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Customer Review

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost useless to me, June 30, 2012
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This review is from: David Busch's Compact Field Guide for the Sony Alpha SLT-A55/A35/A33 (David Busch's Digital Photography Guides) (Spiral-bound)
After owning an A55 for 3 months now, I continue to find it difficult to remember how to operate the camera for its non- or semi-automated modes. The confusion stems from the fact that controls do not always work the same from mode to mode (e.g. aperture control is different in Aperture Priority than it is in Manual). I constantly find myself away from home and the PDF-file manual, trying to figure out how to deal with exposures, and losing the shots. To mitigate that confusion, I bought this book, so that I could take it with me. What a waste of time and money that has turned out to be!

There is absolutely no mention whatsoever of such basic operational functions in this supposed "Field Guide". It has a couple of chapters on descriptions of buttons and switches on the camera surface (but not how to use them), and basic first-time setup procedures. Neither of these are any help after you have owned the camera for more than a few days. Then it has one chapter each on flash use, movies, and the automated functions under the "SCN" mode - none of which I ever use. Everything in the guide seems oriented toward taking family snapshots, describing the location of the needed automation.

Nowhere do you find any description of how to use the camera in user-actuated modes that allow you to better capture things like a beautiful sunset, a night shot, or a close-up of a vibrant flower based on your own interpretation of light and shadow. What good is a field guide that only describes functionality that will be defined while sitting in the kitchen, as you remove the camera from its packaging. That is not the "Field".

All the hoo-pe-do geegaw functionality on which the guide focuses is well and good, but useless if you are trying to use this supposedly entry-level camera to actually learn how to take photographs under your own control.
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