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Loupedeck CT Photo & Video Editing Console Review

The Loupedeck CT is a photo editing console photographers can use to speed up their photo editing workflow but how easy is it to use? And, will it make you want to swap your mouse and keyboard combo for it?


|  Loupedeck CT Photo Editing Console in Computers, Tablets and PDAs
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Features
Performance & Handling
Verdict

Loupedeck CT
 

The Loupedeck CT is an editing console that puts customisable controls, dials and buttons at the fingertips of photo/video editors as well as those who edit music or use design software. It looks cool, can be easily adapted to suit whoever is using it and as the Loupedeck original proved, it will speed up your workflow but at £469, is it a worthwhile investment? Let's find out. 

 

Loupedeck CT Features

Loupedeck might be considered a relatively small brand but big things have come from them over the last few years with the Loupedeck original, Loupedeck+ and now the Loupedeck CT grabbing the attention of photo and video editors. 

We liked the original Loupedeck but with it limited to editing in Lightroom, it wasn't a tool for everyone so Loupedeck introduced compatibility with a number of leading video and photo editing software when the Loupedeck+ was released. This was great for photographers but the overall size of the console made it something that was a bit awkward to use on a desk alongside a keyboard/mouse or remotely with a laptop and that's where the Loupedeck CT (Creative Tool) steps in as its smaller size makes it much easier to fit on desks. Plus, it's also compatible with graphics and sound editing software. 

The full list of software the Loupedeck CT is compatible with includes:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop CC with Camera RAW
  • Capture One Pro
  • Plus, various graphics, sound and video editing software

With additional software compatibility and the ability to customise every control on the Loupedeck CT console, it makes it a very powerful photo editing tool as, after all, we all have different workflows so having the ability to shape a tool exactly as we need it to work is a big plus point that can save time and make simple edits even simpler. 

As with the original Loupedeck, you get buttons and dials you can press and twist to select/use tools in whatever software you're working in. There are no longer small adjustments wheels but you do get a big wheel with a touchpad sitting in the middle of the console. As mentioned, all of the buttons and dials are fully customisable and their function will change depending on what application you are working with. You'll see from the photos that there are plenty of dials and buttons for you to customise or, if you prefer, you can stick with the preset workspaces the Loupedeck has as soon as you take it out of the box and plug it in. 

You have to use the provided USB-C cable to connect the console to your PC/Mac and there's downloadable Loupedeck software available which you use to configure the CT. You still need your mouse for some selections and to move the cursor but your keyboard can have a rest. If you do find you need to use the keyboard, you can easily switch between it and the CT, though. 

The Loupedeck CT is available now for £469. 
 

Loupedeck CT Key Features

  • Fully customisable
  • Logical organisation of tools
  • Compact size & ergonomic 
  • Compatible with various software
  • Fun to use
  • Looks smart 
  • Faster editing workflow

 

Loupedeck CT Performance & Handling 

Loupedeck CT
 

The first thing we want to say about the Loupedeck CT is how cool it looks! It's also a much better size than the Loupdeck+ which is still a great tool but when you have a keyboard, mouse, mug of tea, diary, smartphone... etc. on your desk, it did make it a bit of a squeeze. With the CT, the compact square shape means it can sit to the side of your keyboard or indeed in front of your monitor if you prefer. It also fits nicely in a bag should you need to work remotely. 

Another big 'plus' point is the overall build quality of the CT which Loupedeck are proud to discuss on their website. It features an aluminium cover, all buttons/dials are constructed well and the weight behind it reassures you that it's of excellent quality. 

All of the buttons are backlit and use a colour code so you know what tools are associated with each other and the dials rotate with a click/resistance that lets you know it's turning. You can also press the dials and when you do, you'll hear a similar click - it's a small detail but one that we appreciate. The main dial rotates as smoothly as the other dials and the touchscreen in the centre of it responds well. Although, it would have been nice to see some sort of forced feedback on the larger dial so you can make slight movements to specific tools as well as quickly move the dial around to rotate through tools faster. 

The CT is powered by a supplied USB-C cable which we found to be a little on the short side and had to find an adapter to use with it to ensure it could reach the PC tower while remaining securely on the desk. It would also be nice if the console could work wirelessly via Bluetooth as this would eliminate the need for the cable. 

