Customer Reviews: Sony NEX-6: From Snapshots to Great Shots
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on April 19, 2013
I'm writing this review because if you are anything like me, you're wondering if this book is worth buying. Well, I can say absolutely YES. I know something about writing because it's my trade, so I can say that I like this author's style very much and the design of the book is very attractive and easy to follow. I considered buying the Kindle/Nook version but I'm very glad I did not. The book is too big for that format (so it was downsized to fit) and it is so nicely illustrated that it would be a shame, I think, not to get the printed book.

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>
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on May 1, 2013
As people have moved away from compact point and shoot cameras to using their smart phone camera for convenience, they have found that the image quality is still a long way from being satisfying. At the other end of the scale, the enthusiast and professional photographer have found that there are many occasions when they do not wish to carry the huge weight of a DSLR, several heavy lens combinations and seek a camera which is small compact and which produces high quality publishable images. We are all fortunate, because within the last eighteen months the compact mirrorless camera has been developed. Having tested several of these cameras my choice is the Sony Nex- 6, which I guess is also your choice, as you are reading this review. The Nex-6 is a truly remarkable and complex camera packed into a compact size.
The menu of the Nex-6 can be intimidating, many of the dials and buttons have dual purpose. The camera menu is attempting to cover the needs of the inexperienced photographer as well as the demands of the professional. The addition of all these customizing options make it a complex camera to use. Without the benefit of Jerod Fosters excellent guide book, digging through the menu could be confusing and time consuming. Jerods book is not a manual, it is a clearly thought out guide on how to use the functions quickly and easily to take great photographs. By using this book you will quickly learn how to know what to use and how to use it. Using the camera and its functions will become second nature, allowing you to obtain constantly high quality still photographs and movies.
For me, one of the best things I obtained from this book is how to make short cuts, such as auto HDR, DRO, hand held twilight, creative style and picture effect , as well as how to customise regularly used functions to avoid constantly digging into the menu.
You will find that as a result of studying this guide alongside your camera that you will be thrilled with its capabilities and ease of operation to transform your photographic practices and the high quality results.
Enjoy using your Sony Nex/6
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on April 13, 2013
Ok, I'm not "OLD" yet, but I can sure see where I'm headed. My first SLR camera from the 70's was a manual focus match needle metered camera and I learned three or four tricks that let me take some great pictures. My second SLR camera was a manual focus aperature /shutter preferred with a program mode camera that I loved. My third camera was a digital auto focus hybred with too many gizmos that I left it in "auto" nearly all the time with dissapointing results. That brings me to the NEX-6, great camera with SLR features in a compact east to carry style - I DON"T understand the manual or the menus. This book is pretty straight forward in explaining the things I desire to do. It boils it down to a few basic steps that you can build off from and get the results you are looking for. The author also takes some time to explain some basic photograpy techniques that we all know, but forget to use.

If you understand how to use this camera right out of the box you don't need this book. But then you wouldn't be reading these reviews, would you? This book will put you on the path to quick success and you will be able to build from the basics set forth here. This book is not for professionals, it's for you and me. I highly recomend this book to anyone who wants to understand and take better pictures with the exceptional Sony NEX-6.
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on July 9, 2013
I have used other books from this series, and was impressed. I bought this when I ordered the NEX-6 to show me the way to get the most from the camera. As expected, the first three chapters were great, and on point. Beginning with Chapter 4, the book became very much a digital photography how-to book, and barely mentioned this camera. I am disappointed in the demise of this fine series.
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on August 29, 2013
This is a good book if you bought a NEX-6 because the camera's manual is unreadably brief. But for me, there's so much general photographic information, that it was real work to read through it. I didn't want to read about composition, lines, etc etc. I just wanted a readable explanation of the camera's features.
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on December 18, 2013
Foster's book presents an outstanding set of beginning photography lessons, as well as some guidance on the operation of the NEX-6. However, I was disappointed that it didn't provide enough in-depth information on the NEX-6's complex set of controls and features (thus my one-star subtraction). Despite this shortcoming, it was a helpful read --worth its cost.

Some impressions:

*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.
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on April 11, 2013
Many books dedicated to a device are rehashes of the manual. This book, however, is written by both a real photographer and a NEX-6 user. With camera in one hand and book in other, I have learned much. Rare for a reference book.
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on August 7, 2013
Jerod has a wonderful way of painlessly teaching us how to use the Nex 6 camera, giving us hints along the way that he is going to take us from the amateur/auto modes into the professional more manual modalities of the camera for greater creative control. He provides assignments that offer some structure of practice for evolving in that direction, and lots of detailed photographs to demonstrate what is possible. For the beginner to intermediate photographer, maybe anyone new to the Nex series, this book is an easy read that covers the real fundamentals of taking great pictures in one fell swoop! There are other manuals out there that are written by more technically oriented authors - excellent resources. It was a pleasant surprise to find one written by an artist for artists.
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on September 5, 2013
I really like this book. As soon as I got it, it showed me several things about my new NEX-6 that I wanted to do but had not found in the printed form of the manual. I have downloaded the bigger manual from the CD but though I have tried to use both versions, it is slow going. This book puts you right where you want to be to give you access to what you need to know to use the features of the camera. I also agree that it is better to buy the printed book rather than the Kindle version. The Kindle version may be good for taking it along when you are shooting, but the print version is filled with color illustrations and charts and lots of photos that just won't work well on a Kindle. Thanks, Jerod, you did us NEX-6 users a real favor.
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on July 27, 2014
I am in the same camp with the 3 star reviewers. I wont buy any book from this series again. There are plenty of "how to" books out there on photography - most of them more detailed and well written. I am sure there are a lot of first time buyers out there purchasing the NEX-6. But for those of us who already know our way around the fundamentals, it would be nice to have a book about the camera and have it advertised as such
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