Buying an Intuos

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  1. #1
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    Buying an Intuos

    Hello!

    I've been considering buying a tablet for years now. Art is just a hobby, but it's a major hobby, and I think I'm finally ready to get into the digital aspect of art. I don't make much(student, pt cashier and have a preschooler) so this is a hefty investment. I have just enough in my "disposable free money" fund - $405.

    Sorry in advance if this is a frivolous post, but I just wanted to talk about it first and don't have anyone to discuss it with. I've got my eyes on the Intuos5 medium tablet($349). I've heard that small is too small and large is nice but very expensive, so medium it is.

    I've played around some with a mouse on gimp and sai but the art doesn't really compare to traditional. The lines are not very pretty, and I find I lack the control I have with a pencil, pen or brush. I'm telling myself this is just because the mouse is bad for art, and I hope that's true. I really like the layers, colors and everything else that goes with digital though.

    Now for some questions..

    - Is buying a used tablet a smart idea? I could save some cash buying an Intuous3 or 4 but it could be a bad choice. Also, is there a big difference between an Intuos3, 4 and 5? Or just little upgrades?

    - Coupon codes! I saw on the wacom website a place to enter codes, but how do I get one? Getting a sale would be great.

    - Art programs? Paint tool sai, corel painter, photoshop.. there are so many choices. Is this a decision I should just make myself by using the 30 day trials or is there a "one awesome program everyone uses"?

    I can purchase this online through wacom with a prepaid visa card right? I don't have a bank account(yes I know I should). I guess I'm pretty much ready to do it. *deep breath* Okay, advise me please!

    EDIT-

    Okay so I changed my mind actually and decided on the Intuos4. Amazon doesn't charge tax or shipping for the 5 but it does for the 4, which made me really sad, but it's still cheaper than the 5 by about $90. Grr why is amazon so mean?

    Anyway it's going to arrive on the 5-8th. I figured I'd update this and let you guys know that I went through with the purchase. I'm really excited.

    Last edited by winterspring; May 30th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Get one off Amazon if you're in Sacremento. You don't pay for the sales tax and have an option for Free shipping. So you'll just pay 349 for one.

    Used are ok, but I think you'll be fine with the intuos5 despite some of the problems. I've had the older ones and prefer my 4 but I think anyone who hasn't tried the older models will be happy enough with it.

    Just don't scratch the surface. Also intuos3 isn't really worth it so much if it's not widescreen. The intuos5 has a wireless slot for extra 40 dollars.

    You could get the bamboo, but it depends how much time you intend to spend with the tablet.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks for the reply! Yes I live in sac.

    When I looked at the wacom site, orders over $50 have free shipping and it doesn't have sales tax either. For the surface, I will be very careful, but I can order a replacement screen for around $25 right?

    Actually, someone here PM'd me and suggested some other sites. The academic superstore has the 5 medium for $309 and amazon has the 4 medium for $230. I'm not an art student but I'm still a student so I think I should be good there.

    Now I'm really considering the 4. I looked at the other thread, and 4 seems almost as good as the 5, unless you're really into the touch features. Touch looks useful and handy but for $79 less I could live without it. However, reading the threads here people suggest the second gen model of Intuos4. How can I tell which gen it is or what year it was originally made in?

    The 4 large was $295 but the general consensus is that medium is large enough right?

    I don't know if I want to just get a bamboo. I spend a lot of time drawing already, and if digital is anything like I think it will be, I wouldn't want to re-invest and get an Intuos.

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    The intuos 5 touch doesn't have an overlay replacement. You have to ship it back to them if it gets damaged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winterspring View Post
    However, reading the threads here people suggest the second gen model of Intuos4. How can I tell which gen it is or what year it was originally made in?
    2nd gen intuos models are the ones produced since late 2010 (I have seen Jan 2010 date mentioned on wacom web-forum as well), so any current intuos 4 is 2nd gen.

    The 4 large was $295 but the general consensus is that medium is large enough right?
    if your screen isn't exceeding 1920x1080 resolution, M is perfect; at the same time, intuos 4 and 5 have a software feature called precision mode, when a small area of screen is mapped to the whole tablet surface, so if you need some extra polish to a certain small detail and your tablet is not having enough space for extra careful work, it's gonna help a bit.


