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4.6 out of 5 stars17
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on 11 August 2004
I recently purchased my first digital camera. In the end it came down to a choice of 2. I could either buy the teeny-weeny Pentax Optio with its sleek sexy look, or the big and heavy Canon A80 with knobs, dials and wonderful geeky bits. Option 1 meant buying a camera, option 2 meant buying a hobby. I chose option 2.
At first I was a little disappointed with my new camera, it was fine in its automatic mode but I only ever got rubbish photos from the plethora of manual settings. Having read the user guide I was able to understand what the buttons did mechanically, but I had no idea why or when to use them. In the end I decided to buy 'How to do Everything with Your Digital Camera'. The name filled me with fears of a rubbish 'Idiots Guide' style book, but I was spurred on by the positive reviews on Amazon, and I have now decided to add one of my own.
For some reason I expected the book to be in colour so I was a shade disappointed that it's all black and white, except for a small colour insert. But when I actually sat down and read it, it was like somebody had been listening to all the questions I'd been asking myself about my new camera and provided all the answers (I'm currently checking for bugs so be warned Mr Johnson).
Going back to the days before I read this book I'm ashamed to say that I genuinely thought my camera was broken. When taking macro photos I could only ever get a wafer thin portion of my subject in focus. Having read this book I realise that by decreasing my aperture size I can fix the problem completely. It's absolutely packed with these little facts and it seemed like every page had me thinking "Oooooh, so THAT'S what I've been doing wrong".
If you read the beginning of the last paragraph and thought to yourself "Duh! That's sooo obvious". Then this book is probably too basic for you. But, if you thought "Macro? Is that the button with the tulip on it?" I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have read it through from cover to cover and I feel that I now have the correct foundations in place to not only take significantly better pictures right away, but also to build a real understanding of the subject in the future.
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on 6 January 2004
I bought this book at the same time as my Digital Camera and have to admit I am normally sceptical of titles such as How to Do Everything... but this lives up to the title and is a good read as well as very informative
It's clearly written by someone who knows his subject, and refreshingly he let's you know just what he thinks with clear no nonsense advice on what to do, what to use, what to buy and what to avoid. The scope of the book spans advice for prospective first time digicam buyers, through to how cameras work, picture composition, various camera controls & effects, the PC darkroom, printing etc. The book really does cover everything that I wanted to know and a good few things I hadn't really thought about. The technical bits are invaluable. For the first time I actually understand all about file formats for example. I also enjoyed the advice on composition which is straightforward but really does transform your picture quality.
There's good advice on managing and manipulating your images on the PC which are generally illustrated by use of Paint Shop Pro, though lessons are easily applied to other image processing packages.
It's an easy read, when I first got it I spent three days reading it cover to cover and it now provides a great up to date reference for all areas of my digital photography.
Down side? I spotted a couple of typos and some references to suppliers and prices are American but you really won't notice.
All in all an excellent book which will help you get much more from your digital camera.
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on 6 March 2004
This book is invaluable for any non-professional users of digital cameras.
I would not say that you'll learn all the tricks of digital photography from this book -- it is not entirely comprehensive and I finished the whole book after two sits. However, it is very intelligently written, even with a really good sense of humor, and it covers all topics in a really easy-to-understand way. Given the size of the volume you hardly miss any content - it does all the basics of photography, composition, macro photos, night shots, tricks and basic image manipulation, even how to catalog your images. All issues are full with very practical and non-trivial advice of a very experienced digicam user. (How to use a beansack as a tripod? Avoidinig overexposition with macro photos, etc).
This book must be very helpful for abosulte beginners in photography. However, I did quite a bit of 35mm photography and I have bought my first decent digicam a few months ago - 5 megapix is already comparable to 35mm (if you don't mind the contrast rates) and it is now beyond $500. The book always makes refereces for 35mm camrea users, which I have found very useful. I believe that even experienced digicam users will find very good tips in this book, and also may find the missing links if they don't quite understand all the functions of their over-intelligent camera.
Following expert advice I have made a very good choice with my digicam, but if you're considering to buy a new one, reading this book will give you guidance to now what to ask for in the shop.
All in all: the 400+ pages may be misleading due to the huge number of illustrative images, but if you do not expect an all-comprehensive digicam bible, you'd hardly find any better companion to your camera manual. If Johnson did the 1000 pages small print all the tricks of digicams, I would buy that without hesitation, too.
