Sekonic L478 Light meter
The Sekonic L478 light meter is the very latest technologies for helping photographers take great pictures. The meter is digital with a touchscreen for easy adjustment of the measurements you choose to set (http://www.sekonic.com/iran/products/l-478d/overview.aspx).
All things considered, before you can use the meter to take readings, you have to perform a set up for calibration. The first task is to set a custom white balance (see your cameras instruction manual or https://www.mhphotographyhampshire.co.uk/dslr-training-white-balance/). The set up procedure requires using one of three exposure profile targets. Two are accessories from Sekonic the other is the colour checker from xrite. Using the meter out of the box you need to take (depending on the target you are using) a series of plus and minus exposures of the target. Connect the meter up to a PC/laptop and use the Sekonic DTS software. At this point you can calibrate the meter. As a matter of fact this needs to be done for differing light conditions. That is Natural light, studio light, flash and ambient light with studio/flash lighting. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foa_aEzGcUY)
In addition, as an added bonus, if you use the Xrite colour checker for white balance you can also create a colour profile for the light condition.
The L478 comes in four versions which are as follows.
L-478DR-U incorporates PocketWizard® ControlTL technology for power control
L-478DR-U-EL incorporates Elinchrom Skyport technology for power control
L-478DR-U-PX incorporates Phottix Strato II technology for Channel/Group triggering
Choose the one that suits your equipment.
Reading the light
First and foremost the meter is an aid to your work; you have to know what settings you want to start with. Depending on the version of this meter that you buy, will allow you to enter different settings? The usual settings for ambient and flash are there but you may also have options for wireless flash and studio lights.
The big advantage of using this meter is that once the setup is complete for the different light conditions you can quickly change the meter profile. This gives you a more accurate reading for your camera.
The meter is capable of measuring incident light and reflected light. To measure reflected light you need to purchase the 5 degree viewfinder.
Depending on which light condition that you are using will dictate which settings you dial in. Ambient gives you the choice of determining aperture or shutter speed reading. With flash or studio lighting you will determine the aperture reading.
Although your cameras on board meter are good, the Sekonic L478 light meter is more accurate as it is set to the camera profile. Dial into the camera the settings from the meter and the image you take will have less work to do in post-production.
In conclusion, I have the L478DR meter and I am finding that I get better exposure results by using it.