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The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography [Paperback]

Jim Miotke
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 2005 BetterPhoto Series
Digital cameras are the hot new tech toy-but many of the millions of people who are buying the cameras aren't getting the most out of their new purchase. Mysterious icons, strange jargon, a dizzying array of imaging software and hardware...stumbling blocks quickly become tools to create great pictures with The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography. This practical, lesson-based workbook gives readers a step-by-step tutorial in getting bright, crisp, beautiful pictures from their digital cameras every time. Learn about exposure, file formats and quality settings, low-light photography, digital filters and white balance, composition and lens choice, manipulating images, printing, and much more, all in a handy, bring-along format. Everyone who has a digital camera-or who is thinking about getting one-needs The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography!

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About the Author

Jim Miotke is the founder of, an online photography resource that receives more than three million hits each month. An online instructor for the site's course on digital photography, Jim Miotke is also a professional photographer with more than twenty years' experience. He lives in Redmond, Washington.

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IN THE PIONEER DAYS of photography, photographers had to be part-time chemists. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overview Dec 17 2008
This guide is really useful, especially for those starting out. It gives step by step instructions of fundamental concepts. I really enjoy the practice sessions after each chapter, and the fact that each example gives full EXIF data to accelerate the learning. I followed up with Jim's DVD which really helps, again, to reinforce the learning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Feb. 14 2009
This is a great book for beginning photographers or those who want to refresh their knowledge of photography basics such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc. It is very clear and easy to understand and includes photo examples on every page. It also includes assignments to give you practice and help you understand the various aspects of photography. It is a very inspirational book and I would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Dec 17 2008
This is a beautiful and well organized book that is full of inspiration! I have only read the first couple of chapters so far, and already I have lots of great ideas I can't wait to put into practice. It is also very helpful in filling the knowledge gaps when transitioning from film to digital photography.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Better Photo Guide to Digital Photography Jan. 14 2006
By Lyn
If you love photography, “A Better Photo Guide to Digital Photography” will improve your skills. Next to your camera gear, this guide could be the most valuable investment you make.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  183 reviews
234 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The choice for the camera novice Jan. 9 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I picked this book and another by Kelby (The Digital Photography Book) based on reviews from this site and recommendations from several photography forums. When the two are compared, it is no contest Miotke's book wins hands down. That's not to say that Kelby's book is terrible, it is, in fact, quite good.

The Betterphoto Guide provides a comprehensive overview of digital photography and explains the foundation on which it's based. Technical elements like exposure and light are clearly explained in an easy to understand and succinct manner. As my understanding of the different components increased, I quickly moved away from the automatic settings on my camera (Canon Powershot A630) and the quality of my pictures soared.

Another important component of the book deals with the artistic elements of photography (Composition). What, how, and why are all discussed and all the suggestions are immediately applicable. After reading this book, I was able to compose better pictures with a tighter focus and, in addition, have gained a greater appreciation and understanding of other's work.

There are also chapters that discuss the particular components of a digital camera. These help the reader become "acquainted" with his/her particular camera. File settings and there importance are also discussed and will help the reader decide which is right for him/her (if one's camera allows that choice). A digital camera Buyer's guide is included at the book's end, which provides invaluable advice.

This book is targeted at beginners and is a great choice for both DSLR and p&s owners. My only caveat is that it will leave you wanting better equipment and more time to pursue your new habit. Er.. I mean hobby (Kelby moment).

Overall, I find this a beautifully illustrated book that provides a solid foundation on which to launch your photographic endeavor.
174 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Complete Beginner/Intermediate Reference to Digital Photography! Feb. 12 2006
By M. Al Suwaidi - Published on
If you are about to buy your first digital photography book or even your new compact digicam
or SLR camera let this book be your first reference. In fact, it can be your only reference as a beginner or even intermediate

Why I like it:
1. Simple language that makes it easy to understand and follow
2. A practical guide that drives you through steps to create your professional photos
3. Covers a variety of aspects concerning photography other than just shooting
4. Full of colorful pictures that clarifies what they are talking about
5. Unbelievable price! A complete photography course in a book that cost no more than $16.47!
6. Written by a great person JIM MIOTKE, he is professional photographer and photography instructor.

Believe me, this book is one of the BEST you could ever read in this area! And the best one to start with!
228 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Oct. 17 2005
By Prasad Upasani - Published on
A lot of books these days equate digital photography with Photoshop, which to me is a waste of time. If you don't take good photos to begin with, the end-result will not be good not matter how much post-precessing you do on your computer. This book actually talks about photography techiques in a very accessible fashion. Aperture, shutter speed, iso, white balance are gently de-mystified, while equal emphasis is given on the content and compositon of photographs. As a relative newbie to serious photography, I found this book's explanantions and illustrations to be very good indeed. Highly recommended!
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for those ready to take their camera off the Auto settings! March 29 2006
By JS - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most books about digital photography start at the beginning -- what to look for in a digital camera. Most books that teach you how to use the functions of a camera -- F stop, shutter speed, etc. -- are geared towards SLR cameras. But what if you're somewhere in the middle -- you already own a digital camera with manual settings but don't know your aperture from your white balance? Then this is the book for you.

This was the only book I really found that shows, step-by-step, the who, what, where, when and why behind the functions of the digital camera. Easy to read (this is not one of those 400-page bibles,) with accurate photographs to guide you every step of the way and assignments at the end of each chapter to give you a hands-on learning experience, you will see improvement in your photographs right away. Once you grasp the freddom and control you actually have over your photographs you will want to take your camera everywhere and apply what you've learned.

I highly recommend this book, even if you just read the highly informative captions that accompany every photograph in the book.

(edited for typo)
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent primer on digital photography Sept. 16 2006
By Hipparchia - Published on
This is an excellent, well-written introduction to digital photography. Miotke explains the basic principles of photography, and my guess is that he's done a lot of teaching which helps to make the explanations very clear and systematic. I found the chapters on exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO particularly helpful since I'd never totally understood how these related to each other. There are lots of photographs illustrating how aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. affect the image, and lots of tips on what one might consider basic settings, and how one can vary them depending on the circumstances. He also has a long section on composition, again with illustrations. There were a few things which he does not cover which I would have been interested in -- e.g. he doesn't explain what the different kinds of lenses are for a digital SLR camera (e.g., what does 20 mm. vs 30 mm. mean). Each chapter contains assignments designed to help one see what one's camera is capable of. He assumes you either have a compact digital cameras or a digital SLR and tailors his explanations to each kind of camera.
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