    I don't know if I want to just get a bamboo. I spend a lot of time drawing already, and if digital is anything like I think it will be, I wouldn't want to re-invest and get an Intuos.
    if you have money for intuos, go for it. you will upgrade at some point tbh, and it's better to do earlier than later.

    oh, and regarding your first post,
    > Is this a decision I should just make myself by using the 30 day trials or is there a "one awesome program everyone uses"?
    that awesome program is photoshop, however, painter and sai are better in some regards; painter is a flawed but very artist friendly program, over complicated and not very stable; SAI is one of the best tools for digital inker, also it's quick and blending is great.
    photoshop is great to get you started and a lot of people don't use anything else.
    I prefer painter, though, even despite getting more and more annoyed by its development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winterspring View Post
    The 4 large was $295 but the general consensus is that medium is large enough right?
    I had a large and sold it to get a medium. Unless you are an expansive gesture sort of artist who uses their whole arm to draw, med is fine. After all, how much room do you use to mouse on? I found I "got lost" in the space of a large. But some people love it. I'd just rather move the pen 10 inches to get from one side of the board to the other rather than move my whole arm... yeah I'm lazy like dat.


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  9. #7
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    My advice would be to go for a widescreen intuos3 if you can. All the newer models have this rough "paper like" surface that eats the nibs of your stylus like a zombie in a sci-fi con. I think 5 has an overlay or something to make it less damaging to nibs.

    I used a bamboo create for a while, it's a great tablet to get started. Multitouch was quite buggy though, probably because of the drivers. (this one also has that new surface btw)

    Good luck

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    ^ 5 doesn't have any special overlays unless you mean the clear plastic bag that it's packed in, and it's still eating nibs like crazy.
    4 and 5 have a much better default grip pen compared to intuos 3, I don't think nibs alone are worth the downgrade.
    intuos 3 will also last longer because of hard-soldered usb cable, but it... it just looks so 2004 tbh

    Last edited by ikken; May 31st, 2012 at 04:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterspring View Post
    Actually, someone here PM'd me and suggested some other sites. The academic superstore has the 5 medium for $309 and amazon has the 4 medium for $230. I'm not an art student but I'm still a student so I think I should be good there.

    Unless of course you just alerted everyone that was on the fence and now they are out of stock... That's why I PMed you...

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  12. #10
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    I'm sorry! Really. I wasn't aware that would happen...but at least some people are happy now right? They have some good deals there; I was almost tempted by the painter deal with the tablet.

    Intuos3 - I didn't look into this bc it has half the pressure sensitivity of the 4/5. As a non-tablet person I'm not sure how great that is but I have a feeling it was worth the money to upgrade to 4/5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikken View Post
    ^ 5 doesn't have any special overlays unless you mean the clear plastic bag that it's packed in, and it's still eating nibs like crazy.
    4 and 5 have a much better default grip pen compared to intuos 3, I don't think nibs alone are worth the downgrade.
    intuos 3 will also last longer because of hard-soldered usb cable, but it... it just looks so 2004 tbh
    intuos3 looks like a CRT compared to the newer versions.

    I also prefer the widescreen area vs the intuos 3 I had (widescreen intuos3 were more expensive and harder to find at the time)

    The drawing surface does wear down eventually on the 4 unless you replace the overlay, so I still have a nice paper feel that's less abrasive than the intuos5.

    You could also get the really light sandpaper and run it over the overlay a bit (but may not be a good idea for the intuos 5 touch.)

    Also the 239.00 intuos 4 on Amazon has shipping. If it's direct from Amazon there's no shipping so watch how you purchase it. If the store you purchase from is in the same state, you'll pay sales tax.

    I still say buy the 5 direct from Amazon. If your tablet is busted, the return policy is a lot less hassle through Amazon. They just ask you to print a label, put it in a shippable box and they'll pick it up for you (usually UPS). There is a 30 day return window iirc. But I really never had any issues with Amazon customer service.

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterspring View Post
    I'm sorry! Really. I wasn't aware that would happen...but at least some people are happy now right? They have some good deals there; I was almost tempted by the painter deal with the tablet.
    LOL! Just messing with you. The 309 deal is only this week, but they charge tax so it ends up only a dollar less than if you bought it off amazon. 20some bucks in taxes!!!

    I buy ALL my software there tho. no tax on software... You can't beat a grand off creative suite!
    P

