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Canon PowerShot G12: From Snapshots to Great Shots
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
I've always had high-end compact cameras, never having wanted to make the leap to a digital SLR with all the weight and paraphernalia involved. However, with a camera like the Canon PowerShot G12 Digital Camera (High Sensitivity 10 MP, 5x Zoom) 2.8 Inch Vari-angle Purecolor LCD, the functions are not far off what you'd find on an SLR and although I've had the camera for three months, I've still not really made a lot of headway in learning what all those dials and settings are capable of. The manual was just too much of a slog, and in any case, being only available on CD, it was not the most convenient way of reading about the camera.

From Snapshots to Greatshots G12 was the answer to my problem. At last a book which majors on the practical. This book assumes nothing. It starts of by briefly explaining what all those dials and buttons but straightaway get you experimenting with the camera. Each chapter finishes with a list of assignments so that you put what you've learned into practice immediately. Even in the first chapter I learned about the focusing flexizone (something I'd never heard of before) and showed me how to move the focus zone around the subjet I was photographing.

Chapter 2 explained all about focal lengths and gave me advice on how to optimise these for portraits and landscape shots - and the many illustrations in the book really helped me understand what I was aiming at.

The book advances steadily through the creative modes, taking photos of moving subjects, how to get a great portrait shot and optimising the settings so can get the the best landscapes.

Later on we learn about the more complicated features like bracketing exposure, dynamic range correction using an external flash - and we even get a chapter on using the video settings.

What I like about the book is that it misses nothing. By the end you've walked through every feature of this great camera - nothing will be wasted because of your ignorance. I am not saying that you will remember everything you learn in one reading, but you can keep coming back to review what you need for every photography situation.

The book is supported by some great online resources including flickr galleries of every image in the book, and a flickr group where users can post their own images and discuss the contents of the book.

Really, with a camera like this you need something to help you get the best from it. Without this book you'll probably never get the best from your G12, but with it at your side you have the potential to become a highly competent photographer.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2011
I bought this with high hopes of a book that would help me to extend the use of my new camera. Even though I followed the detailed instructions, it soon became clear that this was a generic book intended for the G10 and G11, as well as the G12. As a result it was confusing and annoying to read. There were some helpful tips but, overall, I regret that this was one of my worst, and most expensive, Kindle purchases.

The book needs updating and, preferably, with a G12 sitting at the side of the word processor. If this were to be done, it would be a much better book.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2011
If your looking for a G12 technical manual then this is not your book. To be fair to the author he does make this clear in the beginning and whilst he does touch on the various features of the G12 it would be fair to say that the bulk of the book is general photographic advice which can be applied to any camera.

So it is difficult to know just who this book is aimed at. A beginner for example will appreciate the excellent photographic advice given by the author and no doubt be inspired by the images it contains. All images are from the G series community though it is not clear whether all of them are G12 or a mixture of cameras from the G series. That aside the learning content is very well delivered so somebody new to a G camera will find the explanations of the auto, program and scene modes very informative. As you move through the book the author does give great advice on the benefits of manual control but whether there is enough G12 related content is in question. As mentioned the advice in this book could really apply to any camera and whilst that advice is sound it may not necessarily be what you are looking for.

For many people though a G12 camera is an addition to the big heavy DSLR which on some occasions you just do not want to take out with you. That means taking control and most probably shooting in raw mode. So for the more advanced or intermediate photographer who will not have too much difficulty in finding their way around a G12 and with most concepts being familiar your likely to want a book that is a little bit more advanced with more explanations of menu items and in particular pushing the G12 to its limits.

The fact that this book is an enjoyable read is without question. The author has an engaging style and keeps your interest. Whatever your skill level I have no doubt that you will learn something from this book. So I think this book is a bit of a mixed bag, a beginner to photography with a G12 is an interesting conundrum and they would certainly benefit from the advice in this book but as far as the G12 technical detail is concerned they would be left wanting. An advanced or pro user of DSLR will already be familiar with photographic technique and application so there most certainly will not be enough in this book to satisfy that kind of person.

It really leaves perhaps somebody who already owns a less specced compact and is ready to take a few incremental steps up the skill ladder with a camera that is more advanced and who also wants to acquire some sound photographic knowledge. It kind of sits somewhere between the getting started guide and the full blown manual. It would actually be the perfect book for Canon to supply with the camera.

All in all not a bad read, and certainly not a waste of time and money but think carefully about where your own skill lies before buying this book. For the reasons of there not being enough G12 specific technical content for me the book loses a few points but for general photographic advice and in particular for someone who is perhaps a beginner or already familiar with a compact camera it could be a useful addition to your collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2011
I found this book really helpful. I've been using a Canon DSLR for a while and bought the G12 as a second camera for when I didn't want to take the bigger one out. The G12 comes with the instuction manual on a CD, which I don't like. I found this book well laid out, it didn't assume the reader already knew how the camera worked and explained how the features worked really well, and covered the basic as well as advanced features. Only one thing I had problems with - the instructions on using the bracketing function are easy to follow but don't seem to work for me, a very small gripe and probably says more about my technical ability than the book. It also has a good index and interesting pictures. I wish I'd had a book like this when I bought my dslr as I think it would have made life a lot easier. I would happily recommend this book to anyone buying the G12.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2011
I brought a G12 and have no experience with these cameras at all. I also had no idea about some of the photographic terms such as aperture and ISO etc but this book really breaks the basics of what you need to know into easy chunks complimented with great examples too!

His examples and tasks at the end of each Chapter allow you to really get to understand your camera. Even though I have read only up to Chapter 3 so far I think it is a great book which has really taught me about my G12 and would definately recommend it to any beginner! Excellent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2011
jeff carlson presents this book very well, not only does he tell you how to do it, he tells you WHY TO DO IT.
read the book stright through (retired) understood it and lernt a great deal.
now i will read it again so that i know even more about the great camera i bought.
1st class book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2011
Frankly, without a book of this sort it would takes absolutely ages to discover all the features of this camera. To have a manual that simply puts an arrow to a button with a legend that says something like 'Turn camera on' is OK, but to have the usage of the more technical features explained is totally necessary. For example, how many people are aware of being able to set the flash to go off after the first curtain or before the second? How good to read a professional photographer's view on the usage of manual features (e.g. ISO settings) compared with allowing the camera to do it by itself via Auto. Many things are reminders of what one once knew but maybe had forgotten(e.g. focussing not on the distance for a landscape shot but on a point somewhat closer to get a greater depth of field).
I don't see this book as 'well worthwhile'. I see it as a requirement.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
I found this book a little too basic for my needs. I suppose I was looking for more of a printed manual, rather than the PDF that the camera comes with. The book helped me with a couple of the features, but I found it slightly patronising in that I would imagine that anyone who would make such an informed choice in buying this superb camera in the first place, would already be pretty au fait with many of the author's tips on technique, for example. I think I should probably have read a bit more about the book before buying it. Good value though, not a waste of money at all. I suppose I'll just have to scour through the electronic manual and print out the bits I need.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
The book is easy to read and thereis some good advice linking photographic experience and the specifics of theCanon G12. I just felt there could have been so much more.
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on 7 March 2012
I used to do a lot of photography way back when, starting with my own developing black and white and my last real camera being a Canon AE1. I had a play digital camera and then bought a Powershot G12 recently. This book gave me a very good refresher and a way back in to photography and some very helpful comments on the other odd buttons on the back, which I hadn't really noticed when I went through the manual.

So go ahead and buy this book with confidence that it will give you confidence.
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