How easy is it to use just a trackpad/keyboard (no mouse) for Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dydegu, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. Dydegu macrumors 6502a

    Dydegu

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    #1
    Right now I use a mouse for Lightroom, but that's because the trackpad on my Dell XPS is terrible.

    Does anyone edit just with trackpad/keyboard on a MacBook, iMac, or any other non-Apple machine? Or is it better to always use a mouse?
     
  2. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #2
    Hi, i use a trackpad only for editing and it is the same as most things, you just adapt to what you have.

    A mouse or a wacom style tablet are easier for more complex edits but if you are like me and it is mainly sliders, then you will be ok.
     
  3. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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    #3
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, you're not really editing unless you're using a tablet and stylus.
     
  4. dwig macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Most Lr functions can be easily and accurately controlled/accessed using a trackpad and keyboard combination. The sliders can easily be controlled by selecting the associated numeric field and then using the arrow keys to raise or lower the values.

    The big exception are the special masking and related tools in the Develop module. These can be controlled with a trackpad, but precision is very difficult. A mouse is vastly superior for these tasks and a pressure sensitive tablet/pen combo is perhaps somewhat better yet, the tablet/pen is not as much of an advantage in Lr as it is in Ps. Personally, I find a tabet/pen combo vastly inferior to a mouse for 90% of my Ps work and 99% of my Lr work. It is only when you are "painting" on an image (masks, ...) that I find any advantage to the tablet/pen.
     
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #5
    This is obviously not true.
     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #6
    If you are doing masks that need to be precise, you want at least a mouse. Most folks will have better precision using a stylus than a mouse or trackpad. Much depends on what you want to do with your images.
     
  7. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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    #7
    Obviously I disagree.
     
  8. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

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    #8
    I use only a trackpad/keyboard with Lightroom. I have a mouse available and haven't used it in years. I've had a couple of Wacom tablets over the years and no longer use them either. That said, i'm not doing a lot of precise masking and such. I am mostly processing the images and doing whole image edits. But I have used the trackpad for more precise adjustments. If you have trouble you can just zoom in more to have easier control.
     
  9. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #9
    Same here. I used to use a trackball back when I was still using a PC for photography, but since switching to Mac I've been perfectly satisfied with using a trackpad. I tried to like a Wacom tablet years ago but simply never took to it. Nothing wrong with trying one to see if it works for you, but don't feel you have to use one to sit at the cool kids table.
     
  10. seggy, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    seggy macrumors member

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    #10
    Why limit yourself to trackpad/keyboard? With a Surface Book you can also touch Lightroom. Just sayin'
     
  11. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

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    #11
    A tiny screen like that for Lightroom would be painful. I use a 27" Thunderbolt Display... with the trackpad/keyboard.
     
  12. seggy macrumors member

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    #12
    It's not all about you lol, I was writing to OP
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #13
    While it has been a long time since I used Lighroom, it is perhaps not that much different than some counterpart applications. "Controls" are easy enough to use with a mouse and keyboard but any "on the image edits" might prove challenging if they are very detailed (like some masking techniques). Of the latter, this is where other tools might be a better fit such as a tablet or Wacom Cintiq (I had a rather nice one but was odd man out as I preferred an ordinary tablet) that for many is the ultimate.

    With a regular desktop I use a Kensington trackball, keyboard and tablet. On a laptop, I limit the types of edits I do until I get home and have access to the tablet if required. I should be honest though and say that I have used the trackpad on my laptop with pretty good success but it is not my preferred method but more like for emergencies (someone needs the final image immediately).
     
  14. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

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    #14
    Its also not all about you... I was discussing the topic (this is a disussion forum after all) and reacting to the OP on what you said.... using a tiny screen for Lightroom is painful... I stand by the statement as I've used a Macbook Air on the road with Lightroom and that is the basis of my opinion. You are welcome to disagree.
     
  15. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #15
    Just curious, are you referencing physical size or screen resolution? The latter is why I never tried an 11" Air, and also why I ditched my MBP13 for a MBA13. The lower pixel counts were simply unusable for what I wanted to do.

    On the MBA13 I found hat 1440x900 works well enough for most things, and Lightroom is reasonable for on the road stuff with unneeded panels turned off.

    I typically run my rMB at 1440x900 and it's as good or better than my 13" Air with Lightroom; plus I can switch to 1680x1050 if I really want to keep LR panels open and maximize image presentation.
     
  16. Robotti macrumors regular

    Robotti

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    #16
    That's like saying you're not really photographing unless you're using medium format. Are you?
     
