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Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Greg


Bamboo Capture: Perfect For Photographers!

It’s sort of an im­promp­tu pho­tog­ra­phy week here at Tru­lyNet, as we check out some of the lat­est re­lat­ed gad­gets and gear. To­day’s com­pa­ny should be well known to any graph­ic de­sign­er out there, as they man­u­fac­ture the best pen tablets on the mar­ket. These aren’t tablets in the new­er sense of the word- they aren’t iPad com­peti­tors. In­stead, they’re in­put de­vices, al­low­ing you to draw on small boards with an elec­tron­ic pen. If you’ve on­ly used a mouse and key­board, you should def­i­nite­ly try one- it makes pin­point cor­rec­tions to your pho­tos faster and sim­pler than any oth­er method.

To­day’s mod­el is the Wa­com Bam­boo Cap­ture, a lightweight and at­trac­tive ver­sion that is re­mark­ably af­ford­able.We’ve tried sev­er­al of their prod­ucts be­fore- the In­tu­os4 con­tin­ues to hold up to our reg­u­lar abuse- and find them durable and easy to use. They’ve been fair­ly ex­pen­sive in the past though, and even the small­er of the se­ries would set you back over $200, with the larg­er ones cost­ing near­ly $500. But this one fea­tures a sub-$99 price tag, per­fect­ly aimed at the home us­er or pro­sumer who en­joys us­ing Pho­to­shop or oth­er pho­to edit­ing tools but wish­es they could do so more quick­ly and more ac­cu­rate­ly. Less cost­ly even than the Fun se­ries we re­viewed, the Cap­ture does feel a bit lim­it­ed to those used to more spa­cious tablets- the ac­tive area is on­ly about 6 inch­es by 3.5 inch­es- but for those new to the con­cept it shouldn’t be an is­sue.

Soft­ware, as al­ways, is sim­ple and straight for­ward. De­spite the pic­tures, by de­fault it’s wired, but is wire­less com­pat­i­ble.1024 lev­els of pres­sure are more than enough for most folks, and the in­clu­sion of Nik Soft­ware’s Col­or Fil­ters was in­spired, as you can achieve some fun ef­fects eas­i­ly. Even if you’re just tak­ing pho­tos from a reg­u­lar pock­et dig­i­tal cam­era, you’ll be able to quick­ly com­pete with the In­sta­grams and Hip­sta­mat­ics of the world. Com­pat­i­ble with both Win­dows and Mac OSX, it al­so is con­vert­ible for left- or right-hand­ed use. We liked the four but­tons- pro­grammable Ex­pressKeys to be pre­cise- but those who want to save a bit of mon­ey can opt for the even less-spendy Con­nect mod­el. The big­ger broth­er ‘Cre­ate’ of­fers twice the work­ing space for about $80 more.

We found the pen to be com­fort­able, though a lit­tle too large and a bit odd­ly bal­anced. Hold­ing the tablet was easy, and even those new to the idea caught on quick­ly and found them­selves hav­ing trou­ble go­ing back to a creaky old mouse for some op­er­a­tions. It does take up some space, but not much more than a good mousepad. And it feels well-made, with at­ten­tion clear­ly hav­ing been paid to de­sign and func­tion­al­i­ty. For those want­ing more fea­tures, Wa­com of­fers a com­plete line. But if you’re an artist- or know one- with­out a graph­ics tablet, then the Bam­boo Cap­ture should be an easy choice. Avail­able on­line and in stores for around $90.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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