Good value Digitizer Drawing Tablet?

heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,153Member
edited March 2014 in Gear Reviews
Hi guys,

Anyone have recommendations for a good digitizer drawing tablet for Post Processing.. It used to be very expensive but I have had a quick look and that are a whole new batch of really cheap ones out there now with good size surface area.. just wondered if anyone has done some recent research on the new stuff and new tech in these new tablets and if there are any stand out good ones or ones to avoid?

Post edited by heartyfisher on
Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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Comments

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Personally I would get a Wacom (still the best), but Monoprice has inexpensive digitizers with good reviews while Yiynova makes a Cintiq clone for a third of the price.

    Alternatively you also buy high-quality pressure sensitive pens for iPads / Android tablets nowadays.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I have a bamboo splash and am very happy with it.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,153Member
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    Get a Wacom Intuos A4. It's the best quality in that segment and the size is perfect. Smaller will be too small for precise editing (I tried before I got that one), and bigger will be too big (too much moving around needed). Also, it's got those nice configurable buttons and the touch wheel, they really speed up your work.

    Since a tablet is an object where haptics don't only matter, but they more or less constitute the whole point of the product, you'll appreciate the better quality of the Intuos products over the slightly cheaper feel of lower product lines a lot.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,698Member
    Did you end up getting a wacom?

    I tried the pro several months ago and maybe it was my macbook + bluetooth but it was too jittery and returned it.

    Now that I'm doing more editing on portraits and sometimes selecting the area with my touchpad it seems like a challenge not going over the edge of a face or a building.

    I was thinking of the small wacom Intous with touch and I will be using it wired prefferably. Most of my editing is during my commute and lunch hour during the winter and occasional editing at home on the bed while watching tv.

    The photo below it took me several re-do's to not go over the edge of the building. Even If I thought the masking was great I had missed a spot ( i did adjust density and flow).

    Solitary
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    edited February 2015
    I just got the Wacom Intuos Pro Small and love it. I use it on my Macbook Pro Retina and iMac 27". I'm glad I got the small as it's easier to navigate without moving my hand all over the place. I don't find precise editing a problem when zooming into the subject. I like the fact that when using the paintbrush I can change brush size and select color without taking my hand off the pen. The tablet is customizable and I found it easy set up. The hard part was getting used to the pen vs. mouse but after a few days I found my edits were so much easier. Glad I bit the bullet and went to the tablet.
    Post edited by autofocus on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,153Member
    edited February 2015
    Got a wacom CTE 440.. My son's a graphic artists and he had an old one lying around :-) he has a fancy one now with a big built in screen so he actually "paints" on the screen. Wonder when he is upgrading that one ;-)

    Actually he has a bigger one but its too big for what I want so the 440 is perfectly fine.. just have not have time to learn how to use it properly yet.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    Wacom has several different models. I know that some are more designed for graphic artists. But from strictly a Lightroom PS photography viewpoint only, which of the models would be best?
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    @ThomasHorton Like everything you read here it's opinion. I recently purchased the Wacom Intuos Pro small tablet. I had seen so many tutorials for editing in PS and the instructor used the tablet. I used my mouse to edit and found it just never gave me the control I wanted. After much bashing of teeth I decided to pull out an old Wacom Bamboo tablet I bought a few years ago. I decided to stick with it and after a few days realized how much easier it was to edit, specifically in PS when using layers. The little Bamboo was okay but I wanted more custom features, only provided by the Pro series so I bit the bullet and am happy I did. Now, why do I like it. When editing photos the Wacom allows more precise control over the mouse in that I can use the pen in a natural motion. It's very intuitive when trying to outline the curve of an eye and so forth. I'll provide a link to Aaron Nace aka, Phlearn on his beginners tablet tutorial. He discusses his set up and gives a few tips on how to use it. I differ in my set up a bit. I set the pen buttons to control "brush size and hardness" and "select color" because I find I use those commands most while working on photos. Instead of using keystrokes "opt+cntrl" on Mac for brush size I can press the forward button on the pen to do the same thing. My hand and eye never leave the photo. Anyway, not trying to sell Wacom products, I think they sell themselves. The nice thing about purchasing from B&H is, if you don't like it you can return it within 30 days, no questions asked. If you are on the fence I would suggest picking one up and giving it a go. Oh, I decided on the small (reluctantly) and think it's the perfect size for me. I don't have to lift my hand so much to traverse the entire screen which makes it quick and comfortable to use. Here's Aaron's link to see what you think....