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VINE VOICEon 8 February 2006
I wish that I had found this book when I first started digital photography. Although I had been using a 35 mm film camera for many years, Cannon SLR plus lenses, there are differences and it is finding the differences and how to use them to best advantage that is important. This book spells it all out for novice and more advanced users alike. Most of the requisite skills are well covered. There are one or two omissions, whether by accident or design I do not know, but they do not detract from the book as a whole. If you have just started out on the digital experience, or are contemplating so doing, this is the book that is worth buying. There are many books at far higher prices that just do not cover the subject matter so well. As has been said in another review, it also covers Paint Shop Pro and this is a far more likely purchase than Photoshop, costing as it does, merely a fraction of the price of Photoshop and for many people, just as good. My advice is, buy it. you will not regret it.
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on 19 December 2003
Having just purchased a Digicam, I decided also to purchase a book to find out little tweaks to get the most out of the camera and to find out little tricks to photographing better pictures. I looked at various books but decided on this book and am very glad i did. The author, being a pro photographer, guides you through setting up your camera for certain scenes to tweaking them with Paint Shop Pro 8 ( another plus point). I would definately recommend this book for the beginner as it really does take you into the science and art that is photography and leaves you itching to get out there and start being creative with your camera.
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on 5 November 2005
For the beginner to the world of digital cameras, this is an excellent introductory book. It won't teach you how to become a professional photographer - but for the keen amateur, it'll show you how to get the best from the camera.
Nice, simple explanations, with clear diagrams of: why shutter speed makes a difference; what an Aperture is; and so on. The example shots are more 'my kids in the yard' than 'snows over Kathmandu'. But then, that's the kind of shots most of us are going to take, so it makes sense in this context.
It is very useful to have a book which covers editing images using PaintShopPro, which I suspect is much more commonly used among amateur photographers that the PhotoShop that other books assume you have. I think I will be referring to this section of the book more than any other.
The absence of colour illustration seems odd in a book about photography, though the black-and-white examples are clear enough to show what is being explained.
(I have the 2001 edition of this book, the later reprint may vary.)
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on 7 May 2004
I have bought other books about digital photography and Paint Shop Pro but this book is by far the best that I have come across. It is easy to read and understand and covers everything from buying a camera to manipulating photographs using Paint Shop Pro. I teach courses in digital photography and have found this to be an invaluable aid and have recommended it to my students. Buy it!
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on 22 August 2002
I have searched and bought several books on practical use of Paint Shop Pro 7 software and none of them are nearly as useful as this book. It is one of the few that is more geared (though not entirely to) PSP7 than Adobe Photoshop (on which there are hundreds of books). Extremely good and particularly useful for us PSP users! They should have this one suggested in the Paint Shop Pro useful books section too - it would have saved me money.
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on 16 December 2009
The number of photographers who fully understand their medium must be relatively low. Those who do and have the
ability to pass on their knowledge are exceedingly rare. Dave Johnson is one such individual. As far as I can ascertain he does not assume knowledge. This has the benefit of starting from a common base line so that those with greater knowledge can skip the sections which are of interest to the less experienced. As a result the book has something for everyone except the determined nit picker. In addition the text is easy in style only resorting to technical jargon when absolutely necessary.Panasonic Lumix G1 Digital System Camera Kit - Black (12.1MP)Most photographers' questions will have answers in this book. A few may even find that there are answers to questions which they hadn't realised they wanted to ask. I have only one slight regret concerning this book. It was obvously written originally before the advent of my fabulous Lumix G1 and I hope that this deficiency will be corrected in future editions as it is my belief that interest in that format will grow rapidly. If you use a camera then this book deserves a slot on your boookshelf.
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on 3 July 2005
This is the second book in the series of 'How to do everything with your' that I have. The other book is Paint Shop Pro 8. I need not have bought that book as over half the Digital Camera book is devoted to manipulating images in Paint Shop Pro 8. As with most digital photography books, this one seems to follow suit, in that only part of the book is devoted to taking pictures. The rest is about memory cards, scanning, manipulation of images ect.
All very good stuff, but if you purely want to know how to take good pictures then this book may not be as comprehensive as you would like. If you have PSP8 and want to know how to combine the basics of photography with image manipulation, then this is the book for you.
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