Magic Trackpad vs tablet for mostly Aperture, some CS5

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mtbdudex, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #1
    I'm looking at getting a Magic Trackpad for my photography editing, I use Aperture 96% of the time and CS5 the other 4% for special tweaks.

    However, others swear by (not at) using a tablet for photo editing.

    I did a search here to see related threads, came up with:
    Wacom users - still using mouse?
    Wacom Tablets who uses them?

    So, what the latest thinking?
    For Aperture usage is the Magic Trackpad the recommend tool, or go for a tablet?
    I currently have a Magic Mouse and at times its not precise enough, specifically when I'm brushing in adjustments.

    Other: I don't use my iMac for CAD, Graphic Design, etc, just Photography stuff (besides email/web surfing....)

    thx for advice.
     
  2. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #2
    Well, I will mention the photo stuff first since that is your main question. I have had all sizes of Wacom Tablets, 4x6, 6x8 then 9x12 which I still have and is in great shape and in December bought the 12" Cintiq. I have found that even basic things were much easier to accomplish due to the natural movement of using the pen (or airbrush if you have one). This makes the whole action seem faster and after a bit it really is more efficient and by far less stress on the wrists, hands and so on.
    I went from using a mouse full time, to using the Wacom/pen and had mixed uses for both as I first started. With that said I have also gone from using an iMac to my MBP so the trackpad became the transition away from a mouse when I'm in any photo (mild Aperture use) or otherwise needed program for the likes of drawing.
    I like using the Wacom for almost everything (not just editing) when it's around (I'll explain in a bit) as the pen and buttons can be hot keyed to make life really nice just like a mouse has two or three buttons. As of now, if I'm home and not on the road I will always use my Wacom and the pen to get things done as it's just nicer (not that nice when in bed though ;)). On the road I bring a mouse because some actions using my fingers feels odd but it can be done with mild effort on the pad. I don't think lugging around my Cintiq is very conducive to most because of all the wires it has, hence the above statement. A small tablet or the TP would be equal in travel and size and the functions would also be close to each other.
    I would try using a Wacom more than the TP but if you are leaning at the TP then try it out first. Not sure it would be good to isolate certain areas in editing a photo but I might be so use to the Wacom stuff I'm biased by now. I say… a Wacom :) One big note, hand eye issues. I didn't have any issue looking at my screen and not the Wacom to work with but some can't seem to adjust. Had to list that as the only down side to a tablet.

    To be honest the only program I'd use my mouse in might be Blender as it needs three or four buttons for certain actions until I can program the keys to my needs.
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    a trackpad is a terrible tool for any sort of image editing. it is not a tablet, not even remotely.

    no one can tell you how well a tablet will work for you, but it's either that or a good mouse.
     
  4. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #4
    Magic trackpad is great for scrolling through PDF documents and webpages, but terrible for image editing.

    I have magic mouse as well - but for precise photoshop editing, I'm using a cheap Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical - because it doesn't have the touch sensitive top - and also because it's quicker and simpler for me to right click on things.

    A proper tablet would be better still - especially one of those ones with the built in screen. (if only they didn't cost so much).
     
  5. RHVC59 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Location:
    St. Johns, Portland, Oregon
    #5
    I wish to chime in for for the Wacom tablets. You just can't be as precise with a mouse, let alone a trackpad. Spend a little time with one and you will not want to use anything else. Brush size depends on your stylus pressure. There are stylus choices to make as well. There are several different sizes and shapes that may fit the individual artist's grip better than others. Wacom pads also vary in format to match the user's display configuration. think wide screen or not...
     
  6. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #6
    Yeah I'm not sure either how anyone could use a magic trackpad for photo editing. Using your finger and using a stylus are two completely different things, and the former is not one good for precision.
     
  7. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #7
    Thx everyone for replies, I've drank the tablet cool aid!

    Now - there are so many choices:
    Amazon: Digital tablest
    Apple: Tablets

    My computer: 27" iMac w/i7
    Budget: $150-ish
    Usage: Digital Photography Aperture 3/CS5 usage

    Pls point me to 3 and I'll do the reviewing from there.....thx very much.

    fwiw;
    The basement iMac is 24" Nov-2007 model, with the BT mouse that has that...stupid ball in the center.....
    Like this w/o the usb cord:
    [​IMG]

    I was thinking the tablet could replace the magic mouse for my 27" iMac, and give my wife the magic mouse for her 24" iMac.
    Once I get/use my tablet will see if can get by w/o any mouse.
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    you could always start by getting a better mouse...even Microsoft makes better mice than Apple.
     
  9. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #9
    I have the Magic Mouse and it works very well for me.
     
  10. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #10
    Looking at the "Wacom Intuos4 Pen Tablet - Small" on the apple store site, I see it comes with the latest software.....:rolleyes: PSE6?? come on that's so old.......
     
  11. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #11
    A small tablet may be tight for a 27" screen. Medium may be a better fit depending on your style of movement. In that price range, that would likely move you into a Bamboo instead of an Intuos. I have a bamboo fun small and it is much too small to use for a 24" monitor and 15" laptop at the same time. One or the other screen mapped to the tablet works fine.

    My bamboo works for me, it is lightyears better than the mouse which is lightyears better than the trackpad for photo editing. I have never tried an Intuos to see if it is 4 times as good. If I was an artist, the intuous makes a lot of sense (pen tilt is huge), for photo editing, the bamboo works for me.

    I would suggest limiting your search to Wacom tablets. They are the standard for a reason and I have heard of nightmares with the off-brands.
     
