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Spinning the DJ photo editing dials with the Loupedeck +

Let me tell you how I came to know about Loupedeck. While I was in New York for the PhotoPlus Expo (PPE) with the Skylum Software team, the Loupedeck team was at our booth doing demos on their products. I had not heard of Loupedeck before, however their little booth at PPE was getting a lot of attention. I started to hear a lot of people’s excitement and interest in their product.

During their presentation, I was completely blown away on what it allowed me to do in Lightroom. So much so that I reached out to them and they sent me the product to review.

Before we jump right in, let me say this, I love Lightroom! As powerful as it is though, it can also be incredibly annoying at times. Especially when it comes to controlling what you are editing within the photo. If you want to adjust something like your exposure there are only two ways to really do that. The first is to literally move your cursor over to the Exposure slider and click and drag it to where you want it. The second option you have is to use the hotkey settings — the comma key to go up and down between settings, and then + or – keys to change those settings. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good key shortcut — but that is just a bit much. You literally have to use four keys to get anything done and I just don’t think it is the most efficient.

What is the Loupedeck +?

What the Loupedeck + does is it takes a full range of Lightroom controls and not only puts them directly at your fingertips but turns them into a what I like to call a “DJ spin dials.” You laugh now, but just you wait. Each one of those “DJ spin dials” moves the setting up or down one setting! For instance, if you are working with the Blacks slider and you are set to +55, one small turn of your Black “DJ spin dial” and you are now at +56. It is honestly just that easy. Another cool feature about the “DJ spin dial” is if you don’t really like the adjustment you have made, just push the dial down and it will reset it back to 0.

Features I love

Another main feature that I love about the Loupedeck + are the eight buttons along the top that are for presets. The Loupedeck comes with their own set of presets assigned to each button but I have switched them out for all my favorite go-to presets. Making them super quick and accessible when editing.

The Loupedeck + also has a function button on the bottom left which allows you to double up or alter what that particular button does, allowing you to really customize your Loupedeck +. One of the function keys I found useful was the Before-After button. You can click it at any time and it will immediately show you the before and after side by side. However, if you hold down that special little function button and hit Before-After, it will toggle between the two images for you.

Additionally, I didn’t realize how much I would like having the Undo and Redo buttons at the top left, until I had access to those options. You can honestly just keep hitting Undo and go all the way back to the RAW unedited image or until you start to like your edits again. Then going back to my favorite little function button, if you hold that and hit Undo it will automatically reset your image to what it looked like straight out of the camera.

Even with all those amazing functions, my absolute favorite and the thing that I think makes this worth every penny is the Screen Mode button in the top right corner. If you are familiar with Lightroom you know that if you hit the F key you go full screen with an image. But once you do that, you are unable to see any other buttons/controls and you can’t make any changes to that image. Not with the Loupedeck +! When you hit Screen Mode it will take your image into fullscreen and still allow you to make changes to that image. MIC DROP! It is the coolest thing especially when you are editing on a laptop or something and you don’t have that much screen space, to begin with. You can edit using your full screen which is incredibly powerful.

Despite all these cool features, there’s one thing I wish they would add to the product. I’d love to see some sort of Loupedeck riser that would place it above or below your keyboard. Having a keyboard and the Loupedeck + on your desk does take up a lot of space and can be a bit annoying when trying to work. However, it definitely shouldn’t be an issue that stops you from purchasing it.

Conclusion

I really could go on and on about this product, but I am going to encourage you to give it a try yourself.  I have been using it for about three months now and I use it on all of my editing processes. It has made my editing time noticeably faster and way more efficient.

I should also mention that not only is the Loupedeck + compatible with Lightroom, it also works with Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC and one of my personal faves, Aurora HDR. So, if you are interested in giving it a try head over to B&H and check it out; it retails for $249. For more information, head over to the Loupedeck website and see what other amazing functions it can perform.

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