Graphics Tablet , Wacom

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by goodknight411, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. goodknight411 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    MiddlaNowhere, Arkansas
    #1
    I'm looking treat myself to some new toys since I've been working really hard at college and saving up my money for a few years. But anyway.

    I am interested in getting a graphics tablet and have been looking at Wacom because I hear all good about them. I will be using it for photo editing and possibly some drawing. I am currently using GIMP on a PB G4.
    I have about $200 to spend, I might could push that up a little but there are someother things on my list too. (iPod, new printer)

    What tablet should I get? What have you had good success with? How do tablets work with the GIMP? Are there any lesser known tablets that work as well as for less?

    Thanks
     
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #2
    Is there a particular size of tablet you're looking for?
     
  3. goodknight411 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    MiddlaNowhere, Arkansas
    #3
    Oops, forgot that.

    Yeah, I'm thinking 6x8. I think 4x5 would be too small, and anything larger is way too big.
     
  4. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #4
    I've got a pearl white Graphire 3 8x6 tablet, and I'm really impressed with how well it works, although I haven't found myself using it much recently. :(

    I do have one or two things I feel I should mention about it:

    one of my annoyances with the tablet is its ratio: my Powerbook's screen is a 16:10 ratio, as are most widescreen monitors, but the 8x6 is 16:12. This means that vertical movements work at a different speed than horizontal. In the drivers there is an option to only use part of the tablet to match up with the screen, but then I've paid for an 8x6 tablet, not an 8x5 so I don't like using that. (and there are obviously no markers on it for that, so I sometimes go over the top/bottom boundary without knowing)

    [​IMG]
    (note: I'm not using the most recent driver for two reasons, one: there didn't appear to be anything added of use to me (if anything) and two: it caused some issues with my iMac and 10.3.7 (an error message every time I loaded up osx unless I unplugged and plugged it in before logging in) so I just stuck with it when I got my Powerbook)


    It also depends what you'll be using it for. This is my first tablet, and I thought a 4x6 would be too small, but size really depends on what you're using it for. When I'm doing proper work, the size is handy, as it gives you a lot of precision in detailed areas, but there are times when I just want to do a quick sketch, and don't like how much I have to move my hand around on it to actually draw something quickly.

    I believe it was around $200 when I got it new, but I ended up paying a bit extra in taxes for it. (I ordered off an american site because I couldn't find the pearl white one anywhere in the uk, and the regular 8x6 was more expensive, even after getting import taxes shoved on top)

    [​IMG]

    This is the tablet I have. I can't really comment on how well the mouse works, as I've barely used it. I didn't have any problems when I did though.

    I'm left handed when drawing / writing, so I have the tablet on the left side of my desk, but I use a mouse on my right, as most people do, so it's basically of no use to me, as I hate to move the tablet about all the time. (if only it was wireless) Still, I've got a MX1000 Laser mouse for that now anyway...


    I generally use mine with Photoshop Elements 3.0 (90% of the features of photoshop, at 1/10th the price)

    I'll download GIMP and see how it goes though.
     
  5. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #5
    Well that took longer than expected; I downloaded GIMPshop, but then had to download and install X11 to get it working.

    To be honest, I think if you were to stick with GIMP, you'd be disappointed. While there are brush options for pressure sensitivity, they didn't seem to work no matter what I tried, and the "eraser" end of the pen would just draw like the normal end, rather than erasing.

    I just checked, and the discs that came with the tablet (which I didn't use) came with a copy of Photoshop Elements 1.0 and some other software. (all of which I would assume is mac compatible)
    I would expect newer tablets to come with either Photoshop Elements 2, which is fairly good, or if you're lucky it'll come with Elements 3.0, which really is a great piece of software and would probably do what you need.
    If it doesn't come with it, I would strongly recommend purchasing a copy of PSE3.0, as it's very cheap for what it offers.

    I have tried a lot image editors, from the very basic to the high-end stuff, and from my experience it's the best image editor around other than Photoshop itself. It also supports many 3rd party Photoshop plugins (noise ninja for example) and there are some to add back in functions that have been removed. (such as curves)
     
  6. goodknight411 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    MiddlaNowhere, Arkansas
    #6
    THANKS!! That would be great. I don't want to shell out all the money if it's got bugs or issues.


    Thanks everyone for all the recommendations so far. Is there much of a difference functionaly for a beginner with the Graphire and the Intous?
     
  7. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #7
    As far as I know, the only difference is a more sensitive pen, and from what I've used, the Graphire is fine anyway.

