Customer Reviews: Nikon D7000 Digital Field Guide
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on January 4, 2011
The new year (January 2011) is heralding the arrival of numerous photo books for Nikon's newest camera, the D7000. One of the first to arrive is the Nikon D7000 Digital Field Guide by J.D. Thomas. The field guide isn't meant to replace your official Nikon manual (which I find sleep-inducing, at times). However, the field guide is easier to use - maybe it's the photos, layout, color or a combination of these elements. In that regard, I think the author accomplishes his stated goal, "... explaining the camera & its functions... in a way that's easier to understand." It doesn't hurt that the author seems genuinely enthusiastic about the camera.

The book's layout progresses from an overview of the camera's "geography" (knobs, buttons, and screens) to how the camera functions. There's useful info throughout these sections dedicated to focusing, metering, choosing lenses,navigating the menu system and setting up the D7000. There are many "tips" offered. One thing I learned in reading through this section is that I can view most current camera settings on the larger LCD screen by simply pressing the "info" button (lower/right on back of camera).

Another chapter covers the video capabilities in this camera. This is the main reason I purchased the D7000. This section starts with an overview of video-capable DSLRs and then the specifics of recording video on the D7000. Here, I learned the importance of setting the "picture control" and "shooting mode" before starting recording. Also, I now understand the use of the shutter release focusing (pressing ½ ways down-just like with still photography) prior to pressing the video button. Finally, I have a better appreciation of using manual movie settings while recording video.

The second half of the book (chapters 8 through 15) covers specific photo opportunities: action/sports, macro/close-up, nature/landscape, and portraiture/flash. The discussion with example photos, camera settings throughout this section was very useful. The coverage of shooting portraits also provided diagrams of the lighting set-up, which I found helpful.
Finally, there is an extensive index that will help one find a particular subject.

Being a fan of Mr. Thomas's prior Field Guides (I have his Nikon D300 guide) I was eager to get this text. I can recommend it highly; it seems to be a real value (i.e. Lots of info, nearly 300 pages, for a low price compared to other D7000 texts coming out).
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on January 2, 2011
I have been through a few Nikons and their respective field guides by J. Dennis Thomas. These books are great. I received my D7000 field guide a few days ago. Great addition to the field guide series. One of the reasons I love these books is for their small paperback size. I can chuck this into my camera bag and use it for reference whenever I need to. The guide is very practical and in depth. The chapters are laid out intuitively. You can start reading from front to back or just jump into whichever topic you need help with. The writing is clear and easy to understand. The book is loaded with color photos, diagrams and examples. There's many useful advice for improving my photography throughout the book but not so much that it gets annoying. It's actually just the right amount of very useful tips subtly injected within the context of the paragraphs. There's a free color checker and grey card included in the book that's pretty nice. Chapter 15 is a pretty sweet primer into stock photography.

I really don't have anything bad to say about the book. It's really nice and if you need a book that reads like a cool conversation and will help you get the most from your D7000, I really suggest you consider this one. It's very like-able.
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on April 26, 2011
The first 114 pages of the book are an expanded D7000 manual rather than a field guide. Most of the rest of the book is generic photography advice which, while practical and interesting, does not relate purely to the Nikon D7000. Other than the chapter on selecting and using lenses for the D7000, which is extremely helpful to novice and advanced photographers alike, there is little in the book that experienced photographers won't already know. For beginner/intermediate photographers, though, the book offers useful knowledge on exposure, light, live view and video, event photography, landscape and nature photography, macro photography, night/low-light photography, portrait photography, still-life photography, stock photography, and viewing/in-camera editing. The guide comes with a gray card and colour-checker card, to help D7000 users achieve accurate white balance and colour.

If you're an experienced SLR user, you won't learn anything new from this book. If, on the other hand, the D7000 is your first SLR, this guide represents a practical learning tool for your journey into SLR photography.
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on January 3, 2011
I just got the book a few days ago, but have poured over it extensively, and have really gained some knowledge about my camera. I only was in it a few minutes before it answered one of the big questions I had about the D7000. I had recently bought an old Nikon lens, and adjusting the aperture on my D7000 with this lens gave me f stop readings of 0, 1, 2, 3... I had no idea what this was, but the Field Guide shed light on the issue.

The book also contains a nice sized gray/color card.

