Loupedeck is the only photo editing console custom-built solely for the purposes of improving the Adobe Lightroom experience. Its intuitive design – featuring buttons, dials and knobs corresponding with that of Lightroom’s – makes editing more creative and more efficient when working on large quantities of photos at once by allowing photographers to produce a greater quality output in less time.Q: After doing quite a bit of research, a $50.00 midi console and a free (or $60.00) plug-in offer compelling options to speeding up a Lightroom workflow. I think it’d be interesting to hear from the developer what makes Loupedeck a better choice by comparison. What specifically does Loupedeck and its software offer that justify its price over less expensive, not-tailor-made options?
For the Loupedeck, Lightroom customization is key and its exact parallel to the Lightroom software sets it apart. I find other consoles to be less intuitive and not as comfortable to use. MIDI controllers are not designed for photo editing. In fact, the Loupedeck is more affordable than most modular solutions that enable photographers to build their own consoles, which might be difficult for some. Our setup process is much simpler and doesn’t require photographers to assemble the tool themselves.Q: You graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tampere University of Technology (Finland) and later worked as a mechanical engineer while enjoying photography as a hobby. What was the watershed moment that was the genesis for the Loupedeck console?
Photography has been a hobby of mine for the past 20 years and it’s something I’ve really developed a love for. I used Adobe Lightroom to edit more than 1,000 photos at one point but found relying on my mouse and keyboard to be time-consuming, impractical and ergonomically-poor. I couldn’t find a console on the market specifically intended to expedite this process, so I decided to build my own!Q: You presented your idea to former senior Nokia developers in February 2016 and then initial research and development costs for the Loupedeck were funded by a Finnish Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) grant. How were you introduced to the Nokia team, and meeting them shape your business plan, product design and marketing strategy? How important was the RDI grant for developing a working prototype?
I heard from a friend of mine that there were three senior level Nokia employees let go a few months prior and they were building up a company with the goal to bring product ideas to life in just a few weeks. I contacted them with my idea, and they presented me a prototype in just a few weeks like they promised. It was an amazing opportunity to find, as I was looking for the right people with the right skill-set for three years to work with.Q: How did photographers’ feedback influence the final design?
I knew that without a proper prototype no one would take the idea seriously. The design had to be perfect: sleek and Scandinavian.
The RDI grant was essential to me because I was a young father and had to feed my family. I couldn’t risk everything in starting a company just on an idea. With the help of that grant we built a fully working prototype which we presented to investors and on Indiegogo. After Indiegogo’s huge success, it was easy to talk to investors.
The design itself was taken very well. Photographers just love it!Q: You used an Indiegogo campaign to help fund Loupedeck’s initial production run. What advantages did crowd funding bring and what were its downsides?
We promised to listen to our customers and bring new features to the service software and we’ve been constantly improving it.
Indiegogo successfully introduced our proof-of-concept to the consumers and other people who instantly understood its value. They responded so well to the unique value proposition and we exceeded our funding goals by 488 percent after just four weeks.Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the Loupedeck’s construction, especially in regard to its durability?
As far as downsides are concerned, once we exceeded the funding goals the pressure was on to produce and deliver the device! But we hit that goal too.
We constructed the Loupedeck with functionality and comfort in mind. After multiple ergonomic assessments and tests, from the knob placement to the length of the slides, we made sure that every part of the console was the most user-friendly and efficient as possible. In regard to durability, we didn’t want to create a bulky, heavy piece of equipment that users would have to lug around and worry about fitting on a desk. The Loupedeck is lightweight and the size of any standard keyboard. Its knobs and buttons are very durable, and we rarely experience damaged or broken products.Q: What features have been added since the console’s introduction via software updates and what features do you hope to incorporate soon?
We are always working on new ways to improve the Loupedeck software and do implement software updates frequently, especially when new enhancements come through from Lightroom. From new features, customizable options and bug fixes (like the recent Lightroom 7.3).Q: What advice would you give to other photographers who may have a product idea but are unsure how to get it off the ground?
To any photographer with a product idea who doesn’t know how to get it off the ground, it’s likely that you aren’t the only photographer who has the need for that product. The first step is sourcing feedback from peers to get a comprehensive understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. Then, leverage your network to partner with engineers and developers able to develop a proof-of-concept for your idea, in addition to any business or entrepreneurial advisors able to support the business plan for your launch. I personally reaped the benefits of crowdfunding, but there are many other ways to get your vision in front of distributors or directly in front of the consumers themselves.Now that you know the story behind the Loupedeck editing console, check out this device at B&H!
by Jeff SwingerSee the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center and be sure to check out our following resources:
There are few places I’d rather be than sitting on an end line or kneeling on a sideline, as long as I have a camera in my hand.
Some of my favorite moments have been on the sidelines of a football field, in the dugout for a baseball game or with my toes in the sand at a beach volleyball match. But that doesn’t mean it has always been a major league game or an Olympics. Sports come in all shapes and sizes and there is speed, impact and drama at all levels. Some of my most memorable photos were from high school games, which I have shot hundreds of over my newspaper career. I started when I was just 14 years old with a Canon AE-1 Program and a 70-210mm lens, taking pictures at soccer games and of BMX riders in the woods behind my house. I realized then that I wanted to be a photojournalist and really wanted to shoot sports. I got my first job at a small newspaper and shot a ton of high school athletics.
by Shigeki IchiiRead the entire article on the Harvard Business Review.
He [Masashi Oka, CFO] asked one former major investor for a reaction to the company’s prediction (accompanying poor quarterly results): “that the [current] market contraction will bottom out soon and our profits will improve.” The reply he got was like a cold shower: “Management is delusional about their long-term prospects,” said the investor, adding, “Every time we meet … it truly shocks me how far behind it is and how slow they have been to grasp the trends of the industry.”
The company took note and duly committed to reducing costs at a rate exceeding market contraction. Six months later, with Nikon’s prospects looking much brighter, it was time to check in with investors. Their responses, like Nikon’s fortunes, had reversed course. The very same former major investor who had previously described Nikon’s management as “delusional” had now changed its tune. “I am very impressed with the bold actions you have taken thus far, and I look forward to monitoring your progress from here. It sounds like Nikon will be a very different company five years from now—at a minimum a much more profitable one.” The new attitude was reflected in the company’s share price: One year into its transformation, Nikon’s stock price had risen by 35%.
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