  • RyukyuRyukyu Posts: 30Member
    @ThomasHorton First off, I wouldn't consider any other brand than Wacom. For most photo editing, the Pro versions are overkill. I would be willing to bet that most people can get by just fine on the most basic Intuos tablet.
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    i have a wacom .... i think its an intuos something or other, it was about 100 bucks, works great and is fantastic for editing. im glad i did not buy a more expensive one.

    if you are just a lghtroom user, dont bother with a tablet, but if you do lots of stuff in photoshop and really go nuts with editing, or if you edit a lot of pictures, batch stuff in photoshop, a tablet is a very good idea. it speeds stuff up, and allows certain editing styles (shift clicking anyone ;) ? ) that are clumsy with a mouse.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    Since 1995 I went through 5 or 6 generations of Wacoms and if I recall correctly, all Intuos Pro series, lost count. @mikep, for 100 bucks you won't get a new Intuos as those are the pro line. Oops! There are Intuos pro and "only" Intuos with bamboo pen, the "only" Intuos are in the price range you mentioned. Didn't know that.

    So I know Wacom and I know them becoming worse over the years. Wacom tries to imitate paper surface on their tablets. After a while the surface gets glossy in the middle. All they do is eat up the tips which are bloody expensive (being a small pin of polyamid / Nylon). Next tablet probably will be a Hanvon (another Wacom clone) but first I want to try one.

    What gets on my nerves with Wacom: They often try "new ways" but never think it through. Programmable keys, for each app a different programmation - how should I know by heart what short cuts I programmed on it? Or on the mouse keys? Pen & touch would be great if the tablet recognizes when what is on it, my fingers or my pen? alright, that has improved, at least on a Mac. But the first driver was not ready. Can't tell for windows.
  • What gets on my nerves with Wacom: They often try "new ways" but never think it through. Programmable keys, for each app a different programmation - how should I know by heart what short cuts I programmed on it?
    Well, that's what the display next to the buttons is for, no? Apart from that, if you (for whatever reason) happen to use more than Photoshop (or GIMP or whatever) for your heavy photo editing, why don't you just program those buttons in the same layout for each application?

    Anyway, if you use your editing software so little that you can't sort of intuitively recall which button does what, there's really no point in using the buttons anyway. It's like looking at the letters of your computer keyboard in order to figure out how to type. Or, as a better comparison, it's like the keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop/Lightroom. If you can't recall them because you're not using them often enough, there's still no point in complaining that they exist.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    @Flowtography Believe it or not: First digitizers were for CAD, that's when I learnt to use them. Even for graphic studios - the digitizers were meant for mask copying and the use a cut-plotter to plot those masks. So, if you only use it to photoshop, that's an easy thing to remember, isn't it?

    However, I find the usage of the pen much better and faster than the mouse or touchpad, so I use it in each application - iTunes, Aperture, C1, Pixelmator - if I count every app I work with, at home or in the office, the main apps are about three dozens, on Windows and Mac. And lots of them have different shortcuts. Intuos 4 has displays (use it in the office) and on Intuos 5 (my current home tablet) they gave them up again and use an onscreen-display with a very weird combination of touch and click the keys and use the digitizer as touchpad and have a scroll wheel with another 4 clicks - tons of possibilities and a nightmare to handle.

    Actually, they just overloaded functionalities - I'm not in the situation that I only need to learn how those 8 keys + 4 scroll wheel positions behave in each app - to me it's more essential to learn how my apps work. Wacom just demands too much attention. They have to justify the high costs and do it with a free-of-any-usability-concept circus of bells and whistles. Plus, they make their products in away they wear out quickly. So, a cheap Bamboo or an Intuos non Pro are alright. For the big Pro versions they went the wrong way. There was a time when I knew how the keys were programmed, but long ago and with only a dozen apps in daily use.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,698Member
    I tried the non pro Wacon Intous. So far I used it during my lunch and on the train.
    I can tell you this, going over edges has improved.
    Using the USB cord it is not jittery and just a few times has it locked or stuttered while changing the brush size with one of the pen buttons.
    I set the tip to very soft pressure and the eraser to default just in case I want a slight brush.

    For undo in lightroom it is command cmd+z and I set one of the keys to the cmd and then I press the z button and all it does is zoom in. I set another key to "back" and it does nothing.

    So far im getting used to it and it makes editing portraits easier.
  • @FlowtographyBerlin: Believe it or not: First digitizers were for CAD, that's when I learnt to use them. Even for graphic studios - the digitizers were meant for mask copying and the use a cut-plotter to plot those masks. So, if you only use it to photoshop, that's an easy thing to remember, isn't it?
    Why would I not believe you? :-)
    However, I find the usage of the pen much better and faster than the mouse or touchpad, so I use it in each application - iTunes, Aperture, C1, Pixelmator - if I count every app I work with, at home or in the office, the main apps are about three dozens, on Windows and Mac. And lots of them have different shortcuts.
    Again, that's exactly my point: There's really no point in blaming that on Wacom. You can't complain about shortcuts if you can't remember them. I'm not saying it's an easy job, remembering them. But it's not their fault.