  12. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #12
    I went to the Apple store on way home yesterday (Novi, Mich), and compared the small to medium Wacom Intuos4 Pen Tablets, also talked to a store staff there who uses one (I hate calling them Genius's...).

    I'm leaning towards the medium wireless model now, with CES 2011 and afterward the ususal Apple event I'll see if a 2011 Wacom model is announced, if not then I'll get the 2010 Wacom Intuos4 medium tablet.

    thx for insight everyone.
    funny, I set my budget at $150, but upon research and input, factors arise that cause me to accept 2x that.....
     
  13. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #13
    I think you have made a good choice by saving up a bit more for the Intuos4 medium. The Pen is really much nicer than the Bamboo models and if you are going to use it for a great deal of time every little bit of comfort does help. Also the pressure levels difference is nice, for some not the be all end all but nice if you can afford it. It's always nice to be able to see one first hand and like you could, go from there by having someone answer your questions on site which is a big plus.
    Good luck, enjoy and don't forget to get an extra set of nibs for down the road.
     
  14. a.jfred macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #14
    I picked up the Bamboo pen when Amazon had it knocked down to $49 on Black Friday, just to do some minor photo retouching. While I do find myself wishing for more space, I'm glad I bought the smaller one first, so I could get used to using the pen first.

    That said, I kind of wish I'd spent the money for the pen + touch, because I find myself wanting to use the tablet itself as a touch pad ;)
     
  15. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #15
    All I can really add to this is to avoid the Cintiq for photography. It has an LCD screen that isn't up to par with your iMac screen. Anything in the Intutos line will be good for photo editing. They have a variety of pens to choose from. I don't think the Bamboo will take them.

    Tablet size depends on personal choice and working space. If you have the room the 6X9ish would be my choice.

    Dale
     
  16. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #16
    if its good enough for designers, why wouldn't it be good enough for photographers?
     
  17. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #17
    Easy way around this is to have both set to the same color profile or even easier which I do, do what's needed on the Cintiq and drag the canvas onto the calibrated screen you desire and see how the colors look if there is some concern. I have my Cintiq set a bit more saturated than my MBP screen but all my swatches have been created on the MBP screen. One can calibrate either screen to their liking and I know most know this but just thought it was worth typing it again. I have both so neither one is golden more than the other, for me anyway :cool:
     
  18. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #18
    One thing that I don't think has been mentioned:

    I got a small wacom Bamboo for my birthday and even on my 15" macbook pro I was wanting a larger one.

    Then I found the setting so that instead of using the pen like a mouse (really small movements) and a pen (tablet mapped to screen) you could meet in the middle and use pen settings for part of the screen.

    I have now mapped my tablet to my screen in a 1:1 ratio A5 size so that I can just drag a document to that area and literally draw on it as I would if I had printed it off.

    For lightroom and general tasks I just switch back to it representing the whole screen and I am fine!
     
  19. mtbdudex, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #19
    Saw this at Amazon for the medium wireless
    So, definitely I'll wait a few weeks to see if there is a yearly product refresh coming or not.....I'd be bummed to buy a Feb-2010 model now and have some just released one out after return policy expired.
     
  20. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #20
    That's how I was feeling about the Cintiq only no indication of a refresh, only rumors. Not sure when the one you are looking at came out but if I remember a loose statement it was something like every two years Wacom updates their stuff on the lower cost end and three years on the more expensive end. I'll be honest, I didn't know they had so many tablets offered until I searched around their site and went click happy :D
     
  21. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #21
    IIRC the Cintiqs have IPS panels, how would they be inferior to any other IPS screen? It is definitely better than any MBP screen, which are all TN.

    You should never, ever use the same profile on two different screens, unless the two screens are identical models. Generic color profiles that come with your monitor drivers, etc. are a workaround that can be duplicated if you have two of the same monitor, but profiles you create with the use of a colorimeter are matched exactly to the screen and should not be used on any other screen if you want accuracy.

    You should also never use printer profiles on a monitor, or use colorspce profiles (like sRGB or AdobeRGB) on a monitor either. The file formats are the same between them (and hence it's possible to assign the sRGB ICC profile to a monitor) but that's just doing it wrong.

    Ruahrc
     
  22. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #22
    FWIW I just ordered a tablet from Monoprice.com. I have not previously used a tablet and would like more precise control than a mouse affords. However, the Wacom Bamboo tablets start at $100 while this one (in a 10x6.25" size) is $40 - a much easier decision for a product I am not certain I will like. Consumer reviews on the site are positive and the product indicates it supports OS X. I'll report back once I've had a chance to use it.
     
  23. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #23
    I must have read that wrong in the setup because the Wacom has a setting that asks if I want to set the profile to the Wacom the same as my MBP or choose independent profiles. I have mine as mentioned above, set different but that does make much more sense what you are saying. Never tried or thought about the printer profile stuff but I'm sure some folks might have given that a try once before.
     
  24. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #24
    fwiw;
    while at the Apple store last Friday 2/18 buying my iPhone4.....I also bought a Wacom intous4 Medium Tablet!
    [​IMG]

    What is decent is the software bundle:
    [​IMG]

    More stuff for photography...my wife is looking fwd to using it also.

    And, got the Apple Trackpad also
    [​IMG]
     
  25. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #25
    After using the apple Trackpad for 2 weeks, I've decided to return it for a magic mouse.
    IMO it's hard to click, either RH or LH click because its too wide.
    I find my RH pinky pushing down on the lower RH corner not natural at all.
    The LH click, yea the thumb can do that mostly ok.

    My wife also came to same conclusion.
     

Share This Page