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Useful book, but beware the errors
on 1 January 2013
David Busch's D800/D800E is a very useful supplement to the Nikon manual, even though I found the manual comprehensive and easy to follow. Including the index, the book is 658 pages and weighs in at just under 2kg. It includes a great deal of general photographic theory. It is well illustrated in colour, very user friendly and easy to read, and explains not only the various options and buttons on the D800, but how and in what circumstances to use them. There are setup suggestions for various shooting situations, i.e. basic settings; sports; candid shooting; landscape, and a detailed run through the camera's menu options.
I did find some sections which caused me confusion, and some glaring camera specific illustration errors. There are also a number of text errors, most of which are obvious and should cause no problem. The problems which I noticed are outlined below.
The Nikon manual outlines two Autofocus Modes: Single-servo AF (AF-S for stationary subjects), and Continuous-servo AF (AF-C for moving subjects). There is also a Manual focusing option selected by the Focus Mode selector. Within the AF options, Nikon outlines four Autofocus Area Modes for choosing how the focus points for each of the two AF modes are selected. There is Single-point AF; Dynamic-area AF (within which there are three options); 3D-tracking; and Auto-area AF.
On page 12 of the book the author divides the AF area modes into six, rather than four and illustrates these in Fig. 1.5 on page 13. Then on page 160 when dealing with this topic in more detail, the author changes the name to "Autofocus Point Selection Modes" and says here that there are only three modes. He illustrates these in Fig. 5.16 on page 161, which is a duplicate of Fig. 1.5 page 12 which shows his six area modes. He also does not mention that if Single-servo AF mode (AF-S) is selected, then only two of the four area modes are available, (Single-point AF and Auto-area AF).
On page 163 third and fourth paragraph the author now mentions three Autofocus Modes instead of two where he includes Manual Mode as an Autofocus Mode. Manual, by definition, is not an Autofocus Mode, and cannot be set by rotating the Main Command Dial as stated, it must be set using the Focus Mode selector switch. On page 163 the author says that pressing the AE-L/AF-L button will initiate autofocus. This the the Focus and Exposure Lock button. I can only assume he means press the AF-On button (Autofocus On) which is right next to the AE-L/AF-L button.
Other problems found are:
Page 42, Fig 2.10 should read Fig. 2.11.
Page 46 second line, Chapter 5 should read Chapter 4.
Page 54. the Exposure Mode button (Shutter priority; Aperture priority; Program; Manual) has been labelled as the Metering Selector button (Matrix; Average; Spot). The Metering Selector button (in fact its a switch) is on the back panel to the right of the viewfinder, and its setting is not available in the top Control LCD.
Page 56. Item 11 (Metering Mode) points to the Interval Timer and Time Lapse indicator, not the Metering Mode.
page 103. Metering Mode info appears in the viewfinder but not, as written, on the top control panel LCD.
Page 134. Fig 4.24. The histogram illustrations should be transposed left to right.
page 147. DX Mode is covered in Chapter 7, not Chapter 8.
Page 436. f4 Assign Function (Fn) button: item 8. If you are assinging the Fn button to a function, it is the Fn button you have to press to activate that function, not, in this case, the AE-L/AF-L button.
This is a comprehensive book as a supplement to the manual. It has a lot of very useful information about photographic theory and is very easy to read. I did find it useful however, to have the Nikon D800 manual nearby for cross-checking purposes on camera specific issues when reading this book. Large though the book is, some of these errors should not have got past the final proof-reading stage. I only use my D800 for "stills", and I have not read the Movie sections in any detail. There may be, probably are, other areas of confusion which I have missed.