    See my post above for details on GIMP.
     
  8. goodknight411 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    MiddlaNowhere, Arkansas
    #8
    Size

    OK. One last question.

    Is the 6x8 worth the extra $$? Or can I get buy with the 4x5? Is the 4x5 too cramped?
    Also the Intous comes with PS Elements 3 while the Graphire only has 2. Should this be a factor in my decision?
     
  9. tonyeck macrumors 6502

    tonyeck

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #9
    In my opinion, buy as big as possible... I bought my first tablet, a 4x5 tablet, and within 3 days of use I NEEDED bigger

    Go large, its worth it in the long run :)
     
  10. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #10
    Well like I said, it depends on what you're going to be using it for. If it's heavily detailed work, the bigger the better. I suppose you could argue the same with the Intuos vs Graphire about sensitivity, although I've not had any issues with my Graphire.

    I just checked on the europe site, and it says that Graphires are shipping with Elements 3.0 now. I would say in your situation you should be getting Elements 3.0 regardless, so either buy one that comes with it, or purchase it afterwards and work out which is better value.

    Personally I think the regular graphires are very ugly, so unless you can get a pearl white one, I'd go with intuos if it's an option.

    It really depends on how much you're willing to pay though.

    I would say size is probably a bigger factor than intuos vs graphire though, if you can't stretch to a 6x8 intuos.
     
  11. jscheiman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    #11
    I would disagree with this with the exception that I agree the 4x5 is a little too small. I own a 6x8 Wacom Intuos 3 and love it.

    Remember when you're choosing a size tablet, think of how large or small your drawing stroke is. The larger the tablet, the more your are going to have to move your arm to cover the tablet. So if you don't like having to feel like your dragging your arm for miles at a time, I'd go with the 6x8.

    I have a 9x12 at work and it seems to take an excessive amount of work to move my pen over that much area to get around my desktop.

    Did that make any sense? :p
     
  12. Greencardman macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #12
    Just a quick question, why don't they make wireless tablets? I remember looking for one a year ago, and was just amazed I couldn't find one, isn't it just the perfect piece of equipment for wireless? Just imagine how cool a wireless tablet would be.
     
  13. Greencardman macrumors 6502

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    Milwaukee, WI
    #13
  14. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #14
    Hi, if your a student check out some edu sites as I just bought the 6x8 intuos3 and it was worth the money. It came with PSE 3 and Painter Essentials 2. The pen is great and this tablet is a lot better than my 4x5 that I used for a year (why did I wait?) Any way save up for the bigger and better tablet, you won't be disappointed :D
     
  15. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #15
    With regard to size i'd say go with the biggest you can get. I have the 6x8 intuos3 and it seems to be a good size for me. Anything smaller and i'd feel way too cramped but anything bigger and i'd be moving my hand all over the place.
    It's a really nice tablet and works brilliantly with photoshop and painter. I had a copy of painter 7 before i bought it but i tried out the bundled Painter Essentials and while it can't do everything Painter 7 can its still a good starter program.
     
  16. aafuss1 macrumors 68000

    aafuss1

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #16
    I also own a Graphire 3 (but mine is the CTE-430 which is a 4x5 size graphics tablet ) and I love using it with PSE 3 which I bought separately-but my Graphire also came with Painter Essentials. Although the essentials version hasn't got as many features as Painter 7/8 or IX would, it's still quite easy to use and work with .


    You could opt for a Intuos or a larger sized model if wished .
     
  17. goodknight411 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    MiddlaNowhere, Arkansas
    #17
    Once again thank you for all the replies.

    I've been looking around some more. Basically looking to spend less money. I found Adesso cybertablets. Have you had any experince with these? They seem to be somewhat comparable to the Graphire3 and would be much easier on my wallet. Any suggestions?
     
  18. snkTab macrumors 6502a

    snkTab

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #18
    Always buy tablets from wacom. That said, i would start with a 4x5 and use the other $100 to buy a shuffle or whatever. starting with a smaller tablet is always easier than starting with a larger. if you feel the need to upgrade, then sell your tablet on ebay or wherever. Wacom tablet, being so well made, sell used for a little behind original cost.
     
  19. Balin64 macrumors 6502a

    Balin64

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    In a Mauve Dream
    #19
    I completely agree. get the lowest-priced Wacom tablet and give it a try. I find that for my needs, the old Graphire 2 is still plenty good. Good luck!
     

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