Why Photographers Need a Wacom Tablet

If you’ve never heard of a Wacom tablet, prepare to have your editing world rocked.

If you have heard of one, but didn’t think it was really necessary, think again.

We bought our first tablet nearly 9 years ago, and we have never been without one since. And when I say “never”, I mean that we bring it with us when we travel all over the world. That’s how much of a difference it can make with your editing and retouching!

Quite simply, it helps us get our work done faster. And better. Sign me up!

So this week we’re showing you why these tablets are so useful, and what your options are for getting one into your life. We’ll also give you a quick peek at how they can help you in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Let’s go!


Where you can find Wacom tablets:

B&H / Amazon.com

If you’ve never used a tablet before head down to your local Best Buy, they usually have some on display there!


Now in the comments below, I’d love to hear if you’ve used a Wacom tablet before, or if you’ve been thinking about giving one a try. 

Are you finding that it gives you more control, and that you can get your editing done faster? What’s the best thing about it? Is there anything you find frustrating?

Thanks for sharing your experiences! I can’t wait to hear what you think of these nifty gadgets!

Lauren Lim

Hey friend, I’m Lauren! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I’m downright obsessed with photography, and love sharing it with super cool folks like yourself. When I’m not shooting, or writing, you can find me cooking (and eating!), traveling, and hanging out with wonderful people.

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18 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Oh this is such perfect timing – this is the next piece of gear on my wish list (after all the new hard drives I just bought ;)!! I have been having some repetitive strain injury due to mouse-use. I’ve heard that switching to a tablet from a mouse for photo editing can be like moving from a sledgehammer to a scalpel!

    I have been wondering, though, can an iPad Air work in a pinch or is it really better to get that pressure-sensitive Wacom?

    • Lauren Lim says:

      Oooh that’s a good one! “A sledgehammer to a scalpel”, I love it!

      Now you can use an iPad as a tablet, but you do miss out on the pressure sensitivity. And when it comes to doing fine detail work, like retouching or careful dodging and burning, I really really love that feature of the Wacom.

      You CAN get a Wacom Stylus that is pressure sensitive that you could use with your iPad, but that alone is $100. And an entry level Wacom is $90.

      So my humble opinion is that it really is better to get the Wacom, especially if you anticipate doing a fair bit of editing and retouching!

  2. I have one but as much as I have tried I cannot seem to get the hang of it. Can you recommend some WACOM training?

  3. I bought mine late last year and I love it! Took a week or two to get the hang of it, but now I couldn’t live without it. All my design, illustration and photo editing is so much faster.

  4. Once I got my Wacom tablet, I couldn’t understand how I was using a mouse to edit photos. It definitely made the process smoother. It allows you to get really precise.

  5. Please could you recommend a good model , went to their website and so many to choose from – i work in both LR & PS , but not having used one before I dont want to spend too much just yet. Thank you :)

    • Ellen BridgesSmith says:

      Gillian, what size/model Wacom did you settle on? I just started my search (obsession). Any tips would be appreciated. I use LR/PS.
      Thank you!

      • Hey Ellen,

        We settled on a 6×8. We’ve used a bigger one before, but the 6×8 felt the best in terms of desktop space vs. accuracy.

        • Hi Rob .. I was just wondering…. as I have just decided to get a Wacom too. You say you settled on a 6×8 ….. Could I have all the details for this one please… I noticed there are different names and models etc… Thanks
          Kind regards

      • barbara m. says:

        I bought mine about 5 years ago, a CTH-460. Don’t know if they still make this model. I LOVE it. Outside measurements are about 6.5″ x 10″, but actual tablet is 4″ x 6″. So it has a frame around it to rest your hand, and buttons on one side that I don’t use. I find that this size is big enough. I use it for editing photos on PS. I also sell on eBay, so it is useful for dealing with photo problems that arise.

  6. hi! have you found that there is a size that is overkill? is the 9×12 necessary for lightroom editing primarily?

  7. Hiya, great blog thank you. I bought a nice Wacom Intuos but find it clunky and cumbersome. When I try to use the pen in Photoshop the rendering lags and quick strokes bog down my cpu. I have a nice mac pro with 10 gigs of ram, it crunches final cut pro quickly and there’s never an issue with any other program until I use the Wacom intuos :\ Is there a setting or something? I have had this for a year now and don’t like it at all.

  8. Roscoe Trump says:

    Remember that Moses used a tablet.

  9. Wonderful and informative video! Thank you. I recently heard about this tablet and have been looking for a video to tell me why it was so essential for photo editing. Your video was clear, concise(!!!) and answered the question of why a Wacom for photo editing. I will be looking here for help with my photography. I’m glad to have found your blog.

  10. Hello,

    I’m photographer and i do my own retouching. I’m looking for methods to make the process of selection and edges smoother, more accurage and take less time.

    I use LR and PS for my editing and i need tablet which dont cost much and do the job.

    Can you please recommend model and size?



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