If you're a photographer looking to speed up your editing, I highly suggest the Loupedeck Plus that came out a few years ago. It has dedicated mechanical buttons that correlate to all of the features in Adobe Lightroom. But what if you don't use Lightroom or you want an input device that's customizable and works with almost any application? In that case, the Loupedeck CT or the brand new Loupedeck Live is the better choice.
Watch the video above for a walkthrough of how the new Loupedeck Live works. It's similar to the Macbook Pro's Touch Bar in that depending on which application you have open, the Loupdeck Live will change its functions instantly and automatically with its color touchscreen. But, it's much better than the Touch Bar because it also has physical buttons and knobs, and it's much more customizable. Right out of the box, the Loupedeck Live automatically recognized every application I use on a regular basis, including my web browsers, and displayed the most commonly used shortcuts and features on the touchpad.
For power users, you can go into Loupedeck's software and customize this device to do almost anything. If you want certain options to show up constantly on the touch panel regardless of what application you're in, you can do that. If you want to create macros so that a single press of a button could start a series of events like opening Photoshop, your pictures folder, Spotify, and setting your audio volume at 50%, you can. This is particularly useful for streamers who are constantly switching between video sources, showing video clips, and streaming picture in picture. Now, you can do all of these things with a single button.
The downside to the Loupedeck CT, Loupedeck Live, and Apple's Touch Bar is that because it's always changing, you will not gain the muscle memory you will from using a standard keyboard or the older Loupedeck. For this reason, I still recommend the Loupedeck Plus for photo editing in Lightroom, but for everything else, the Loupedeck CT or Loupedeck Live can be incredible tools if you're willing to put in the time to learn and customize them.