Confession: I’m a sucker for books like this!
‘The Photography Bible brings you up-to-the-minute information on the rapidly changing world of photography, including the latest digital cameras … [and] offers expert photographic advice to help improve your photography ….’
I absolutely love a single book that has the full story. The trouble is that, at the immediate moment the author hands his text file to the book’s publisher, the whole game changes! Camera models change almost overnight and the whole tech story is a very mobile feast!
But, in spite of those cautions, Daniel Lezano’s book does a fine job of packaging most of the data into a single publication.
The opening chapter does a thorough job of describing the current camera types, including generous illustrations and detailed text: from DSLR to Compact System Cameras (MILC) or digi compacts, bridge models, waterproof models … plus a brief rundown on medium format DSLRs, camcorders, the weird Lytro camera and even smart phones with camera capabilities. It should help prospective buyers to narrow down their choices before spending the hard-earned.
Then follows details on camera components: sensors, stabilisers, sensor cleaning systems, LCD screens, Live View, HD video etc.
For the more curious there is some excellent info on the different AF systems which surely, is one of the most misunderstood of camera functions.
Similarly, with such matters as exposure: the role of the lens aperture in exposure and the ‘look’ of an image; differing modes such as auto, Program AE etc; metering systems such as multi zone and spot; how to deal with excessively dark or bright scenes.
My congrats to the author for opening up the subject of resolution and the tricky subject of the ‘megapixel myth’. May I quote? ‘There is a very common misconception that you can determine the quality of a camera simply by judging it on the number of pixels.’ Bravo!
An area that may confuse even the more digitally-educated reader is the subject of sensor types: CMOS and CCD are discussed, along with useful detail on Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS and Foveon’s X3 CCD … but I have a disconcerting feeling that tech change is proceeding at such a velocity that there are already sensor types out there that scream for attention.
The book then moves on to subjects that are more in the realm of photo handy hints, such as dealing with white balance, types of memory cards and a useful discussion of how cards are speed rated.
More: file formats; flash and studio lighting; filters; lenses, along with the role of wide and tele focal lengths; printers and scanners; image software and the mysteries of Photoshop; basic composition.
Overall, I found the book to be useful for the newbie to digital photography. I felt, however, it could have gained by including more technical detail on digital hardware, why sensors do what they do along with their foibles, etc.
A good starter. Well illustrated. Clear text.
The book could have benefitted from a chapter on video shooting with digicams, especially now that digi still cameras have developed such enormous capabilities in this area!
Size: 25x19x1.5cm. 176 pages.
ISBN: 1 4463 0217 0.
Price: Get a price on the Photography Bible at Amazon.