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I know when shooting on film, a light meter is used to determine the amount of exposure time for the film to get the right colours. It also mentions they're used to to determine the optimum light level for a scene on Wikipedia, however I'm not quite clear on why this would be required on digital films, as there is no film being exposed and you'd assume they could judge how much light is needed without exactly measuring the amount of light on screen (by looking at the scene once lit or watching the camera's output monitor).

Can anyone explain what exactly light meters would be needed for on a Movie or TV project not being shot on film?

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Even digital cameras are limited by their design and the amount of available light. Better quality digital cameras do not use a fixed shutter or a digital approximation... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_One_(camera)#The_Red_One like that little revolutionary gem, the recording process was digital, but getting the image to the sensor still required lenses and a variable aperture to create the right effect... true depth of field being one of the desired effects. Knowing what the light is exactly at the subject would be important. –  Bon Gart Jul 16 at 20:51
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Shooting a scene can sometimes take several days, or even several locations (e.g. Transformers 4 shot in Hong Kong, but also built a "Hong Kong" set in Detroit). Obviously one would want it to have the same "look". Recreating the lighting from the other day/location can be done much easier and faster if you use a light meter. –  Oliver_C Jul 16 at 21:09
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@BonGart and Oliver: These seem like good explanations. Why not put them up? –  Walt Jul 20 at 22:54

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