Adam Wilt’s Cine Meter for iPhone


I once said that if it has a ringtone, it’s not a camera. I was wrong. And now there’s a light meter with a ringtone. The articulate and brilliant Adam Wilt has a new tool for us. Go immediately to the App Store and search for Cine Meter. More information is on his web site:

I downloaded Cine Meter from the App Store a couple of hours ago and haven’t stopped admiring how good it is. Cine Meter uses the iPhone’s camera as a reflected light meter, RGB monitor, white balance checker, color temperature matcher, and contrast viewer (false color picture mode). Why would you want to use the iPhone for these tasks? Let us count the ways.

Adam’s Cine Meter shows how evenly you’ve lit your green screen. It can show hot spots and troublesome shadows. You can walk around the set, very cool, pretending to be on your phone, stealthily checking every photon whizzing around. This gives new meaning to “phoning a job in.” But it’s much more than an ordinary iPhone app. This is a seriously useful cinematographer’s tool.

The light meter shows f-stops and fractions the way they were meant to be (like f/4.0 ⅔). You can calibrate Cine Meter to match your other meters to a tenth of a stop. The waveform monitor shows how light levels vary within a scene. The false-color picture lets you see which shadows will be underexposed and which highlights will be gone forever.

If you’ve been dragging your feet about getting the new larger-screen iPhone 5, Adam Wilt’s new Cine Meter app is reason enough. With one device you will multi-task on set with style: ensuring correct exposure and diligently calling your agent with one device.

Thanks to Jeff Kreines for introducing me to Cine Meter.





Leave a Comment

6 Responses:

  1. Great stuff !
    But, should we expect to have this app, in the Android version also ?!?

    • Adam Wilt says:

      If the iOS version turns a good profit, I’m considering doing an Android version, too. But that depends on the iOS version making enough money to fund development, as Android apps earn on average 1/4 the return of an iOS app.

      (The Android version probably won’t be as good a light meter because Android cameras don’t report the same brightness metadata that iOS cameras do. Instead, exposure needs to be determined from camera settings and the resulting pixel values. I don’t want to promise anything until I can work with it and see how well it performs in real life.)

    • Barnabas says:

      Does the app measure color temperature in Kelvins, eg 32000, 45000, 52000, 56000 etc

    • Adam Wilt says:

      No, it can’t: the iPhone camera only reports (and lets you set) whether the auto-white balance is locked or unlocked, it doesn’t provide any metrics on what its current color temperature setting is. There’s just no way to get that information from the iPhone hardware, at least not through any published APIs. Sorry!

  2. I have been waiting for someone to make this – since the I phone arrived… Congratulations – This is very clever done ! I will start to test it today. It will be exiting to see it beside Arri Alexa´s Internal exposure/false color meter.

  3. John Richard says:

    Adam’s app has so much MORE functionality there is little point to my light meter any more other than to calibrate this app.
    Built-in waveform monitor and false color monitoring – are you serious!
    Oh… and it’s $5 EEEgads!
    Thank you Adam.

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