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Cintiq vs. Optoma Pen Tablets

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2006, 07:25 PM
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pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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Cintiq vs. Optoma Pen Tablets

Could I please get some expertise opinion/advice on these tablets and the advantages/disadvantages? I'm thinking about purchasing one, and I don't want to regret my decision. I respect the opinions of the artists on this site, and trust your respective judgements, so will act accordingly. Thank you!
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:27 AM
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I've been using the Wacom Cintiq 21UX for about a year now. I love it! You can't go wrong with a Wacom. It's seems it's just about the industry standard for graphics tablets, just as Photoshop seems the industry standard for image manipulation.

I've never heard of the Optoma before. Checked it out a bit with a google search. From what I saw it didn't seem like it was designed for precise graphics use. It seemed like it was more of an interactive display for drawing telestrator style (a la John Madden sketching a football play on screen) to highlight parts of a powerpoint presentation for an audience and that kind of thing. It was designed by a video projector company.

I could be wrong about it, but that was my first impression from the few sites I visited. My reccomendation is the Cintiq. You wouldn't regret it.

--Racc
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:28 PM
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I wouldnt recommend a cintiq as a first tablet, the price tag alone should tell you that its not designed for beginners. If you dont want to regret your decision, start with something a little more low end then you're less likely to regret it when you run into the inevitable problems of adjusting to a tablet.
I spent £20 on my first tablet - just couldnt get used to it all but at the end of the day it was only £20. I've just treated myself to a £50 tablet and I'm getting the hang of it. Its bigger - which helps. But after mastering the mouse, its a big change. When I first got a tablet I was expecting it to be the solution to all my problems, which it wasnt. I've got a new tablet now because there are some things a mouse just cant do and now is the right time to progress on, I've got as far as I can go with my crappy £10 mouse.
If you can afford to spend $2.5k on a cintiq with no regrets and have the time and patience to learn to use it then thats great (can you lend me a few $k )
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:26 PM
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Although that is a valid argument in general for tablets, with the exception of the pricetag, it doesn't really apply to the Cintiq.

The adjustment period or having to get used to using a tablet usually seems to come from the disconnect between where you're drawing and where you're looking. I went through it, myself, back in the day. There are some other minor adjustments, but that's the biggie. But, this disconnect simply doesn't exist with the Cintiq since you are drawing right on the screen.

If you are comfortable using a pen and paper then you probably won't have much of an adjustment using the Cintiq. Is it an identical experience as using a pen and paper? Of course not. But neither is it the same as working through the disconnect and adjustment period of using a standard, everyday tablet.

I've seen quite a few discussions about this on a lot of different forums. Often those posing the adjustment argument on those other forums haven't used a Cintiq and, therefore, don't expect the experience to be any different than what they had with an ordinary tablet. But, the Cintiq is a whole new experience almost as far above standard tablets as those tablets are above the mouse. It terms of the dissconnect, they can't really be compared.

In the past, co-workers have brought their little kids in to work. When they visit my cubicle, I sometimes entertain them by opening Photoshop, creating a blank, white layer for them to "paint" on and they go to town drawing away in their favorite color just as if they were sitting at a table with paper and crayons. They didn't go through any adjustment period. They didn't experience any disconnect or having to get used to the Cintiq. They just picked up the pen and drew.

Is the Cintiq expensive? Yep. Is it worth it? Depends. Personally I think so, but I use mine all day every day at work. If you only need to use a tablet on occasion, then probably not.

If you can, perhaps try to find a trade show or reseller where you can get a hands on demo and try it out before you decide.

--Racc
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Old 07-25-2006, 01:08 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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You let children play with your precious, precious cintiq! *meep*

Adjusting to the disconnect from eye to hand, isnt that bad - I got used to that in a few hours. Put using the pen isnt like using a pencil. Getting the settings *just* right, takes a lot of work and practice and I'm sure I'm not the only person who bought a tablet and gave up in frustration the first time around. Maybe spending 4 figures makes you try harder but I will would say buy something cheap first, give it a try, get used to using the pen.
Hiring is also an option - I dont know about in the US but in europe you can hire one, instead of buying it outright.
That might be a better option. Hire one, see how you get on and if you like it then you can buy one.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:36 AM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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Quote:
You let children play with your precious, precious cintiq! *meep*
Well, when I say little kids, they were probably 6 or 7 years old. I was sitting right there next to them, so they weren't doing anything unsupervised. And, like all kids seem to, they got bored with it pretty soon. But, they were old enough to know that it was expensive and to be careful.

Anyway, I guess the point of what I was trying to explain is that, pricetag aside, if there ever was a tablet for beginners or someone who has never used one before, the Cintiq would be it. It's that natural to use. Yet, at the same time, it is the cutting edge in a state-of-the-art device that appeals to professionals. It's how all technology should be... sophisticated enough for the pros, but simple and elegant enough in its design that anyone could sit down at one for the first time and instinctively know how to use it.

The stumbling block, of course, is that darn price of $2,500. But, NancyJ's idea to rent one is a good suggestion. I think Wacom may have a rent to own program. Though, I'm not sure. It may depend on the reseller. Also, if you are a student or faculty at an educational institution you may be able to get a discount. Again, that depends on the reseller. No guarantees.

--Racc
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