Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Gary L. Friedman's Complete Guide To Sony's A700 Digital SLR Camera And The Alpha Mount System
Whenever you buy a new thing, you should ALWAYS read the instructions manual to fully understand how the item works and what you can and can not do with it.
Unfortunately some manuals not always cover the issues you want to know about in the way you want it to.
Sony's manuals are this kind of manuals, while they do provide the things a manual should provide, they have a dry tone and lack explanation in some issues. Not to mention they dont use pictures taken by the camera you have in your hands. They excel at providing technical data about the camera, but they give you a small overview of the functions available for the camera or software bundled with it.
For some people this will not be a problem at all, for some it will be a huge problem. Some people won't even bother to read it.
The Alpha 700 is a camera with infinite options and lots of customization possible. If you dont learn how to use those functions, if you dont understand what they do to the pictures you'll take, if you dont know what does each button do, you wont get the full benefits this camera can offer (or any camera for that matter).
The task of learning may be a bit scary, but fortunately, there is a way to make the task an easy one.
Months before I got my A700, I read and read and read threads in DPR Sony SLR Forum about the Alpha system. One thread that caught my attention mentioned a book which explained the A700 in huge detail and was highly recommended by a vast group of people.
The book was The Complete Guide To Sony's Alpha 700 Digital SLR Camera And The Alpha Mount System by Gary L. Friedman.
Gary L. Friedman is a professional photographer who has used Minolta cameras for a long time, and now uses Sony as well. The man knows the system pretty well in other words.
His book its a long book (476 pages), but it will cover everything you need to know about the A700, and when I say everything, it's E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. From button functions (With EXAMPLES!) to Creative Styles, from Wireless Flash to Scene and Program Modes, from the advantages the A700 offers over competitors (such as SuperSteadyShot) to all the possibly configurations hidden in the menu pages.
It also covers photographic techniques to improve your composition, the difference between RAW and JPEG, how to use the Sony Image Data Converter. DRO function explained and many many things more.
That's why the book is long, it covers a lot, but trust me, once you're done with it, you will be amazed at how much you can do with your A700 and how simple it has been laid out for you.
The best achievement of this book is the friendly writing style and the vast range of EXAMPLES it includes, I know I already wrote that, but when you want to see how the DOF button REALLY works, you need to see PICTURES, not text. And this book provides them. The book will never bore you, and it will drag you deeply into it that you will be done before you know it.
You should read the manual, thats a fact, but this book will fill all the gaps or holes the manual may leave once youre done with it.
The book is offered in 3 versions: Digital PDF file, Printed Black & White version and Printed Color version.
I HIGHLY recommend this book, if you really want to squeeze all you can from your A700, you should read this book. Several times if possible.
In a thread on the DPR Sony SLR forum I read that Sony should pay Mr. Friedman for writing this book and bundle it with the A700, that statement its as accurate as it gets.
Buy this book, you won't regret it, if youre just starting your journey into the Alpha DSLR system or youre lost in it and not getting the results you want, THIS IS THE POINT TO START GETTING THE ANSWERS YOU NEED!
If you want to convert the learning curve into straight airport strip, get this book.
Link to purchase this book
Keep in mind that there are also books for the Alpha 100/200
300/350, in case you dont own a A700 but own one of those cameras.