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Magic Lantern Guides®: Nikon D300s - Simon Stafford

Magic Lantern Guides®: Nikon D300s

Author: Simon Stafford
Book title: Magic Lantern Guides®: Nikon D300s
ISBN: 1600596657
ISBN13: 978-1600596650
Publisher: Lark Books (February 2, 2010)
Language: English
Category: Photography & Video
Rating: 4.4/5
Votes: 665
Pages: 368 pages
More formats: txt mobi mbr azw

- Covers Nikon's upgrade of the hugely popular semi-pro D300 digital SLR camera—including the full 720 HD video recording, faster 7fps continuous shooting, dedicated Live View, and quiet drive operation


- Camera will be a strong seller in the coming year, which will foster interest in the guide


- Stafford is technical editor of Nikon Owner magazine, lifelong Nikon shooter, contributor to several photo magazines, and author of more than 13 Magic Lantern Guides

Reviews: (7)
I think the other reviewers don't understand the rating system - 1 star bad, 5 stars good.

Although there is some useful information in this book, overall it is full of errors, poorly organized, and doesn't provide much more than the manual considering the number of pages and the price ($20 list).

Here are a few problems:

- Black and white photos - that alone should tell you how much faith the publishers have in the book. They didn't want to invest a lot in it knowing how bad it was.

- Following the White Balance topic is White Balance Bracketing. The latter includes the steps for setting White Balancing but NOT Bracketing.

- In the chapter Quick Start-up guide he gives a couple of paragraphs on each of the Vari-Program modes. But the next chapter on Detail he goes right into White Balancing without mentioning which mode you can use. This is common through out the book.

- He constantly refers to the menu options by name. Why didn't they include the icons for designating the menu options as they do refering to non-menu items?

- Speaking of icons and errors, the icon is wrong on page 119 for selecting the histogram.

- He tried to fill pages with information that was already in the manual such as several pages on how to install the battery and the memory card.

- There are plenty of typos like you instead of your, repeated words, missing spaces, much, much more.

- page 90 shows a list of how many pictures can be in the buffer. On the left under quality it shows JPEG Large which should be Fine.

With the number of errors in the book I question the accuracy of the information and suggestions by the author. The topics are not organized well enough to be used as a reference. It's almost as if he sat and rambled into a recorder and gave it off to someone to type up. Not much thought was put into how the information was presented.

What I was really hoping for and what is drastically missing is how the different features could be used to affect the photos. Examples (which would have to be in color) of the same scene with different settings. What settings to use in different situations, etc. There are a lot of features in this camera but putting them to use can be overwhelming.

I gave it 2 stars as I did get a little out of it but I had to wade through a lot to find it.
This book is certainly more useful than the factory supplied manual. The book starts by providing an over-view of the camera's features. Then the myriad of features and functions are generally quickly, accurately, and thoroughly explained; item by item. After the functions are explained, possible applications are referenced. The book is an essential item for several reasons. This camera is extremely complicated. Many settings are only occasionally used and one will not remember how to access them. Finally, some settings need to be exited from in a very specific manner or they will affect future exposures. Lastly, the book is small and easy to carry along with you if necessary. No matter how proficient you think you are, the multitude of functions built into this camera are impossible to negotiate without a book such as this. The book does a good job of breaking down complicated procedures into basic useful elements. Hope this helps evaluate your future need for this book.
This book was recommended by my photography teacher at the local technical college. I had to buy a used copy to get one, but he highly recommended it. Maybe he set my expectations too high, but I wasn't impressed. The book has some good pictures, but is not organized in a user/dummy friendly manner. It took me longer to find something in the book than just clicking through the settings on the camera. I love my camera, but there has been a learning curve for me. Unfortunately I didn't find this book to be the answer to catching me up.
We bought this book for our daughter when she was studying photography and it proved less than useful. I don't know if it was a complete waste, but it certainly was not helpful, and is not one of the books she determined to take with her when she moved into adult life.

Pass it up.
I've bought the D80, D90, and now D700 Magic Lantern Guides;

Very detailed, excellent tips, clear explanation, and significant effort to add value beyond the information readily availalbe in the Manual; although not as important as the content, I always felt the presentation a bit trite/lack-luster - because all illustrations/pictures were in black and white - but not anymore! Wow, with nice relevant color picture, and great accompaning text this is a fantastic guide! I usually buy 2 to 3 books for every camera I buy; but I only could keep one, this would be it!
I bought my D300 used with no manual. I bought this manual and shipped it from Britain for 6 or 7 dollars shipping included! Arrived in great shape and answered all my questions.I also have one for my D80, so I knew what I was getting. Very informative.
Abandoned Electrical
I found both this and the Nikon manual to be well-organized, concise, and easy to read with good graphics. While it covers most of the same information as the manual, it provides additional helpful explanations and recommendations, so I thought it was worth it.

One missing thing that would be useful is a checklist for recording my choices for the extensive menus of custom settings - I ended up making my own spreadsheets based on lists in this book, the camera menus and manual, and internet lists.

I haven't had any problems with the binding that others have mentioned, but I treat books well.
This book is an excellent compliment to the user's guide that comes with the camera. The user's guide discusses about 2/3 of what the camera can do and this book the remaining third. It discusses many important details that are missing from the users guide. Examples include metering patterns, setting grid patterns in view finder (a topic not even mentioned in user's guide), excellent discussion of "noise" at high ISO ratings and long exposures (for example, it tends to occur at the upper part of a frame), etc. The information in the book is much needed for any intermediate, advanced and professional photographer. However, for the novice the information contained therein is definitely overkill.
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