Wacom Intuos Pro Medium & Small Tablets Compared. Why I Use Them For Image Retouching 🖌

So today I’m going to talk about Wacom
tablets and their advantages for photographers undertaking
post-production. Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this video.
I’ve got two new Wacom tablets here that I’m about to unbox. One of them is the
Intuos Pro Medium size and the other one is the Intuos Pro Small size. Let’s take
a look at them… So, what’s in the boxes and which size is
going to be best for you and why. Well immediately on unpacking those, the first
thing that I’ve seen is a device here with each one of these, I’m not actually
even sure what that is. Oh yes I am, it’s the pen holder that the pen simply
goes into so let’s unpack one of those. Now normally, in these, inside yes, they
have the extra nibs, spare nibs for the pen.
So that’s weighted at the bottom that’s quite heavy that piece of metal and then
there’s a dial where you can rotate it to unlock the base so you can access
those nibs – put that back together again, and that’s the base holder for the pen.
Pens got some protective wrapping around it and that’s your pen holder. So
that’s a new design compared to the old design here.
The other interesting thing that I’ve just noticed, and this was actually the
main reason I bought this Intuos Medium. This is the Intuos Medium Pro
here, this is also the Intuos Medium Pro but look at the size difference, this
is the older model and this is the newer model and this is really important to me
actually this size difference. Measure – so my old Intuos Medium Pro was 38cm by 25 cm the new one is 33.5cm by 22cm so it’s
considerably smaller. Now if you want to compare the small size Wacom tablet with
the medium one there you go can you see the differences there that’s the
difference between the small and the medium and the small one measures 26.7cm by 17cm so consider
smaller. So they are both considerably more compact than their predecessors but
with the same actual working area, that is the area that you use to draw, retouch
etc. That particular area is the same size but it’s the
surrounding areas that they’ve reduced in size and they’ve reduced the size
area for these buttons as well so they basically shrunk all that in which is
really, really useful. So why is that actually important to me that this one
has the same working area as this one but is it it’s considerably smaller well
I’ll tell you why it’s important to me I have a 16 inch MacBook Pro and that 16
inch MacBook Pro just fits into my lovely laptop bag along with my Sony
headphones but this particular tablet did not fit into this bag when I had, it
will fit in it but it won’t fit in it when I’ve got my laptop in there and I
do a lot of traveling overseas where I’m giving presentations and lectures etc
and I need my Wacom tablet with me. With the new Wacom tablet, no problem at all
fits in my bag really easily – that’s the medium-sized one. So some of you may be
asking well why don’t you just go for the small tablet if you’re concerned
about the size for travel and that’s a very good question.
So the reason I ordered the smaller one as well is that one of the team here
wants to learn retouching and she’s never used a tablet before and she and I
both felt that the smaller one would be adequate for her requirements based on
her workstation setup. The medium size is the one, as you know, that I use already.
So why do I choose the medium other than I’m used to a medium which is a good
enough reason but why do I choose the medium compared to using the
small version. Well for my retouching, I use a dual screen setup. I have a large
4K EIZO monitor on my office desk it’s a 31 inch panoramic version monitor and
I’m also using my 16 inch MacBook Pro as a second screen alongside it and the way
I like to work is to use both monitors at the same time and as such, my
tablet designates a mapped portion on the left side of my tablet to the EIZO
monitor and another mapped portion on the right side of the tablet to my 16
inch screen. This means that I’m on my current medium one, I have this area for
my EIZO, this area for my 16 inch – they join together in the middle and then
this is kind of dead space down below here but the actual area that I’m using
that’s mapped to EIZO here is actually about the same size as the area
on a small tablet so if I were to use a small tablet, especially with the
dual-screen setup, then I’d be reducing this area this working area down to
about this tiny working area and then the second monitor there and then dead
space down here so that wouldn’t work for me. Now my colleague, Ashley who’s
going to be using this one, she’s only working on a single screen setup so
that’s absolutely fine for her requirements and actually in any
requirement where you’re using a single screen I think this will probably be
perfectly okay. Further to that with the medium one, even if you were using it on
a single screen, you can map a smaller area of the tablet if you wish and then
I prefer the versatility that if I wish to map a smaller area of the tablet with
a single screen that I’ve still got the larger area of the tablet if I’m working
with a dual screen so that’s another good reason why I prefer
the larger tablet. Then you might ask, well why don’t you go with the largest tablet
size because this is the medium we’ve looked at the small but there is an
actual bigger one as well and the problem I find with the largest tablet is
that the areas that you need to move across the tablet with your hands the
strokes are too large and too far. Often, I’m zoomed in very close on an image and
therefore it can require broader strokes to retouch and retouch from one point to
another. Now this would be amplified even more to an uncomfortable degree on a
bigger tablet. I have however used the large Wacom Cintiq screen tablets in the
past and whilst I enjoyed using it, ultimately I ended up going back to my
preference for a higher quality screen and a separate tablet. Now I’ve often
heard it said that it is mostly illustrators and artists that prefer
using the larger format tablets which makes sense because based on the sort of
strokes that they might apply that is probably correct.
So what use are these type of tablets for you as photographers what would you
use them for? Well you can use them as a general
replacement for a mouse and use them for all of your pointing work and your
desktop tasks on your computer but for most photographers, we want to use them
for retouching work and in particular burning, dodging, coloration and airbrush
style painting. Now these retouching techniques are best applied with
pressure sensitive application like a real pen and with the angle of stroke
and the ability to undertake the brush application in a much more fluid way. Now
one of the most useful techniques for photographers is properly learning to
burn and dodge but briefly let me explain it is the main tool that
photographers need to master to more three-dimensionality in their
images via luminosity and contrast changes and it’s not simply advisable
trying to master those techniques with a mouse. Now once you become familiar with
using a tablet for this type of work you’ll never want to work any other way,
in fact, you’ll find that every professional retoucher on the planet
uses a tablet for work such as this. So let’s take a look at the pricing of
these units and some others. Currently B&H Photo the Intuos Pro Medium is
retailing for about $300 and the Intuos Pro Small is retailing for about $130. Now Wacom also do some more basic tablets without all the fancy
programmable buttons there on the side and those tablets start for as low as
around $60. Other options include using an iPad with a sketch pen and an app but
I’ve tried these in the past and they always seem to be a bit laggy and they
don’t have that same intuitive feel of using a proper tablet like these. So that
explains some of the reasons for the size differences and what the main
purpose of a tablet is to photographers in one of the following episodes I’m
going to show you how to set one of these up to your computer, how to
personalize it and how to map specific areas of the tablet to your screen and
I’ll also explain what all these buttons are for and you’ll get to watch Ashley
getting to grips using one of these for the first time. Thanks for watching .
This video is brought to you by Squarespace… From websites and online stores for
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23 Replies to “Wacom Intuos Pro Medium & Small Tablets Compared. Why I Use Them For Image Retouching 🖌

