This book has quickly taken pride of place in my astronomy library. As an amateur astronomer and astroimager with bold aspirations but only developing experience, this book was an invaluable guide. The fact that, living in Canberra, I have access to the half of the heavens with all the best deep sky objects ;-), that are neglected in so many other books, makes Chadwick and Cooper's simply indispensable.
The book acknowledges its inspiration and model as Ruiben Kier's "The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets." Kiers book is excellent in its own right (if somewhat poorly titled: it should be "The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets Visible from North America"). Chadwick and Cooper adopt a similar structure to Kier, with Part 1 comprising individual entries on and photographs of over 130 deep sky objects, and Part 2 being a general coverage of equipment, imaging technique, and processing.
The second section is well-written, and has clear and informative advice for both the beginner and more experienced imager. This sort of advice is available in many other places: Kier's book, for instance, has a very similar section; while Charles Bracken's book "The Deep Sky Imaging Primer" (released February 2013), as a stand-alone general text with no coverage of particular targets, treats all these issues in considerably more depth. Chadwick and Cooper's section is very much focused on practical advice, and as such is extremely helpful. For instance, the section on factors to weigh up when calculating the duration of sub-exposures, while only a few pages long, contained rules of thumb potentially more useful to most amateurs than the many pages of technical data to do with calculation of precise signal-to-noise ratios based on sensor temperature, or the exact equation linking arc-second resolution with pixel size, as can be found in technical manuals on the subject.
Where the book really comes into its own is in Part 1, the survey of the best targets in the Southern skies. Here the authors succeed in providing individual object entries that are all at once engaging, practical, useful and inspiring. There are five components to each entry:
1) Name, designation, position and constellation
Fairly standard, except that the authors have chosen to enliven the drab catalogue designations which grace most Southern hemisphere objects with more descriptive titles named from history (e.g. John Herschel's identification of the "Keyhole Nebula" in NGC3372), from Southern indigenous cultures (e.g. the "Dark Emu" that runs from its head, the Coalsack in Crux, down to Scorpius), through to names bestowed by amateur and professional astronomers that have "stuck" (e.g. the "Toby Jug Nebula" IC2220).
This section gives a brief account of the nature of the object, its size and magnitude (crucial for decisions about framing). Sometimes there is a little history, and a discussion of how the object looks at the eyepiece.
This is the really gutsy part of the book. All the stuff here is practical and directly useful to the imager looking for guidance: "This globular cluster is best imaged with a camera/scope setup that provides a field of view of no more than 50' x 30'" (NGC4372), "Accurate flats are required when imaging this object to ensure that all gradients are remove in order to bring out the faint galactic tails" (NGC 4038-39), "Exposure times must be kept short in order to prevent the saturation of the brightest stars in the cluster and the introduction of false bluish color around them" (IC 2602).
4) One or more images
The images themselves are beautiful and worth the price of the book. One of the best things about them is that they are all images taken by the authors, and give a real indication of what is achievable with a particular equipment in range of the amateur.
5) Technical details of the images
Telescope, focal length, F-ratio, camera, exposure details, binning, field size. One of the great things about this book is that the range of equipment is all within reach. In other books, I despair at some of the image technical specifications ("12 x 100 min subs taken with a 90 cm Takahashi Superdupe with a XBY!#&D CCD cooled with liquid hydrogen to -200 degrees with solid platinum filter wheel, on a Paramountain Excelsior 12-tonne pier" or somesuch). The telescopes used are all available for under $5000 (some considerably less); the mounts used are EQ6 and Losmandy Titan; and the cameras are QHY and QSI CCDs in the $2k to $5k price range. There is also extensive advice aimed at the DSLR imager. So the equipment is very much in line with that available to the serious amateur; and someone who can put an 80mmn refractor or 8" reflector or SCT on an EQ6 mount and can afford $2k for a bottom-end CCD or goodish modded DSLR will get a great deal of guidance and inspiration from this book.