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Review: David Pogue’s Digitial Photography: The Missing Manual

Digital Photography: The Missing Manual Digital Photography: The Missing Manual from O’Reilly sets out to answer all of the questions beginning photographers face before and after they open their new cameras and file away the unopened and often unfriendly manual that came with it.

I’m giving away my review copy. Read on to find out how to enter the drawing.

For the digital novice, this book opens with two chapters on choosing a new camera in the first place. These chapters are great if you don’t know what to look for in a digital camera or you find yourself exasperated from teaching a friend or relative about megapixels and digital sensors. The advice can help you determine what you need, what’s important, and what can be ignored.

The following five chapters deal with actually using the camera itself. Chapter 4 covers decisions that are often made on a shot-by-shot basis, chapter 5 is devoted to avoiding blur. Chapter 6 contains nothing but “recipes” for certain types of shots: panoramas, frozen action, classic sunsets, outdoor portraits, etc.

Chapter 7 has a little advice specifically for SLR owners. But other than that and few notes here and there, this book is really for any beginner regardless of camera type.

The book concludes with Part 3 which is sort of a short course in using iPhoto and Picasa. And Part 4 deals with printing and sharing photos online.

All in all, it’s a pretty good book for: anyone new to digital photography who needs help choosing a camera; beginners who feel that the owners manual that came with their camera was, to put it nicely, somewhat lacking in helpful information; folks who need help learning how to use iPhoto or Picasa; or for photographers who need instructions for taking certain kinds of photos (the recipes in Chapter 6).

Pogue does a great job of explaining, in easy to understand language, what can sometimes be a complicated topic. It’s nonintimidating, easy to read, and provides a good introduction to the breadth of digital photography topics from choosing a camera to keeping digital backups.

Buy this book at Amazon.com →

To get my review copy, leave a comment with a valid email address. I’ll choose a recipient at random this weekend.

This book was provided to Photodoto free of charge for review.

John Watson

John is the original founder of Photodoto, but after running it for 4 years he had to focus on different things. If you're interested in what John has been up to recently, you can check is personal blog or browse his photo blog.
  • Me!!! Pick me!!! Please oh please oh pleeeeze?!

  • I want it! I want it!

  • Matt

    It’s always interesting to check out new books, and I’m a fan of David Pogue. Hope this works for me!

    One question, though, do I need to post my email in my comment, or just use that email to post the comment? Don’t want to post it and attract spammers if that’s not necessary.

    • Just use the email field so it stays private, don’t put it in the comment itself.

  • Stew

    It sounds like this would make a great present to my mother-in-law, who’s had a digital camera for a few years but refuses to ever delete shots from the camera. I think she’s afraid that they don’t *really* exist on her PC after she’s downloaded them! I’ve taught her (repeatedly) how to use Picassa, so that chapter should be helpful to her.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Sue Jahan

    I desperately need to understand what i need to do before taking a photo and get my camera off Auto. I panic and by the time I ‘ve thought it out, the moment has gone! Help.

  • And the random recipient is #4: Stew. Hope your MIL likes it. Better luck next time, everybody.