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After reading Michael's previous works I was prepared for a good and thorough treatise on astrophotography with digital SLR's. Unfortunately this book doesn't do that. $37 gets you a modest 234 page, soft bound book that could be described as more of a draft outline than a valuable reference work.

Images Plus, possibly the most powerful and economical commercial astrophotographic image processing and camera control program available today only gets briefly mentioned in passing twice in this book.

And there is nothing whatsoever on imaging the sun, h-alpha image processing techniques or solar eclipse techniques and equipment.

Many other subjects are treated rather too lightly to justify the price of this book too.

I believe that Jerry Lodriguss's book "A Guide To Astrophotography with Digital SLR's" is a much more useful work however it isn't exactly worth it's $40 price tag either.

There is more useful and thorough information available on the Internet for free. Start with the Digital Astro Yahoo discussion group and then supplement with Jerry Lodriguss and Paul Hyndman's web sites.
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on March 10, 2008
In first place, I bought this book because of it was recommended from Sky and Telescope.
But, when having it on my hands and after reading it I found:
1- Author is making constant references to his other two books, with no further explanations (if you want to know more, BUY my other books).
2- Book is soft cover and pictures are black and white.
3- Has many formulas. Amateurs want a "hands-on" style, not making calculations that show the author as "how much I know", that's not practical.
4- Many parts are really useful, and some others don't.
5- Some parts look like a handful of advices that you can find everywhere on the net.
6- He explains methods, that end up with author saying like "despite of this method I prefer..." and then he mentions another one. A waste of time!
7- Add the book cost, and this is not a deal.
Hope my review can be helpful to other people that as me, thought this book was a real good one (before purchase).
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on September 24, 2013
I would have preferred to give this book a 2.5 star rating. It is truly unfortunate for this book, being 7 years 'old.' The last seven years in digital astrophotography is a bit like the difference between the Dark Ages and the Technical Revolution. So much has changed in the 7 years since this book was written that much of the book is obsolete. I say 'unfortunate' because Michael Covington writes very well, in non-technical and easy to understand terms.

Probably worth mentioning that any book written and published before 2011 would likely have outdated information or parts. Still, this book is worth 2.5 stars because it has some easy to understand fundamental information and guidance. It should probably not be read by the pre-beginner. Worthwhile for beginners or new intermediates with some knowledge of DSLR astrophotography so that the reader will have some idea of the parts to skim over.

As an example, the latest Canon camera models discussed in the book is their 400D and the 20Da. Although this isn't a major issue, it does come into play when considering other recommendations. For instance, the author recommends an ISO setting of 400, but the general setting of 800 is more common now with the newer Canon models. In addition, the author talks about modifications, but today there are many types of modifications, some which include a cooling chamber for the DSLR camera sensor. Some DSLR sensors are even being debayered to create a DSLR mono camera!

Get the book used or borrow it from a friend. It is worth a read for the beginner and new intermediate who wants to understand more about the function and value of DSLRs in astrophotography. Maybe Mr. Covington would write a new book on the subject. He is an excellent writer!
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on March 11, 2013
I've found the book useful and comprehensive. A great introduction to the matter for basic astrophotographers (as myselfg) or newbies. Its structure is OK,and is clearly written using tech jargon just when needed. The only thing I will complain about is that in many parts of the book, the author uses to "see Astrophotography for the Amateur for further details about....". So, in some aspect, the book turns into a valuable appendix to the other books written by Mr Covington, and not a standalone material. If you are looking to have a comprehensive guide you would probably need the other astrophotography book by Mr Covington as well as this one to cover the gaps regarding DSLRs... Once I read "the other book" I will be able to give a better picture (pardon the pun!) about both... sadly it is not edited for Kindle!

