How Many Real Estate Photographers Use a Wacom Tablet?

June 20th, 2017

Sharon in LA asked:

I’m wondering how many people use a tablet to edit real estate images vs. a mouse.  I am thinking of Wacom medium tablet and would love some feedback from readers.

A reader asked this same question about two years ago. At the time I didn’t use a Wacom tablet. I was amazed at the number of PFRE readers that used Wacom tablets to edit images. They convinced me to get one.

The first thing that blew me away is that this is a fantastic mouse replacement for anyone that has multiple large monitors. A Wacom tablet is a must for anyone that has multiple monitors. I have two 27″ monitors. A 27″ iMac and a 27″ monitor. I never realized how annoying using a standard mouse is until I started using a tablet! Instead of dragging a mouse across two 27″ monitors! With a tablet, you just move directly to any location on the two screens you want to go to. It’s amazing!

My second discovery was multi-touch. That is you can use your fingers instead of the pen. To click, to double click, to scroll, to zoom. There is a lot to learn. After a few days, I’m still learning all the multi-touch finger gestures and I haven’t even got to learn the pressure sensitive pen features built into Photoshop. A Wacom tablet is well worth the money just for the ways it replaces the standard mouse, let alone the pressure sensitive features.

I have to say that Wacom doesn’t do a very good job of explaining all these great features. The training they make available is I feel substandard. I sort of stumbled across the multi-touch features. Their tutorials and information on all their great features could be much better. But the Wacom tablets are still a great bit of gear that will speed up your time in front of a computer once you learn to use it.

There are several conclusions I’ve come to:

  1. You don’t need a medium or large tablet. A small tablet is just fine.
  2. A Wacom tablet is essential if you have multiple large screens. It’s far better than a mouse.
  3. The pressure sensitive features are important, but they are just part of the advantages of using a tablet.
  4. Wacom has done a poor job of marketing and promoting this device. I’ve been a Photoshop user since the early 1990s and I’ve somehow missed out completely on the benefits of using a tablet.

I would highly recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet for all real estate photographers particularly if you have multiple monitors.

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10 Responses to “How Many Real Estate Photographers Use a Wacom Tablet?”

  • Larry – I’ve been toying with the Wacom tablet idea but I’m missing the “why” of multiple monitors. I’ve used a 37″ monitor for the last 10 years. What’s the importance of multiple screens?

  • Although I really like my Wacom tablet, I only use it for brushing. The pressure sensitivity is something you don’t get from a mouse, and you can brush more accurate. I don’t use any of the buttons (couldn’t get used to it), so I still also rely on my mouse and keyboard. This works fine for me.

  • I use a Wacom almost exclusively, even when on the web and stuff.

    In my opinion, if everyone just so happened to start off using computers with a tablet, pretty much ALL those people would stick to the tablet if a mouse was introduced to them later. On the other hand (and the scenario that’s actually happened), if people started off learning computers with a mouse and were introduced to a tablet much later, a much larger percentage would make the move to the tablet.

    It’s a pretty easy argument to make. As Larry points out, if you could somehow put a “mileage” on how far you move your hand in a day on a mouse vs tablet, the tablet I’d surmise could require as much as four or five times less hand movement. That alone, for people working on computers all day, is enough.

    My advice would be if you’re in Lightroom only or predominantly, go ahead and stick with your mouse. If you’re doing masking in ps a lot, you’ve got to get a tablet.

  • Like Andrew, I use it for everything. LR, PS, web, folders … And it only has a 5.8-by-3.6-inch active pen area.

    I’d add two more points to the subject.

    On the one hand, the position of the arm using a tablet is much more natural than using a mouse. We are so accustomed that we don’t realize it. But if you look, when you use a mouse you are forcing the arm into a position that is certainly unnatural. Try using it with your left hand for a few minutes and you will notice how the pain comes soon.

    On the other hand, in my case I have a left-handed vertical mouse, which allows me to make some adjustment if the tablet does not give me what I want. In addition, being vertical keeps the left arm in a natural position, just like the tablet. I’m right-handed but only took me a couple of days to get used to it. And the truth is that I only use it once or twice a day. The tablet is my main tool.

  • A mouse… is soooo 1994, isn’t it? 🙂 Horrible things, mice.

  • I’ve stopped using the wacom. I had difficulty placing the cursor exactly where I wanted it. i’d carefully lower the pen only to have the cursor move at the last moment. I also missed being able to put pointer somewhere and just leave it there, like I can with the mouse.

  • So…. over the years, I have purchased a few of these but yet felt comfortable using them. Does anyone know of any classes, online, that can start a cluts out with instructions and practice samples. With samples, you could gauge your results with what they have.

  • I’ve used the small pro version for years and I’d hate to be without it. Although I still find the mouse to be better at some tasks.

  • I recently purchased an Wacom Intuous Pro Medium Tablet and I just couldn’t get the hang of it – or see the benefits of it over a mouse. I don’t to a lot of fine tuning that a pen may be used for and I am a lefty who uses a right handed mouse, lol – so I am just kind of backward as it is. I am ready to sell it, but after seeing this topic I may give it another try.

  • It definitely takes some time to get the hang of it. Best advice is to have your husband or wife hide your mouse for a couple weeks so you are not tempted. Worked for me 🙂

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