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Thread: Post Processing on Tablets

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Post Processing on Tablets

    I was wondering if any of you did much post processing in Lightroom on Tablets? I am thinking of getting one to do more processing while traveling and away from my computer while around the house.

    In doing some searches, I also came across the "Wacom" brand of tablets, writable pads and pressure sensitive pens. Is anyone using those? If you believe the hype it will "transform" your post-processing.

    But, overall, I am looking for recommendations for a good tablet for LR.

    Thanks in advance.

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    In answer to your first question:

    I do not have a tablet, but I have a ASUS laptop with a touchscreen. The touchscreen turned out to be a novelty only. It is workable but a bit more cumbersome using sliders.

    I have two problems with using a tablet that have kept me from buying one, the touchscreen just isn't as precise as using the mouse. So for me it gets annoying.
    Second the screens are just to small. You working on a much smaller view so the chance you overlook a flaw is greater. If you are only displaying small photos like we post here it might be ok.

    Yesterday I bought a new top end 13" macbook pro to take with me on vacation, this will meet my need for something small to travel with. The ASUS is huge compared to it, but I would much prefer the larger screen over the small.

    So in answer to your second question, I have no recommendation for a tablet. The option I went with was a smaller computer.

    I will throw one other thing that always pops in my head when thinking about a tablet, how am I going to move all those huge RAW files on and off of the tablet.

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    You've potentially got multiple definitions of tablet in your post. The modern "tablet" like an iPad, Surface, etc, and the graphics tablet. Perhaps Wacom now offers a modern tablet, but they've always been a graphics tablet company.

    Wacom are the leaders in graphics tablets. These replace the mouse with a pad+pen combo. Artists love the control they get (high precision pressure sensitivity, tilt angle detection, twist angle detection, all at high data rates... basically it will capture most of what you can do with a pen, pencil, paintbrush, etc.) Every artist I know loves them. They take a while to get used to though, and you need to be doing something artist-y in your post processing for it to make sense, where you'd prefer brush strokes over mouse movements. I have a low-end one (Pen & touch, it detects pressure, but not tilt, rotation, etc.) and never use it.

    They made versions of their tablet which had integrated monitors, so you could see what you're drawing on. These still needed a PC, and just worked as a monitor/mouse combo. They were a good idea ruined by a low-quality monitor with low contrast and a cheap TN panel. At Corel they had an enormous more advanced version that was like a monitor that works like a drafting table. I'm not sure what the monitor quality was like on that.

    So, while it's possible that Wacom now offers what people think of as a tablet, that's both a graphics tablet and a modern tablet (likely either Windows or Android, not iPad), I would heavily research the computer part, and the display. They know what they're doing with pens, but they've shown they don't know how to make a premium artist quality display in the past. As full PCs are not their specialty, I would imagine such a tablet would be something low-end, re-branded. I'd more look for a premium tablet that say it has Wacom technology (Surface Pros were supposed to get this, but I have no idea if that deal went anywhere), as opposed to a Wacom branded tablet.

    I'm not sure how the Apple pencil on the iPad Pros compares to Wacom's pens. I know it can detect pressure and tilt, but as I don't work in an artistic industry anymore, I haven't heard any artist comments on it.
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    I have a much older Wacom 9x12 pad+pen on my desk. It's too big for me and just ten minutes ago I was looking at smaller models, but as I find myself doing more and more precision editing work, it's a fantastic tool. Technically, I'm amazed by it, as it has a pen (with no battery in it, yet it only responds to that pen) and a mouse (with no battery in it, yet it only responds to that mouse). Artistically, there's a certain amount of hand/eye coordination necessary: you'll always find me slowly lowering the pen towards the pad until it detects it, at which point the cursor jumps to that relative position on my monitors. I then have to reposition my hand as desired, and move my way in until I finally make contact and start my actual editing.
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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    You've potentially got multiple definitions of tablet in your post.
    True...yet very informative replies..as usual.

    Thanks everyone. Really, I am not looking specifically for a tablet. More of something portable that can process photos, which would include a tablet or laptop computers.

    Some very good input above. I'll keep looking at reviews.

    Thanks...Brant

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Agree with David, although the distinctions are blurring in some cases.

    RE Wacom tablets, I had one for a while, sold it. It was the 'standard' Intuos model (medium size), worked fine but just didn't find myself using it much. A Cintiq model might have been more attractive, those are the ones with a display that you draw on.

    I previously had a 13" MacBook Air that did a good job with RAW editing, and was great for travel. I wouldn't want a screen smaller than that, though.

    The 13" iPad Pro is something I had considered. I have the 9.7" version (along with a Brydge keyboard that makes it like a tiny MacBook), and the Apple Pencil is far superior to most touchscreen/stylus combos - as sensitive and responsive as the Wacom tablet, but you're drawing on a high-resolution display. What put me off the iPad as an editing tool is that it doesn't truly edit RAW files, only JPGs (might be fine for trips, but you'd have to re-perform those edits on the RAW file at home). However, there's hope on the horizon since iOS 10 will support RAW images from the onboard camera, and I expect that will eventually lead to RAW support for external cameras, too.

    Ultimately for me, I don't generally do photo editing on trips (even though I generally have my 17" MBP with me) – during the trip I'm either out and about (business, sightseeing and/or taking pictures), or sleeping. I save the photo editing for home.

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