Is this $250 console a must have for photo editors or is it just a nice-to-have gadget?
In the last couple of weeks, I have used the Loupedeck+ for editing my photos in Adobe Lightroom. To be honest, I was really curious and also slightly skeptical if it would really help me enhance my workflow (like they promise on their website). My prediction was it would take too much time for me to learn to work with it and I thought that it would be hard to combine with my workflow. Let’s see if that was true.
What is the Loupedeck+?
The Loupedeck+ is a photo editing tool, a console as they call it. It’s more like a keyboard with very specific buttons, dials, and scrolling wheels. Using this console, it should minimize the use of your mouse and keyboard for editing your photos. Where you normally would use your mouse to adjust the digital sliders in Lightroom, you now have a physical knob for it. There are also 10 buttons and an adjustment wheel you can set as desired.
The Loupedeck+ is made of plastic, but it’s sturdy and the buttons and dials are stable. They have a satisfying feel when you press and adjust.
It would have been nice if they would have used some more metal or aluminium parts similar to the Palette Gear modules for example.
As far as important, the packaging looks simple but elegant.
Installing the software is really easy and it’s done in just a few minutes. You need to download and install the drivers from the Loupedeck website, in my case Windows drivers, and then plug it into USB port and you can start your editing!
There are a lot predefined profiles available in the software, light the preset for Lightroom classic as you can see on the image below. If you choose to, you can customize the buttons in the Loupedeck software.
As I mentioned earlier, I was afraid it would take me days or maybe weeks to get used to it. That it would take too much time to put every button and slider in my system. In the beginning, I couldn’t help grabbing my mouse more than I wanted to. I had to look at the console every single time I wanted to adjust something and it just seemed to go faster the way I was used to. But I have to admit, the more I used it, the easier it got to work with it. It really does enhance your workflow. I started to use features I’ve never used in Lightroom before, simply because there was a button for it right in front of me.
The Loupedeck+ is easy to use, but what I love about it most, is how accurate you can adjust every slider in Lightroom with the dials. That definitely saves me a lot of time. Buttons for switching from color to black/white and back, export, full screen mode, copy/paste. Before you know it, you use them without looking at the console. And as many of the buttons are customizable, you can put any specific slider right where you want it to be.
Because I edit on a laptop (Microsoft Surface Book 2) and not a PC, I have to put my laptop further away from me so the Loupedeck can be placed right in front of me.
It puts the screen too far away for my liking. To tackle this problem, I had to put my laptop on a stand and place the Loupedeck partially beneath it. Problem fixed and to be honest, and ergonomically speaking it’s probably for the best also. Instead of looking down, I now look straight ahead at my screen.
I’ll have to admit, I was wrong. Yes it takes time to get used to it, but it doesn’t take too much time. In the end, it really saves time and gets you in a better workflow. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional photographer, this piece of technique is definitely worth the money.
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Full disclosure: We are not paid to do this review. This test item was provided for free by Loupedeck for testing purposes. This will NOT affect this article in any way. We will always provide a full honest review with positive and negative points.