I have been using a Wacom Tablet for a little less than a year now and it has made editing so much easier. This is one of those bits of gear where, if you do a lot of photo editing, you might think, “Nah I don’t need one I don’t draw or paint or do graphic design” I said the same thing and I was proven wrong.
The tablet pictured above is a Wacom Intuous 4 small, recommended by Phlearn. A lot of the tools in applications like Photoshop and Illustrator have brushes. Brushes for healing, patching, cloning, etc. If you use a mouse these tools only have the ability to be “on” when you click down on your mouse and “off” when you unclick.
After you have used a tablet, using a mouse is basically the biggest hassle in photo editing. You constantly have to change brush sizes and opacities and still something won’t look right. When you switch to a tablet however, you gain well over a thousand levels of pressure sensitivity whereas you used to just have the “on” and “off” of a typical desktop mouse. It feels really funky and disorienting at first but once you’re past the learning curve, it is brilliant.
Now with the tablet you can finally take full advantage of all the brushes in Photoshop and really be able to fluidly blend colors together or clone something out and not make it look blotchy. It’s funny really, just how intuitive it is to use something that feels like pen and paper to edit photographs.
I used to think, “But I can’t draw, I can never use one of those to edit pictures” but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Editing photos with the tablet has so much give on pictures because all you really do is make brush strokes and outlines. There’s never any really detailed drawing involved but it’s nice to have that option if I feel like doing that at a later date.
What’s great is that the tablet has saved me so much time than using a mouse. I was just sitting. watching a movie and editing pictures with my laptop’s track pad before writing this and it was insanely difficult. Not impossible by any means, but definitely much harder than it needed to be.
The tablet has also replaced some instances in editing where I would normally have turned to the pen tool. Instead of spending thirty minutes cutting out an object, depending on what it is, I can just paint in what I need or paint out what I don’t want with the tablet and save tons of time.
Bottom line: Get a Wacom Tablet if you’re always using Photoshop and if you’re just editing pictures then get the Intuous 4 small. The bigger tablets are a matter of preference but I find I’m not even using the entire surface area of mine as it is. For around a hundred bucks you cannot go wrong. I can’t imagine editing for long periods of time without one now.