Object of Desire: Palette Editing Controls

October 7, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

Video and audio editors are well accustomed to working with consoles, knobs and dials, but photographers are usually relegated to mice, keyboards and tablets for their editing duties—until now. Palette is a series of modular tools that provide tactile control over editing functions in eight popular photo and video editing apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity Photo. The heart of the system is a Core module that plugs into (and draws power from) your computer’s USB port. Once connected, you can attach up to 18 buttons, dials and sliders to the Core. Using Palette’s free desktop app, you then map editing functions to the various control modules and you’re on your way. In Lightroom, for instance, you can map the exposure slider in the Develop module to one of Palette’s physical sliders. While Palette’s 18 total controls won’t cover every conceivable edit setting, you can also create and save different profiles for the modules and switch between them, so each control can do more than one thing. The profiles can not only contain different button assignments within a single program, they can also save tool assignments across any of the editing apps supported by Palette. The modules have built-in LEDs so you can color code controls to remember which is which. They connect via magnets and remember their function if they become disconnected.

PRICE: $199 (Starter Kit with a Core, Two Buttons, a Dial and a Slider)