  17. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #17
    Each to their own guys, each to their own. If you are just tweaking about like I do, then I think the needs are much less.

    I have a crappy little Wacom bamboo and it is great for the odd tricky edit when I am kidding myself I am artistic. Other than that I just use the trackpad on my MBP (not even retina) and it is fine for me. YMMV
     
  18. seggy, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    seggy macrumors member

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    #18
    Yeah - but the problem I can see is that people are extrapolating their limited experience to other things they haven't used.

    I have a crappy '11 MBA that I need to hang onto because reasons, a 15" '15 rMBP, a 13" '15 rMBP, a '16 MB, iPad Pros... and Surface 3, Surface 4 Pro, and Surface Books (among others).

    And I do all my LR mobile editing on the Books: The Macs don't even get a look in. And there are so many reasons why they don't but the interaction possibilities, the hardware and even the fact that LR runs better in Windows than it does on Mac are factors.

    However if you're wedded to a Mac, then the rMBP's are completely usable as is IMO. And as far as 'I need a 27" display to edit' is concerned, sure - if you want to do serious editing then it's advisable to go desktop.

    But by the same token I could up convergent's ante and say that a Mini with a mere WQHD display is woefully inadequate for real LR/C1P editing: Heck, I do my desktop editing on a dual-5K Windows workstation that you can't even spec a current Mac Pro to match. But of course, it's all a matter of degree.

    The reality is that within the confines of mobile and semi-desktop editing the Retina Macbooks are totally OK for the job. But as I said in the original post, why limit yourself to just the keyboard or trackpad? OP's on Windows, s/he doesn't need to move to a Mac.
     
  19. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

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    #19
    Its about both I guess. You can close panels on a 13" to work better, and if you are mobile and need to do things its kind of required. All I've really done in that mode is go through a pick the keepers... for any corrections I will usually wait until I'm docked.

    I will also add that 95% of my work is sports and 95% of sports is portrait orientation. If your images are portrait, then on a 13" machine they are really quite tiny, and closing panels doesn't really fix that much. Sports also often require a lot of cropping and going through a thousand images like that on 13" is painful. If you are doing landscape work or something that is slower paced, fewer images, and landscape orientation... then the 13" would probably be quite fine.

    Agree to each his own... different people have different needs. I did try the Bamboo a long time ago and hated it... swapped it promptly for their higher end model. I honestly don't remember what I hated about it. I was trying to use it as my main device at the time for everything. The one I ended up with had a mouse and a pen and worked pretty well but over time I shifted away from it...again, I don't really remember why I retired it.
     
  20. kenoh, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #20
    I got the bamboo for about £40 to do virtual whiteboards when presenting at work. Was fine for that as it didnt need to be particularly accurate.

    I would like to try a higher end model. You cant remember why you dodnt like the bamboo so not fair to ask you. Anyone else upgraded? Any insight into why a move from a bamboo to the intuos photo might be better? Curious is all.

    Also i do do some edits when on holiday on a surface pro 3. It is good to use the pen but I agree physical screen size, while ok at a push, is a tad cramped for long spurts of zoom in, edit, zoom out, move, repeat sessions.. again just my personal experience.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2016 ---

    But similarly, you obviously do this A LOT so you may be extrapolating the users needs too in the other direction.

    The truth is, the OP can make do with what they have and make the best of it.

    To my level of requirement can I edit a photo on my 6 year old MBP yes I can, with a trackpad ? Hell yes. Am I working on a pro image? Nope just enjoying my hobby.

    We all still have a valid opinion and you need to respect that. It is a forum the OP asked for our opinion. Limited experience or not we still have experience and value to add.

    So just chill dude... we all have an opinion and yours is as valuable as ours on the spectrum.

    We get it, you are awesome now please stop trying to court controvesy and be part of the solution.
     
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #21
    Yeah, high volume portrait orientation would be tougher to do on a smaller screen. Every single bit of vertical space would be ever so much more precious. My stuff varies, and I'll also have far few shots to go through from a given session than tends to occur in sports.

    Great example of why the answers for this sort of stuff can be different for different people.
     
  22. seggy macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2016
    #22
    Nope, strictly hobbyist, albeit one without resource limitations.

    No arguments there, as stated...

    ...except, I'm sure, when OP has a Dell and people are trying to sell him on a Mac ;)

    That was the point of the first post. In either case my argument isn't with you - it was with convergent, who you also had a difference of opinion with.

    Thanks, I knew I was awesome :d
     

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