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Equipment Etc

Wacom's Intuos5 - Ideal for Photoshop

And for Capture One, Lightroom, Elements. While you can operate Photoshop with a mouse, when it comes to 'drawing' or 'masking', there's nothing better than a stylus (pen) to make the gestures and actions more natural. Clicking and holding a mouse, then dragging it around while watching the screen, have never been easy for me.

Of course, the downside in using a stylus and tablet is that when you do want to do normal mouse actions, you have to use a pen. Right clicking, for instance, is harder with a stylus than a mouse, but you can have both if you like. For me, I'm so used to using a stylus that it's no longer an issue.

The latest pen tablet on my desk is the Wacom Intuos5 Touch. I'm using the medium size as the larger one requires too much arm movement for my sensibilities, while the small one doesn't offer quite enough. But everyone is different!

Apart from the obvious advantages of using a stylus over a mouse, the new Intuos5 Touch has a number of other features I find really handy, namely the express keys and touch ring. Instead of moving across to the keyboard to start an action or open a menu item, I can use the keys on the Intuos5. The keys and touch ring are fully customisable, program by program. In Photoshop, I have several of the express keys linked to function keys on my keyboard, which in turn run actions in Photoshop. For instance, to add a curves adjustment layer, I hit Shift + F12, or I can hit the top express key on the Intuos5. It's a great time saver and, more importantly, it lets the process of editing a file flow more smoothly.

The Intuos5 Touch (not the Intuos5 standard model) also allows you to use finger gestures (like the iPhone) to control the computer. For me, the Touch feature isn't as useful because I am always on the keyboard, typing newsletter or articles and my arms rest on the tablet - so I need to have the Touch feature turned off a lot of the time. However, if I were using this computer only for retouching, it would be another level of easier control. Give me a few more weeks and I reckon I'll have the Touch features set up too.

Wireless support is also provided for the Intuos5, but again I have had to turn mine off. The wireless feature was causing interference with my USB audio unit on playback, so I am back to using the Intuos5 as a wired unit. However, I figure most readers won't have a USB audio unit and the wireless feature (which is an optional extra) will be compelling - no more messy wires on your desk!

So, even though I'm not using all of the features available on the new Intuos5, it's still a magic little accessory. The Intuos4 was great, the Intuos5 even better!

To read more about the Intuos5, take a look at the Wacom Australia website - you can click here to be redirected.

Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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