With CES in full swing there have been so many technology announcements that my head is beginning to spin. One such announcement which made my ears prick up was from Wacom. In 2015 they will be releasing an updated version of the Cintiq Companion, the Cintiq Companion 2. The tablet ranges in price, sorry I’ve only seen this in dollars so far, from $1,299 to $2,499 and so is certainly not a cheap investment. My question is, do you need one?
Before I get going please go ahead and watch the unboxing video above from Colby Brown. Colby clearly knows what he’s talking about. The video is informative and concise while pointing out some key differences between this model and the previous iteration.
Let me take you back to the days before I started using a tablet for my editing. Picture a medieval scene complete with no electricity and straw scattered about. I’m sat there with a hammer (my mouse) trying to remove a stray hair, create a precise mask or dodge and burn with some finesse. I bang away with the hammer and eventually get close to the desired effect but looking back my methodology was…medieval.
Now, of course I’m being silly. That being said I really do view the day I purchased my first tablet as like the day electricity was turned on, or the wheel discovered. The change to my editing was that drastic. It was as though I had been using a hammer to edit whereas now I had a vast array of precise brushes right at my fingertips.
I currently use the Wacom Intuos5 pro , the medium version. I’m not going to go into the technical specifications of these tablets as for the most part I don’t see the benefit. What I will say is that I have gone from Wacom’s basic models, the Wacom Bamboo’s (current versions called the Intuos pen and touch I believe), to what I am using now and was able to get great results with either. The bamboo was a test which transformed my editing. I knew almost immediately that I was going to invest in a higher-end model. The Intuos5 is larger, more sensitive to pressure and just a little nicer to use in every way.
Whichever model you choose, if you are coming from mouse, you will be bowled over by the difference. Bare in mind there will be a learning curve and breaking in period. Stick with it! It’s worth it.
So, do you need the Cintiq Companion 2? Given that any tablet from Bamboo (Intuos pen and touch) to Cintiq will improve your editing comfort and precision dramatically you need to really consider what you will be gaining. As photographers, or even just people, we are always drawn in by the “new”. Thinking somehow this will solve all my problems, or just simply that we “must have this, it’s soooo cool”. Being honest that was my initial reaction to this. I do want one. But do I need one? If you are a photographer that a) travels a lot b) edits on the road and c) can justify spending the money then in my opinion go for it. I promise you will not regret having a piece of kit like this.
If, however, you are like me. You do most of your editing in front of your computer at home and don’t edit on the road. Then perhaps you would be better suited getting one of the other Wacom tablets available and investing the money saved somewhere else, a new lens for instance.
I know this has not been the most in depth look at the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 but I just wanted to make sure that, like I so often do, you did not get swept up by this new and interesting product. If you feel it will improve your editing, your workflow or save you time then by all means buy it (and invite me round to try it). If not, then definitely, without question or doubt, I advise you to buy a Wacom tablet but maybe go for something more suitable to your needs.
If you’d like more technical info on the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 please click here for a detailed breakdown. For a full list of Wacom products click here and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.