Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

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Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

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stevie wonder
stevie wonder Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
4

A tablet is a must for editing photos. All you need is a medium Wacom tablet and your done. Don’t waste your money on cheap tablets.

davidedric Veteran Member • Posts: 6,209
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
2

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

There have been a  number of threads on this, with differing opinions.

For me a Wacom small works best.  I have a single display. The tablet maps to the screen not the whole image, so for detailed work on small areas just zoom in.

I use tablet and mouse,  one in either hand.  You have to concentrate though!

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flyinglentris
flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,334
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

davidedric wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

There have been a number of threads on this, with differing opinions.

For me a Wacom small works best. I have a single display. The tablet maps to the screen not the whole image, so for detailed work on small areas just zoom in.

I use tablet and mouse, one in either hand. You have to concentrate though!

I was trying to understand why the preference is the Cintiq 22  and not the Cintiq 22HD, which has more bells and whistles.    I've already made up my mind to get the Cintiq 22, but am curious about that Cintiq 22HD.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
flyinglentris in LLOMA

Joe Moche Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

I agree that a mouse just doesn't cut it for precise edition.   I had a couple of cheap tablets, then finally bit the bullet and bought a Wacom.  I got the large, but in retrospect the medium would have been just as good, and maybe better.  I use the Wacom for editing and a mouse to access menu items change tools, etc.  I can't seem to get the hang of using the pen as a mouse...

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graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,776
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
4

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos.

"Just retouching photos" does not need much of a tablet. It can be a lower end one, or a non-Wacom knockoff brand. For just retouching, you are only using the most basic options of the stylus, like pressure. It does not have to be big because the tablet resolution is so high, a small tablet can cover a big monitor.

When you spend a lot of money on a high end tablet, it is for the added features like tilt which are not used in retouching. Or for having a screen built into the tablet, which I do not think is necessary for retouching but some prefer it.

The high end tablets are for if you want the maximum simulation of various paintbrushes and pencils because you are a digital artist (painting/drawing). They need a lot more control over line and stroke quality than you get with a low end tablet.

For retouching all those high end features will not be used and will be wasted, so the only reason to get a high end for photo retouching is you don't mind spending the money.

The larger tablet sizes are also for the artists (not photographers) because they will paint/draw with natural arm/hand gestures scaled to real world paper and canvas sizes. A small tablet is too constricting for that. (Most) photographers do not need large tablet sizes because you can just zoom into the area being retouched. And you should carefully measure the space available on your desk before buying a medium or large tablet because they can take up more area than you have room for.

OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

graybalanced wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos.

"Just retouching photos" does not need much of a tablet. It can be a lower end one, or a non-Wacom knockoff brand. For just retouching, you are only using the most basic options of the stylus, like pressure. It does not have to be big because the tablet resolution is so high, a small tablet can cover a big monitor.

When you spend a lot of money on a high end tablet, it is for the added features like tilt which are not used in retouching. Or for having a screen built into the tablet, which I do not think is necessary for retouching but some prefer it.

The high end tablets are for if you want the maximum simulation of various paintbrushes and pencils because you are a digital artist (painting/drawing). They need a lot more control over line and stroke quality than you get with a low end tablet.

For retouching all those high end features will not be used and will be wasted, so the only reason to get a high end for photo retouching is you don't mind spending the money.

The larger tablet sizes are also for the artists (not photographers) because they will paint/draw with natural arm/hand gestures scaled to real world paper and canvas sizes. A small tablet is too constricting for that. (Most) photographers do not need large tablet sizes because you can just zoom into the area being retouched. And you should carefully measure the space available on your desk before buying a medium or large tablet because they can take up more area than you have room for.

This is great information. Thanks. I have not mad my mind yet. Still exploring.

Is it easy to find your spot in the photo with the tablet? I mean not much guessing is needed. That is the benefit i see with Cintiq type displays.

I just saw this: https://tabletunderbudget.com/photo-editing-tablets-for-photoshop/

looks like there are cheaper display type tablets too but I am not sure how many bugs they have in the drivers.

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OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

Joe Moche wrote:

I agree that a mouse just doesn't cut it for precise edition. I had a couple of cheap tablets, then finally bit the bullet and bought a Wacom. I got the large, but in retrospect the medium would have been just as good, and maybe better. I use the Wacom for editing and a mouse to access menu items change tools, etc. I can't seem to get the hang of using the pen as a mouse...

I have not made up my mind yet. Still looking at options. Non Wacom options are very cheap but not sure how they perform and bugs.

Looks like if I go with tablet then choice will be between medium and small size.

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2ShootDigital

OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

davidedric wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

There have been a number of threads on this, with differing opinions.

For me a Wacom small works best. I have a single display. The tablet maps to the screen not the whole image, so for detailed work on small areas just zoom in.

