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Sony NEX-6: From Snapshots to Great Shots Paperback – March 16, 2013
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About the Author
Jerod Foster is a freelance editorial and travel photographer, and author of Storytellers: A Photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures. He also leads photography workshops and is a photography instructor at Texas Tech University. Visit his website and read his popular photography “Field Lighting” tips and blog at jerodfoster.com.
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So is this worth the $14 or so versus just using the small printed manual or even the very long user guide that is available as a PDF file? My answer is YES! Neither of those resources is as easy to follow and understand as this book is. You might also wonder if this book is useful for NEX-6 owners in particular or whether it is just a rehash of a generic photography guide that could apply to any photography guide book. My answer to that question is two-fold: yes, it is directly squarely at the NEX-6 owner (so that all the features described are exactly those on this model camera) and yet it also has tons of general photography tips and explanations of terminology and technique. Also, it is illustrated with many great shhots taken by the author of his childhood home in Texas (and others from his travels). Each of these photos shows the lens, ISO, shutter, and f-stop settings used. I found this one feature to be very educational and helpful. This one little book has helped me to appreciate--and use--the NEX-6's many capabilities because each chapter in the book ends with a list of "assignments" (i.e., practice) suggestions for using/mastering the features and techniques discussed in each chapter.
In summary, I think this book is the perfect blend of general information and very specific details about the Sony NEX-6. I have owned my NEX-6 for about 6 months now and I've read both the small paper manual and the PDF guide. Both were useful in their own way as references to buttons, icons, and settings. But, both are also very poorly written, designed and illustrated. All in all, this "From Snapshots to Great Shots" book is an example of very solid instructional design combined with a smooth and accessible writing style and lots of very useful and specific content about this particular camera model. I'm very happy with my purchase. I recommend that any new NEX-6 owner buy one, but do get it in print! As I said, the e-book version is a downsized version with far less visual appeal. A book about photography should have visual appeal....don't you think? <grin>
*Useful guidance re configuring a new NEX-6.
*Good directions for updating NEX-6's firmware (not provided by other books.)
*Well-illustrated with large, lovely photos.
*Useful tips (e.g. improvised "bouncing" of NEX6's built-in flash.)
*Too much general material re how to take good pictures (i.e. but not about the NEX-6 per se.)
*Skimpy coverage of NEX-6's built-in HDR and panorama features.
*States that NEX-6's wireless features (e.g. smart remote) "not in the scope of this book".
*Too often refers "out" to Sony's manual for important info (e.g. see pages 32, 64, 72, 244.)
Concurrent with purchasing a NEX-6, I obtained three "how-to" references: Matsumoto and Roullard's "The Sony Alpha NEX-6"; Foster's "The Sony NEX-6 From Snapshots To Great Shots"; and Sony's "Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera Instruction Manual/Handbook". Matsumoto and Roullard's book is the most useful of the three, and will serve as my primary NEX-6 reference manual. While Foster's visually stunning book provided me with a productive photo-workout, along with some useful tips, it didn't cover enough ground to function as a reliable NEX-6 reference. Sony's sometimes-helpful Manual/Handbook often lacked needed details.