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Mastering the Nikon D800
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
I don't need a basic book to teach me the functions of the D800 or what button to press. The very reason you are reading this is likely because you're an advance photographer (hence D800) who already know typical functions of an SLR, but you want to know...
A) how to do it frequently used capture/review features more efficiently
B) how to take full advantage of this camera's advances features
C) what else is not covered in the manual that you need to know
And I must say this book satisfied the above! It also explains WHY some of these functions are there (helps me understand how other photographer works)

I bought this book at pre-order when no previews were available. When I first opened and flipped through, I wasn't very impressed as it looked more like a plain textbook with some images on each page. No fancy graphics, arrows nor call out boxes like some instructional books. But that's where I'm wrong and just judging a book by it's cover and initial looks.

As I read on, here's what impresses me:
1. Not just a camera manual - I don't need another camera manual. In addition to telling you what each button does, it also explain why it's for
2. "Settings Recommendation" - At end of each section, author describes what he chose, and for what scenario (e.g sports, parties, commercial etc)
3. Non-documented Nikon features - There are few e.g. how clicking an ISO after Auto ISO actually sets the minimum ISO and help you create a min-max ISO range.
4. Explanation of some advance features such as: Banks, Custom modes, wireless flash control, ADL bracketing, various focusing settings
5. Explanation of how the camera will behave (e.g. will focus be slower if you use the Lock, effect of lens movement on AF)

The D800 is a great camera with many features, and despite owning it for more than 6mths, there are so much more I didn't know. And this book really helps!

(There's much more to list above, and I learn much more each page I flipped through this book. If not for this book, I would have spent lots of time doing trial and errors to find out.)

I hope this review is helpful to you!
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
This is a terrific "must have" book for a D800 owner. I have several users manuals/guide books purchased for past cameras by different authors, but Darrell's is different. First, it is over 500 pages, but most important is that it reads like a guide not a text book...with the pages full of examples, menu samples, LCD samples, etc., etc., and explanations as to when you might want to use a function and how the menu looks when you set it. These are not artist examples... they are actual photo images. Take a look inside the book yourself by clicking "search inside this book". The instructions are written as if Darrell is standing over you telling you what to do and why. They are very easy to follow and understand.

I have had my D800 since the earliest shipments in March and have taken over 7500 pictures so far, so I think I know my camera pretty well. This book explains all those things that I thought I knew and didn't...or at least didn't fully understand. Any D800 owner should definitely have this book.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 2, 2012
Blame it on the Nikon engineers. The Nikon D800 and D800E cameras are so full of features and capabilities that trying to understand all the features and menus without help is impossible. The manual that comes with the camera describes all the choices that are available, but doesn't explain why one might select a particular choice, or make any recommendations. Luckily Darrel Young has come to the photographer's rescue.

After a brief introduction to the amazing 36.3 megapixel camera, the author goes down the menus that the cameras present, item by item explaining how to make a selection and clarifying the effect of particular selections. Young then follows up with his recommendations for settings, including alternate recommendations depending on what kind of shooter you are. The later chapters deal with functions that have external controls on the camera like exposure, focusing and live view.

There is certainly nothing very exciting about the presentation (except perhaps the discovery every once in a while that the camera has a function that you couldn't conceive existed, including some that I wondered if any one would use.) Yet it was discovery of these surprising functions that made me read carefully through each of the items discussed by the author lest I miss something. Occasionally, I wanted to skip ahead to the functions that were most related to the way that I wanted to use the camera next, and so I would just skim the material to learn of the existence of a function, intending to come back when I needed to learn more. Thus I was quite interested in using the photographic functions, and was shooting single images before I came back to the items that were related to making movies. But rest assured I came back to those items just before one of my grandchildren came to the house.

There is a natural impatience to use a new camera and some photographers may not want to spend the time going through the long list of features. But the D800 is so loaded with features that I can't picture another way of discovering them than reading through this book.

I had to think long and hard to think of what I would have added, and I finally realized that I would have liked an explanation of how to fine tune individual lenses for use with the D800. On the other hand, given that I was familiar with the procedure and never bothered to use it on my last camera, maybe it wasn't so critical.

