When I first got my hands on the Loupedeck console for Adobe , I expected the big benefit would be that its knobs and buttons would speed up my photo editing.
The Loupedeck is indeed a bit faster, though I'm already pretty fast after spending a decade with the adjustment sliders in Adobe Lightroom. Instead, what I liked most about the $300 Loupedeck (£249 or AU$429) is that it inspires a more freewheeling editing style. Instead of thinking something like "Let's go +0.33 on exposure, then -20 on highlights," I'll fiddle with the knobs until things look right without looking at the numbers.
It's a refreshingly analog style of editing. In my case, it helped me break away from some standard editing recipes that, while useful, can leave me stuck in a rut.
The Loupedeck isn't cheap, and it isn't perfect. But if you're a photo enthusiast who spends a lot of time editing photos at your desk, it's definitely useful.
I wouldn't expect beginners to buy a Loupedeck. That's unfortunate, because it reveals features and encourages experimentation in a way that I imagine would make it easier to scale Lightroom's learning curve. Instead, it's for pros and enthusiasts who spend a lot time editing photos, whether light editing for lots of shots or detailed adjustments to a few favorites.
The Loupedeck design is well thought-out, with the most important knobs centrally located and other functions in sensible groups. The knobs change settings at just the right rate, though that's adjustable if you find them too pokey or too twitchy. If you want to start fresh, you can zero out an adjustment fast by pushing down on the knob. It fits comfortably on your lap.