A control surface is designed to let you navigate and control an image/video editing application efficiently. Loupedeck+ is a Finnish design. It’s a keyboard lookalike with dials and knobs and it integrates with Adobe Lightroom, Capture One (currently in beta) and Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 through a software driver annex control panel.

The nicely designed Loupedeck+ is packed in a beautiful black box, but I would have preferred it to have been made of aluminum because it feels a bit delicate – although that would have added considerably to the price! Support for Photoshop, DxO Optics Pro, Luminar 2018, Pixelmator Pro, Affinity Photo, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X would make this a nice cheap alternative for “Pro” control surfaces.

I tested with Aurora HDR 2018.

The Loupedeck lets you adjust images by dialling in values, selecting them with knobs, etc. That’s comfortable and useful, but with Aurora HDR 2018 I often couldn’t tell which parameter I was actually controlling, given there is no user guide detailing the matching feature for each control.

Also, and according to the user guide, in “Custom Mode” you should be able to customise every key and knob on the surface, but the guide – again – doesn’t tell you if this only applies to the Lightroom integration. I’m pretty sure it does, as the only two controls I could customise in whatever mode I was, were the Control Dial and D1. For all other functionality in Aurora HDR you’re stuck with the factory settings.

Having said that, the controlling of contrast, saturation and other clearly labelled parameters worked well, with good visual feedback in the corresponding control panel. The Aurora HDR experience showed me how a Loupedeck+ would be a cheap but decent control surface for Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X – provided the manual would keep up, that is.