My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

Started Feb 10, 2012 | Discussions
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Dave Oddie Veteran Member • Posts: 4,070
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

Well I bought the book which cost me £16.66 given the exchange rate I got.

The best way I can describe it is an instruction manual on steroids.

Is it worth the money? Probably. I am using some settings I found in the book relating to AF/MF operation that I am find really useful and have them committed to memory slot one on the A77. I don't think I would have come up the combination of settings from the supplied instruction manual. For those who have the book it is what is described at the end of page 346 start of 347.

It is not perfect though. The section on AF micro adjust is weak does not contain anything original that I can see. It rehashes information from other web sites and offers no real world practical experience from the author or recommendations based on what he actually did. For example how far should the camera be away from the target? How practical is it to use this feature with long lenses? I had found all these web sites myself from the forum and via Google search so was expecting more insight than what is given. I could have written this section of the book.

So yes there are probably enough nuggets of information to make it worth while to buy and it is after all a very portable instruction manual (though there are problems getting the Kindle version to download to anything other than a iPad/iPhone device) but it is not perfect.

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EvilOne
EvilOne OP Forum Pro • Posts: 14,013
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

Dave Oddie wrote:

Well I bought the book which cost me £16.66 given the exchange rate I got.

The best way I can describe it is an instruction manual on steroids.

Is it worth the money? Probably. I am using some settings I found in the book relating to AF/MF operation that I am find really useful and have them committed to memory slot one on the A77. I don't think I would have come up the combination of settings from the supplied instruction manual. For those who have the book it is what is described at the end of page 346 start of 347.

It is not perfect though. The section on AF micro adjust is weak does not contain anything original that I can see. It rehashes information from other web sites and offers no real world practical experience from the author or recommendations based on what he actually did. For example how far should the camera be away from the target?

You need to re-read the section... it tells you to fill the frame... one of the first thing taught in a Photography class... filling the frame using the focal length of the lens.. obviously there is no distance that could be put in the book.. But then you have to have reading comprehension to understand this.,. he also gives the correct method and angle. he has to download for a this purpose using a standard 8 1/2 X 11 paper. He also talks about why not to use a ruler.. it was very in depth...

How practical is it to use this feature with long lenses? I had found all these web sites myself from the forum and via Google search so was expecting more insight than what is given. I could have written this section of the book.

this section was two pages of the 578 page book...

So yes there are probably enough nuggets of information to make it worth while to buy and it is after all a very portable instruction manual (though there are problems getting the Kindle version to download to anything other than a iPad/iPhone device) but it is not perfect.

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there and dozens of features in this camera that you wont find in any other camera, therefore there is no online web searches to help, but then why search when a simple look at the index and then a click and it takes you to that page... and these dozens of features are not explained in the manual it just says what they are.. Gary offers tips that you wont find anywhere... there are walk around for audio, tips and he brings David Kirkpatrick's insight into many of these features..

I would suggest anyone interested in an A77, or anyone who actually has one.. Go to Gary's archive web page.. look at the extremely long index... go down the list and see if you could explain any of these features without his help.. the index also shows every feature that you can exploit in this camera..

Ive read through this book twice now and have noted areas that need to be revisited until they are locked in ... there is so much new information in this book its impossible to absorb it in one reading..

Its like the guide to brain surgery.... you cant learn it all in one reading... it takes hands on practise using the book as your guide... there is alot to this camera... its hardly your grandfather's A700.
Bill
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Dave Oddie Veteran Member • Posts: 4,070
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

EvilOne wrote:

Dave Oddie wrote:

Well I bought the book which cost me £16.66 given the exchange rate I got.

The best way I can describe it is an instruction manual on steroids.

Is it worth the money? Probably. I am using some settings I found in the book relating to AF/MF operation that I am find really useful and have them committed to memory slot one on the A77. I don't think I would have come up the combination of settings from the supplied instruction manual. For those who have the book it is what is described at the end of page 346 start of 347.

It is not perfect though. The section on AF micro adjust is weak does not contain anything original that I can see. It rehashes information from other web sites and offers no real world practical experience from the author or recommendations based on what he actually did. For example how far should the camera be away from the target?

You need to re-read the section... it tells you to fill the frame... one of the first thing taught in a Photography class... filling the frame using the focal length of the lens.. obviously there is no distance that could be put in the book.. But then you have to have reading comprehension to understand this.,. he also gives the correct method and angle. he has to download for a this purpose using a standard 8 1/2 X 11 paper. He also talks about why not to use a ruler.. it was very in depth...