What really pissed me off was the lousy approach to the Kindle edition. The books has many references in the "see page xxx" format, but Kindle does not have pages!. Image captions are in a minute font... that in bigger illustration does not have zoom at all (hence remain unreadable!). Also images appear within their respective chapters but many pages before the reference (and there is no way of going back and forth to check the image and keep on reading without having to bookmark. And to finish up, all footnotes appear at the end of the book, but without any indication of which chapter they belong to... so you have pages full of "1: xxxxxxx" but you cannot check on the footnote while reading or correlate the footnote later with the chapter.
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on March 5, 2011
Like another reviewer, I found that this was a well written book however, I agree that a little too much was referenced in another book for its price. I am happy to look up the many websites which are referenced...I expect that these days. It is probably time for a new integrated book that has it all. The cameras discussed were a bit old now Nikon D70 etc.
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on October 6, 2014
The book is outdated and overpriced. While naturally the field of astrophotography is like all electronics advancing in leaps and bounds (it seems like no sooner do you order and receive a new piece of equipment and it has already been replaced), the book is written with the then current technology without any awareness of how technology will improve. Case and point in the end of the book when it touches on non-SLR cameras the opening line comes across as dismissive outlining the flaws with using non-SLR with no hint of how non-SLR cameras could improve.
Oddly enough a lot of the things that one could find interesting to read and learn about are brushed over with 'covered in my previous book'. The author flat out assumes that the reader owns, has read, and has available at hand the other book to just be able to open to the specific page and continue learning what they want to know. The impression left is one of a pompous a** who is more interested in just selling his product that actually teaching or explaining.
The one part of the book that probably excels is the one part that most people are likely to not care about: technical DETAILED calculations. The author is obviously a student of photography from the film era when it was often necessary to perform detailed calculations to ensure the absolute correct exposure as the cost of trial and error often proves exceedingly great in time (shooting and then developing) and money (film). Chances are most people looking for this book or one similar to it are just starting out and are a child of the digital age. With digital cameras you learn more by the trial and error method of playing around with the settings and seeing the difference. I am one with a pretty good mathematical ability and I often found myself just glazing over the text. I can easily see someone who cringes at the word math wanting to throw the book across the room (something that could proof catastrophic reading on a kindle).
Worst of all the author offers no guidance over the choice of equipment beyond the basic EQ good AZ bad. There is no touch on the different levels of equipment that one can get or even a detailed explanation of what he uses and the good and bad of his setup. Who knows maybe he covered equipment in his first book...
Overall one is left with a feeling that they spent a considerably amount of money (25$ for kindle book) and got practically nothing to show for it. I thought for sure that for 25$ I would certainly find a lot of valuable information but in the end I learned and enjoyed less material from this book then I did from similar books which I purchased for 10$.
Final words, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. I am not endorsing a particular author but there are better books out there with more useful information and cost less money.
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on May 6, 2015
I notice the other reviews, but I think the negative ones expect too much. This is not a detailed reference work for the advanced imager but a beginning book that will get you for 0-90 mph right away. I have done planetary and solar webcam imaging and beginning astrophotgraphy with Canon DSLR (Milky Way, Aurora) and been confused by the amount of information avaialble. Michael has presented a concise "how-to" that incorporates all of the specific actions required for DSLR and the underlying tehcnical reasons for them. He also includes some asides that are important, but you will not find in purely technical reports. I was able to scan it in about an hour and it corroborated and enhanced what I had learned on my own. This book would have saved me time and anxiety and I would have had better early results if I had read it first. Again - not a reference for advanced imager, but a solid how-to for beginning to intermediate DSLR astrophotography. Highly recommended for style and content.
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on September 28, 2012
This book does a very good job of covering the fundamentals of amateur astrophotography. The concepts presented are sound , but the text does not present much mathematical detail, if you want to build spreadsheet models, etc. it does point you toward gthe appropriate sources for such data.

Covers DSLR concepts and application well. If you're familiar with the film world, this is a great bridge into using digital tools. Some camera and software references are dated (not surprising in such a fast evolving area)' but you will learn what questions to ask in further researching each topic. Be prepared to do much outside research after reading this book.

Pay attention to the authors suggested web resources (esp. The books update page and links), and use them often.

A little pricey, considering how much work is required outside of the text, but a good overall guide to the tools and techniques required.
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on January 24, 2014
This is a great book, it provided me with very useful information on the subject of Astrophotography. In just two weeks time I have managed to take some breath taking shots of Orion Nebula, the Double Cluster and moon plus Jupiter as well. For my first time in over ten years I was able to take pictures with my new Canon T3i DSLR and I did great, this book is a must have if you are lookin in to taking or getting in too Astrophotography pictures-A+.
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on December 25, 2012
I was hoping for a little more in depth coverage of Digital processing of deep sky images taken with a DSLR.
The book is a great introduction for the beginner level, but leaves a little to be desired for the intermediate and advanced users.
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