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Lightroom keyboards and other gadgets

Discussion in 'Extending Lightroom' started by Victoria Bampton, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    I'm writing a series of blog posts on some of the Lightroom 'gadgets' that are available.

    They include things like custom keyboards (Motibodo, RPG Keys, VSCO Keys, Palette), midi controllers (PFixer, Knobroom, Midi2LR), other programmable gadgets (Contour Shuttle Pro, AutoHotKey, Paddy) and iPad apps used to control sliders in Lightroom (Ctrl+Console, Padroom).

    I'm still a big Shuttle Pro fan, but I'd love to get your feedback... have you tried any of these gadgets? If so, what did you think? Your pros and cons? Are they worth the money?
     
  2. Hal P Anderson

    Hal P Anderson Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I have a Logitech G15 gaming keyboard with 18 special keys that can be programmed with any collection of keystrokes and pauses between them. I mainly use them to invoke Any Tag and Any Filter plugins, a Crop mode that also incorporates Lights Out, and common functions whose shortcuts require modifier keys:
    Movies & TV_2016-03-14_09-02-21.jpg

    I'm sure I haven't gotten full value from the keyboard, but even so, it makes my life much easier.
     
  3. Ian.B

    Ian.B Active Member

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    interesting toy Hal :thumbsup:. Would be great to get the double key short cuts
    Sorry Victoria; I can't drive the basic stuff now, but I'm sure it will be interesting to see what is available
    Already googled shuttle pro
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Active Member

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    This sounds like it could get expensive! :(
     
  5. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    Yes, it could get expensive, but you might save a LOT of time.

    What will definitely be expensive is if I just start to buy a bunch of gadgets without any assurance that they will work for me. That's why i think Victoria's plan to do a blog on this topic is great, which would minimize my risk of truly wasting my money.

    Phil
     
  6. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Expensive? It's probably a good way to get a few freebies!

    I get offered trials and always decline them. Not out of principle, but because on my desk these things always gather dust....

    John
     
  7. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    LOL I don't want to gather too many gadgets. I have a Palette, Motibodo and RPG Keys to test, and a couple of others have trials. I'll test the iPad apps too. Probably won't go too far with midi controllers though, as I wouldn't use them.
     
  8. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    John,

    I'll be happy to help you out. :D Just tell everyone that I am your "assistant" and they should send the samples to me. :rofl:

    Phil
     
  9. I-See-Light

    I-See-Light Active Member

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    I have just acquired a Logitec G602 (Wireless Gaming Mouse)
    It has eight programmable buttons (6 under thumb, 2 under fore-finger). They can be programmed for many things- a single key press, a combination key press, a series of key presses. I am only learning to set it up for Lightroom.
    ScreenShot451.jpg
     
  10. Pollok Shields

    Pollok Shields Active Member

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    I don't think a Wacom tablet counts as a gadget but I'd love to know how people have them set up for use with Lightroom. (Meanwhile I'll search and start a new thread...)
     
  11. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Good question Pollok. I was wondering whether I should include the Wacom tablets, since the buttons on the side can be programmed.
     
  12. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    By that logic you could almost include some keyboards too, but I was thinking earlier that the gadget's benefit is often that it has buttons that can be assigned, whatever the gadget may be.
     
  13. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    Victoria,

    A while back, I posted a question about the value of a Wacom table for Lightroom, as opposed to Photoshop. The replies weren't encouraging, so I didn't buy one. But it would be nice to get a broader range of opinions.

    My suggestion would be to focus on "alternative" input methods, other than keyboard and mouse. Just a suggestion.

    Phil
     
  14. Neil Creek

    Neil Creek New Member

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    I use the Midi Fighter Twister in combination with the MIDI2LR plugin and it's revolutionised my editing. Having fine manual control over sliders with physical knobs, which I can swap between quickly without taking my eyes off the image has made editing much faster and much more enjoyable. There's no lag either, which I was worried about. It was absolutely worth the expense of buying the MIDI control deck.

    I made a short video about it early on in my experience:

    I can't go back to using the mouse for sliders now!
     
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  15. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    That's brilliant, thanks for sharing that Neil. That's a really cute controller, and not too big, which has always put me off midi controllers. Do you mind if I link to your video in my post?
     
  16. Neil Creek

    Neil Creek New Member

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    Of course! Please feel free. Happy to answer any questions you might have as well. I look forward to the post!
     
  17. john.jcb

    john.jcb New Member

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    Neil Great explanation in the video. This may just go on my birthday wish list.

    Is it possible with this controller to switch and use it for different programs?

    I think I could set this up to use with my right hand while I do everything it does not control using my Wacom tablet on the left. I think I can manage a knob with my right hand but the pen and mouse require my dominant hand.

    John
     
  18. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    Neil,

    +1 for the video.

    Does this MIDI controller also work with Photoshop, or can it be set up for Photoshop?

    (may be a ) stupid question: what happens if Lightroom and Photoshop are open at the same time?

    Phil
     
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  19. JayK

    JayK New Member

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    This is a great topic! Midi controllers seem like a natural for Photoshop--sliders and dials--but it was difficult to locate info on the options.

    I chose PusherLabs' (Pusher Labs — Workflow Solutions for Lightroom) PFixer MiniMal Bundle, a software/hardware combo. It works great out of the box, and it's easily configurable. For me, it's far easier to manipulate than a mouse and keyboard. I've recommended PFixer MiniMal Bundle to several other Photoshop users, and they've had great experiences too.

    (I have no affiliation with the company. Just a bit of a fan boy.) minimal-3.jpg
     
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  20. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Active Member

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    How long to Christmas? :)
     
  21. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    Looks nice, but it's Mac only.

    Phil
     
  22. tspear

    tspear Senior Member

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    This thread is dangerous. I can foresee my photography budget is in trouble.
     
  23. Cerianthus

    Cerianthus Active Member

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    It's made me buy a contour pro. Have yet to try it out because we're away for Easter.
     
  24. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    You know what I said about "on my desk these things always gather dust...."

    Well, the nearest I have to a gadget is a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I like that it has 5 extra keys which I've tied in to favourite programs, but.... I know #3 is Dreamweaver, and I guessed #4 and #5 correctly when I just tested them. #1 and #2 were slight surprises though! But just now I was posting something to another forum and had dragged my thumb below the spacebar - the browser suddenly went back to the previous page. You know, I've probably had this keyboard for 4-5 years, used it most days, and I'd never noticed that the pair of Back and Forward keys down there! This Contour Pro does sound interesting, but somehow I think my left hand would explode in surprise at being expected to do more than lift a cup or pick up a biscuit!

    John
     
  25. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    I hadn't considered marketing it as a weight loss tool... ;)
     

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