Sunday, 7 March 2010

Guest Review: The Gadget Scientist Guide to Using Your Digital Camera

 Well time for another Guest Review from Photo Blogger Claire from Life Through The Slim Lens, and what better item to ask her to review than the book The Gadget Scientist Guide to Using Your Digital Camera, by Mark Burton. Claire, its over to you (and your camera!)....

When the offer to review a book on digital cameras came up, I jumped at the chance and would like to thank Family Panel for this unique experience.  You see, I don't normally write much on my blog, I just post photos of things I have seen & liked.  Suddenly writing an essay some 20 years after leaving school is daunting but exciting!

Before I go on to tell you about The Gadget Scientist Guide to Using Your Digital Camera, I'd like to tell you first about my camera.  I bought it after weeks of research last February.  Its a bit more than a point & shoot but a lot less than a DSLR.  It’s the first "proper" camera I have really bought where you actually have to change settings etc.  Of course there is an autopilot option for those first few weeks! 

The problem with my new camera was the instruction manual that came with it - thick, very thin pages & very small print.  To be honest, it was a bit scary!

This is where The Gadget Scientist Guide to Using Your Digital Camera comes in.  There are very few words in this book and there are pages of examples for every item mentioned.  If only I had been given this book with my camera not the instruction manual the manufacturers sent me! 

The first section is designed to introduce you to your camera, taking you on a tour of the various functions, buttons and menus that can be found on compact cameras.  The book has been specifically designed for you to use with almost any compact camera explaining the many functions that such cameras are loaded with these days.

Once you have the basics of what your camera is all about, you can delve further into the book for inspiration on how to take better photos to instructions & advice on how to take lovely candid photos of the most important people / things in your life.  

The sections are split into camera basics, taking photos, advanced settings, how do I?, and technical tips.  The book can easily be dipped into for specific queries or read in conjunction with getting a new camera & learning how to use it.  TGS covers everything you could think of in terms of functions on your camera - aperture, ISO, shutter speed etc.

Using the suggestions on manual settings for ISO, aperture & shutter speed, I took this photo of a child’s windmill spinning in the wind.  It was in bright sunlight which made it harder to get the shutter speed long enough to show the movement.

I especially liked the advice given about portrait photos with children.  The Gadget Scientist clearly knows how hard it is to get a good photo of your child and comes up with some good suggestions on how to make the most of a photo opportunity!

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