The mouse you use to edit your photography hasn't really changed that much over the years. Is it time to look for a better alternative?
Anyone who has spent hours editing their work on a computer will know how painful it can be on your body. While there have been various ergonomic improvements to the mouse over the years, you are still ultimately doing those same repetitive actions which can leave you aching the next day. Graphics tablets are a good alternative to a mouse and have been on the scene for some years now. If like me, you have resisted the idea of making the switch, this video by the team over at B&H Photo Video may just help you to decide if a graphics tablet might be a good idea.
The video features tablets by manufacturer Wacom which if you don't know, is one of the industry-standard makers of graphics tablets. The two tablets mentioned are the Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet ($379.95) and the Cintiq Pro 24 Creative Touch Display ($2,499.95). These tablets are quite different not least in their price tags and the video sets out to explain their differences. It was interesting to learn about the various changeable nibs which can be used in the stylus and how they can affect how the pen reacts with the tablet. My interest was also piqued when I saw how customizable the many buttons on both the pen and tablet are. I think many of us probably use a core handful of tools in our favorite programs and thanks to these programmable buttons could have most of these actions distilled down into a few button presses. This would be much more efficient than trying to memorize various key combinations or wasting time hunting through menus.
The video goes on to demonstrate how a tablet can be used in the context of some food photography images that need to be retouched. One of the two big takeaways from this was seeing how smaller more controlled movements are used on the tablet compared to a regular mouse. The other takeaway was seeing how fast he was able to jump between settings and menus to complete his edit. I'm sure those who have spent long hours using a mouse would be interested in embracing something which could speed up the editing process and also help to minimize wear and tear on their bodies. All-in-all this video is an in-depth look at some of the main features and benefits of using a tablet to edit your photography. I have personally resisted using a tablet in the past because I'm not a fan of change. That really isn't a good enough reason not to embrace new technologies especially if a tablet can help reduce the time sitting in front of a computer. Less editing for me would mean more time doing what I love most and that's taking pictures. After watching this video, I have a much better understanding of the benefits a tablet can have for photographers day-to-day. The fact a tablet can actually replace your mouse means there isn't really a point in having both. I think it could be time for me to say goodbye to my beloved mouse once and for all.
Could you make the switch and ditch your mouse forever? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Lead image by Matt Artz, used under Creative Commons.