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The Loupedeck CT -- A $500+ Mistake?

Every once in a while, something comes along that appears to be a god-send. You know -- it looks and sounds too good to be true.

I am sorry to report that in this particular case, it would appear the Loupedeck CT was, for me, at least, just that -- a $500+ mistake that was too good to be true.

The problems started right out of the box. After following the instructions (such as they are) and downloading the Loupedeck software from their website and installing it, I plugged the Loupedeck CT up to the computer, in this case, a 2016 MacBook Pro.

The MacBook is running High Sierra Version 10.13.6. My version of Lightroom Classic is version 9.2, with version 12.2 of Camera Raw. Photoshop is version 21.0.3. All of these are within Loupdeck's requirements.

The Loupedeck CT comes with several "workspaces" already installed, which can be deleted, reconfigured, or ignored.

The first problem I encountered was that within the preinstalled workspaces for Lightroom Classic, there were only two things that worked -- I could change the size of the thumbnails in the Library's grid view by rotating one of the dials, and in the Develop module, I could change the cursor into the White Balance eyedropper with just a click of a button.

Sadly, literally nothing else worked. And I mean nothing.

I tried creating a workspace from scratch to see if that would fix the problem. After much consternation trying to program within a new workspace (it's supposed to be "drag-n-drop," but that's debatable), I found that nothing had improved -- nothing worked.

I tried rebooting the computer. Nothing changed. It still was not communicating with Lightroom Classic.

I then tried it on my Mac desktop, which is running all of the same software versions, including the OS.

Same result.

The Loupedeck was just not communicating with Lightroom Classic, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I sent a message to the company, explaining the problem, but was told (via automated reply) that it could take two business days before receiving an answer.

I decided that in the meantime, I would see how the Loupedeck CT would react with Photoshop. Interestingly, it seemed to be working fine. Every command in the preinstalled workspaces worked perfectly.

But the preinstalled workspaces don't even come close to matching the way I work. I want to be able to customize it. After all, isn't that part of the magic of such things? And they do advertise it that way.

As I said, it's hardly "drag-n-drop." Oh, "drag-n-drop" works, if waiting for what seems like forever for each change to take effect is what one could call "working." Granted, it was only a few seconds, but I can drag and drop other things on either of my computers and not have to wait at all, much less a number of seconds (up to 10) per move. To add insult to injury, you must be very precise when you "drag-n-drop" something, because if you don't grab it in the exact right spot, and don't drop it in the exact right spot, the move won't happen, and you're forced to try again. And again. And again.

Then something weird happened. Out of the blue, my left mouse button was changed to a right mouse button. I suppose I could have gotten used to that if the mouse buttons had simply changed sides, but that didn't happen -- the right was still right, while the left was now right. This meant that there was nothing I could click on without getting a context menu as opposed to making something happen. And I mean computer-wide. Every application was subject to the never ending right-click context-menus.

I had to reboot the computer to correct the problem.

Then it happened again. So I rebooted a second time.

Then a third.

That was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. I decided to return the Loupedeck CT to where I purchased it (B&H in NYC), and get a refund.

So much promise. So much disappointment.

I would not have been so quick to believe there was something inherently wrong with the Loupedeck's software had I not experienced the exact same problems on two different computers. But there was another, and in my opinion, a much more serious problem -- pitiful support.

I received my Loupedeck CT on Wednesday, February 26th. On Thursday, February 27th, I sent a message to Loupedeck LTD outlining the problem I was having. They said to allow "1-2 business days" for a response, which was echoed in the automatic email I received a few moments later, confirming they had received my message. Since I had not received a response from the people at Loupedeck by Saturday, February 29th, I sent the unit back to B&H for a refund. Loupedeck's response finally came on Monday, March 2nd, but it was too late -- the Loupedeck CT was already on its way back to B&H. I really, really wish this had worked out.

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