Posted by: Phil | March 3, 2010

Are tablets better than the mouse for photography?

The Tablet And Pen

For those who are ignorant of the subject matter, tablets are used by photographers instead of a mouse to edit and use the controls in a program like Lightroom or Photoshop. Some use a pen that can be dragged or hover over the active layer and others can also use fingers. These are laid upon the active layer that reproduces what one see’s on the screen. With the pen or the fingers, one can edit pictures or open and close programs. One can use these as well for browsing on the web, using them as one would use a mouse.

The leader in such tablets is a Japanese company called Wacom. They produce several sorts of tablets, from a cheap inexpensive one to luxury items woth more than 2000 dollars. I decided to buy the Bamboo tablet with the pen and the possibility of using fingers to move things around.

I must admit that the tablet is well done and quite sturdy. I found the pen solid but was surprised at how flimsy the the end of the pen was, that which is used to write on the tablet.  The tutorials are well done, and so one can practice over and over again wether it is with the pen or with the movements of the fingers. In no time I was understanding how all this works, but it is not easy. I suppose that the more one uses the pen, the easier it will become.

I had wanted a tablet simply because I had found it difficult to correct pictures using a mouse. It was never very precise for me. With the pen, one can be very precise. On top of this, the tablet came with three programs, Photoshop Elements 7, a drawing program that is very good as well as a special effects program.  To answer my question, yes, a tablet with the pen is better, more precise. But this is worth it only if you are frustrated with the mouse, as I was.



  1. How much does one of these set you back? Is it worth it?

    • The cost of the tablet itself was around 200 dollars, and yes, it was worth it for me. The pen is mightier than the mouse!

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