Field Guides for SLRs


TPF Noob!
Jan 2, 2008
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Hi Photolovers,

There's been a few recommendations when it comes to learning the basics and advance skills for digital photography. Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" is a good one, I think (any others?).

What do you think about those field guides for specific camera makes/models? Not only do I want to understand the concepts of good photography, but I also want to know "how" to do it on my Nikon D80. Is it difficult to figure out how and where all the functions are on a camera, or would a keen guy be able to pick up the manual and figure it all out without the need of a field guide type of book.

If you understand the basics and concepts of photography, you should be able to pick up just about any SLR camera and use it well. Although if you're interested in guides for specific things on particular cameras, I know Thom Hogan and David Busch have various books out for particular Nikon cameras.
I personally don't think that a camera specific guide is needed. The camera is just a tool and the basics of it's operation are universal. You will learn the thing that you need, with use and experience.
Sure, many of these cameras have a long list of features and options etc....but a lot of that is just gimmicky bells & whistles...which you don't really need anyway.

My camera came with a mini user's guide which is basically a letter sized page, folded into a booklet. I kept this in my camera bag and consulted it a few times but after a short while, I didn't need it any more.
Yeah i think you guys are right. I'm a keener anyways, I can probably figure it out in due time.

For a noob who's only heard of the concept of apeture, exposure, etc last week, here's my list of things that I can probably look up and research in order to get all basics of what a SLR can do..

Must know Topics
- Apetures, F-Stops, ISOs, Focus Depth
- Operation Modes: Auto, Apeture, ISO modes?
- Lighting
- Exposure
- Metering
- Lens Abilities

As long as I know this stuff, I should be fine.
I have found that many people get a little overwhelmed with all the technical info they find when they first start learning about photography. I've also found that many people reach a 'Eureka' moment where it all starts falling into place.
SO keep with it, it will all be 2nd nature before long.

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