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Customer Review

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good at explaining all the gizmos and gadgets that help make great photographs, May 9, 2011
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This review is from: Photographer's Guide to the Leica D-Lux 5: Getting the Most from Leica's Compact Digital Camera (Paperback)
The first, really only important question to answer is "why spend the bucks to buy this book?"

The Leica D-Lux5 comes boxed with a nicely designed, easy to understand, clearly written instructional manual. A CD inside the box contains a more comprehensive guide to your new top-of-the-line point-and-shoot. So why throw around $25 when you already have more than you probably want to read about your camera and how to use it?

The answer is because chances are you're an amateur photographer and you want to take the best pictures you can and feel comfortable that you're getting the most out of your Leica - and believe me there are a lot of gizmos and gadgets, features and functions, tightly packed in that sleek black metal case to get to know about and get used to.

The first time I picked up my new camera and checked it out, I saw an awful lot that meant little to me. The switch on the top is simple and anyone can figure out that it turns the camera on and then off. But the top of the camera also has the lever that controls the optical zoom. The back of the camera has nine buttons and a wheel, all controlling at least one but usually more functions. A door on the bottom opens into the heart of the camera and has slots for memory and battery.

Four little pinholes on the bottom let sound in. The side of the camera has a portal for the cables and cords that connect the camera to the outside world, your computer and television. All of that is on the outside where you can see it. It's the thought of all that's crammed inside that causes all the angst, at least for this Leica noob (me).

Alexander White's guidebook has the answer to what all these dials, levers, settings and switches do and how do they interplay to take really great snapshots. Guiding you through the various functions and settings in a comprehensive way is what the book is really good at.

There are nine chapters, one for each menu and mode. The book starts simply with basic information about the camera setup and basic operations such as focus, exposure, flash and viewing pictures. Things then get a little more complex. There are sections on settings for portraiture, scenery, night portraiture, picturing food and even a section on photographing parties and taking shots by candlelight. And all those mini-tutorials are in the first three chapters.

You can stay to the basics or you can dig deep and learn about the camera's O.I.S. (optical stabilization system) mode using an in-camera demo. It's more than I want to know but maybe you're into that type of thing.

The section most useful to me personally, gave me instructions on macro shooting, capturing images in extreme closeup where the subject is shown actual size, in a 1:1 ratio, flowers, bugs and other things minature.

The camera it seems can do almost anything to do with image and light and it's my guess there's a section of the book dealing with your particular topic and with many of the topics you've never thought about or imagined.

If you want to feel confident that you're taking advantage of all the technology packed into your sleek, classy black camera with the classic red dot, my advice is buy the book. You'll get a return on your $25 investment in just a couple better-informed clicks of the shutter. That electronic manual that comes with the camera, go ahead and delete it. With your copy of the "Photographer's Guide to the Leica D-Lux 5," you've got things covered and in focus.
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