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The Digital Photography Pocket GuideGuide offers tips on using your digital camera
The Digital Photography Pocket Guide by Derrick Story is a 172 page guide on digital photography and how to get the most out of your digital camera. The guide, which is designed to fit in your camera bag or your back pocket is just three chapters long but is full of a lot of valuable information, information that you can easily take with you.
Chapter 1: What is it?
Chapter 1 provides an overview of the categories of cameras that are currently on the market. Cameras discussed in this chapter include compact cameras (3 to 5 megapixels and under $400), advanced amateur (up to 8 megapixels and $500-800), professional ($900 and up) and hybrid devices (mobile phones and digital camcorders). Within this chapter, Story discusses each type of camera in detail, covering all aspects of the features typically found in each category, such as flash, RAM Buffer, memory cards, image sensors, mode dials, focus assist lights, microphone ports, optical viewfinder, LCD monitor, and more. He details the features specific to the type of camera category and finishes it up with illustrated images (including internal component views) showing some of the popular features for each category of camera. If you are in the market for a digital camera, this is a must read chapter, as it details the specific functions of each feature commonly found in cameras from each category.
Chapter 2: What Does it Do?
This chapter offers specific information on what each control on a camera does. The chapter is organized to cover each camera control from A to Z, meaning that the first topic discussed is Aperture value mode, and the last topic covered is zooming. For example, do you wish to know how to select the right exposure for your particular shot or don't know what exposure compensation from workers compensation? You can a detailed explanation of exposure compensation, complete with example exposure compensation settings starting on page 48. Want to learn more about still image file formats? You can read about JPEG, TIFF, and RAW, as well as EXIF and DNG under the file formats header starting on page 54. This section discusses these formats as well as their physical characteristics and compression schemes.
Chapter 3: How Do I. . . Tips and Tricks for Shooting and Sharing
The title of this pretty much sums up the content. This is the How to section of the book. Author Story has provided a boatload of how to's in this chapter, including how to take great outdoor portraits, set up group shots, capture existing light portraits, take passport photos and self portraits, take interesting kid shots, capture engaging travel locations, take pictures at weddings, prevent red eye, take pictures from the stands at sporting events, capture action shots, take pictures for the Web, shooting museums, and the list goes on. The how do I's include tips on how to position yourself for the shot (get down to eye level when shooting children), when to use an external flash (to prevent red eye), when to use a fast shutter speed (when shooting action shots), and more.
The Digital Photography Pocket Guide Appendix features an Exposure Compensation Reference Guide, Flash mode settings, White balance settings, camera modes and metering modes and explanations, as well as a camera resolution memory card capacity guide, which gives you a rough estimate on how many images you can capture on a memory card based on the image size. The appendix also gives you a megapixel to print ratio chart which details the optimum print size based on the megapixel size of the file.
In the mold of John Hedgecoe's Guide to 35mm Photography, Derrick Story's Digital Photography Pocket Guide is the perfect companion to your digital camera. One of the cool features to the guide are the Practical Examples. There ae Practical Examples sprinkled throughout the pages of each chapter, such as Tips for Shooting a Successful panorama (p.67), Using the Self Timer for Capturing Striking Night Shots (p.76), and Using White Balance as a Creative Tool (p.82). It offers the most basic, yet pertinent information at your fingertips. It is the perfect resource in a form factor that makes it really easy to bring along.
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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at email@example.com
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