After reading the manual for my new Panasonic FZ7, I knew I was destined to stay in "simple" mode unless I gave myself a crash course on the basics of digital photography. Note: this was my first digital camera purchase, so the only thing I knew was how to spell f-stop! I spent a Saturday morning in Border's, going thru a host of books, most of which made my head spin. But this one was different, so I raced back to my PC to place the order.
Once settled down in the comfort of my living room, I lost all track of time. Reading this book is like having a shoot-the-breeze conversation with a super-knowledgeable friend. I placed my camera on a tray next to me, opened my manual to one of the last pages to see the full list of "specifications," and by the end of the day, I actually KNEW what the assorted features meant. I now actually comprehend
--- how to manipulate AWB (average white balance),
-- EV (exposure compensation), choose aperture-priority (f-top settings)
-- ... or shutter-priority (speed of picture taking),
-- ISO (keep it at 100, with occasional moves to 200),
-- how to get to and mentally digest the histogram
and every other feature of this high-end camera. Most importantly, I now understand the why! The killa? I'm actually taking darn good pics now with the MANUAL feature!!
Color pictures appear on just about every page, with the associated text pinpointing which feature caused the result. Many are good vs bad pics, along with thorough explanations related to each. You won't find the cryptic details directly under every picture itself (i.e., ISO, f-stop and speed-- that style is used in "The Birdwatcher's Guide to Digital Photography," which only **NOW** makes sense to me)); that info is GENTLY provided in such a fashion that you grasp it, FULLY, prior to moving on to the next chapter. That would be sufficient, but the author also provides countless "Pro Tips," providing guidance for trickier lighting/exposure situations and the like.
Bottom-line: this budding birdwatcher finds this book to be a sho-nuff keeper! I've even purchased a tripod, thanks to the tips presented in this text re what to look for re that purchase. I now know to toss the occasional over-exposed pic which can't be saved via computer editing, but to keep the underexposed guys. And, when I point my camera at the birdfeeders in my backyard (through the patio door glass) and see a funky histogram reading, I now know precisely what trick to employ to get the focus needed. I've gone from deleting most pics to being able to keep the vast majority, thanks exclusively to this book. Simply stated, this book delivers, in a stlye destined to be retained. I highly recommend it, as it's proven priceless to me.