the meter in front of your subject and aim the white ball so that it is facing the camera lens. Next, hit a button or turn a dial and a needle will move reflecting what the light levels are. On the dial, you will then see what f/stop and shutter speed combinations can be used to obtain this exposure.

Digital Light Meters

Digital light meters work pretty much in the same way. You set the film speed and hold it in front of the camera with the white ball facing the lens. But, you need to select a shutter speed or f/stop before you get your reading to find out what the corresponding f/stop or shutter speed should be for exposure. 

The Differences

With an analog light meter, you can see all the f/stop and shutter speed combinations on the dial. This allows you to instantly see what can be done where, as with the digital meter, it requires you to press buttons to change the f/stop and shutter speed.

One big difference is that a digital light meter can be hard to read under bright lights due to the fact that its settings are displayed on a LCD screen, where as the analog light meter is displayed with a large needle that can easily be seen. The needle also gives you a precise idea of the exact amount of light on the subject between stops.

Another difference between the two is that a digital light meter requires batteries to operate it. If those batteries go dead, then so will your digital light meter.