top of page

Wacom Intuos Pro - A first impression

This is my first photo using the Wacom Intuos Pro as the editing device.

This morning I received an Intuos Pro from the great folks over at Wacom. In a few weeks, I will be writing a full review, but for today, I thought it would be very helpful to just offer up my thoughts after just one day (probably about 5-6 hours) of use. Of course much of that time was just a matter of setting it up, and getting it to do what I wanted it to do. I'm still not set up 100% the way I'll eventually use it, I'm sure. But I like the direction that I have gone so far, and I found a wonderful resource, courtesy of Wade Morales, a fellow member of Nick Page's "Landscape Photography Podcast" Facebook group. He pointed me to the two Phlearn videos on setting up the pen, and using it with Photoshop. If you aren't already familiar with Phlearn, I can't recommend it highly enough!

PHLEARN - How to use a Wacom Tablet... part 1

PHLEARN - How to use a Wacom Tablet... part 2

As of right now, I have the pen set up exactly as Aaron described in his video. The back button on the pen is assigned to go "back a step" in Photoshop. The front button is set for right clicking. So far I'm using the touch ring to adjust size of brush, hardness of brush, etc. I also am using the pressure sensitivity with the pen. Hands down, my favorite parts of this device are the ability to adjust flow by adjusting pressure with the pen. You get a vastly better amount of subtle control compared to trying to use a mouse. It's night and day!

The first couple of hours it was sort of awkward trying to get used to operating the menu systems with the pen. Drawing came really fast for me, but opening up a menu, selecting an item, and clicking on it were actually fairly awkward. Within that first couple of hours, targeting the menu items and functioning with the pen worked far better. I'm sure by the time I do a full review, it will be absolutely second nature.

I have been an avid user of shortcut keys for years in Lightroom and Photoshop. I have found that keeping my left hand on my keyboard, using all of my traditional shortcut commands, in combination with the right hand on the tablet works absolutely wonderfully. There are a number of assignable buttons on the tablet, and I will certainly use some of them over time, I'm sure. But right now I haven't really integrated them into my workflow very much.

One thing I learned from Aaron's video that I tend to agree with thus far is that the small tablet is probably sufficient. They sent me the medium (which is the smallest of the Intuos Pro series), and I actually adjusted the settings to just use about 1/2 of the surface area. The logic there is that when you have a smaller area, you don't have to move your hand nearly as far to accomplish the same tasks. Sometimes it's easy to assume that the larger one is "better," but in this case I can't envision ever needing that much real estate for simple photo editing. If you are using it as a drawing as a graphic designer or illustrator, I could see some major advantages to the larger one, but for photo editing, the medium is more than enough!


Mark is a professional photographer working in the eastern United States. He is based in suburban Philadelphia, but shoots regularly in New York and eastern North Carolina, as well. Specializing in wedding & portrait photography, he is particularly a obsessed with capturing special events, moments and emotions.

On August 2nd, 2018, Mark will be presenting a series of classes at the Cardinal Camera in Charlotte, North Carolina. These same classes will be taught in the Lansdale, PA location in the Fall of 2018. If you are interested in attending a free photo meet-up, Mark and Tracy Munson will be leading a free photography meet-up in the Bay of Fundy region of New Brunswick, Canada. You can connect with either of us in the Photographers Cooperative Facebook Group, and we can add you to the private group with all of that information on the meet-up!

In November, 2018, he will be presenting a hands-on gear show through the Pennsylvania Center for Photography. Details about that opportunity will be available as the date gets closer!

bottom of page