Loupedeck+, a hardware console for editing photos in Lightroom, now works with Photoshop's Adobe Camera Raw tool, too. The new Photoshop integration, which Loupedeck announced Wednesday, could help photo editors get more use out of the $249 USB accessory.
The Loupedeck+ console comes with dedicated knobs for controlling things like exposure, vignetting, contrast and noise reduction. For example, there are individual knobs for controlling the hue, saturation and lightness for eight different color channels.
Along with developments like getting a Lightroom editing tablet through the iPad Sidecar feature, the Loupedeck+ console is a sign that traditional personal computers still have some serious abilities mobile devices can't match.
Supporting Photoshop's raw tool is a useful expansion of the Loupedeck+ console's abilities -- something that could appeal to the large number of people who are deeply lodged in the world of Adobe's Creative Cloud software. Think of a hardware console as keyboard shortcuts on steroids: something that takes more time to master than clicking through menus, but that ultimately can pay off with an ability to work faster.
Personally, I found the Loupedeck's bigger benefit was that it helped me loosen up my photo editing, where previously I'd often obsessed over numeric settings for Lightroom's many control sliders.
Adobe Camera Raw is a tool that lets you take full advantage of the flexibility and image quality of photos shot in higher-end cameras' raw formats. It's a very close cousin to Lightroom in terms of its abilities, but photographers can use it as part of a very different workflow: importing photos into Photoshop for heavy-duty editing. Lightroom, in contrast, doesn't offer Photoshop's full range of image controls, but it does do better at organizing and cataloging photos.
Loupedeck+ already works with some video editing tools -- Adobe's Premiere Pro and After Effects and Apple's Final Cut Pro -- as well as Adobe Audition for audio editing. For photo editing, it works with Phase One's Capture One Pro and Skylum's Aurora HD.
As for Lightroom, the Loupedeck+ console requires Adobe's older-lineage Lightroom Classic and doesn't work with the newer Lightroom that more closely matches Adobe's mobile Lightroom versions.