With the advent of digital we’ve clearly seen an uptick in the number of people actively pursuing photography at some level, and how we interact with those images taken has also changed dramatically – out of the darkroom and into Lightroom. That said, how we interface with is also shifting, and heavy users have been seeking other ways to control it. Queue the modular solutions to controlling said software, most notably with Palette, Pfixer, and then perhaps the most progressive being CTRL+Console, but the newest is Loupedeck, and when we announced it last fall, the anticipation was high. Well, it’s finally here.
Developed by a team of former Nokia product developers, Loupedeck is physical editing console for Adobe software that is aimed at all levels of photographers and graphic designers. Unlike Palette which is made up of numerous pieces, this design is more elegant and more akin to a keyboard, and unlike Pfixer which is an all-in-one solution that adapts other hardware via software, Loupedeck is custom-built for this purpose.
The primary purpose of them all, however, is to provide a more streamlined, perhaps more nuanced and controlled workflow when using Adobe software, and Loupedeck’s dedicated layout is evidence of that. Each dial, button and knob is dedicated to a feature within Lightroom, though, like the others, it would seem this wouldn’t be hard to adjust for various software in the future. But for now you will be able to control navigation, individual color channels, brush, zoom, before/after and all other sliders and all else. It looks good, and now we know the price: $299, and is available for pre-order now.
So it’s not cheap, but neither are the rest. In terms of price how does it stack up? Well, if you spring for the full blown 15-module kit from Palette it’ll will run you some $500, and the Pfixer bundle which comes with the Behringer BCF-2000 motorized unit, software and all, comes in at $359 last I checked. So Loupedeck is actually the least expensive of the lot. Granted, that may change when CTRL+Console released their Develop Module interface.
Now, should you buy it? Well, we wouldn’t begrudge you doing so right now, but we’ll be getting a review unit in within two weeks and hopefully have a review out soon after. For now you can find it here.