Wacom Cintiq 12wx Review

January 15, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 16 Comments | |

Wacom Cintiq 12wxThe Wacom Cintiq 12wx is a new interactive, touch-sensitive pen display for direct on-screen drawing - think of it as a digital sketchbook. For photographers, the Cintiq 12wx allows you to work in Photoshop or similar graphics applications by drawing directly on the 12.1 inch high-resolution LCD monitor. With 24-bit colour depth and a wide viewing angle of 170°, the Wacom Cintiq 12wx is about the same size as the more traditional Intuos3 pen tablet. Jon Canfield found out if the Cintiq 12wx is the ideal editing tool for photographers in our latest review.

Website: Wacom Cintiq 12wx Review

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#1 BJ Nicholls

While Cintiq tablets might appeal to folks who haven't put in a few hours with a conventional tablet to dial in the eye-hand coordination, I think they're a poor choice for photographers - especially this little, cheap one.

It doesn't take long to develop skill with a nice Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and a high res, high quality, large display. The tablet gives you more image size and resolution. Size matters if you're doing precise selection or drawing, as does resolution.

The TFT displays Wacom uses in these tablets aren't professional level LCDs. An LCD sufficient for professional level color work starts out at over $1000 so you can imagine what you get in a Cintiq that retails for the less money.

Drawing directly on the display may sound appealing, but for photo work you're obscuring the image area with your hand and drawing stylus. Using a tablet, you have unimpeded views of your working area.

A few folks like cartoonists might benefit from the tablet-as-paper analog. I'm a fine artist by training and have no problem with drawing and painting via a separate tablet. The LCD tablet might seem more "natural" but there's a parallax issue with the drawing surface being slightly above the display. And the texture of the tablet fails as an analog to paper or canvas surfaces.

To each hist/her own, but I think photographers would be smarter to invest in better displays that are larger, more accurate color and tonal rendition, and more resolution along with a nice Wacom tablet. Get a display that has pivot capability if you can. The Cintiq will show you only a 6.4" vertical section of your photo at 800 pixels high. That's not much resolution, especially at higher image magnification for detail work. A pivoting 1600x1200 display gives you twice the vertical resolution, 17" tall on a 21" display.

For most people, it takes a few hours use at most to become fully accustomed to drawing using a tablet and monitor. You've already dialed in a good part of the hand-eye coordination using a mouse.

9:03 pm - Monday, January 14, 2008

#2 Mielno

I'ts great - Nikon D70 is the best. I use since 3 years and I dont need enything else. But I'll try D80 in next month - maby??

11:37 pm - Monday, January 14, 2008

#3 Matt

I think that I would not want one smaller than their 20" 1680x1050 display. Twelve inches is just too small when you are working on photos 10+mp. Honestly though I feel comfortable with my mouse and lightroom for photography, but love the tablets for vector work.

11:46 pm - Monday, January 14, 2008

#4 Neil Cowley

Obscuring the image - was it a detriment after working for a while? And how do you avoid a neck ache.

I like the smaller ones so I can take them with me on the road.

8:04 pm - Thursday, January 31, 2008

#5 Nick

Hello everyone,
As an amateur artist, I have long had a conventional tablet...I have been dreaming of a Wacom 21" ever since it hit the market; however I could not afford the price. The other day I was in a mood to invest in this smaller one, as the price fits my budget and my work surface. I was referred to Wacom site to find additional info. I entered the "Forum" and read a few reviews...man, I was put off straight away. One graphic artist proved that it was virtually impossible to draw a straight line anywhere on the display, even with a ruler. He also goes on to say that the cursor jumps and bleeps all the time. In one word: "He wanted his money back".
I think I will wait until I cam afford a 20" Wacom. I believe the price is not too bad.
Read for yourselves.

4:00 pm - Monday, February 4, 2008

#6 Bob Nolin

BJ Nicholls expressed my thoughts about the Cintiq perfectly. It SEEMS like it would have advantages, but it doesn't, as he explains so well. Your review does not explain what advantages you see. It sounds as though you think it's obvious, but it's not, to those of us who have happily used a Wacom tablet for years. And a review that is followed up by "buy it here and I get a kickback" does not lead one to believe you're being very objective.

11:09 pm - Monday, February 25, 2008

#7 Niechorze

D80 is the best - best wishes from Niechorze

8:10 am - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

#8 Mark Goldstein

Thanks for an honest reply.
you have confirmed my deepest fear, that the illusion they have created around this "Cintiq" is nothing but a good advertising campaign with with the sole object of making you think it will be much easier and conformable and your production will increase 5X or more just because you own one of these babies..
From what I am reading, I get the impression that the serious artist is still working with a traditional Wacom Tablet, and that anyone who owns a Cintiq as it as a standby and moves from one to the other. I suppose for coloring in objects and painting in general it could work quite well, apart from that, I am sure a sweaty hand and neck ache are part of the deal.

11:24 am - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

#9 Joe

Hi BJ,
Thanks for the brief and honest input. I've been eyeing the new 12" cintiqs wondering how, if at all, useful they are in the real world. It would have been primarily for PS work with a bit of freehand so you're review answered pretty much all my questions.

Thanks from a random internet passer-by.

5:57 am - Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#10 Mielno

Am agree with Niechorze - D-80 is impossible to replace.

9:26 am - Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#11 El Papa

My 3 kids love drawing and they are becoming pretty good at drawing cartoons like Sonic, Pokemon etc. I'm thinking that perhaps I could introduce them to electronic drawing with the 12WX. This would be their xtmas present. Would y'all recommend this tablet or is this an overreach?

4:29 am - Friday, December 5, 2008

#12 spa w polsce

D-70 , D-80 ???? - NIKON is the best. Since many, many years I'm using only Nikon.

9:19 am - Friday, December 5, 2008

#13 Dwaynimation

Read my blog about my personal experience with both cintiqs and where to buy from.


2:15 am - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#14 Pobierowo

Yesterday I've got new Canon EOS 1 dS MARK III - who knows - maby will my second machine - first is D 70.

7:32 pm - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#15 Pobierowo

Yesterday I've got new Canon EOS 1 dS MARK III - who knows - maby will my second machine - first is D 70.

7:33 pm - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#16 kiran

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6:04 am - Friday, February 27, 2015