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    • A massive 3-day photoshoot with three different cameras and over 2,000+ 42MP RAW photos challenged me to rethink my photo editing setup and workflow. Buying a dedicated high spec photo editing machine, which I did, only saved me minutes on importing, rendering, and editing changes.

      So I started to look for other ways of saving time while editing. That is when I discovered Loupedeck+, and I saw a glimmer of light at the end of my darkroom photo-editing hell. I'm exaggerating, but it was a mind-blowing revelation of a tool specifically designed to make Lightroom editing fun again.

      I bought the Loupedeck+ with my own $250 to speed up my Lightroom edits. Loupedeck does not sponsor this review. I'm sharing it with other photographers like me, who are just too busy editing and are in the dark about this fantastic tool.

    • Loupedeck+ unique design is ideal for Lightroom editing. After the importing and rendering previews, the hard work of picking, rating, tagging, and filtering starts. That is where the power of Loupedeck+ comes to light.

    • The layout of the Loupedeck+ is intuitive and organized around groups for specific functions. There is a physical button or dial for almost all essential tasks with plenty of customization for specific needs.
      I no longer need to hunt for an obscure key combo or a shortcut for the task. It is much easier to turn a physical dial than to move a slider with a mouse. Here is an overview of the Loupedeck+ and all of its primary functions.

    • On the bottom left of the Loupedeck+ is a group of buttons dedicated to labeling, starring, rating, and flagging. Below them are copy and paste buttons used to apply edits between photos quickly.

      C1 - Pick, C2 - Reject. But they can also be customized for other functions.

    • Directly across on the bottom right of the Loupedeck+ is a standard group of arrow keys for flipping through photos or to pan around.

      I customized the C5 key to zoom in at 100% to check for focus and noise while toggling between previous and next photos. I also customized C6 as a clipping toggle. This way, I can easily see over, or underexposed areas of the photo highlighted in red and blue overlay.

    • The top right button group of the Loupdeck+ is for toggling between the Before / After preview of the photo. It works even in the full-screen mode, which is the next button appropriately called Screen Mode. I rarely use the Export button and wish it were customizable for other functions.

      Right below are Temperature, Tint, Vibrance, and Saturation knobs. They do just that. 

    • The top left has an Undo and Redo buttons. Pressing fn + Undo reverts the photo to the original. This function is super for recovering from messed up editing or accidentally pasting wrong adjustments.

    • Pressing down on the Control Dial in the Develop turns it into a crop tool. Turning it in either direction straightens and crops the photo. It is excellent for aligning the horizon line. 

      The D1 knob right next to can crop the photo even further. Combining the Control Dial with D1 and Arrow Keys makes cropping and panning incredibly fast and intuitive. While in the Library mode, the Control Dial works like a scroll wheel flipping through thumbnails or photos. 

    • The "bread and butter" of editing in Lightroom are adjusting Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, and Highlights. These knobs are right at the center of the Loupedeck+.

      Turning the knobs clockwise increases their value in small increments. I was afraid that knobs would be too sensitive, but fortunately, the increments are tiny and need a lot of turning to see dramatic changes.

    • The best feature of the knobs is that pressing down on it resets its value to zero. In practical terms, it means undoing the knob adjustments back to the original — no need to dial it back precisely to zero. The knobs have a satisfying tactile click to them.

    • The top center of the Loupedeck+ features a group of scroll wheels dedicated to individual color channel adjustments. There are three button modes right next to them: Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. Switching between them allows for changes in specific color channel modes.

      Just like with knobs, pressing down on a wheel resets its adjustments back to zero.

    • The killer feature of the Loupedeck+ is editing in Full Screen. No keyboard or mouse can do this. While the photo fills up the entire screen in the Lightbox, I can still edit it! 

      All of the adjustments knobs and buttons work like in normal editing mode. I can even move on to editing the next photo in Full Screen by pressing the right arrow key. On a dual-screen setup, it isn’t as mind-blowing as it is on a single screen.

