I’ve had the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 for quite some time now and more than enough time to work out what I like and what I don’t. Then comes the question, would I buy one.
Well, let’s see what I think. (Just a quick note, some of the photos have writing on them because they were used for stories on Instagram)
Using Wacom products
I’ve had a Wacom Intuos Pro for quite a few years now and I can’t live without it when it comes to processing my photos. I think if you want to get into more fine detail work then using a pen tablet is a must. Being able to do almost straight lines or cutting in around a subject is made so much easier.
Dave, my husband, always said I didn’t need one, but I think hearing me yelling about how hard it was to get fine detail done with the mouse was enough for him to admit that I did need one. I’ve never looked back.
Often when I have gone away Wacom Australia has loaned their Mobile Studio Pro. It is a computer and you can use the screen to draw on. It is really good, but really expensive. I used it a few times. For my last trip I was told they were going to be obsolete soon and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out the Cintiq Pro 16.
There are many different Cintiqs in different sizes and I think the 16 is one of the smallest. Though, it really isn’t that small. It is still quite large. I can understand if you were setting up a space at home for processing that you might want one of the bigger ones, but for me, that will never be an option. I don’t think anyway.
Since the pandemic, Dave has been working from home and using my desk. So I do everything on my laptop in an armchair in the lounge room. I actually like it. So I knew if I were seriously going to look at a Cintiq it would be the 16.
With the trip to Central Australia, it seemed like a good opportunity to try it out.
It is a lot bigger and bulkier than I was expecting. I have a Huion Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5K) and I thought it would be a bit bigger, but it was a lot more than I expected.
It is also quite bulky and heavy. It didn’t come with a separate stand. It has two legs that are folded back that can be extended and you get to rise it off the flat surface that way.
The biggest surprise for me was that it had to be plugged into a power source, not your laptop. There was also another cord to attach the Cintiq to your laptop. Too many cords.
If you remember my review of the Huion Kamva Pro 13 (2.5k) I was not happy with the way it had to be attached to my laptop, well now I have to eat my words. It seems most of these have to be attached. The things you find out when you are using a few of them.
Travelling with the Cintiq
I kept it in the box for most of the trip as I didn’t want to damage it. However, I also didn’t get it out of the box very often. Having to find a power point each time to use it wasn’t always easy and often just wasn’t worth the hassle.
It was easier when we were staying somewhere with a table or desk where I could set it up and leave it. So in Alice Springs, I did that. However, when we were in Yulara there was no desk or table, so it pretty much stayed in the box. Well, except for a couple of times when I got it out to work on a couple of images.
I really didn’t end up doing much work on images while I was away. That was different, as I used to work on photos every day and then post each day here. I am not sure why this last trip was different. I wish sometimes I had done that.
I wouldn’t travel with it again. If you do want something for that I would suggest something smaller and easier to use. I think if I had to do it again now I would take the Huion Kamvas Pro 13 with me. It is small and easier to use and move around.
Home with the Cintiq
Once I got back home I asked if I could keep it a little longer so I could really try it out. Now nearly all the photos you have seen from my trip were done with the Cintiq except maybe the Coober Pedy photos.
It was much easier using it at home. I did use the Huion stand to prop it up which I thought was better than the legs that popped out. It sat up a lot more.
Working in my armchair is quite a challenge, but I do have a lap desk for my laptop, and I have a small side table next to the chair. So with the laptop on the table, my lap desk on my lap with the Cintiq on the stand I got to work. I have a power board next to the table so I unplugged my phone changer so I could put in the plug for the Cintiq. It was kind of cosy, but it worked. I actually enjoyed working on my photos.
When I was done I would store the Cintiq close by so it would be easy to pick it up and work on it again.
What I didn’t like about it
So here come the pros and cons.
I was so disappointed that it had to be connected to its own power source. I thought one cord was annoying, but two were worse. Having to make sure you were always next to a power point basically. If your laptop was fully charged it needed to be close for the Cintiq.
It is really bulky and not light. It was a lot thicker than I thought it would be. Having said that if I was using it on a desk where it could sit all the time it wouldn’t be a problem.
What I do like about it
It is a great way to work on your photos. You have the pen on the surface of it so you can get very close to what you are doing. There is the precision that you want for fine detail on your images.
It makes it feel more like you are drawing on your images which is something that I have always enjoyed with using the pen and tablets from Wacom.
You can split the screens up. That means you can have your laptop or monitor as one showing something and then your software editing on the Cintiq. I did try it out but got confused with the cursor. When you only have a loan of something it isn’t always worth worrying about working out how to do more complicated things.
If I had no choice but to use the Cintiq Pro 16 would I be happy, absolutely? If Wacom said to me you can have one, I wouldn’t say no. Not that that is likely. I am sure they might give me a slight discount, but not sure it would be enough to convince me to buy one.
The future for me and tablets
I have to admit I am so glad I got to try one. It has made me think that I want something like it, but would I get this specific one, I don’t think so. I often get the feeling from Wacom marketing that they don’t appreciate or respect the thousands of photographers out there who use their products. When you look at what they show it is all graphic artists. It is a shame really.
If I am being honest I’ve been eyeing an equivalent one from Huion and think that might be the direction I go in. Huion products are good and from the reviews I’ve read they have the same capabilities as the Wacom one. Well, except you don’t have to use two cords with the Huion one.
So I am not as sad as I thought I would be about packing up the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16. I have organised another Kamvas Pro from Huion, but we can talk about that when it arrives.
With more companies producing pen tablets for artists and photographers that are much cheaper than the Wacom ones you have to wonder what the future will hold for Wacom. Will their prices come down? What will happen to them?
I am so grateful to Wacom for allowing me to try out their pen tablet. It was really good to finally try one. I think if it was priced more cheaply I would seriously consider buying one, but right now it isn’t worth the money for me. Thank you Wacom.