Canon EOS 30D: Guide to Digital Photography
Book Review

Canon EOS 30D: Guide to Digital Photography
by David D. Busch

270 pages
Thomson Course Technology Press
ISBN 978-1-59863-336-8
$29.99 US, $40.95 CN

When it comes to books about digital photography, Thomson Press is a sure bet for both beginner and experienced photographers. Their photography books are typically well illustrated, designed, and written from a practical point of view. Their series includes basic guides for beginners and more advanced books on subjects like boudoir and nude photography; nature, sport, and food photography, and a recent one on best business practices for photographers.

Canon EOS 30D: Guide to Digital Photography, by prolific author and award winning photographer, David D. Busch is one of the most recent contributions to the Thomson’s digital photography series. This guide book is the type that I enjoy reading from cover to cover. Busch states upfront in the introduction to his book that he wanted to write a guide to one of Canon’s most popular and professional digital SLR cameras that did not resemble the manual that comes with the camera. And he certainly accomplishes that goal.

In the first three chapters, Busch does provide readers with a basic overview of the 30D’s features. These chapters read somewhat like the manual that comes the camera. If you’re not new to using the Canon 20D or 30D, you might even skip or scan over these first few chapters, though Busch’s writing style is lucid and conversational enough that you could read these and other chapters in the book almost like you’re reading a novel. Though this book is instructional, Busch actually talks to his readers, sharing both objective and personal knowledge about the 30D and digital photography in particular.

When purchasing a semi- or professional camera like the 30D, you typically don’t want to use it as a simple point-and-shoot camera. It would be a waste of money to ignore its advance features. So Busch’s aim is to advance your skills with the 30D, providing you greater control over the choices you want to make as a photographer.

Chapter 4 is where the book begins to get beyond the basic manual controls of the camera. Busch does a fine job in explaining the various concepts about good exposure, metering methods, program mode, aperture shutter priority, and basic use of the histogram. Understanding and practicing how to use these basic digital camera features is essential for capturing good and better photos.

Busch goes on to delve into more advance shooting techniques, including long and short exposure settings, auto-focus mode options, custom white balancing, and the 30D’s popular picture styles feature.

No doubt most Canon 30D shooters will want to get additional lenses to go with the camera. Busch provides a good solid chapter on the function of various Canon and third party lenses. He explains the limitations of lens crop factor for the 30D, over say the Canon 5D. Busch provides recommendations for all of Canon’s lenses, from the basic “walk around” lens to the highly expensive luxury “L” series lenses used by many pros. He of course talks about the benefits of using wide angle and telephoto lenses, and he rounds off his lens chapter with recommendations about lens add-ons and special features such as the sometimes useful and affordable telephoto extenders.

His chapter on lighting is somewhat lightweight, but if you have little background knowledge on the subject, his chapter makes for good introduction.

And finally if you’re using or plan to use Canon’s software applications that come with the camera, Busch provides what seems to be some very good information about how to make use them.

He ends up his book with a chapter on trouble shooting and sensor cleaning a Canon 30D.

All these chapters are well illustrated, with bold subheadings and a glossary and index in the back.

I’ve read through three different resources for using the Canon 30D, and along with the Magic Latern Guide to the Canon 30D, I recommend Busch’s guide above all others for good readability and depth of coverage. It’s not just a manual, it’s a book about Canon 30D digital photography. Rating: 5 out of 5


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