Not in my opinion. Much of the section is a FAQ about why you might need it and what issues there are if you have two similar lenses etc.. The secton on how to test is just a re hash of the photo.net web sites test. It is basically is a re hash of information from elsewhere and in my opinion is pretty close to plagiarism. The point being this is not what you can call original work. He also mentions the lens align product but has clearly never used it and gives a link to the site that explains the moire method but makes no comment as to if it is any good or not. He clearly has not used that either. I expect more from my experts than that and this section on an important feature of the A77 seems rushed and under done.

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there and dozens of features in this camera that you wont find in any other camera, therefore there is no online web searches to help, but then why search when a simple look at the index and then a click and it takes you to that page... and these dozens of features are not explained in the manual it just says what they are.. Gary offers tips that you wont find anywhere... there are walk around for audio, tips and he brings David Kirkpatrick's insight into many of these features..

The book is organised by going through every menu item and button explaining what settings they change and with a recommended setting where there are options. You quickly get to 578 pages working your way through all the menu options on the A77 doing that. I have found some of the defaults suggested useful but the most useful bits are where he explains how a combination of settings can let you set the camera up in certain ways.

As I said these little nuggets make it an worthwhile purchase but given many of the menu items are self expanitory and do not require any great insight to configure them I would have preferred the book to be less like an instruction manual and more like Scott Kelby's Lightroom book that is more about using the program than a refereance manual.

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reflected_light
reflected_light Regular Member • Posts: 416
Mobi file on my Samsung Galaxy S

I just got this phone a few days ago and just copied the mobi file to the books directory on the microSD card. Then I registered the Amazon Kindle app that comes on the phone using my Amazon account and it's right on the phone for use at any time. Took all of 5 minutes to make it all happen.

Next is the a77 manual and I should be able to plod my way through some shoots with all the answers to any question that might rear it's ugly head...

jl_smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,799
Great book I agree and don't own A77!

I agree, this book is actually pretty darn good.

I don't even own the A77, I'm interested in buying it but thought I would buy his book after previewing it - lots of great information and he did some interesting tests.

I went and bought the PDF version, reads very well on my iPad.

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EvilOne
EvilOne OP Forum Pro • Posts: 14,013
Re: Great book I agree and don't own A77!

jl_smith wrote:

I agree, this book is actually pretty darn good.

I don't even own the A77, I'm interested in buying it but thought I would buy his book after previewing it - lots of great information and he did some interesting tests.

I went and bought the PDF version, reads very well on my iPad.

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You did exactly what I suggested others do before they buy an A77. If they are on the fence about whether or not to make the purchase... the book will show just how good this camera actually is. For many people this Camera can be overwhelming with features. Once your mastered the book, the camera will be a joy to use.
Bill
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Dave Oddie Veteran Member • Posts: 4,070
Re: Mobi file on my Samsung Galaxy S

reflected_light wrote:

I just got this phone a few days ago and just copied the mobi file to the books directory on the microSD card. Then I registered the Amazon Kindle app that comes on the phone using my Amazon account and it's right on the phone for use at any time. Took all of 5 minutes to make it all happen.

Thanks for the tip. Copied it directly to the sim card and it works on the phone.

The same trick does not seem to work for the PC though.

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Michael Foran Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

I purchased the PDF version and it's the best $25 I have spent in a long time. I almost didn't buy it as I thought $25 was an awful lot for an ebook. I am extremely glad i took the plunge. It really helped me understand a lot of features of my A77 that I had not gleaned from the Sony manual. And then he takes it way further with examples of how to better take advantage of these features and commentary- really great stuff.

I keep mine in my Dropbox folder, where I can access it via my iPhone, Laptop, or any of the desktops I use at work or home.

Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,528
.mobi format vs PDF?

Has anyone else noticed that the .mobi format (Kindle version?) Gary includes with the PDF version seems to have the formatting off (version 1.1 update)? I have both the PDF and mobi format versions on my iPad's Kindle software. The PDF is a pleasure to view but you're unable to set font sizes or background color, etc. While the .mobi version does allow these format changes, I notice that pictures are clipped, and sometimes not even viewable. Even the table formatting is off. Am I the only one seeing this, or did my copy get corrupted some how?

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Ron
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Rexel99 Regular Member • Posts: 423
Re: PDF and MOBI for Kindle

I bought v1.0 and he soon provided me with free links to the newer version with the amendments he made. I hope to also see and get an update once the new firmware is released if that has any significant affect to it all.

But for the detail it has and the info contained I learnt so much more from this than I ever could from the manual, visualizing color peeking on screen in real time was a great advantage, and interestingly the Sony manual does not indicate what the AF-C/A/S actually does on the front dial.

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Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 16,100
You are correct. Some of the notes are cut off in my Kindle version. It

obviously needs some tweaking. On the other hand, I had the PDF version printed in BW for about $10 so I'm happy. Also, the PDF version seems to work okay on my iPad.