  1. I use a Wacom pro medium for retouching for about 3 years, or so. It's a great tool that makes the mouse obsolete and clunky. 
    The problem I have is that it crashes lately. I use an iMac 5k. Every couple of weeks or monthly I have to reinstall the drivers because it simply doesn't work.
    Great video as usual, but just be aware of that issue. If you search online many experience the same problems.

  2. Great Video Karl, been using one for 7 years now, upgraded once, brilliant pieces of kit. Use it for all my work flow, even in CAD works a dream.

    I can't imagine why people go for this loopdeck brand, complete waste of money.

  3. I love my Wacom small tablet. Took me a while to really try it and now can't live without it for details, just so much better even than my top of the line gaming mouse

  4. I am a live music photographer. Which is a very different style of photography and editing to the work Karl does, yet he still manages to cover issues and topics that are useful to me. And explain thing in a way that this dark dingy pit dweller can understand.

  5. Mr Taylor,
    You must either be practicing witchcraft or something close.
    I only have looked at one of these yesterday and hey presto, Karl talks about it.

  6. I always thought that using a medium was just waste of hand movements. And it never even occurred to me that you could use it to map out 2 different monitors! Your brilliant Karl, thanks!

  7. Mi Wacon es algo mas antigua, una PTZ-631W , Intuos 3, pero va genial, por ahora no la pienso cambiar, funciona a la perfeción y no falla.

  8. Before I purchased mine, I cut a piece of cheap MDF board to both the small and medium , Dimensions on website. I drew the screen with a texta at aprox position. Using a pencil I then played with them on my desk for a few days before deciding on the medium.

  9. I have a similar setup to Karls. I built a small platform, my 24-inch monitor sits on the platform, when I open my my laptop the screen lines up with the bottom of the monitor sitting on the platform. The Wacom tablet is located to the right hand side of the MacBook Pro. I found this set up a lot easier to use then having to turn my head left and right all the time with a 2 screen side by side setup.

  10. I was looking for this exact video past few days trying to make up my mind to go for the medium over the small; and Karl posts a video; and since the work area can be adjusted to the desired size, going for the medium. (the small looks so much more portable though)

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