Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Basic graphic tablet?

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

I'm based in the UK & considering getting a basic graphics tablet to help with my image editing (photoshop elements 11 & Lightroom 5).  Has anyone got any pointers of what I should be looking for?  Its going to be a real minimal budget so is buying second hand an idea or will that be problematic?

Wacom seem to do loads and have different versions each year - are there any major differences in 1st,2nd,3rd generation?  I am soo confused!

Any help really would be appreciated and I hope I put this in the right section!

Sep 09 13 03:05 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

You might research the Wacom Bamboo. I doubt if the model makes much difference (I still use the "obsolete" Intuos 3). If money were an issue, I wouldn't rule out a factory refurbished unit.

As to which Bamboo, maybe someone else can chime in with some advice. I know there are Bamboo users on MM.

Sep 09 13 05:18 pm Link

Clothing Designer

GRMACK

Posts: 2153

Bakersfield, California, US

I have an old Wacom tablet.  It won't work with Windows 8-64 as they don't update their drivers for some of the older tablets for use with the newer OS systems.  Might be it was an old 32 bit and now 64 bit?  You need to watch which one you buy and see if they show drivers for your current/intended OS.

Nice way to sell newer hardware, but others do much the same with scanners, printers, etc.  Old scanner I had came back to life with Vuescan x64, but Visioneer would not supply a newer driver for it to run with Windows 7 or 8 and told me to "Buy a new model."

Sep 09 13 05:36 pm Link

Artist/Painter

sdgillis

Posts: 2444

Portland, Oregon, US

I have the wacom bamboo create.  I like the larger size of the create, but many find the caputre is enough. You can pick up a refurb and they are fine.  I used to sell wacom tablets years ago and the refurbs were great, they usually don't have software (corel painter etc).  If you have tiny hands the pen might be too wide for you.

Sep 09 13 05:42 pm Link

Photographer

Rick OBanion Photo

Posts: 1351

Saint Catharines-Niagara, Ontario, Canada

I have the smaller Bamboo..its great. Just don't lose the stylus nibs..lol. No idea where they are....

Sep 09 13 05:43 pm Link

Artist/Painter

JJMiller

Posts: 618

Buffalo, New York, US

If you must have Wacom and go refurb check their site first for drivers- I have an ancient graphire and can still get drivers, I don't think age is a factor. I use a crappy medion tablet for digital painting and it works "good enough" for me, but some people want more fanciness wink

The small tablets are nice, but bigger is definitely better.

Sep 09 13 05:55 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

JJMiller wrote:
The small tablets are nice, but bigger is definitely better.

No. Size depends on your personal preferences and working style. "Better" is determined entirely by those variables.

Sep 09 13 06:38 pm Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

There's some good points. Firstly I am running Windows8 64 do sounds like that could be an issue. I would say my hands are more on the large size, so that shouldn't be an issue. How do I find which ones are win 8 compatible I looked on the wacom site but couldn't see anything!

I don't plan to do much drawing with the tablet but my eldest son might. Is multi touch a useful feature? I've seen videos of people squeezing their fingers to reduce image size on screen and things but I don't know if you can do that on the basic ones!

Finally it doesn't have to be Wacom so if there are any other brands feel free to mention them!

Sep 09 13 11:32 pm Link

Photographer

Alex Pullin

Posts: 18

London, England, United Kingdom

Might be worth checking this out:
http://fstoppers.com/a-50-pen-tablet-to … to-be-true

I've got no experience with it so it's more of a suggestion than a recomendation.
But if it helps, for what I use my Wacom for (general photoshop and retouching) I've never really bothered with using the touch. It works fine but I prefer to use my keyboard for things like adjusting image magnification.

Sep 10 13 12:01 am Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

Thanks Alex, its got mixed reviews on Amazon so I might give that one a miss but appreciate you taking the time to post it smile  Thanks to for your comments around "touch" it gives me more to ponder on!

