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Wacom Cintiq Professional 27 First Impressions


The new Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 is a device we think portrait, landscape, conceptual, and editorial photographers are seriously going to love. When hooked up to an iMac, it will provide the touchscreen experience you’ve always wanted. But beyond that, it’s a massive piece of kit designed to be set up in one place for as long as you possibly need. As much as I dislike photo editing, using the Cintiq Pro 27 made it fun again. We got to play with it for a bit in NYC before the announcement and here are our thoughts.

First off, I should say I often go between conceptual photography, photojournalism, and portrait photography. Part of the reason why I switch often is my own evolution mixed with what’s doing well with the website. I don’t see photojournalists using this, with the exception of wedding photographers who retouch. So instead, I’m recommending this to:

  • Landscape photographers who need to paint details back into shadows or highlights
  • Portrait photographers who need to get rid of blemishes
  • Conceptual photographers who combine multiple images together
  • Studio photographers tethered down to an actual, physical studio space

With it being so large, we think photographers will really love what’s possible.

Tech Specs

These specs have come directly from Wacom.

  • 26.9-inch Ultra HD display
  • 15.9 lbs
  • 99% of Adobe RGB and 98% of HDR PQ
  • Wacom recommends calibrating your computer and then sharing the calibration to the tablet
  • USB-C and USB 1 connections
  • Can be used with Wacom’s own stand, which is a beast
  • Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.5 or later
  • 8 express keys
  • Customizations for the Mac
  • Ultra HD display

Ergonomics

Here’s a look at the giant screen of the new Wacom Cintiq Pro 27. It’s hooked up to a standard laptop here. That’s a whole lot of real estate space to edit with.

On both sides, you’ve got grips with various buttons for quick commands when you need them. They’re ergonomically contoured and feel very much like Sony camera grips.

You’ve also got a few extra buttons on the back of the device that can perform a myriad of tasks.

Here’s a closer look at the grip on the left side. See how it resembles a camera grip?

And here’s a look at the buttons, which also include port access.

Here are some more ports behind the display. They’re nice, but I could also see how this placement could make cable management a bit annoying.

On top of the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 are vents to keep the entire device cool. We didn’t stress test this device, but we’re confident it won’t generate a whole lot of heat.

Build Quality

This thing is a beast. And for this specific section I’m referring to it being a heavy and large piece of technology. My daily computer is a 27-inch iMac. And when you make that display into a giant tablet for editing, things change so much. Hooked up to an iMac, I could imagine it becoming the touchscreen Mac OS experience every photographer has wanted. 

Of course, if you’re going to use this thing, make sure you’ve got ample desk space. Personally, I’d need room for a light, a keyboard, mouse, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27, my Drobo, and a 27-inch iMac. 

When asked if Wacom was making a hood for the tablet, they responded they’re not. In my demo, a hood would’ve made editing much easier. Wacom, of course, stated that’s why calibration is important. But let’s be honest here; most photographers don’t calibrate their monitors. We used to do it often, but after a while it just became too much of a maintenance task that made using an iMac feel like using a PC.

Ease of Use

Here’s a look at the new pens. They come in different shapes and below you can see the weight balancers. These come out and screw in just like an ink cartridge with a pen. To someone who likes to collect fancy Montblanc fountain pens, these feel pedestrian. But if you’re not a fountain pen lover, then you’ll be happy with the feeling.

During our meeting with Wacom, we had a lot of fun. The tablet was hooked up to a laptop that didn’t have the most up to date versions of Capture One, Lightroom, or even Photoshop. But we did what we could, and found it to be fun to edit with. In fact, this is the most fun I’ve had with a Wacom tablet in a while. Because of the official Wacom stand, the whole experience felt like I was working with an easel. But I’m not sure how long I could do that for and not have carpel tunnel. 

Combined with the new pen that has three buttons, I’d want to do all the actions my mouse can like right-clicking, keyboard selections, etc. During my short time, I didn’t do any attempts at retouching, but I could see how this would make things easier. If you combined it with Adobe’s masking technology, it would be even better.

Straight off the bat, I found the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 to be a joy to use. These days, I sometimes edit more than I’d like because of the camera systems I use. (That’s to say that a lot of systems don’t require me to do edits at all.) So if I’m using Canon, Nikon, OM System, or Sony cameras, I can see myself liking the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 if I’m not doing photojournalism work. On my 27 inch iMac with my mouse, I wouldn’t have wanted to smooth out skin for a portrait, so instead, I’d just use a preset. 

These days, I also don’t work off a laptop when I’m on location. I use my iPad Pro instead and then make edits to our website using WordPress in Safari. For photo editing, I use Capture One Pro and then sync the edits to the cloud. However, I see how someone would want to use the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 with an iPad Pro. However, ours didn’t believe that was possible. 

Taking all of this into consideration, I think photographers who spend a lot of time creating instead of capturing would find a lot of love for the new Wacom Cintiq Pro 27. If you’re a photographer at a studio and have a client peering over your shoulder to see the photos, have them look at this instead.

First Impressions

So far, this new Cintiq Pro is shaping up to be very promising. Is it expensive? Yes, it’s essentially a touchscreen display monitor. And photographers will surely be purchasing it with the intent of making the money back for their investment. But further, they also have to remember it’s a tax write off. We’re going to call one in for review, so stay tuned!



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