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Digital Video Pocket Guide (O'Reilly Digital Studio) 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596005238
ISBN-10: 0596005237
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Derrick has been interested in photography since age 11, and a computer nut for decades. He's been waiting for years for these two passions to converge, and now that they have, it's everything he thought it would be. Managing editor of O'Reilly Network, Derrick focuses on Web authoring, digital media, and mobile computing. Favorite projects include O'Reilly DevCenters for Web Development and for the Mac. Derrick's experience includes more than 15 years as a photojournalist, a stint as the managing editor for Web Review, and a speaker for CMP's Web conferences. He is the coauthor of iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual and author of the Digital Photography and Digital Video Pocket Guides. Derrick also manages his online photo business, Story Photography.


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Product Details

  • Series: O'Reilly Digital Studio
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005238
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,185,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derrick Story is a photographer, writer, and teacher. He's authored many books including the "The Digital Photography Companion" and "The Digital Photography Pocket Guide." Derrick's video tutorials are available through, featuring Aperture, iPhoto, and general photography titles. His photo articles are a regular staple for Macworld Magazine and TechHive.

Derrick runs a virtual camera club at, featuring weekly photography podcasts, reader-submitted photos, reviews, and pro tips.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Karl A. Augestad on December 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Digital videography is challenging and this useful pocket guidebook makes taking videos more exciting and fun. By following many of the suggestions and tips throughout this small reference book you will find it helpful when preparing for your next home movies. This is one of the few books dedicated to digital video. Most current publications like magazines keep you up to date with the latest gear but this book is more in-depth on the art of video productions. The author Derrick Story has written many books and provided photographs for countless others. The pocket guide is a series of small books that includes titles like digital photography, Macintosh Troubleshooting, Extreme Programming and over 200 other pocket guide titles.
As a video producer I found this book very easy to read and understand and felt this reference book would offer any level of videographer benefits from this information. The book is broken into 3 chapters and one reference guide. The first chapter starts with "What is it". This chapter covers the camcorder basics and may other more advanced concepts including time-code, analog line-in, aperture, image sensor, interlaced video and progressive scan. I was quite surprised that these subjects were covered since these are new features found on the newest camcorders and the average videographer may not be familiar with the concepts. It is nice to read about some of the newest features and how they can benefit the end user. This first chapter is very comprehensive going well beyond the camcorders instruction manual.
The second chapter covers the physical camera and its features, how does it work explain concepts and techniques for today's digital video shooting. The section on time-code and logging was invaluable. The third section is how do I...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John A. Suda VINE VOICE on September 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Book Review: "Digital Video Pocket Guide"
by John Suda
"Digital Video Pocket Guide", by Derrick Story, is another in the series of "Pocket Guides" from O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Like the others, it is a well-written, comprehensive introduction to a technical/aesthetic area.
This is a small, pocket-size book of 113 pages, including index, published on bright, glossy paper which provides brightness and contrast for its included photographs and makes it easier on the eyes for reading.
I have been contemplating investigating digital video myself for some time and found this little volume to be a near perfect introduction for a couple of reasons. First, the substantive material contains about everything one needs to get a start in digital video, from buying a camera, to learning and understanding its controls and features, to using the equipment, and tips on how to get some quality production from the camera. The second reason is the unusual (for a computer book) author's "voice". Story's style is casual, friendly, clear, simple, encouraging, and even soothing, Imagine attending a 2 or 3 hour presentation by an informed camera salesperson who knows how to produce videos, who has the personality and presentation of Mr. Rogers.
It's the substantive material which is most important however. Story walks the reader through the entire movie-making process, from start to finish. Even technical concepts like "black the tape", "bumping", and "zebra patterns" are made simple and easy to follow.
The book has three parts encompassing explanation of the equipment, how to use it, and how to produce some quality product. There is an appendix of a handful of quick reference tables pertaining to color temperature charts, types of microphones, and other incidental matters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Nagle on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I recently reviewed this and the more recent Oreilly book, Digital Video Hacks, with contributions from the author. Hacks is much more up-to-date and contains lots of things from the Pocket Guide. But a lot of the troubleshooting tips from Pocket Guide are about using cameras and mikes, not stuff likely to go out of date. Here is what I wrote specifically about Pocket Guide:

For readers looking for more information about the shooting process itself, the cheaper and more succinct 2003 Digital Video Pocket Guide by Derrick Story covers that information superbly. Story's book goes into more detail about equipment to buy as well as how to resolve lighting and sound problems. There's only so much you can say in 112 pages, but 30 of those pages are devoted to solving practical shooting problems (i.e., the walking interview, dealing with wind , etc.) Another 30 pages consists of reference material and tables about basic camera concepts (i.e., how aperture relates to depth of field). Also, this book in particular has a high percentage of color photographs, which (like those in Digital Video Hacks) make it easier to understand what the writer is getting at. Some of the information from Digital Video Pocket Guide is duplicated in Digital Video Hacks, but lately I've found myself referring more often to the Pocket Guide than the Video Hacks book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damian Heffernan on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book claims to be a handy pocket guide for anyone who uses a digital video
camera. I would disagree with this claim in one resepect and that is that it
caters for the amatuer and pro alike. I found this guide to be well and truely
aimed at the amatuer or entry level user - and this is not a bad thing.
I think it is definately a fine resource for anyone with a digital video camera
and will improve and assist a huge number of camcorder users to produce better
videos. It contains heaps of very valuable tips and tricks to improve shooting in
a wide range of situations. I found the pro-tips sidebars to be quite a good way
to introduce slightly more advanced techniques and this will help readers to
explore slightly more advanced techniques. The photographs are first rate and
illustrate the discussed procedures very well. The manuals that are provided with
camcorders are generally pretty dry and most people only give them a cursory
once over, this book is nicely written and well illustrated and interesting
enough to encourage people to read it end to end. And if you do I can't see how
you'll fail to improve your video shooting.
I would definatley recommend this book for everyone who wants to pick up some
basic tips, tricks and tools to improve their everyday video shooting.
Damian Heffernan
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