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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2010
After many years of film photography, I went to the GF-1 for my first digital camera. I found the Panasonic manual to be maddening, to put it mildly; it's not impossible, but they weren't thinking of clarity and simplicity when they put it together.
When I finally received Busch's book ( I pre-ordered it May '10), I was more than relieved to find a digital camera user's guide that is as elegant as it is practical. Clearly and concisely written, logically organized and backed up with an abundance of large, color photos showing precisely what he is explaining, I find this effort to be one of the best how-to guides I have ever read.
Digital photography is remarkably complex for newbies such as myself, but this book has made digital photography with the GF-1 not only accessible, but remarkably simple as well.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2010
Better than the lumix manual, but still not crystal clear. I was having trouble setting the "C" settings, and hoped this book would make it easy for me, but it didn't. The book does a very good job of explaining what things do and expands on what is in the stock manual. I guess the GF1 offers too many variable features to be highly intuitive.

About two thirds of the book goes into technique and application of the GF1s features. This is very helpful and a lot of useful information for young users moving up to more capable (and complicated) equipment and a refresher for older users. This was my favorite part of the book, stuff not covered in the lumix manual.

I thought this was going to be a book the size of the Magic Lantern guide for my Canon G10. In reality this book is equal in size to six of the original manuals (slightly larger than 2 stacks with 3 in each stack). So this is a bookshelf book and not a travel book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2010
David Busch's Panasonic DMC-GF1 Guide is pure gold.

Chapters 1 through 4 are wonderful for explaining the GF1, even as the Panasonic Operating Instructions are NOT: what each control is, some helpful suggestions on how to use them, examples (color & b/w photos) of the features use and of the camera. The book is written is a serious tone but leavened with just enough humor to keep it interesting.

I come to the GF1/GH1 as a semi-serious amateur photographer but used to trekking with my "point and shoot" Panasonic DMC-FZ18, a camera that I love and does not deserve the P&S designation - the user instructions are over 100 pages long, ferpetesake. I travel to the ends of the earth and take 1000's of pictures a year and expect/demand them to be great shots.

The chapters of David Busch's DMC-GF1 Guide are:
1) Getting Started (tells you what he's going to tell you, briefly - nice)
2) GF1 Road map (with GREAT photos/explanations of the controls)
3) Setting Up Your GF1, (absolutely ESSENTIAL knowledge here)
4) Fine Tuning Exposure (great info on focus modes, exposure times and video)
5) Advanced Shooting Tips (see below*)
6) Working With Lenses (take advantage of the M43 and adapters)
7) Making Light Work For You
8) Useful Software
9) Troubleshooting

The photos of the camera in Chapter 1 with call-outs are worth the price of the book right there. Clear, color, labeled with explanatory text just following the large pictures of top/bottom/front and back of the camera. Pure gold, pure gold.

Organized in easy bites/bytes, logically presented in a clear, engaging style and very nice photos to illustrate points. This is almost as good as having a knowledgeable photographer sitting at your side giving you advice and tips.

*I've finished chapter 5 and am super-impressed. Did you know, e.g. that there are THREE different controls for Auto-Focus. Did you know that the Panasonic manual only calls it AF in the index, so you'd probably pass it by. These three are located a) on the top of the camera, b) on the rt. arrow key (for auto-focus method) and c) on the custom Rec menu?!

If you knew that, you knew more than I did when I went to Europe recently, took 4000 pictures and had c) set to face recognition! Man! Wish I'd known that when I went. Also WORTH THE PRICE again.

Also in Chapter 5: several interesting short shutter time techniques and several MORE for long exposures.

Chapter 6 - Working With Lenses - nice, extensive rundown of possible M43 lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus plus the adapters that are available. I've already picked my lenses (Panasonics 20mm pancake and 14-140 zoom) but good info if you're shopping for a lens.

I DID learn to shut the OIS off on my tele while panning (great tip!) - as in tracking a bird in flight which I tried to do in Spain with not much success. Now I know why. ;-<

Chapter 7 - Making Light Work For you - another chapter that I buzzed through since I shoot mostly outdoors but I did learn the difference between the three Panasonic flashes that will work very well with the GF1/GH1. Nice section on the various flash synch modes (news to me), typical sequence for using the built in or an external flash (more there than you might imagine).

Also the difference between the 5 flash modes: TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP TTL Auto, and FP Manual. Also additional light sources that are not specific to these Panasonic cameras but good, overall knowledge that this book generally strikes between the specifics and what additionally you need to know.

Chapter 8 - Useful Software - Many, many software packages that I learned about in addition to Photoshop Elements which I use regularly but learned about it's RAW capabilities in Photoshop ACR - didn't know they existed! Bibble, Panasonics two packages that come with the camera (Silkypix and Photofun Studio), DxO Optics Pro, and C1 Pro. Interesting reading that I'd probably do well to consider buying if I were a bit more serious.

Chapeter 9 - Troubleshooting - This covers your camera (basically don't worry to much) except about cleaning the sensor and there's a thorough treatment of this topic. How to tell a bad sensor from dust on the sensor (interesting) plus what to do with a bad memory card and how to avoid problems (basically format on the camera and not in your computer SD slot). Firmware is covered and what NOT to do.

All in all a fine book and one I'd recommend for GH1 and GF1 users.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2011
My only complaint is that the Kindle edition does not have pagination even though I uploaded the latest Kindle for Ipad that is supposed to show pages. It is not the author's fault, more like Kindles's.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
This is a very clearly written and helpful manual. The instruction manual which comes with the Panasonic GF1 is not always easy to understand. Perhaps it is a translation problem. This book fills the gaps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
This is quite a good book showing you how to use your GF1 features to perform certain photgraphy technique. I think it has too many sections devoted on just introducing the basic camera's features. It would have been better if they devote more sections on technical photography techniques with GF1. Overall it is a good book as the GF1 manuals are crappy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
This book is a MUST HAVE if you own this camera! I got my camera and the owner's manual had me screaming. I was convinced I'd never be able to figure it all out and that I'd made a big mistake buying the camera. I am working through this book step by step, and I now feel I will soon be able to use the camera with ease.
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on August 17, 2011
This is a great book - I'm new to the Lumix DMC camera. Book is WAY better than the user's manual that came with the camera - explicit and understandable explanations/discussions of features and functions. My husband, who is a "way more" advanced photographer than I, finds it a useful guide as well. For me a great introduction; for him, saves a lot of time trying to find what is where and how you accomplish a given function.
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on July 21, 2013
I have this camera a few years, but still David uncovered plenty of its hidden features.
Book is well written, full of details and good examples.
Now, I'm waiting for "Lumix DMC-GX1" book.
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on July 7, 2014
This books tells you pretty much what you need to know about this camera. It's usually very clear, but not always. It helped me learn to use this camera, which someone gave me used. It's my first digital camera and seems quite complicated, but the book made it seem a lot less complicated.
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