Throw away your mouse and start using a Wacom graphics tablet

24 January 2017

A Wacom graphics tablet is perhaps the tool you didn’t know you needed. It allows photographers, designers and avid hobbyists pixel-perfect control by mimicking the natural feel of traditional drawing tools with a touch-sensitive surface and pen tool (or stylus) that detects the angle and pressure of your pen. As you move the stylus over the active surface area, it displays on your monitor, crisp and clear.

Effectively, the Wacom graphics tablet becomes your digital canvas, perfect for both left- and right-handed creatives. At this point you may be considering the Wacom for you, but is it really worth it?

“When I’m shooting I’m doing everything to get it as right as possible in the camera, but there are definite limitations, and I feel like Photoshop and the Wacom tablets have allowed us to take things to the next level.”

Catherine Hall, Wacom Ambassador

What are the pros and cons of using a Wacom graphics tablet?

The pros

  • Precision: Unlike a mouse, holding the stylus feels like holding a pen, giving you more control when selecting and manipulating images in finer, more precise detail.
  • Comfort: Have you ever felt that burning sensation in your hand from working with a mouse for too long? The stylus pen’s ergonomic design puts less strain on your hand when editing photos.
  • Pressure sensitivity: With the pressure-sensitive Wacom, you can control your line thickness and colour intensity, making it easy to create and edit multi-dimensional images.
  • Versatility: Wacom offers various alternative nibs that mimic the stroke of traditional art tools. A quick nib swop transforms your standard stylus pen into a felt pen or even a paintbrush without the mess!
  • Time-saving: Manipulating an image with a mouse is tedious. Wacom understands your natural hand- movement allowing you to edit images quickly and easily.

The cons

Learning curve

With every new tool, there is a learning curve and a Wacom is no different. Wacom has many features to help with a smooth transition from mouse to tablet:

  • Use the express keys: These customisable keys replace simple click and select mouse keys making it easy to navigate your computer.
  • Programme your pen: The power of the stylus extends to two customisable buttons helping you speed up productivity.
  • Zoom and scroll with ease: Scrolling with the stylus can be slow, which is why Wacom has a touch ring on the side to help you zoom and scroll effortlessly.
  • Correct mistakes with the eraser tool: Like a pencil, rotate the stylus to clean up any image editing mistakes with the back of the pen.
Cost of investment

A Wacom is a must-have accessory for every photographer and designer, but make sure that your investment matches your type and level of artistry.

Check out or Wacom tablets to find your ideal fit

Professional Wacom lines like the Intuos offers greater photographic creative control. They come in various sizes that respect your desk space and allow creative professionals in photography to use functions in Adobe Photoshop (brush tools) that would otherwise be unavailable or cumbersome, thereby enhancing the software itself. It enhances not only your image editing, but also your software’s capabilities, which is why every Photoshop user needs a Wacom.

About the Author:

Anna Lourens is a content strategist who enjoys pouring her creative juices into the Outdoorphoto Blog. She's also involved with optimising Outdoorphoto's online presence and brand exposure through market research and data analysis, SEO, and strategic content creation and distribution.

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