OUt my way Bamboo tablets run very high, but that is due to import tariff. I thought about them seriously before buying my Genius or INGenious. As they are for traditional art, I wonder how to make my drawings more life-like.
Bamboo, they're available in around A4 sized tablet, I've found it works pretty well. Mine is on the verge of breaking though, so I'm considering getting an intuos when it does because I'm sure that I want to keep drawing digital art. Bamboo is good for experimenting when you're just starting with digital but not sure. ^^
I think the Bamboo tablets are Wacom's budget tablets. I used to have an old "Graphire3" tablet from them that I got for around $100 (Graphire I think was the model that Bamboo replaced) and it worked just fine for what I did back then. It'd probably be fine for what I do now, too, as a matter of fact. It didn't have much surface area though, so that was my main reason for replacing it.
I've had an Intuos 4 for a few years now and I haven't had any complaints really with the tablet itself. Wacom software and drivers have been somewhat of another issue sometimes though, but still better than anyone else out there to my knowledge.
The more expensive the tablet, the more bells and whistles it'll have, and I'm not really sure how much I really need them since I'm not exactly creating masterpieces yet. I mean, my tablet was advertised as having something like a bajillion levels of pressure sensitivity or something, which I guess means it can make a cleaner stroke, but I never noticed much difference. It also came with a bunch of extra nibs like textured ones to simulate graphite/charcoal, regular plastic ones, soft ones for markers or something I guess, and a springy one for a paint brush feel. I've tried all of them, but for the most part I didn't really prefer any of them over the normal/black/plastic ones. The texture nibs seemed cool at first, but they wear down the surface of your tablet faster. This doesn't have any effect on the performance of the tablet that I've noticed, but the texture is less noticeable as it gets more worn, making such nibs somewhat pointless.
The best extra "bells and whistles" feature though are the buttons on the side. You can set them up how you want, (push this for brush tool, this for hand tool, etc.) which was cool at first. However, as someone who uses his tablet for school shit a lot, I'd end up having to set up these preferences every time I went to a different computer on campus. I gave up after awhile and decided to get used to the default settings or just use the keyboard.
The circle/wheel on this side is pretty cool too, and a godsend for someone who likes to rotate the canvas while they draw. The canvas rotation setting for it doesn't work in all programs though, unfortunately. I've only gotten it to work in the newer versions of Photoshop CS (CS5 and 6, possibly 2,3 & 4 as well but I haven't tried them. I know for a fact it doesn't work in CS1 and earlier though) as it seems to be tied to the canvas rotate tool (hotkey R in Photoshop I think?) which wasn't around in earlier versions and doesn't exist/work the same way in Corel Painter and GIMP. So it's kind of another one of those things that should only be a deciding factor based on what software you use with it.
Lastly, I have had some issues with newer Wacom drivers screwing up the pressure sensitivity in Photoshop, making it spotty. I'm not sure if it's Adobe or Wacom that caused this, and it didn't seem to be a problem for all users, but it was annoying and I had to rollback to an earlier driver.
TL;DR: the Intuos is nice, but it's more expensive and you may not end up utilizing most or all of its extra features. Depending on what software you're going to use with the tablet and if you think you'll end up using it with different computers a lot, the Bamboo may be the better choice.
It's called ArtRage Studio. It also comes with Sketchbook Express and a rather simple little drawing program- I can't remember the name, but it's like a drawing version of Notepad. I usually use ArtRage, though, and I find it great. It has a lot of advanced features, and I don't even have the Pro version XD
To be honest, it depends on your screen size. If you have a big(ger) screen then I'd go for the Intuos Medium. Bamboo is a good sized tablet for most screens and most purposes. Plus it's handy to carry on the go with a laptop, so if you're a beginner and not wanting to spend a lot Bamboo is fine.
Personally I don't recommend getting touch versions. The reason being that the new textured surface wears down the pen nibs really fast and Wacom charges a fortune for new nibs. Tape a sheet of acetate over the surface and the nib-wear problem goes away, but I don't think you'll be able to use touch features that way - so might as well not spend extra on touch features in the first place.
Yeah it's with all new tablets, both touch and pen. The touch is worse because when the drawing surface itself wears down, you have to send it back to Wacom to replace it, whereas for the pen you can buy sheets and repair yourself. I recommend fixing an acetate sheet from the get-go anyway, that results in near zero wear and won't void warranty.
The old Intuos 3 and the very early Bamboos had a normal surface, but they don't make them any more. All the new models with the "paper texture" wear down nibs real fast. One little sketch would cause it to become completely flat on that side, like a pencil.
Bamboo Pen & Touch is cool, but i didnt used touch feature much since i have all shortcuts on my g15 keyboard, so if you have shortcuts on your kb too, you can be fine with just bamboo Pen, i even found drawing area was too big for me and my ankle hurts like hell after a few hours of using, so i downsized the drawing area to very small size! Now i prefer intuos since it has button illumination and i work mostly in the dark, also the scroll wheel for layers is cool feature on it!
I don't need the touch feature tbh, I just need the pen to be able to draw nicely.
I'm used to Photoshop so the shortcuts won't be an issue, and I'll be able to pick up on the shortcuts for SAI and Gimp quickly so I'm not too concerned about that either. I work on a laptop with a light over it, so even though my room is dark I can still see the keys.
Thanks for the tips though! I used a larger Intuos before and it also cramped up my wrist, it was annoying.
Yeah, none of the Bamboo's break $200. I've just heard mixed reviews with half the people saying start cheap and others saying get the Intuos if I can afford it, which I'm probably going to do. I hope they go on sale sometime soon.
I think the other two have less function keys on them and come with less software. The Capture is the most expensive out of the lower-end ones and has four programmable buttons and some really cool software included in the box.
I'm debating between the capture and the splash. I think I may just go for the splash because it's cheaper and I already have Photoshop CS6, can use Gimp and can get SAI for free. Those seem like the three best programs for digital art anyway, so the pre-loaded software doesn't seem too important.
Honestly I don't think the active area matters. I've always used a bamboo pen tablet, the cheapest one that I'm aware of. It's worked out well for me. I've had the opportunity to use Intuos tablets, but I don't think there's any significant difference.
Since when I draw, I just zoom in and zoom out of the image, and I've never felt a large active area was necessary.
I think this can depend on the sort of artwork one does. For digital paintings, it probably doesn't matter, but when I'm trying to do lineart I prefer a much bigger active area. Especially for the long, sweeping lines.