I use tablet and mouse, one in either hand. You have to concentrate though!

Which Wacom tablet you have?

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2ShootDigital

davidedric Veteran Member • Posts: 6,209
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

graybalanced wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos.

"Just retouching photos" does not need much of a tablet. It can be a lower end one, or a non-Wacom knockoff brand. For just retouching, you are only using the most basic options of the stylus, like pressure. It does not have to be big because the tablet resolution is so high, a small tablet can cover a big monitor.

When you spend a lot of money on a high end tablet, it is for the added features like tilt which are not used in retouching. Or for having a screen built into the tablet, which I do not think is necessary for retouching but some prefer it.

The high end tablets are for if you want the maximum simulation of various paintbrushes and pencils because you are a digital artist (painting/drawing). They need a lot more control over line and stroke quality than you get with a low end tablet.

For retouching all those high end features will not be used and will be wasted, so the only reason to get a high end for photo retouching is you don't mind spending the money.

The larger tablet sizes are also for the artists (not photographers) because they will paint/draw with natural arm/hand gestures scaled to real world paper and canvas sizes. A small tablet is too constricting for that. (Most) photographers do not need large tablet sizes because you can just zoom into the area being retouched. And you should carefully measure the space available on your desk before buying a medium or large tablet because they can take up more area than you have room for.

This is great information. Thanks. I have not mad my mind yet. Still exploring.

Is it easy to find your spot in the photo with the tablet? I mean not much guessing is needed. That is the benefit i see with Cintiq type displays.

I just saw this: https://tabletunderbudget.com/photo-editing-tablets-for-photoshop/

looks like there are cheaper display type tablets too but I am not sure how many bugs they have in the drivers.

With an Intuous I have no trouble finding the spot on the photo.  Why did you look at the Cintiq over the Intuous?

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davidedric Veteran Member • Posts: 6,209
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

davidedric wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

There have been a number of threads on this, with differing opinions.

For me a Wacom small works best. I have a single display. The tablet maps to the screen not the whole image, so for detailed work on small areas just zoom in.

I use tablet and mouse, one in either hand. You have to concentrate though!

Which Wacom tablet you have?

intuous small

 davidedric's gear list:davidedric's gear list
Sony RX100 VII Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Panasonic G85 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +3 more
flyinglentris
flyinglentris Senior Member • Posts: 1,334
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

graybalanced wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos.

"Just retouching photos" does not need much of a tablet. It can be a lower end one, or a non-Wacom knockoff brand. For just retouching, you are only using the most basic options of the stylus, like pressure. It does not have to be big because the tablet resolution is so high, a small tablet can cover a big monitor.

When you spend a lot of money on a high end tablet, it is for the added features like tilt which are not used in retouching. Or for having a screen built into the tablet, which I do not think is necessary for retouching but some prefer it.

It is for me, as an artist, applicable to photos, maybe, but to general Vector and Raster Graphics, for sure.

The high end tablets are for if you want the maximum simulation of various paintbrushes and pencils because you are a digital artist (painting/drawing). They need a lot more control over line and stroke quality than you get with a low end tablet.

For retouching all those high end features will not be used and will be wasted, so the only reason to get a high end for photo retouching is you don't mind spending the money.

The larger tablet sizes are also for the artists (not photographers) because they will paint/draw with natural arm/hand gestures scaled to real world paper and canvas sizes. A small tablet is too constricting for that. (Most) photographers do not need large tablet sizes because you can just zoom into the area being retouched. And you should carefully measure the space available on your desk before buying a medium or large tablet because they can take up more area than you have room for.

There's the ticket.

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"If you are among those who believe that it has all been done already and nothing new can be achieved, you've murdered your own artistry before ever letting it live. You abort it in its fetal state. There is much that has yet to be spoken in art and composition and it grows with the passage of time. Evolving technologies, world environments and ideologies all drive change in thoughts, passion and expression. There is no way that it can all ever be done already. And therein lies the venue for the creative artist, a venue that is as diverse as the universe is unmapped and unexplored." - Quote from FlyingLentris
~
flyinglentris in LLOMA

OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

davidedric wrote:

With an Intuous I have no trouble finding the spot on the photo. Why did you look at the Cintiq over the Intuous?

I am just exploring at this time. I don't want to keep changing and spending money. My move to buy a tablet or Cintiq should be good for long time.

I would also like to hear from folks who use non Wacom tablets or displays/pens. This article has many of those i did not know about: https://tabletunderbudget.com/photo-editing-tablets-for-photoshop/

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graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,776
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
1

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

Is it easy to find your spot in the photo with the tablet? I mean not much guessing is needed. That is the benefit i see with Cintiq type displays.

