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Loupedeck for Adobe Lightroom offers tactile photo editing

By Shawn Knight
Nov 4, 2016
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  1. Most of us can get by just fine in an image editing program like Adobe Lightroom using only a mouse and keyboard. Those who edit by trade, however, will likely tell you that using such all-purpose tools can be impractical, ergonomically poor and time consuming.

    Those are the issues Mikko Kesti ran into, thus prompting him to search for a more efficient tool for the job. After coming up empty-handed, Kesti assembled a five-person team and set about building the ultimate editing tool

    The fruits of their labor is Loupedeck, a professional-grade editing tool currently seeking funding on Indiegogo.

    Loupedeck is a physical photo editing console for Adobe Lightroom. Compatible with Apple and PC operating systems, it features an array of dials, buttons, knobs and scroll wheels, each of which controls a specific function in Lightroom. The console measures 15.7 inches wide with a depth of 6.1 inches and a height of 1.26 inches. It weighs approximately 2.2 pounds and should sit firmly at your workstation thanks to its rubber feet.

    This seems to be part of a broader push as of late to redefine how we interact with PCs (other examples that immediately come to mind include Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Dell’s smart desk concept).

    Loupedeck has already surpassed its €75,000 (around $83,300 USD) funding goal with a month still remaining in the campaign. A pledge of €299 (roughly $330) guarantees you’ll be among the first to receive the console when it ships in June 2017.

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  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,608   +290

    "Editing always felt impractical, ergonomically poor, and very time consuming"...

    Well stop editing photos with a macbook trackpad... Doesn't strike me as someone who was concerned with ergonomics and avoiding doing things in an impractical way.

    "I've always enjoyed taking pictures, but the editing part wasn't always fun"

    Timeline on indigogo - "2013 - Mikko buys his first DSLR, 2013 - And gets acquainted with Lightroom".
    First camera at 16 though so not too much fabrication, but "editing part wasn't always fun". 3 years of experience of it. Nice marketing.

    I achieved an ergonomic control system with a Nostromo Gaming pad ( http://www.razerzone.com/gb-en/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-nostromo )that had a scroll wheel on it and a thumbstick and "Paddy" plugin ( https://sites.google.com/site/dorfl68/ )for Lightroom.

    You can even use MIDI controllers with this software which will cost you a lot less than these, with the benefit that the sliders on MIDI controllers can even move to relative positions according to the current values of the values being edited. For me hardware sliders are a much better solution than dials.
    This video shows a demo of an advanced setup with a MIDI controller -


    My whole setup cost about £25 for the controller and a couple of pounds donation for the plugin licence!

    I also tried a setup with a Kensington Slimblade trackball where I could hold a key and use the rotation of the trackball (scroll action) like a dial and adjust any slider on screen that I had selected, which I could also bind to macro keys so I pressed a key then turned a dial without moving my hands. This solution has me moving my hand to a different control for each slider.

    These sorts of additional control devices do have a place in video editing but for photo editing I feel its overkill. The colour channel dials hardly need used in the majority of edits (especially if you are employing a colour management workflow as part of your photography). Also keeping arms supported and in static comfortable positions in one of the key concepts behind reducing any strain that can cause problems (RSI and Carpel tunnel). The most adjusted values in editing for me are what are covered in the "basic" section of the development tool in Lightroom. These on this device are 9 dials positioned across the entire device. If any of these people truly do mass editing of photos they would know that an optimised way of adjusted these values is to have one dial and a selector to switch between them. Having to move my hands to 9 different dials for each of a 1000 images I'm editing is not optimal for speed and efficiency for the user.

    In the end, it looks cool and the concept is nice but for serious mass photo editing where you want to minimise the time taken for performing each edit I don't
    see it being an improvement over keyboard and mouse and inferior to some of the DIY software+existing hardware solutions I've played with myself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
    spydercanopus and madboyv1 like this.
  3. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    @Arris I completely agree with your take on it. It's be a fun showpiece/conversation piece if you're doing quick or final adjustments for small batches of photos, like if you work in a portrait studio. I suspect customers/clients would love to see that kind of work/interaction. But for mass editing it'd only be cumbersome since a lot of those mass editing/exposure setting adjustments would still be driven by keyboard/mouse.

    That youtube video with the Midi controller and Paddy is pretty ballin'.
     
    Arris likes this.
  4. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,608   +290

    Give them their due, if they were going from editing photos with Mac trackpad to this device it probably would be an improvement :D
     
    madboyv1 likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,673   +778

    "A pledge of €299 (roughly $330) guarantees you’ll be among the first to receive the console when it ships in June 2017"

    That is certainly misleading if they fold and take the money and run ..... I would definitely like to see a performance bond on this one! If it comes through I think it will be a great deal ..... we can only hope ....
     

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