To customise the CT you need to download the Loupedeck software which is freely available from the Loupedeck website. Once downloaded, you can select which Loupedeck you are using along with the software you'll be working in. 

 

Loupedeck CT
 

With so many options available when it comes to customisation, we recommend you read the manual or the instructions that you can access in the software as you can soon get lost down the rabbit hole of configuration if you try to figure it out on your own. That said, it does come set-up with preset workspaces dedicated to every step of the editing process, with commonly used functions like colour grading, retouching, editing and more so you don't actually have to make any adjustments to get going out of the box. If you do choose to make your own workspaces, you can make as many as you like and organise them how you see fit. 

If you've not used a Loupedeck before, they can take some getting used to but like with any device, after a few days of use, you'll soon be adjusting workspaces in the software and moving dials to apply effects to your photos. 

As with previous Loupdecks, the CT has been built in an intuitive way and it doesn't take long to get to grips with how it works. We'd actually recommend having a play around with the CT as Loupedeck has set it up then once you get a hang of the controls, take a look at how they can be customised to suit your workflow better.

To change a button's function, all you need to do is open the software, select the button you want to change on the on-screen CT representation and then select the action you want to apply to it from the options found to the left. 

 

Loupedeck CT

 

Once you customise the CT, it really does help speed your workflow up as you can have presets ready and just move through the software with much more speed. Some adjustments/selections are more accurate and easy to do, too, such as picking a colour via the LCD on the main central dial or using the touchscreen at the top of the CT to add a layer adjustment. Creating a black & white adjustment layer was as simple as a 'click' as was creating a new layer and layer mask from the main dial. 

As you don't have to move your mouse cursor from one side of the screen to the other when switching between tools, edits soon become quicker and the whole editing process just feels slicker. 

Overall, the Loupedeck CT is an excellent editing console that professional photo editors will certainly find useful. 

 

Value For Money

The Loupedeck CT is available now for £469 or, alternatively, you could look at the Loupedeck+ for £219 but it's not as compact and doesn't look quite as slick. You could also have a look at the Tangent Arc or TuneShark consoles but we've not reviewed these products so can't comment on how good they are. Alternatively, you could look at a Wacom graphics tablet that's designed for photo editing with a supplied pen. 

 

Loupedeck CT Verdict

The Loupedeck CT is a very cool photo editing console that looks great on your desk and does the job it's designed to do which is speed up your workflow. Professional photo retouchers will find it particularly useful but there's no reason why someone who takes photos for fun wouldn't find it a beneficial tool if they think the investment is worthwhile. 

The console does take some getting used to but once you do, it becomes intuitive to use and the fact that every dial, button and control is customisable really does mean you can shape it to suit your exact needs. Plus, the fact that it's now compatible with multiple software is a big plus point. The reduced size and shape are also great as not only does it fit on your desk more easily, you can also carry it in a bag and work remotely with it if you need to. The provided power cable is a bit too short, in our opinion, and it's a shame the device isn't wireless (yet) but these are the only 2 major snags we have with the photo editing console. 

Those who are pretty confident and quick at using a mouse/keyboard/shortcut combo for photo editing might wonder why they need a Loupedeck CT but after a while, we are sure that you'll find that it can quicken your workflow and make tasks just that bit easier. However, it does come at a cost as £469 is a big investment when you compare it with a mouse and keyboard but its smooth operating in Lightroom and Photoshop could make it something that grabs a photographer's interest. 

We like the Loupedeck CT a lot, it's fun as well as practical and we're happy to 'Highly Recommend' it.  

 

Loupedeck CT Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Speeds up the editing process 
  • It's a lot of fun 
  • Intuitive 
  • Looks great
  • Portable and small in size
  • Fully customisable
  • Excellent build quality
  • Compatible with lots of software

Loupedeck CT Cons

  • The price might be high for some 
  • The provided USB-C cable is very short
  • Not wireless 

Features5/5
Handling4/5
Performance4.5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

 

System Requirements 

  • Windows 10
  • MacOS 10.13+
  • USB 2.0 A (USB-C to USB-A cable included in box)

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