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Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,528
Re: You are correct. Some of the notes are cut off in my Kindle version. It

Corkcampbell wrote:

obviously needs some tweaking. On the other hand, I had the PDF version printed in BW for about $10 so I'm happy. Also, the PDF version seems to work okay on my iPad.

Okay, good to see it's not just me then. Did you by chance get a quote for printing the PDF in color? And yeah, the PDF is pretty good on the iPad, I just wish the Kindle version had the same formatting.

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Ron
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Gary Friedman Regular Member • Posts: 339
Re: .mobi format vs PDF?

Rambler358 wrote:

The PDF is a pleasure to view but you're unable to set font sizes or background color, > etc. While the .mobi version does allow these format changes, I notice that pictures > are clipped, and sometimes not even viewable. Even the table formatting is off.

This is going to be a subject of a blog post - creating complex layouts that are beautifully formatted across a wide range of readers. I'm still learning all the ins and outs of .mobi and .epub formatting and let me tell you it's a nightmare. There are pitifully few tools out there other than low-level HTML editors, and if any commercial software package tells you "all you have to do is invoke the 'Export to e-pub' command and it's done!", they're either lying to you or they've only tried it with books that are pure text. (I'm talking to you, InDesign!) My books have complex layouts with figures and tables, and some e-reader formats don't even support tables! Plus screen sizes and proportions are all different. Yes, the e-reader is supposed to re-format the content on-the-fly to fit the screen, but it doesn't do that with pictures or arrays of pictures.

I tried to make the conversion artifacts less objectionable by switching the source material to Portrait mode (instead of Landscape that my previous books were - those were designed that way to make it easy to read on the computer screen). That helped, but now I'm faced with having to buy one of each type of reader and making sure that each e-reader format looks good on each type of reader. Not sure I want to add yet another level of tedium to the book release process.

Anyway, I know about the problem and would love to hear from anyone about the best way to solve it.

-Gary

EvilOne
EvilOne OP Forum Pro • Posts: 14,013
Some May find this helpful

After reading Gary's book several times, and going over areas that are specific, I find that it's a lot of camera for me to digest everything in the book including Gary's tips. I am talking about the particular steps and tips from Gary.. So what Ive done is use 4 X 6 Photo quality, thick Glossy Photo paper in my printer.. And Ive gone through page by page of the things I am comfortable with and stop when I come to a specific topic that I could use a cheat sheet , and I print it out.. I have a stack of about 40 of these cards... they print beautifully, including the full color picture.. I print a single page and its large enough to read in the high gloss format. So every couple of days , I re-read these cards so as to get more of an idea how to use the specific feature with confidence.. there are many pages in the book that you do not need to print out..But this technique works very well for me..

One example is the off flash features using two different flash protocols, and how to set up the controller with older flashes that I have, and using the pop flash, with newer and older flashes off camera. Using a 58 on camera, and having it control older protocol off camera flashes. Hoe to switch within the flash and camera from one protocol to another.
Gary's settings for specific situations. etc
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mscottc Regular Member • Posts: 490
Great Read

Here's my take on the book for what it's worth. I just paid $1400 for what I'm told is a great camera, I'm not stupid and I know a lot about how to use a generic SLR, including basic autofocus; the different shooting modes such as P, A, S and M; ISO controls, etc. What I don't know are the specific new features that make this camera allegedly great. I can spend hours figuring it out on my own while also trying to read a very dry manual that often gives cryptic explanations of functions. or I can spend the $26 (and yes that seems like a lot for an electronic book, but when you realize the tiny nature of the market, you know it's really not a lot) and get a very entertaining read that walks you through all the features, explains in a non-derogatory way how the author uses the camera and how you can adjust based on your personal needs and desires. Sure I could have figured it all out for myself, but at what cost, and would I really have spent the time, or would I have just ignored a lot of what the camera can do... Thank you Gary.

EvilOne
EvilOne OP Forum Pro • Posts: 14,013
This works well

here is what I mean about the cheat sheets.

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Bill
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Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 16,100
No quote for color printing. I just had a B&W copy printed and bound

at my work. Cost: $0. It's quite a hefty volume, but I like to highlight. As for the color, I'll use the iPad to get the color.

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surfnet Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65
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Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,528
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

surfnet wrote:

Has anyone read David Busch's book

http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-SLT-A77-Digital-Photography/dp/1133597130/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1330024891&sr=8-8

Might be a little difficult because it hasn't been released yet.

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Ron
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Sony SLT-A77
SonyA77 Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: My take on Gary Friedman's ebook for the A77/65

Gary's the best, nothing comes close...

surfnet wrote:

Has anyone read David Busch's book

http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-SLT-A77-Digital-Photography/dp/1133597130/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1330024891&sr=8-8
Thanks!

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