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Digital Video Solutions? Not In This Book.

Inept Book by Winston Steward is Full of Misinformation By Charlie White
Digital Video Solutions bookWhen you pick up a nicely published book with color photos throughout, it gives you the impression the text within will be something worth reading. After the first few paragraphs, maybe you'll realize the author is a skilled writer, too. Hey, this is going to be a good book, you think. Such is the case with Winston Steward's new book, Digital Video Solutions. Alas, after you've read just a few pages of it, you realize you've been woefully misled. This book is so full of grievous errors, laughable half-truths and downright made-up statements, after a while I felt like I was reading a humor book from the fiction section of the bookstore. The book is not only unhelpful; if you actually use anything you learn from it, it will hurt you. Please, for your sanity's sake, don't even think of buying this book.

So why is it so useless? Oh, dear, where shall I start? All through the book, it's obvious that the author knows very little about camcorders, digital video, editing or anything else remotely involving this topic. Let me give you a few examples. First, at almost every turn of this 288-page tome, he refers to something called "video filming," which is nothing but a brainless oxymoron. But I figured that referring to shooting video as "filming" was just a pet peeve of mine, so I kept an open mind, and pressed on.

But my hope for a good read was extinguished as I plodded through the rest of this travesty of a book. The way the author describes MPEG's different versions and stumbles through his guesses about the way each works is nothing but an insult to the reader. Apparently, Steward doesn't realize that DVDs use MPEG-2, among other numerous misunderstandings about MPEG. Then, in the same chapter, he mentions something he calls NTCS video. Huh? Then we learn about another item he's confused, dropped frames, which he calls frame dropouts, which as you probably know, are two entirely different things. He then recommends a graphics card that has at least 32 MB of RAM for computer editing, somehow thinking that a graphics card (he calls it a video card) will help you edit digital video. Wrong again.

Regretfully, there's more. Much, much more. Steward goes on to write further nonsense about how, in nonlinear editing software, a copy is made of your video to be edited, writing, "A copy is made so that you'll always have your original video to revert to. This doubles the storage space required for digital video." No! Wrong again. But thankfully, toward the back of the book, he finally corrects himself and mentions that you're editing just pointers to a digital video data file, not the files themselves. Even then, though, he never understands that rendered effects create a new file.

Further exposing this author's ignorance is his foolish lack of understanding of the most basic of video concepts, like a dissolve or fade to black, two of the most common "special effects" used in DV editing. It made me laugh out loud when he danced around his glaringly obvious vacuum of knowledge, not knowing what to call a dissolve and a fade to black. Numerous times in one hilarious paragraph, he calls a fade to black a "transitional effect," and then finally takes a wild guess at what this mysterious term must be. He calls it a "transition to nothingness." It sounds positively existential. But actually, it's just cluelessly inept. I had to laugh so I wouldn't cry. Where were the editors for this book? If there were any, they apparently knew even less about digital video than the author, which is hard to believe.

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Related Keywords:Digital video editing, Digital video solutions, book review, Winston Steward, Charlie White, dont buy this book

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  • Digital Video Solutions? Not In This Book. by DMN Editorial at Aug. 03, 2004 10:52 pm gmt

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