While it’s completely possible to shoot digital cameras without a handheld meter, they do seem to be back in fashion lately. They provide quick and easy consistency between shots, or completely different lighting setups and environments. They help you get setup and ready to shoot before your subject’s even arrived at the studio or location. They’re also very handy for street photography, too.
There’s a lot of options out there, and plenty of digital ones for all budgets. You could go with an old used digital Minolta. Or even something fancy and expensive like the Sekonic L758DR or L478DR. The least expensive meters today tend to be the very old analogue light meters. You can often find them in the used sections of local camera stores and auction sites. But how do you actually use them?