Today’s Question: Have you seen the new tablets from Xencelabs, and had a chance to test them? If so, how do you think they stack up to the tablets from other manufacturers?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I have indeed tested out the tablets from Xencelabs and am very impressed. I’m using the medium size bundle (https://timgrey.me/tabletbundle), which includes the Quick Keys remote featuring a series of buttons and a dial that can be programmed for fast access to commonly used features.
More Detail: A tablet can be tremendously helpful for a variety of tasks, because it enables you to use a pen as an input device rather than a mouse, for example. A tablet can be especially helpful for photographers who are using Photoshop to optimize their images. To some extent a tablet can also be helpful in the context of Lightroom Classic, especially in conjunction with the Adjustment Brush for applying targeted adjustments.
The way I generally describe the benefit of a tablet is to suggest that you try to sign your name with a mouse, and then try to perform the same task with a pen on a tablet. You simply have better tactile control when using a pen rather than a mouse.
For tasks like dodging and burning, tracing along the edge of an object to define a selection, or painting in targeted adjustments, a tablet can be invaluable.
I’ve been using the Xencelabs medium tablet bundle and have been very impressed. The quality and accuracy of the tablet is excellent. The bundle also includes a Quick Keys remote, which I find very helpful. I typically use the dial control to adjust brush size, for example, with the other buttons providing the equivalent of keyboard shortcuts for commonly used tasks.
For me personally the tablet doesn’t completely replace a mouse, in part because I’ve gotten so used to using a mouse for other tasks over the years. But for tasks that involve any degree of drawing, a tablet is invaluable. The Xencelabs tablet medium bundle is now a fixture in my digital darkroom, and you can learn more about it here: