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Accuracy - tablet, mouse, trackerball?


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I have used a Logitech trackerball for years, my first use was within a CAD program where it was brilliant, you can fly across the screen by spinning the ball, and it was sufficiently accurate to pick up intersections etc. Quite a learning curve mind, using your thumb for intricate movements, but once learned, never forgotten. Much prefer trackerball to mouse, which runs out of limited desk space.

 

However, I am now making a lot of use of the pen facility in PS and that requires very precise selections, and I am wondering if a graphics tablet would be better. It seems intuitively obvious that a pencil action would be superior. Anybody have experience of both ball (or mouse) and tablet and able to comment?

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Hi Bryan,

I had a graphics tablet years ago to use in conjunction with lightroom and Elements to assist with processing images. As with everything new you have to practice until you get the hang of it but, once you do it was brilliant. especially for selecting areas right down to the pixel. The hard part to get used to is you're looking at your screen and moving the pen on it's board and until the pen makes contact with the board you can't actually see where it is in the screen....if that makes sense. I would defo have another if the need ever arises.

 

Regards

Davey

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I use all three...!  Graphics tablet definitely for accuracy (and much quicker with the healing brush for erasing spots, birds, insects etc.).   I have all my tools, panels, etc. on a second monitor but the graphics tablet only covers the main monitor so I use the trackerball for quickly moving the cursor over to the second monitor without having to drop the pen in order to grab the mouse.  I can use the trackerball with my right hand (I'm left-handed) but I'm hopeless with the mouse.

 

I have the Huion HR610 Pro tablet.

Edited by Vincent Lowe
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I used my daughters tablet, but just for a short period. 

Personally I did not get used to looking at the screen and operating the pen on the tablet. 

What may work for me could be kind of a 30" & 4K screen that can be mounted like a drawing desk and then operated with a pen directly. 

Sort of like a painting canvas laying almost flat at a slight angle on the desk. 

 

Also have a track ball and a mouse, preferring the track ball most of the time. 

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27 minutes ago, hdh said:

I used my daughters tablet, but just for a short period. 

Personally I did not get used to looking at the screen and operating the pen on the tablet. 

What may work for me could be kind of a 30" & 4K screen that can be mounted like a drawing desk and then operated with a pen directly. 

Sort of like a painting canvas laying almost flat at a slight angle on the desk. 

 

Also have a track ball and a mouse, preferring the track ball most of the time. 

 

You can get one of those, but they are expensive.  The Wacom Cintinq is the best, but you are looking at around $2000US.  The Huion (which is what I plan on getting myself for Christmas should do the trick though.  I think it is around $500US for a 19.5" screen.

 

I am planning to use it for artwork mainly, but will probably do some of my photos on it as well.  I have no issue using the mouse for ACR or PS.  I have the small Wacom Bamboo tablet and although I have used it, find if I simply increase image size, I can work around edges very well with my mouse.  I did use to have a trackball, but did not like it for photo editing.. 

 

I would kill for a Cintinq though.

 

Jill

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Thanks for the very useful responses. :)

 

There is a positive review of the incredibly cheap Huion HR610 Pro tablet here.  Unless I hear otherwise, will splash the cash!

 

 

Edited by Bryan
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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

You can get one of those, but they are expensive.  The Wacom Cintinq is the best, but you are looking at around $2000US.  The Huion (which is what I plan on getting myself for Christmas should do the trick though.  I think it is around $500US for a 19.5" screen.

 

I am planning to use it for artwork mainly, but will probably do some of my photos on it as well.  I have no issue using the mouse for ACR or PS.  I have the small Wacom Bamboo tablet and although I have used it, find if I simply increase image size, I can work around edges very well with my mouse.  I did use to have a trackball, but did not like it for photo editing.. 

 

I would kill for a Cintinq though.

 

Jill

 

8 minutes ago, Bryan said:

Thanks for the very useful responses. :)

 

There is a positive review of the incredibly cheap Huion HR610 Pro tablet here.  Unless I hear otherwise, will splash the cash!

 

 

I did not know these existed, thanks for bringing it up. 