Sep 10 13 12:48 am Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

I 'downgraded' from an Intuos to a Bamboo Pen and Touch, in fairness the touch part of it is pretty redundant, but the tablet itself is just the ticket. One thing to consider is the level of touch sensitivity, Bamboo has 512 levels, whilst more 'advanced' models have upwards of 1024 levels of sensitivity. I don't feel like I'm being short-changed, so in truth it matters little to me.

I also use This tool to adjust the parameters of the sensitivity and it seems to work a treat and save my wrist a bit of RSI wink

Sep 10 13 01:48 am Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

Thanks Mike- I've bookmarked that link!  The new intuos at £50 does offer 1024 levels of sensitivity, maybe I just need to bite the bullet and get that hmmm.. :thinking:

Sep 10 13 02:53 am Link

Retoucher

Creative-Red

Posts: 151

London, England, United Kingdom

Any wacom intuos 3 +, I use a wacom intuos 4 never had any problems with it.

Sep 10 13 09:48 am Link

Photographer

Fotojeroen

Posts: 72

Waalwijk, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

I had an old Wacom but Windows7 had no support for it. Was happy with the tablet, but if I can't use it, it's useless.
Bought a Intuos 5 (no touch) and never used the mouse since.

I think tablets are worth the investment. The are more precize than a mouse and it's better for you hands (RSI)

Sep 10 13 09:58 am Link

Photographer

Feverstockphoto

Posts: 595

London, England, United Kingdom

FerjPhotography wrote:
Thanks Mike- I've bookmarked that link!  The new intuos at £50 does offer 1024 levels of sensitivity, maybe I just need to bite the bullet and get that hmmm.. :thinking:

£50 in store or online? Do you have a link? Are you reffering to this model  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Macintosh-Windo … omputers_3

£59.99 on Amazon.uk, Currys, Pcworld.

Edited: Ok i seen it on Wacom estore link below £49.99

http://uk.shop.wacom.eu/products/intuos … 5?c=86366#

Sep 10 13 02:07 pm Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

Feverstockphoto wrote:

£50 in store or online? Do you have a link? Are you reffering to this model  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Macintosh-Windo … omputers_3

£59.99 on Amazon.uk, Currys, Pcworld.

Edited: Ok i seen it on Wacom estore link below £49.99

http://uk.shop.wacom.eu/products/intuos … 5?c=86366#

Thats the one!

Think you have all convinced me I think I'll put in an order tomorrow:)

Sep 10 13 04:44 pm Link

Photographer

Feverstockphoto

Posts: 595

London, England, United Kingdom

By the way here is previous version below, the bamboo and it has 1024 pen sensitivities @ £42.90 on Amazon.uk.  Same as the newer one. The newer one just seems like a styling update, slightly smaller but about the same active area, maybe a couple of mm extra. I have the bamboo pen and touch one, never use the touch functions though.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wacom-Bamboo-Pe … ics+tablet

Sep 10 13 04:48 pm Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

I did it!  Ordered today - cant wait!  I ordered this one

http://uk.shop.wacom.eu/products/intuos … 75?c=86366

direct from Wacom.  I had concerns over the previous ones, their drivers and compatibility with Windows 8 x64 and Wacom have confirmed this will work.  I think the price is quite reasonable for the benefits.  A lot of people I spoke to dont use the touch feature so it seemed a bit pointless spending the extra. #veryexcited smile

Sep 11 13 02:01 am Link

Photographer

FerjPhotography

Posts: 11

Accrington, England, United Kingdom

Quick update, it arrived today.  Great service from Wacom, delivered by UPS so I was able to track it all the way from Dusseldorf!  First impressions are very, very good - but its going to take some practice.  Best investment I've made for a while smile

Sep 13 13 08:50 am Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

In truth I only use mine for d&b and a few select tasks, other than that I'm mouse all the way. Here's to your new revolution though! smile

Sep 13 13 04:55 pm Link