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another hit in the Nikon field guide series
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).