I recommend that everyone with a Nikon D7000 keep this book on hand at all times. An excellent resource!
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on June 11, 2011
The Nikon D7000 Digital Field Guide is an expensive diversion from the Nikon D7000 User's Manual, which I think is more useful. Thomas's Digital Field Guide looks like it was written by someone who had not gotten around to doing much field work with the camera. By the predominance of good reviews, I guess the market for this book is pleased, but it looks to me like a perfunctory effort to capitalize on the release of the Nikon D7000 by offering an illustrated manual, albeit one that has less information than the Nikon D7000 User's Manual, which comes free with the camera.

One example: The D7000 has two categories of focus commands, Autofocus modes (Auto, Single, and continuous-servo modes) and AF-Area Modes (single-point, Dynamic-area, 3D tracking and Auto-area AF modes). The nomenclature is confusing, but the system is logical once you've worked with them. (You can read this for yourself in the Focus section beginning on page 91 of the Nikon 7000 User's Manual.)

In the Digital Field Guide, Thomas assures us (see page 43) that in Auto-area AF mode, the "camera has a better chance of focusing where you want it than accidentally focusing on the background when shooting a portrait. Normally, I tend not to use a fully automatic setting such as this, but find it works reasonably well when you shoot candid photos."

This is a baffling conclusion. In fact, the Auto-area AF mode is not so reliable in finding the human subject in a picture. For example, in Auto-area AF mode, if the background object is a stop or two brighter than the human foreground subject, the camera will as often as not choose to focus on a background object. More importantly, you can not move the focus point in the viewfinder using the multi-selector, so you can't correct the mistake.

A more reliable option is to shoot one of the other AF modes (Single, Dynamic or 3D Tracking). Any of these let you move the focus point, when necessary to correct the focus point chosen by the camera, using the multi-selector (the large round circular controller on the back of the camera).

In regard to exposure using the example I just gave, where a background object is brighter than the foreground human subject, you would do better using the Spot metering mode, which measures the light at the current focus point (see page 105 of the Nikon manual). Thomas doesn't pick up on this; he seems to trust that the Matrix metering option is smart to enough to correct these situations (see pp. 42-43 of the Guide). In the wedding photography I've been doing, Matrix metering on the D7000 isn't so reliable.

I'm interested to see if the new D7000 books that are coming out reflect more substantial field experience with the camera. The Digital Field Guide seems to be a book that was rushed to publication, maybe to be first. In my experience, the Guide doesn't add value to the free default option, the Nikon D7000 Users Manual.
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on January 3, 2011
This book is a must have for any owner of the D7000. It is an owners manual that you can understand. This is my second book(D300) by J. Dennis Thomas. It stays in my camera bag when I'm not reading it. When you think you know all of the settings and how to get the most out of your camera... go ahead and re-read the book to find out what you missed/forgot.... you'll be amazed.
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on January 4, 2011
I've gotten one of these Digital Field Guides for every Nikon DSLR I've owned, I really enjoy reading them (and I'm not big on reading books). I'm the type of person that is a gadget hoarder and usually figure out things on my own and break out the manual only when I get stuck trying to figure something out. That said, I learned really quick when I got into DSLR's that there are always cool new ways to approach things and the Digital Field Guides do a great job of explaining things in ways that are easy to understand yet not boring to those who have a broader knowledge of photography. I like the personal recommendations now and then without the 'you must do it this way' tone some authors seem to have.

I really love the included gray/color card in this book, it works great as a bookmark and of course a white balance card.

This is the 5th Digital Field Guide I've owned, and won't be the last.

Highly recommended!
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on June 14, 2016
Great book at a great used copy price. Have used it the last few weekends when taking the used D7000 out to shoot I recently received. While I am familiar with dSLRs, I'm not familiar with the D7000 menu system or where it stores all its various functions. The index in this book is pretty well done. I was able to find quickly the references to different, more advanced functions I needed. Instructions on how to change camera settings are clear, concise, and basically step-by-step. Magic Lantern Guides have never failed me before and this one hasn't either.
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on October 20, 2013
This book on the Nikon D7000 camera is poorly written and organized. As a long time Nikon user, I read
the Nikon Manuals which are confusing, fragmented and not written for field use, and find I have to buy a book as well.
For my D7000 I got this book and after reading it, found I had to buy a different book, as this one is not useful.
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on April 20, 2011
I am a beginner who recently moved from D40 to D7000 and so was completely overwhelmed by the various menus and customization options. I tried reading the manual but it was very boring for me. Then I got this book and have been a very happy customer since. It explains all the menu items in a very informative way, giving situations where one would use them. Apart from covering the camera's basic mechanism and features, it also sheds light on other aspects of photography like composition, lightning etc.
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