Will look into these and see if they are also compatible with linux. 

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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

You can get one of those, but they are expensive.  The Wacom Cintinq is the best, but you are looking at around $2000US.  The Huion (which is what I plan on getting myself for Christmas should do the trick though.  I think it is around $500US for a 19.5" screen.

 

I am planning to use it for artwork mainly, but will probably do some of my photos on it as well.  I have no issue using the mouse for ACR or PS.  I have the small Wacom Bamboo tablet and although I have used it, find if I simply increase image size, I can work around edges very well with my mouse.  I did use to have a trackball, but did not like it for photo editing.. 

 

I would kill for a Cintinq though.

 

Jill

I did not know these existed, thanks for bringing it up. 

Will look into these and see if they are also compatible with linux. 

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I use a trackball now (Logitech) for the same reasons you did.  However, I basically only use Lightroom now.  When I was in the commercial business portrait business I used a Wacom tablet for all my retouching.  I think I bought a medium sized tablet which is all I needed.  It is very responsive and for detailed retouching, it is quite good.  Mine just sits on my desk now, collecting dust.  :-)  

 

Your assumption that the graphics tablet would be better for those small adjustments and brush strokes, in my opinion, is spot on.

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I use both a mouse and a Wacom Cintiq 13 HD. I'm still getting used to the Wacom as it's a new item to me but it certainly provides a lot more control and subtlety via the pen pressure. It also takes the strain off my neck not looking up at a monitor. For basic levels, curves, crop etc the mouse is quicker. For finer detailed stuff the tablet is better. 

 

 

Edited by ReeRay
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  • 2 months later...

I finally bought myself my graphics tablet.  Got a fabulous deal on a Huion GT 220 V2 as the screws were missing to attach the base to the tablet.  Currently have it on a stand, but will just go out and buy some screws.  Saved $400.

 

Haven't had any new images to work with, so have played with some of my older ones and it is so much more precise than when I used my Bamboo tablet.  

 

I have bought it mainly for doing artwork, but I think it will give me so much better control when using the adjustment brush and some masking.

 

Bryan, did you finally buy your tablet?

 

Jill

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39 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I finally bought myself my graphics tablet.  Got a fabulous deal on a Huion GT 220 V2 as the screws were missing to attach the base to the tablet.  Currently have it on a stand, but will just go out and buy some screws.  Saved $400.

 

Haven't had any new images to work with, so have played with some of my older ones and it is so much more precise than when I used my Bamboo tablet.  

 

I have bought it mainly for doing artwork, but I think it will give me so much better control when using the adjustment brush and some masking.

 

Bryan, did you finally buy your tablet?

 

Jill

 

Confess that I have as yet to buy.  Procrastinator is my middle name. I'm sure that it will be better for detailed work, but I'm not sure that I will find sufficient work for it. When this tax year is coming to a close I might just go for it, but  it's one of several options. I'd like a really good 28mm lens for example.

 

Hope you get good use from your purchase Jill 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bryan said:

 

Confess that I have as yet to buy.  Procrastinator is my middle name. I'm sure that it will be better for detailed work, but I'm not sure that I will find sufficient work for it. When this tax year is coming to a close I might just go for it, but  it's one of several options. I'd like a really good 28mm lens for example.

 

Hope you get good use from your purchase Jill 

 

 

 

 

 

I certainly plan to get good use.  As I mentioned, it is mostly for art as opposed to photography, but looks like will speed up some of my PP as well.

 

Learning the artist's side of PS seems more daunting than the photography side.  Will be putting us some illustrations as well as images in the future, but not sure when that will be.  

 

Jill

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I like my Wacom Bamboo - not sure if it's the large or the medium one - it's my second, I had a small one years ago and have had this one since 2011 a big improvement over the first generation - the pen works well - much better than just using my track pad (I hate a computer mouse - my right shoulder used to ache after hours at the computer until I got a Magic Trackpad instead of a mouse with my iMac). I find that the tablet makes using the clone stamp and healing brush easier and so much faster - and for any painting and other digital work on my fine art images, it's great. 

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