Wacom pen tablets and interactive pen displays have long set the industry standard, helping photographers at all levels — from enthusiast to professional — to accomplish photo editing tasks like dodging, burning, blurring and sharpening faster and easier than ever before. Here are some of the latest developments in the Wacom product line.
Released this fall, the all-new Cintiq 24HD is designed for creative professionals who require Wacom’s most advanced pen-on-screen experience. Wacom’s Public Relations Manager Douglas Little says, “The latest Cintiq offers a larger, widescreen display (1920×1200) with brighter, more accurate color in high-definition — great for both photographic and video work. It also has an ergonomic, counter-weighted stand that can match your posture — even allowing the display to extend over the edge of the desk and float just above your lap.”
The frame, or bezel, around the screen of the 24HD is much wider than that of the Cintiq 21UX, giving you plenty of room to rest your arms and hands while you work. There are five Express Keys on each side of the frame, plus two Touch Rings that permit you to instantly scroll, zoom, increase/decrease brush size, rotate the canvas, etc. The Touch Rings can be customized to handle a variety of application-specific, user-defined settings. Little observes, “These new features help you to work faster and smarter by placing keyboard shortcuts and modifiers within easy reach.”
The Cintiq 24HD’s realistic pen experience features 2048 levels of pressure senwonsitivity and 40 degrees of tilt control. The starting pressure is near-zero (one gram), and the feel simulates that of traditional brushes and pens. There is a pressuresensitive eraser and two side switches that can be programmed for often-used commands like double-click and rightclick.
When combined with pressure-sensitive software applications like Adobe®, Autodesk®, Corel®, and Pixologic®, the Cintiq 24HD can be counted on to deliver lifelike, artistic results. A wide range of accessories is available, including the Art Pen that supports the pen rotation features in most common software programs and delivers natural brush effects. Creative pros in media, entertainment and motion graphics appreciate the new Cintiq’s ability to edit full HD video. The list price of the Cintiq 24HD is $2,499.
Wacom’s Intuos4, the current professional pen tablet family introduced in 2009, is the choice of many advanced photographers who appreciate its extensive functionality without the Cintiq’s high price tag.
The Intuos4 boasts a cordless and battery- free pen with 2,048 levels of pressure, a pressure-sensitive eraser, programmable side switches, customizable Express Keys and a Touch Ring. Little says, “If you do a lot of photo editing and retouching, the Intuos4 can save you hours of time that would be better spent in the studio or out in the field.”
One relatively new option in the Intuos4 lineup is the Intuos4 Wireless with Bluetooth®, which lets you work untethered up to 33 feet away from your computer. Little points out, “It’s a wonderful device that allows teachers and students to make presentations while wandering the room. Not only can you control the computer, but you can also easily demonstrate or teach Photoshop and other applications in a very interactive fashion — using the pen to circle and underline objects, write notes, draw quick sketches and so forth.”
The Intuos4 comes in five versions — small (6.2×3.9-inch active area, $229), medium (8.8×5.5-inch active area, $349), large (12.8×8-inch active area, $469), extra large (18.2×12-inch active area, $789) and wireless (8×5-inch active area, $399). Little reports, “The medium is definitely the most popular size — it fits in a laptop bag and works well with many popular monitor sizes.”
Bamboo Capture and Bamboo Create
Targeted at photo enthusiasts, the allnew releases of Bamboo Capture and Bamboo Create offer easy-to-use, inexpensive solutions for editing and retouching photos.
Little explains, “Using a Bamboo tablet rather than a traditional mouse with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements can be inspiring. First, the pressure-sensitive pen enables you to easily control line width and opacity by how hard or soft you press the pen against the tablet surface. The pen, unlike the mouse, is also a lot more accurate and precise, allowing you to edit or retouch very fine details.”
He continues, “In addition to pen input with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, Bamboo Capture and Bamboo Create feature multi-touch. In a nutshell, multitouch lets you use your fingers to navigate or initiate actions on the tablet surface much as you would on a PC’s touchpad or iPhone. Now that Windows and Lion, Apple’s new operating system, are bringing gesture-based input to the masses, our new Bamboo products are helping to build a more intuitive and natural computing experience.”
Both Bamboo Capture and Bamboo Create have a sleek new silver-and-black design as well as wireless adaptability via an optional plug-n-play module. The main difference between them lies in their respective sizes. Capture has a 4×6-inch active area; Create has a 6×8-inch active area, which provides more room for broader brush strokes. Both Capture and Create come with full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Autodesk Sketchbook Express, while Create adds Corel Painter Essentials.
List prices are $99.95 for Bamboo Capture and $199.95 for Bamboo Create.
Founded in 1983, Wacom brings people and technology closer through natural interface technologies. It is the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions.
For more product details, visit www.wacom.com. All Wacom products work on both Mac and PC operating systems and will support Microsoft’s next generation operating system, Windows 8.
Anyone who purchases a Wacom tablet can take advantage of the Wacom Privileges Program, which presents over 30 discounts on various software products. For example, Intuos4 owners who wish to upgrade from Adobe Photoshop Elements to Photoshop CS5 can save up to 50 percent.