    • When editing on an ultra-wide monitor, I like to toggle on the Before / After mode. This way, I can see the original and the edited version of the photo. Having an original as a reference keeps me from going overboard with excessive editing. 

      Pressing fn + Before / After also works in the Fullscreen Mode toggling between the original and the edited version.

    • The are many more functions and modes such as adjustment brushes and graduated filters that are also accessible with buttons and knobs on the Loupedeck+ that I haven’t covered in this review.

      Deeper dive in the Loupedeck Configuration Software (Mac and PC compatible) highlights its incredible customization options.

    • Buttons and knobs customization is straightforward and intuitive. All of the available options are listed groups of tasks and functions.

    • I use Loupedeck+ only for Lightroom editing, but it also works with After Effects, Audition, Aurora HDR, Capture One, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

    • Loupedeck+ is a second generation of the Loupedeck originally crowdfunded on Indiegogo in 2016. This newer version has improved on the overall build quality while adding a few more knobs, buttons, and functions. There is also a brand new Loupedeck CT (Creative Tool) selling for $550, which is fantastic, but it is an overkill for my Lightroom workflow. I can see it being useful for music and video editing with its incredibly deep customization.

      For my Lightroom editing needs, Loupedeck+ is perfect. 

      If I could only suggest improvement in the next version, it would be to add a light indicator for each knob. The same light indicator already used on the Loupedeck+ for changing color channel modes would do fine. This way, I could see at a glance which knobs have adjustments. This indicator would be super useful when pasting adjustment settings between different photos. 

      Please feel to ask any questions about the Loupedeck+, and I would happily answer them here. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this review and learned a new way of editing Lightroom fun again!

      P.S. All of the photos in this review were edited in Lightroom using a Loupedeck+ 😉

    • Great Review Vilen, Looks impressive. I can see how that would be a great help. Guess it take a little gettig use to but once you are you'd fly thoguth edits with that, the full screen edits would certainly be a great advantage. Have fun with it.

    • Thanks for the review! I've seen the original Indiegogo campaign, but by the time it shipped, I was already out of my photography cycle and couldn't justify spending on a tool that would just sit in a drawer. But as a former event photographer, I can see very well how efficient it can be, and if I ever find myself doing any serious shooting, I will definitely consider getting one.

    • Nice work on the review. I looked at it a while ago.

      But I've been using Photoshop since V1.1 and I just prefer working in PSD to Lightroom.

      If I *had* to use Lightroom I'd be all over that Deck.

    • Very interesting @Vilen - I know nothing about this device, but it seems to offer physical knobs and buttons for on screen sliders of the basic editing sliders. I also see a Color/BW knob - is this for choosing the color profile for each image?

      The ability to edit in full screen is quite appealing, although I can see full screen images fairly quickly by pressing the F key currently.

      Does it offer a means to alter the Luminosity Curve and and its RGB values?

      Does it offer the various Adjustment Brushes with the Color and Luminosity Range controls also? I looked for these but did not see knobs for either of them, or am I just a noob who over looked them? How do you alter your brush sizes?

      Can you use the LoupDeck on files that you ship out Photoshop for selective editing too? Or do you need to switch to a keyboard for that?

      I do appreciate the time crunch for event shooters who need to provide a large number of final images very quickly - controlled lighting and jpgs to the rescue for some of them....

      We have chatted briefly about the frustrations with LR with many large files, - I suspect many of my delays are with some drive activity in the background when I see the colored beach ball I can hear my Promise Raid huffing in the background doing something - not sure what, since my external Adobe editing drive space is on my 1 Tb boot SSD

    • Great review, Vilen. I don’t know how I spend so much time in photography and yet I had never heard of a Loupedeck. I’m still having problems envisioning how cropping works but it sounds like they figured it out.

      I’ve been watching reviews of the new CT version on YouTube. Seems smaller because they made several buttons electronic and thus more quickly switchable to different functions.

      I’m a heavy user of Premier and I can see how this would simplify life. A lot.