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Nikon D50 (Magic Lantern Guides) Paperback – 25 Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books,U.S. (25 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579908047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579908041
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 17.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 818,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mr. W. Sinclair on 23 May 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is certainly not a book that could be described as Nikon for idiots or anything remotely close. There is an assumption that you have a reasonable knowledege of digital photography before you begin, which is a bit surprising as Nikon market this camera for the beginner. That said the book is not difficult to follow, providing you have the base knowledge, but not the sort of book for bedtime, it wakes you up!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Sloppy 6 Jun 2006
By SMXSteve - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the other reviewers don't understand the rating system - 1 star bad, 5 stars good.

Although there is some useful information in this book, overall it is full of errors, poorly organized, and doesn't provide much more than the manual considering the number of pages and the price ($20 list).

Here are a few problems:

- Black and white photos - that alone should tell you how much faith the publishers have in the book. They didn't want to invest a lot in it knowing how bad it was.

- Following the White Balance topic is White Balance Bracketing. The latter includes the steps for setting White Balancing but NOT Bracketing.

- In the chapter Quick Start-up guide he gives a couple of paragraphs on each of the Vari-Program modes. But the next chapter on Detail he goes right into White Balancing without mentioning which mode you can use. This is common through out the book.

- He constantly refers to the menu options by name. Why didn't they include the icons for designating the menu options as they do refering to non-menu items?

- Speaking of icons and errors, the icon is wrong on page 119 for selecting the histogram.

- He tried to fill pages with information that was already in the manual such as several pages on how to install the battery and the memory card.

- There are plenty of typos like you instead of your, repeated words, missing spaces, much, much more.

- page 90 shows a list of how many pictures can be in the buffer. On the left under quality it shows JPEG Large which should be Fine.

With the number of errors in the book I question the accuracy of the information and suggestions by the author. The topics are not organized well enough to be used as a reference. It's almost as if he sat and rambled into a recorder and gave it off to someone to type up. Not much thought was put into how the information was presented.

What I was really hoping for and what is drastically missing is how the different features could be used to affect the photos. Examples (which would have to be in color) of the same scene with different settings. What settings to use in different situations, etc. There are a lot of features in this camera but putting them to use can be overwhelming.

I gave it 2 stars as I did get a little out of it but I had to wade through a lot to find it.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A worthwhile resource 12 May 2006
By Classical Hound - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Magic Lantern Guides are a whole series of books about specific cameras. I have just finished with the Nikon D50 book, but they have a large selection of books on cameras of various makes and models.

Going by the D50 book, the books are not guides to photography but to the specific camera involved. It holds pretty closely to the manual information and manufacturer's specifications - for good reason, of course. But it goes into much more detail than the manual does. For example, it explains in depth how each of the pre-set program modes actually works, such as Protrait, Closeup, etc. It also explains the various option settings and makes recommendations for which to use and which not to use. While not a photography guide, it does give good tips on best settings for different situations. It also has a surprisingly good section explaining depth of field and how it is affected by zoom, distance and aperture. The book also has detailed technical appendices with lists of settings, options, accessories, error codes, etc. The book lastly comes with a folding laminated card with key shortcut tips useful to have on hand in the field.

So, all in all, was it worth reading? I would have to say yes. It ain't like reading a novel, that's for sure. For a new owner of a camera, it would be perfect. Having a bit of experience with the D50 now, this was more of a review but still a worthwhile one for me. For an experienced user, it would more of a reference book to look up why certain settings or modes work certain ways. I did find several things going through it where I had to say, "wow, I didn't realize (or remember) that." For example, once in the options menus, you can rapidly move through the settings with the scroll wheel rather than just the navigation button going one line at a time. Another example, you don't have to go into the menu to adjust the flash level, you can press the flash button + exposure button + use scroll wheel. Now these aren't earth-shattering and they are probably in the manual somewhere, but these two tips alone will really be useful.

Drawbacks: this particular book is heavily in need of a good editing job. There were many noticeable errors in the book which is inexcusable for a technical publication. For example, there were two places I noticed where icons of buttons were missing and the text would say, "then press the (insert exposure control icon) button." Missing and repeated words were also noticeable. Also too much space was taken up by solely black and white photos that neither show the camera's full potential nor did the pictures well demonstrate specific features and uses mentioned in the text.

By the way, this particular book was written by Simon Stafford, a British chap who appears to have written several books in the Magic Lantern Guide series.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Acceptable book, but B&W photos and typos hurt it 24 April 2006
By S. Tang - Published on
Format: Paperback
(This is an updated review to one I posted earlier in April. I write this having more experience with the D50 camera).

This book serves as an OK supplement to the Nikon D50 instruction manual. The Nikon manual provides information about you the available functions as a reference. Simon Staafford's book gives you additional explanations about those functions in a conversational tone, as well as possible consequences when using the functions. It covers a lot of material, and it comes with small wallet-sized cards that have summary information about the camera's functionality in case you cannot take the manual with you.

One major nitpick I have is that the example photos are all black-and-white. I believe that for new Nikon D50 owners, they will likely be attracted to "colorful eye candy," so black-and-white photos don't truly help advocate the D50 camera. For example, I noticed David Busch's Nikon D50 Digital Field Guide, an all-color book, before noticing this book. If I didn't research this book, the publisher would have likely lost a sales opportunity. Don't underestimate the power of color in published materials, especially when the subject is about general photography.

Unfortunately, while the content about photography techniques are acceptable, there are a number of typos about camera operation, most notably the descriptions of the icons in the displays, as mentioned by another reviewer. I am now a little more experienced with the camera than I was before, so I didn't notice these typos initially. I agree that having typos about the camera's function is very bad for a book that tries to teach you how to use the camera.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Agree with Sloppy.. 27 Sep 2006
By Psychiatry - Published on
Format: Paperback
Worst introduction book on D50. This book is a copy of "instruction manual" that comes with the camera. Author has just added some of his descriptive paragraphs.

Average time to write books like this: 1 night.

Don't waste your money! I bought it and returned it back. Read manual, you will get the same information for free.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
nikon - no longer the underdog 17 Sep 2008
By CoJo - Published on
Format: Paperback
there was a time when nikon was the underdog (to the evil empire known as c*non).
but that has changed. Nikon D90 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens

case in point
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