April 26, 2015

Cintiq Companion 2 (, , )

by fluffy at 4:53 PM

Maybe my standards are just too damn high, but I'm not happy with the Cintiq Companion 2 either, and I'm probably going to return it (although I'll give it a couple more weeks to decide, since there's a 30-day Satisfaction Guaranteed window on it, and return shipping is not free on that).

Reasons I'm unhappy with it:

  • The stylus tracking is still pretty bad (the stability is fine but the accuracy leaves a lot to be desired)
  • The battery life is abysmal - like, 1.5 hours or so
  • It's heavy and loud and cumbersome
  • Every time Windows Update happens I end up needing to basically reinstall everything, because Windows is still a pile of crap (and Windows itself is also really aggravating for lots of reasons)
  • And, a big one for me, is that being stuck with Windows also means needing to be stuck with Lightroom if I intend to do multiple-device photo management

I really, really don't like Lightroom. I also don't like what Apple did with Photos but at least there's the potential for Apple to fix the couple of glaring problems (namely the inability to migrate portions of a library between systems, which was the one reason I bought Aperture in the first place). Adobe has shown time and time again that they never ever want to fix glaring, fundamental problems with their software, they just like adding more features and complexity in ways that make it less and less useful. I haven't figured out a reasonable workflow for working with Lightroom, and even just using its basic functionality is painful and obnoxious. So, Photos is the lesser of two evils, and I'm probably going to switch back. But this means that I can't have a single device for both drawing and photography on the go... or does it?

Because there's an app called Astropad that basically turns an iPad into a Cintiq, and Peggy swears by it, and I've played with the demo and it's quite nice. So if I could just do what Peggy does and connect the iPad to my MacBook via USB, I have everything I want, right?

Well, probably not everything. But still, less aggravation than what I'm dealing with right now.

Anyway, I don't completely regret actually paying for Lightroom, because it's $120/year and comes with Photoshop, which I'd been, er, "borrowing" before. So $120 for a year of legal Photoshop is still worthwhile, even if I never touch the festering pile of garbage that is Lightroom again.

Meanwhile, I've ordered one of Astropad's recommended styluses and will try that out for a while, and I guess I should see if it's possible to migrate my Lightroom library back into Aperture so that I can convert it to Photos... or more likely, restore my Aperture library from backup. Because, ugh ugh ugh, I can't imagine trying to use Lightroom to actually do anything useful.


#16992 fluffy 04/28/2015 06:38 pm
Nope, Astropad + Adonit also sucks, for a bunch of reasons that are at a fundamental level of how the device works. I guess I'll keep the Cintiq because it sucks less for what I want in a drawing tablet, and I'll keep the Adonit because it's nice for drawing apps that are directly on the iPad (and if the 13" iPad rumors are true it'll be even nicer then), but I guess nothing really works the way I want it to (aside from just having a nice big Intuos and a desk to keep it on).

I mean the Cintiq does fill a need that I have that's not covered by the iPad+Adonit, but I won't be bringing it with me when I travel for work because I'm not about to carry TWO full-size laptops. But when I'm doing work-related travel, iPad+Adonit is fine as an ancillary device to my heavy work laptop.