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    Hi winterspring and everyone (new member but have been lurking for quite a while).
    I have the widescreen Intuos 3. I originally had the small 3, as I also prefer a compact hand/arm movement. It was perfect with a single 21" monitor.
    When I added a second monitor, I found the small tablet just a bit too small, and hand/arm movement a bit too compact. The widescreen version is, for me, just right with a dual monitor setup. As I've been considering a new tablet, I looked at the active area measurements of the medium and the large. I see that you decided on the medium sized 4. That should be fine. The pressure sensitivity of the 3 is half of what your new 4 will have. The 3 is really nice in that regard, but your 4 will be terrific.
    As for software, it really depends on what your main use will be.
    Photoshop is primarily a photo editing program, with pretty good "painting" capability.
    Where a tablet really shines in Photoshop is the ability to get into fine detail work that would be very difficult with a mouse. A mouse can do it, but a tablet gives you much more control. If photography is your most loved hobby, Photoshop and a tablet are a great combination. As ikken posted, Photoshop is awesome, as the youngsters would say.
    But keep in mind that the full version of Photoshop is a proffessional level program. It has features that most hobbiests may never use. Because of those features, it's also expensive. Take a look at Photoshop Elements. It has less features, but it's also much less expensive. And it's a VERY capable photo editor.
    Photoshop Elements is very often included with digital cameras. If you have one, and it included a CD with drivers, you just might have a copy of Elements. It's usually a few versions old, but still a great way to get into digital photography, and start to learn your way around the Photoshop world, so to speak. Adobe used to have a deal where you could upgrade to the full version of Photoshop from Elements that was included with cameras, for half price. That's how I got my first copy of the full version. Otherwise, I would have continued with Elements.
    Corel's Painter is, well, a painting program with photo editing capabilities.
    To me, Photoshop is a better painting program than Painter is a photo editing program.
    But it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges.
    Painter is an AMAZING program. I started with version 6. I'm now using version X (10).
    Now, when I say I'm using version X, I should say I'm learning version X.
    I never found the time to really learn it, just played with it.
    But even with that, I'm always amazed every time I start it up, and try my hand at, as you posted, creating art.
    I'm no artist, certainly nowhere near the level of the members of this forum. But I've always liked to draw, going back to about the age of 5 (I'm now 63).
    So, if drawing/painting are what you want to do, Painter is a great way to do them.
    It really is like having a complete art studio (I'm starting to sound like a commercial heh heh).
    Like Photoshop, Painter is expensive. But also like Photoshop, there's a less costly version called Painter Essentials.
    I hope I haven't confused you with this long post. Digital painting and digital photography are both a lot of fun, you can create great art with either one.
    Your new tablet will be terrific addition to whatever program you decide on.
    And don't forget that the main objective is to have fun.

    Jack

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  16. #14
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    Phil - Fooled me there. :P Must be your mean looking avatar.

    Jack - Thanks for your opinion! Yeah I'm not really into photography - just painting/drawing/etc. I'm on my 8th day of the paint tool sai trial period(before that I used gimp for a week or two). When my tablet arrives I'll get a trial version of painter too, which I heard was pretty good to paint with. Honestly, photoshop is too expensive for me to even consider. Sai almost $70, and painter is around $100 I think.
    So my first choice is sai but if painter is that good I might do that as you say.

    I am counting down the days until my intuos arrives! (5th - 8th) Until then I'm seeing if I can learn anything about digital painting by practice. It's so much different from what I'm used to but it's fun also.

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    ^ painter 12 is actually $ 400+; you will get some sort of extended trial and/or stripped down painter package with your intuos, I'm not sure what exactly wacom are bundling in the US.
    you can get older versions for less tho, if you're on windows, painter IX.5 is probably the best version to date.

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  18. #16
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    Painter 12 is currently at $200 http://amzn.com/B004YHXXKO

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  19. #17
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    If Photoshop Elements has a round brush with shape dynamics and a hardness setting, you've already got all you need to start painting.
    No need to spend extra money when you're starting out.

    "Great job guys! I love you. You're fired."

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  20. #18
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    Yay it arrived today! This is so awesome. The box is really big. I haven't unpacked it yet. It came all the way from tennessee. Okay I'm gonna open it now. <3

    edit - just to be useful, the intuos4 came with:
    Adobe photoshop elements 10
    Autodesk sketchbook express
    Corel painter sketchpad
    Nik color efex pro 3(?)
    Wacom brushes(?)
    Premium 5yr cafepress store

    Last edited by winterspring; June 6th, 2012 at 04:43 PM.
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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterspring View Post
    Yay it arrived today! This is so awesome. The box is really big. I haven't unpacked it yet. It came all the way from tennessee. Okay I'm gonna open it now.

    edit - just to be useful, the intuos4 came with:
    Adobe photoshop elements 10
    Autodesk sketchbook express
    Corel painter sketchpad
    Nik color efex pro 3(?)
    Wacom brushes(?)
    Premium 5yr cafepress store

    well at least some people manage to enjoy the free software. I managed to lose the free software disk the same day I got my tablet. no idea how I managed that but I never got to use it and wacom would not send me another disk. its not that big a deal just annoying because I know I got one I just dont recall what happened to it.

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    Malifer - did you register your intuos?

    I didn't d/l any software off the disc that came in the box - I only used it to install the tablet. I had to go onto wacom's website, register my intuos(all the info you need is on the bottom of the tablet) and I could d/l the programs off the site. They'll e-mail you the product keys. Personally I'm still using my trial sai but I'll probably toy with photoshop elements eventually.

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  23. #21
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    Oh i thought there was an actual disk with the trial software on it. yea I think I registered though. this was with intuos 4 btw not intuos 5.

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