Do Photographers Need a Graphics Tablet for Editing Photos?

The short answer is no, you don't need one; however, they do make some jobs not just easier but more enjoyable. Not all tablets are created equal, though, so this photographer gives his take on a brand you might not have heard of before.

In this video, photographer Mark Duffy reviews XP-Pen's Deco Pro graphics tablet. While you might not need one of these, as Duffy states in the video, it's so much easier to dodge and burn in Photoshop with a pen than it is with a mouse. When processing like this in Photoshop, the constant left button clicking with a mouse can end up giving you carpal tunnel, not to mention the fact that it's just plain irritating. A graphics tablet solves all that, and the experience of getting lost in an image while editing makes it much more enjoyable. It's just more fluid and tactile.

Most of you will probably have heard of the Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablet. It's a favorite among illustrators and designers, as well as photographers. For good reason, too: it's well-built, reliable, and accurate. But all of this comes with a fairly high price tag. It's not bank-breaking, but for something that you might not be using all the time, it's a relatively big investment. So, having options like the one in Duffy's video is a welcome change for those who want to try out using a tablet in their workflow, but who can't really justify a Wacom price tag.

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9 Comments

davidlovephotog's picture

Not if they want wrist problems to go with the back and neck problems. Not only should photographers use them, schools should be giving them to students since they will have carpal tunnel before they are 21.

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

Yes.

Mark Duffy's picture

Thanks glad you like it

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I'm about ready to pick one up just to see what it's all about. I've always resisted because I don't really want to start a "retoucher" route. Nothing against retocuhers, I just hate editing. I hate computers. lol. With that said, I do spend most of my time dodgin' and burnin'.

Mark Duffy's picture

At times, for me at least, its like being a kid again with a colouring book, except now its your own photos you're colouring in.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Funny you mention that. I used to draw a lot. Might reminisce those days.

Mark Duffy's picture

Thanks for featuring my video 😁

barry cash's picture

if you dodge and burn or use luminosity masks its a must have to use a pen NOT a MOUSE.
for drawing paths with the pen tool or lasso tool a tablet is a hand saver so much faster, personally I wouldn't even begin to edit without one. Think of making smooth Unnoticeable transitions of light vs stamped circles of light.

even using LR filters with a pen is less effort.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I just bought one...holy mackerel, they weren't kiddin' when they say it may take some time to get used to it. This thing is disorienting. I so feel so uncoordinated.