Content and Style
The first thing that will strike you about this book when you read it is the level of detail and information that Michael Freeman employs as he takes you on a journey through the technology behind today's DSLRs. No stone is left unturned as he delves into almost every conceivable facet of digital photography. An encyclopedic knowledge of each topic is clearly on display here.
However, the second thing that will strike you as you read this book is the slightly strange decision to brand it a field guide, because as good as the information it provides actually is, The DSLR Field Guide is not likely to be the kind of book that you will pack in your camera bag before you go out on a shoot. Unfortunately, this makes it a little harder to forgive the small fonts and compact formatting, but once you get over this mental hurdle, you will find a lot to like about this book.
For instance, the author does a great job at explaining some relatively difficult, technical subjects like color profiles and metering zones, and he effortlessly dissects the various components of a digital SLR to educate the reader as to the function of each part. Freeman then builds upon this knowledge and applies it to photographic techniques like HDR photography or panoramic stitching.
There is ample space in the book devoted to lenses, tripods and lighting equipment, and some sound recommendations are made for the kind of software, storage media and LCD monitors you could use to process your images. The mini tutorials for the likes of sharpening, the shadows and highlights tool, and tonal adjustments are all solid introductions to these common editing techniques, but you may yearn for a book that is a little more detailed if you are really looking to develop these skills.
If I had one criticism to level at The DSLR Field Guide, it's that it feels a little dated at times. There is nothing specific that makes the information it provides obsolete, but images that include the six-year-old Canon 350D, or worse yet the nine-year old Nikon D100, do not help to garner the feel of a modern digital photography manual. Neither does the labeling of Lightroom and Aperture as "recent innovations", but that could depend on your definition of recent.