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Lunch » Tags » Digital Cameras » Reviews » Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera » User review

Too much of an overview without a lot of detail

  • Mar 27, 2010
  • by
Rick Sammon is an accomplished and excellent photographer. Like most photo pros, he generally uses pro equipment, such as Canon DSLR cameras.

In this book, his mission is to help those using far more common cameras how they can get the most out of what they have.

In reality, most of Sammon's treatment is cursory and will provide little to the reader that isn't in the camera's instruction manual. For example, he expends about 100 words to describe the "Close-up Mode" found n many compact cameras. Sammon spends a few more words elsewhere in the book describing a tiny bit about how "creatively" using close-up capabilities, but it is indeed very superficial.

Inexplicably, Sammon spends seven (!) pages on "The Wonders of Infrared Imaging" - most of them with a moderately expensive small camera modified to take only IR pictures. That is an investment of several hundred dollars, one I don't think most casual photographers are about to make. I am not casting aspersions, but at the end of this chapter, there is an offer of a discount on the rather expensive IR conversion if you enter a secret code. In fact, Sammon offers discounts on at least two other products as well. The amount of the discount is not disclosed: you don't learn what it is until you are checking out your purchases at the various vendors sites. This practice strikes me as questionable. I don't doubt that Sammon intends the offers to be a benefit for his observant readers, but I find it more than a bit discomforting that one of the longer chapters of this book is touting an expensive camera conversion that he is literally marketing with the offer of a discount. By the same token, Sammon did introduce me to a product I wasn't aware of that is truly terrific and that I intend to purchase - taking whatever discount is offered.

The lack of detail about the processes Sammon describes shortchanges the reader, I think. Sammon, for instance, devoted three short paragraphs to "Add Just a Touch of Flash". The idea is to encourage the reader to use the flash adjustment that may be available on some cameras. Basically, it is nothing more than "[i]f you take a shot and your subject is overexposed, reduce the flash output starting at -1/2. Continue to adjust the flash output until you have the desired result." Does he get the message in front of the reader? Yes. But he could have used more than a bare bones example. The next page is entitled "When Flash May Not Be Good", which Sammon ends with the oracular "My message: Use your flash wisely . . . and creatively." I get the feeling he was eager to move on and get this thing done.

In short, this is a book of little nuggets, hints and tips on using a compact camera effectively. He ends it with a chapter on using Photoshop Elements.

Anyone beyond the level of rank amateur will already know most of what is contained in this book, but it Is also serves as a reminder of the capabilities of your compact camera and it is a lot easier on the eye than most camera instruction manuals.

Bear in mind that many compact cameras will not have all the features that Sammon touches upon in this book.

Overall, it is not a bad book by any stretch, but it is a very lightweight book. Enjoyable to look at and, as I said, the content may serve as a reminder of all the capabilities your pocket camera may have. But, considering the price, more experienced photographers may want to spend their book money elsewhere.


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More Confessions of a Compact Camer... reviews
review by . April 13, 2010
I ordered this book because I'd been getting more serious about photography as a hobby over the past two years, but I didn't want to invest the money required (often a thousand dollars or more) to buy a dSLR camera. My first rude awakening was on the second page of the foreword, where I'm told there is a big difference between a "compact camera" and a "point and shoot camera" (I thought they were one and the same). Um, gee thanks...I wish the book description had …
review by . April 12, 2010
In the spirit of confession encouraged by the title of this book, allow me to make a confession of my own: I've never owned a DSLR. Given that I mostly only share images online, the ease of use and handiness (not to mention affordability) of my inexpensive compact has outweighed for me the flexibility and range of artistic control of an expensive DSLR. Still, I'd like the images I shoot with my compact digital camera to be as good as they can be. What I was hoping for with this book was a guide, …
review by . April 03, 2010
Rick Sammon summarizes his learning philosophy with the following words:  I hear, I forget  I see, I remember  I do, I understand.  This short book is full of pictures that let you to see the techniques that the author describes. The text is short and to the point: you can read each page in less than 30 seconds. The author encourages you to try out the techniques with your own camera. Then you will understand how to take better pictures.     The …
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Jerry Saperstein ()
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I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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About this book


Top photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon shares his best tips and tricks for getting high-quality images with your point-and-shoot camera

Prolific author and renowned photographer Rick Sammon shares essential tips, tricks, and advice from years of vast and unique photography experiences. Packed with pointers and helpful hints, this handy, full-color guide can travel with you on your journeys for getting stunning photographs taken with point-and-shoot cameras. You'll learn how to capture proper exposure, create depth of field, use the appropriate flash settings, and much more.

More than 100 techniques show you how to improve your compact camera skills and hundreds of lavish photos serve to motivate and inspire you. Aim your sights at taking stunning photos with this helpful guide by your side!

  • Top industry expert, Canon Explorer of Light, and bestselling author Rick Sammon shares invaluable advice for taking amazing photos with a point-and-shoot camera
  • Explains how to capture proper exposure, create depth of field, use the appropriate flash settings, and more, all using your point-and-shoot camera
  • Boasts hundreds of beautiful photos with accompanying explanations as to the various techniques Sammon used to get a specific shot
  • Motivates and inspires you to improve your compact camera skills to a whole new leve

You'll be grateful for the amazing advice Rick Sammon confesses in Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter.

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ISBN-10: 0470565071
ISBN-13: 978-0470565070
Author: Rick Sammon
Genre: Arts & Photography, Computers & Internet
Publisher: Wiley
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