Think of your mouse. The reason you can find your spot is when you move the mouse, without having to put the mouse on the screen itself, is that if you nudge the mouse the cursor on screen moves so you know where you are. Then you move the cursor to the part of the picture where you need to edit, and get to work.

With a tablet using Wacom-type technology, there is a zone above the tablet surface that can sense that the stylus is near. On my Wacom it is about half an inch above the surface. If I move the stylus within that zone without touching the tablet, the cursor moves on screen so I can know where it is, like a mouse. I do not have to touch the stylus to surface until I actually want to make a mark. Hover, position, click.

There is one difference however. Tablets use absolute position. If you want to edit the upper left corner of your pic, you lower the stylus to the upper left corner of the tablet live area and the cursor jumps from wherever it is to the top left corner of the screen. Mice use relative position instead, which is why you pick up the mouse, put it down in a different part of the desk, but the cursor is still at the same position where you left it.

What was described in the previous paragraph is configurable on most tablets. You want it to use mouse-like coordinates? There's an option. You want to change the live area rectangle, or make the tablet cover two screens? There's an option.

Some users pay hundreds more for the tablets with built in screen because even though it is not necessary, it is worth it to them to see the stylus tip interacting with the drawn image together in the same place like real pencil on paper. Instead of looking up at the screen while the hand is down on the desk. Even though we were already used to that with the way the mouse works.

graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,776
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
1

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I just saw this: https://tabletunderbudget.com/photo-editing-tablets-for-photoshop/

looks like there are cheaper display type tablets too but I am not sure how many bugs they have in the drivers.

Seems like a good overview of the options available. Wacom is the standard bearer and everything else is a level below. Not saying they are bad, some are perfectly functional. But the Wacom software has an incredible number of options. Unfortunately Wacom drivers are often buggy too.

OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

graybalanced wrote:

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

Is it easy to find your spot in the photo with the tablet? I mean not much guessing is needed. That is the benefit i see with Cintiq type displays.

Think of your mouse. The reason you can find your spot is when you move the mouse, without having to put the mouse on the screen itself, is that if you nudge the mouse the cursor on screen moves so you know where you are. Then you move the cursor to the part of the picture where you need to edit, and get to work.

With a tablet using Wacom-type technology, there is a zone above the tablet surface that can sense that the stylus is near. On my Wacom it is about half an inch above the surface. If I move the stylus within that zone without touching the tablet, the cursor moves on screen so I can know where it is, like a mouse. I do not have to touch the stylus to surface until I actually want to make a mark. Hover, position, click.

There is one difference however. Tablets use absolute position. If you want to edit the upper left corner of your pic, you lower the stylus to the upper left corner of the tablet live area and the cursor jumps from wherever it is to the top left corner of the screen. Mice use relative position instead, which is why you pick up the mouse, put it down in a different part of the desk, but the cursor is still at the same position where you left it.

What was described in the previous paragraph is configurable on most tablets. You want it to use mouse-like coordinates? There's an option. You want to change the live area rectangle, or make the tablet cover two screens? There's an option.

Some users pay hundreds more for the tablets with built in screen because even though it is not necessary, it is worth it to them to see the stylus tip interacting with the drawn image together in the same place like real pencil on paper. Instead of looking up at the screen while the hand is down on the desk. Even though we were already used to that with the way the mouse works.

Does these tablets work only with Photoshop software. How about other photo editors?

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stevie wonder
stevie wonder Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
2

They work with anything on your machine. It’s has-nothing to do with Photoshop specifically.

OP Digitalshooter2 Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

stevie wonder wrote:

They work with anything on your machine. It’s has-nothing to do with Photoshop specifically.

Good to know. Thanks

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2ShootDigital

Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,521
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

I am thinking about switching to a tablet or Wacom Cintiq for photo editing. I usually do not dabble in “art” drawings, just retouching my photos. Mouse seems too imprecise at times and now my hand hurts using mouse for too long.

What is your experience about these options? What works best for you and why?

Do you still use both Wacom and mouse or just Wacom?

Also, size is a concern. Small, medium or large? I don’t have enough money to buy one of each and try for myself to find out.

General consensus is:

1 monitor, a6 tablet

2 monitors, medium a5 tablet.

Arts designer a4 tablet.

graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,776
Re: Wacom Cintiq vs Wacom Tablet and what size for photo retouching
1

Digitalshooter2 wrote:

Does these tablets work only with Photoshop software. How about other photo editors?

Tablets are just another USB  input peripheral like a keyboard or mouse. When I got my first tablet I put the mouse away and just used the tablet with everything.

But most applications do not use tablet features except position. Some graphics apps will use pressure. Top shelf art programs like Photoshop will use most or all tablet features.

Some tablets have assignable macro keys, scroll wheels, etc that will work in all applications. With different assignments possible for each application.

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