I've been considering different directions to go to move away from a traditional mouse and keyboard setup while editing. I was initially looking at the Contour ShuttleXpress as a fairly inexpensive way to try out a control surface, but now having a Wacom Intuos looks attractive. It's my understanding that a tablet replaces your mouse, so would pairing a tablet with a control surface work well? Also, how does a tablet improve over a mouse? How important is size for the tablet, will the Intuos Small (6.2X3.9") be large enough? I've never used a control surface or a tablet while editing, so I'm just generally curious what the experience is like.
I am a filmmaker/photographer; I have the shuttlepro 2 and a wacom intuos5 pro small...The shuttlepro2 is twice as much as the express but I have found it to be incredibly useful - more buttons = more customizable keystrokes. And the larger size is more ergonomic which will help with the transition and gaining the 'muscle memory' so that its the natural and fastest thing to do. Aside from needing to click shift, option, or command, I can edit (adobe pr/ae) without using the keyboard at all. This will increase your efficiency like crazy.
I do not find myself using the wacom tablet for video editing, although I did try it...The cool thing is that you can set up the radial menu with like 8 commands/keystrokes etc - being able to 'right click' on the pen and have all of your most common commands in a floating menu is awesome...however I found myself not really liking the pen for editing purposes. I have a kensington trackballpro - is had a scroll wheel and four bottons, making it excellent for use in a timeline, and its also really ergonomic.
I had the intuos5 pro medium and swapped it for the small - unless you are artist that plans on using this for sketching, you do not need that much real estate. You can map the tablet to the whole screen or map portions of the tablet for the entire screen; similar to a mouse, its most natural to have it set so that without having to move more than your wrist you can roughly reach all corners of screen, again youll only end up using a small amount of the tablet unless you plan on doing things like digital art, hand lettering etc.
The tablet really shines with photo editing. it has taken my work and workflow speed to the next level. Applying local adjustments in Lr or Ps is natural and much faster. And the ability to feather effects with the weight of your stroke can make edits more natural much faster.
I work as an editor in broadcast TV and use a wacom tablet every day. I gave up on the mouse due to the tension in my hands caused by repeated clicking in tiny boxes all day. We have old Intuos 3 tablets, they're big but effective. In my case I benefit from large sweeping gestures and clicking those little boxes with a simple poke of the stylus.
However the biggest drawback for mouse users is loosing the last pointer position. When you let go of a mouse, the pointer stays where you left it, not so with a tablet. Another tip I tend to map the screen 'inside' the tablet so that I don't overshoot to much nor rest my wrist on the uncomfortable edge.