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Book Review: Canon EOS 40D – The Rocky Nook Manual by Dr. Artur Landt

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It seems to me that whenever dealing with technical devices, everyone has to create a manual that is dry and to the point. I would also think that that over the course of time these things would change and we could have a manual that would inspire us to pick it up and learn more. Perhaps, you would think, we could get an interesting manual that actually teaches us how to use a product rather than just describe it. 

Take, for example, a Canon EOS 40D, when they spend the first weekend experimenting and looking in the manual until they learn enough to get by – and then they use those same old options over and over. It's not because people are dumb, rather it is because the manuals are not put together to inspire you to explore your new device in depth. That is where Canon EOS 40D: The Rocky Nook Manual comes in. Its goal is to inspire you to take a deeper look at your 40D and really learn how to use it. Canon EOS 40D is 200 pages in length and covers seven chapters.

Chapter 1, "Camera Technology," shows you how the Canon EOS 40D is a high performance camera that leaves very little to be desired in the way of options. It contains all of the professional features that a consumer would want in a camera and a lot more. This chapter explains what setting you should use to get the best results and which you should avoid at all costs. It targets what you really need to know.

Chapter 2, "Autofocus and Exposure," goes into what is needed to get that great shot. Most of the problems with bad exposures are from the user and not the camera. By using the highly accurate focusing mechanisms and the four basic metering abilities, you should be able to get the right shot every time.

Chapter 3, "The Camera's Exposure Modes," moves on to mastering automatic aperture and shutter speed controls by using the cameras various exposure modes to provide you with a lot of ability to use your camera effectively.

Chapter 4, "Flash Photography," explains how the flash exposure system works on the 40D. By using the built in flash system or using a compatible accessory flash unit, you will see how to make flash photography as easy as shooting in the daylight.

Chapter 5, "Using Interchangeable Lenses," shows how using the some of the 70 interchangeable lenses Canon makes, or the ones that numerous other manufacturers have available, can really take your photography to the next level.

Chapter 6, "Camera Accessories," explores the realm of other items that can enhance your use of the 40D. Things like filters – including neutral, color, and polarizers. Close-up lenses, flash units, stand-alone disk drives, camera bags, and camera shades are all included in this discussion.

Chapter 7, "Camera Output," explains that even though you can use in-camera enhancement capabilities, you would be better off to perform them off camera using specialized programs. Topics included here are data transfer, image optimization, photo printing, presenting your images, and archiving your images.

Clearly aimed at the new user, Canon EOS 40D provides an excellent jumping off point for someone who is trying to understand this complex piece of technology. It will be a comfort to those who are just starting out with this DSLR, and it provides a lot of fundamental knowledge complete with color illustrations. There are probably some good tidbits for those who have been working with their camera for a while as well.

For amateur and "new to digital" alike, Canon EOS 40D will provide you with the knowledge and insight on what you need to know to operate your new camera. If you are new to DSLRs and want to learn how to work your 40D, then Canon EOS 40D should get you off and running.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.