This new series of books continues to shape up as one of the most useful, and first actual new addition to the camera guide format that we've seen. What Busch has done is create a companion to his full size camera guides in the form of an ultra-compact spiral-bound book that's a condensation of the most essential information you need to operate your Nikon D5000 camera. Unlike the manual furnished with the camera, or those laminated cheat sheets that fold out into six index card sized tabs with one-sentence summaries of most of the menu settings, Busch's Compact Field Guide series provides clear, easy to understand guidance in a most convenient format. Its contents include:
Chapter 1. Quick Setup Guide. Hand your camera and this book to any newbie, and they'll be off and shooting in minutes. It shows how to adjust the viewfinder to their vision, format a memory card, choose the right exposure mode (with a paragraph describing each mode and when to use it), how -- and why -- to select a metering mode, followed by lucid explanations of selecting autofocus, autofocus area modes, white balance, and ISO settings. There's a quick guide to navigating through and reviewing the images you've just shot, as well as a quick guide to flash. These are just the basics, and the typical shooter will probably refer to this chapter just once, when they begin using the camera.
Chapter 2. Nikon D5000 Roadmap. This 28-page chapter is filled with large photographs of the camera from multiple views, with a paragraph describing what each and every control does, and why it's used. The manual furnished with the D5000 gives you black and white drawings and cross references to multiple pages buried deep in the manual.
Chapter 3. Playback and Shooting Menu settings. Here's where Busch's Compact Field Guide excels. Unlike the command cards, small guidebooks, and manual packaged with the camera, Busch offers complete descriptions of each possible setting, including the rationale for using particular options. The book is spiral bound so it can lay flat while you read the instructions and adjust your camera simultaneously. Small illustrations show the menus in question, but you'll use them only to confirm that you're "in the right place" as you navigate the menus in your own camera. Although the information in this and the following chapter are condensed from those in Busch's full sized guide, they still are more comprehensive than those you'll find in other books.
Chapter 4. Custom, Setup, Retouch, and My Menu settings. Same as Chapter 3, but for the other menus.
Chapter 5. Using the flash. Everything you need to know about selecting a flash metering mode, flash sync mode, flash exposure compensation, etc. is here.
Chapter 6. Making D-Movies. You get all the basics for using the D5000's movie-making capabilities, plus a quick checklist of techniques that can make your mini-videos that much better.
Chapter 7. Shooting tips. This chapter consists of a series of charts with recommended menu and shooting settings for many common types of scenes. This is a brilliant addition, and you won't find it in other guidebooks at all.
Although this portable guide duplicates some of the information found in David Busch's Nikon D5000 Guide to Digital SLR Photography, they make a great pair for home and field.