📷    Pros, Cons, Likes, Don't Likes and Niggles

OK, I hope I've explained in some detail what the Loupedeck is, what it does, and how to make it do what you want it to do. Now I'm going to detail the pluses and minuses of the device and its application.

📷   The Good
👍   Despite what may initially appear to be a higgledy-piggledy layout, you soon come to realise it's laid out just right. Every control falls easily to hand, without even looking once you get used to it.

👍   You just plug it into a USB port, load Lightroom and you're off. No mains electricity needed. Previous setup amendments are of course remembered, if you've made any.

👍   It's quick. Turn a knob, exposure for example, and Lightroom is changing the exposure as you turn - no waiting for you to stop turning. Click Before/After and wham! There you go.

👍   If you're into setting star ratings or colour flags first click the */Col button at the left and Loupedeck flashes a message on the screen telling which you've toggled to, stars or colours.

👍   Physically it's a very nice unit. Alittle narrower than my Mac keyboard, it has four nice legs on the bottom which hold it securely in place

👍   All in all, it just works. It always springs to life upon opening Lightroom.

📷   The Not-So-Good
No software or device is perfect; one man's convenience is another's irritation. I have very few criticisms of this device, and a handful of niggles. So first, my outright criticisms:

💣  Some fundamental controls are simply absent. It's a mystery why sharpening as a dedicated knob is missing. I wouldn't say that every photograph benefits from sharpening, but generally speaking, sharpening is fundamental to any post-processing workflow. Using the setup software and that spare C1 knob I've set up sharpening, but it really should have been there in the first place. Certainly, I sharpen more often than I Tint, so ditch the latter?

💣  Two Lightroom adjustments not catered for natively on the Loupedeck are Dehaze and Texture. I've provided these via secondary (Fn) functions, which is fine, but I have a bad memory, so I've had to resort to little sticky labels below White Balance and Tint.

💣  I do wish the little coloured dots beneath the 8 thumbwheels were bigger. It can be difficult to spot the difference between red/orange and blue/aqua, for example. Accordingly - stickers!

📷    Summarising

While there may appear to be some negatives here, this belies the fact that the Loupedeck is a fine adjunct to any user of Lightroom. I've barely mentioned the other applications the Loupedeck is supposed to work with, as I only use Final Cut Pro, but I'm firmly hands-on with that, and frankly don't want a control surface for it.

If you're a Lightroom user you should get one, though nowadays it would have to be the Loupedeck+ or perhaps even a Loupedeck Live or the rather more expensive Loupedeck CT. I've written a separate piece about Loupedeck Live, which explains why it's going back.

All in all, the Loupedeck is a pretty decent device!