Three Reasons Why Using a Gaming Mouse is Great For Editing Photos

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In the market for new photo editing peripherals? While tablets and trackpads have their specific uses, you should probably consider the advantages that a gaming mouse can offer. Though more expensive than standard mice, they are top of the line products designed for better performance and long periods of use.


Built in, Adjustable Weights

There are mornings where you may wake up and find that your hands are shakier than normal. If you're a photographer or if you consume obscene amounts of coffee, you'll probably see the effects of your jittery nature. A gaming mouse has adjustable weights inside that can help curb that erratic shaking. In my Logitech G5, there is a little tab that that allows me to slide in disks with different weights. It enables smoother gliding actions and forces my hand to control the mouse more carefully because I'm moving a heavier object. In contrast, a normal laser mouse can be moved around from one side of the screen to the other with ease when programmed to similar settings as a gaming mouse.

Adjustable DPI

For those of you that are technophobes, DPI means dots per inch on your computer's screen. Adjustable DPI means that your mouse can become more sensitive to your movements for quicker access to different settings or less sensitive to your  movements for very minute adjustments such as saturating a subject's lips to look healthier or using the spot heal brush to get rid of the shadows under a CEO's eyes.

The general rule is:

Lower DPI settings (i.e. 200) =  the mouse is less sensitive to your hand's movements. This forces the user to be extremely careful with how they make the adjustments.

Higher DPI settings (i.e. 2000) = the mouse is extremely sensitive to your hand's movements. This allows your mouse to glide across the screen and can allow for quicker access to other settings like different brushes, switching to spot-heal brushes in Photoshop, etc.

If you're still confused, imagine this: you're using the gaming mouse and it is currently set to 200 DPI. The pointer is currently on the right-most part of the computer screen. If you move the mouse an inch to the left, the mouse pointer will perhaps move maybe 1/8th the way across the screen. Alternatively, if the mouse was set to 2000 DPI and the user moved the mouse an inch to the left, it would perhaps end up all the way on the other side.

Retouchers or photographers looking to try something new and have the space that a gaming mouse will require (like in a studio on a table) will make the best use of this feature. If you're just making minor edits in Lightroom, you're best off sticking with a tablet or even a laptop's trackpad.

Ergonomical Advantages

The typical gaming mouse user keeps their hand on the mouse for long periods of time and uses three or four fingers to access the buttons on it. The prolonged periods of time that the mouse is used necessitates better ergonomics and comfort. As a result, gaming mice are designed to conform to the human hand much better than regular mice. If this sounds like you, perhaps you may want to consider a gaming mouse as your next investment. At times, I've found it much easier to use than my Macbook's trackpad.

That statement isn't meant to criticize anyone that prefers the trackpad or something like Wacom tablets—years of playing the violin, electric bass and the guitar have made my fingers develop a natural curve when relaxed. This translates well into gripping onto the lens and body of a DSLR and then transitioning into using the gaming mouse to edit large batches of photos; like those from a wedding.

What peripherals do you use to edit your photos? Let us know in the comments section below.