The Bottom Line
The 4th edition of the Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies book contains the strong organizational system that has been a hallmark of the Dummies series of books for a couple of decades already. This makes this book extremely easy to use, giving you the option of skimming the book and finding the exact topic you want to use.
Most of the book has very basic information, which is nice for those new to DSLR photography. There are a couple of areas of the book that I would've preferred to have seen expanded, such as the area that provides tips for dealing with particular DSLR photography situations. A couple of sections probably could've been shortened, such as the details on image editing.
However, the book overall is a very nice introduction to DSLR cameras and for shooting photos with your advanced camera. If you can find this book for a bit under its MSRP of $29.99, it will be a good value and a nice addition to your library of photography books.
This Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies book is very much aimed at beginners. It has basic information about DSLR cameras and photography, and it's presented in a manner that isn't too serious, which is good for beginners.
You'll learn about the various components that make up a DSLR camera, and you'll find easy-to-understand explanations of some of the confusing terms associated with DSLR photography. There are plenty of drawings and photographs -- all in full color -- that help to illustrate the ideas that the author is discussing, which is great for beginners.
There's also some text devoted to helping you figure out whether you want to purchase a DSLR camera. However, I'm not sure this is necessarily needed, as most people who buy this book probably already have the DSLR camera.
It also would've been nice to see the author explore some of the differences between DSLR cameras and DIL cameras, which are mirror-less.
Still, the basic type of information is the book will give beginning photographers a nice base level of knowledge. If you then want to learn more, you'll be able to move on to another book with more details that can meet the specific areas you want to tackle.
Honestly, very little of the Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies book is aimed at those photographers who have some experience shooting with DSLR cameras. However, that doesn't mean that the book doesn't at least try to appeal to some intermediate photographers. There just aren't many topics and pages devoted to advanced topics that will appeal to intermediate photographers.
There's some good information on each of the different parts of the DSLR camera, as well as a good explanation of how much resolution you'll need to use in your photos. The book has a nice explanation of the various accessories that are available for DSLRs, along with some advice for deciding which ones to purchase.
In my opinion, the Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies book probably goes into too much detail about file types and image editing. For example, the early section of the book touts the photography strengths of DSLR cameras, stating that image editing isn't needed very often, because these cameras perform so well. Then, later in the book, a few dozen pages are devoted to image editing tips and information.
I'd like to have seen more space devoted to advanced tips for using digital cameras.
Organization of Book
This edition follows the traditional layout and style of the Dummies series of books, as it's extremely well organized, while providing the information in an entertaining manner. Each section of the book is introduced with a camera-related cartoon, which provides some additional entertainment value to the book. You'll find a very detailed list of chapters and sub-topics at the front of the book, which makes it easier to find the exact topic you want.
As with other Dummies books, you'll find a series of icons throughout the book that mark specific types of information, making it easy for you to spot certain items. There's also plenty of room in the margins of the book for you to take notes, which is nice.
The book is filled with full-color photos, graphs, tables, and drawings, all of which are very handy to help beginners visualize the different concepts the book is describing.
The final section of the book has some great tips for shooting in some odd situations, which I really liked. In fact, it would've been nice to see this section of the book expanded quite a bit, with less area devoted to image editing.
All of these features make the Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies book really good for beginning photographers.