    And as I said, you can just go ahead and program the same layout for at least the apps that are similar, say, the photo apps.
  • I tried the non pro Wacon Intous. So far I used it during my lunch and on the train.
    Am I the only one who thinks that's really funny how you say that? I'm just imagining you sitting at lunch and editing some photos "on the side". *Chuckle*

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,698Member
    It is my only time to do so. I was eating flaming hot cheetohs and almost touched the wacom with my food hand.

    Winter I edit during my lunch and warm weather I take photos then eat lunch. Photography is currently a side job/hobby thing. Coming home to two babies leaves almost no time to play with the camera or edit at home. Unless I edit aftet they both fall asleep but at that time im already exhausted.

    Each year a challenge comes up so that I do not take photos but Im determined to overcome that and become a great photographer.
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    A fix for the freeze ups. I tried it and so far so good. Found the article on SLR Lounge.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    edited February 2015
    Why would I not believe you? :-)

    How would I know? ;)
    And as I said, you can just go ahead and program the same layout for at least the apps that are similar, say, the photo apps.
    No, Flow, you can't, sorry, I can't program the same layout, because already "save as" comes in different shortcuts as well as "zoom all" (Adobe: ALT+0, pixelmator: ALT + CMD + 0) which is useful in sound editing as well (Amadeus Pro: Shift + CMD + L). So that would leave a big mess in Wacom's settings and occasionally interfere with the same shortcut for a different command in a different app. The overview in Wacom's settings is not exactly very informative or complete. The On-Screen-Menu is just another place to look at, instead of using the same OLED they used for (your and my old) Intuos 4 Pro.

    I would have to run through each app, with each pen/mouse. For some apps I don't need zoom all and prefer to use that button for something else, for some commands there is no shortcut, as they appear to be old-fashioned - why could Wacom not include a driver clever enough for a macro? Why could Wacom themselves not offer a menu with pre-installed shortcuts?

    No, I can't blame Wacom to put 8 anonymous programmable keys aside of the tablet. I could blame them to create those keys and leave the identifiers away, and I could also blame them to use materials which wear out soon and are only replaceable by replacing the whole device. I could also blame to sell 5 nibs for 10 € which is like a 1000% margin on that plastic tips. Sometimes I need a mouse and always got a Wacom. Next to a normal mouse, the last one from Logitech has a scroll wheel which can be de-clicked and runs super fast through tables. Wacom? Nada. They once had a great mouse with loupe/hair cross (Digitizer II Tablet, model UD-1218-R), awesome to hold, great to use, no real wear-out in three or four years. With the next generation, new tools had to come (got bought), pens and mice. With each next gen, except Intuos 4 to 5

    There are a couple of things I could blame Wacom for. But I'm still using it, so it can't be such a big piece of crap.

    Besides my complaints: I was happy with A5 sizes, A4 is on some desks too big. But I also used everything between A6 and A3. To me A5 is perfect, but that really depends.
    Post edited by funtagraph on
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    Good advice here. Thanks for sharing experiences. It really helps.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,698Member
    one of the things i hated when i was in school is using a pen and pencil.
    I tend to overgrip them leaving my middle finger in pain. I just found out that wacom sells grips. I'll be ordering that.

    Also one question for those with the pro model.
    I know that it is more sensitive
    Im wondering if I want to just brush over the surface will it give me 100% bleed.
    I have set mine to the most sensitive setting and yet I still have to press harder to get the 100% bleed.
  • No, Flow, you can't, sorry, I can't program the same layout, because already "save as" comes in different shortcuts as well as "zoom all" (Adobe: ALT+0, pixelmator: ALT + CMD + 0) which is useful in sound editing as well (Amadeus Pro: Shift + CMD + L). So that would leave a big mess in Wacom's settings and occasionally interfere with the same shortcut for a different command in a different app.
    It's been years since I last opened the configuration, and I just looked just to notice I couldn't locate the panel in the system settings anymore. Hm.

    Anyway, previously, there was a panel where you could adjust everything depending on each app. That was what I was talking about. Indeed, anything else (as you described it above) wouldn't make the slightest bit of sense. Dunno where that settings panel has gone, as in Photoshop, the buttons are still assigned and labelled the way I set them up some 100 years ago...
  • Im wondering if I want to just brush over the surface will it give me 100% bleed.
    I have set mine to the most sensitive setting and yet I still have to press harder to get the 100% bleed.
    If you want 100%, just deactivate the pressure sensitivity by clicking on the button in the top bar in Photoshop. No need to wear out the gear by pressing as hard as you can.

    I think there was also an option somewhere (in that mysterious settings panel) where you could adjust the pressure curve. But I could be wrong.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,698Member
    I only use lightroom, for now. In the wacom settings i set the pen tip to the most sensitive setting and the eraser i left it at default. A few edits later and I already worn down the tip. That might be user error as I tend to have a robo grip for everything.
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