This book is only about the technical side of using the D800. There is nothing about how to use all these tools to create a better photograph. On the other hand, unless one knows how to use the equipment, there is little likelihood of capturing that better photograph, and the D800 is so complex and so capable that one is unlikely to fully utilize it without a guide like this.

Every D800 user will benefit from reading this book.

In the interests of full disclosure I am the forum moderator for Books and Magazines Forum on the Nikonians web site, which has sponsored this book. I had nothing to do with the preparation or publishing of this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
Revised review:

Darrell Young deserves better than he got from the inept designer of this careless Kindle version. His D700 book was excellent and served as my primary D700 info resource. The content of his D800 book is equally good. However, the Kindle version is poorly designed, with a crappy typewriter-like typeface and is difficult to use as a skip-around electronic source of info. Not even a decent table of contents. I'd get the print version except that I store all camera books and manuals on my ipad ... and I already paid for the Kindle version.

I raised my initial rating of the kindle version to a 3. As I said, the content of the book itself is excellent -- i rate the book itself as a 5. And yes, Darrell's approach is very different from Thom Hogan's superb, ultra-complete book but his book still is extremely useful in a more simplified, more basic way.

Sadly, the kindle version reflects sloppy, careless implementation. It's difficult to navigate for all the reasons i stated.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
This book helped me within the first 30 minutes after opening it. I have used Nikon cameras since the original F and know something about them. The technology changes, the functions are complex,and the cameras are powerful. Unwinding this complexity is not easy but Darrell Young and "Mastering the Nikon D800" does it beautifully, in simple language, and most importantly in a very readable fashion. I recommend this book if you want to want to get beyond turning on your camera and really unleash the potential of the Nikon D800.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
Once again "Digital" Darrell has done it. Several years ago after I got a D300s I used Darrell's book to guide me through the ins and outs of that camera, so when I upgraded to the D800 it was only natural to get the Mastering the D800.

As expected the information is laid out in an easy to understand way. Sidebars and inserts provide additional information that serve as a useful review to more experienced photographers of certain basics and a clear description of each facet, setting, feature and item on the camera is explained in detail using language and example that surpasses the O.E.M. User Guide.

Mr. Young also includes citations and page references to the Nikon Manual, but his instructions just about negate the need to reference that manual.

So if you are looking at the D800, or have just purchased one, this is probably the best guide of its kind for the camera.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2013
This isnt the first time I have purchased one of Mr. Young's "Mastering" manuals. I bought his "Mastering the Nikon D300" a couple of years ago, and it was a delight to have the camera explained so clearly as opposed to Nikon's disjointed, huge incomprehensible one moment, baby talk the next manual that came with the camera. He has done it again with this one. ANYONE who buys this camera will benefit from this comprehensive yet easy to read book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a great book. It is an extended manual for the D800. I've had my camera for several months now and although I know how to use the most common functions, I have discovered new ways to configure it to my specific shooting needs thanks to Darrell Young. In some cases I thought I understood how something worked, only to find that it wasn't so or at least not all the details. The language is clear but not dumbed down, for every section there is a technical explanation, examples of usage and Darrel's recommendation based on his shooting style and preferences. Armed with that info it is simple to decide how you would like to use that particular function.

This book exceeded my expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
I found this text to be a great help in getting fill value out of the D800, and I have already incorporated many of the 'tutorials' into my shooting. The book has also helped me make better decisions about which function or approach would be most appropriate in a given situation, whereas the manual assumes you have already made those decisions and even then only provides some limited guidance on how to implement those steps.

The book also helped me appreciate the many features of the D800 and it honestly feels like a different camera now that I can take advantage of the features it offers. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
I have both this book and Dave Busch's book, and while both are very good, I found this one to be much more "user friendly". Darrell not only goes over what the functions/settings on the camera are, but explains what happens when you set up something a certain way. It's not just a "how to" book, it's more like a "how to and why" guide. I've got a number of post-it flags throughout the book, so that I can go back and re-visit certain areas of the book.

If you were going to only buy one reference guide for the D800, this is the one for you.
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