I recognize that "best" is kind of open ended, but almost every review of the top 10 books on Amazon all have reviews which read "the little green manual is better.....this book just repeats that info on a full-sized page." or "the author spent 3 chapter talking about printing images."

I'm looking for a book that will discuss each feature - why to use it, when to tinker with default settings, how to get better at figuring out which modifications will impact your shots, what the custom functions do (in more than a single bullet point.) I don't need a photography book - I need a book that will break down my camera, functions by function.

I recognize that I may even require multiple books...not just for WHAT the functions do...but WHEN to best use them." But I'm slightly overwhelmed at present by this massive upgrade to my XTI

Can you recommend a book like this?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you have particular features you want to know why to use and how to tweak, you could ask those as individual questions. I just recently (about 6 months back) upgraded from an xTi to a 5D Miii, which while a few more steps up than the 7D still has enough similar features that I'd be more than happy to offer input. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 17:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The WHAT is best answered by the manual in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 19:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dpolitt I agree with that - the manual has information on all the technical aspects, the rest is in the end personal preference. \$\endgroup\$
    – DetlevCM
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


There is a misconception here, it doesn't matter what camera you use. ISO is ISO, exposure is exposure and shutter speed is shutter speed. Whether the book is written for a 400D and 7D or a 5D MK II is completely irrelevant.

There are only three areas where important differences exist: 1) The autofocus 2) Video settings 3) Custom Settings

All of the above three are best described either in the manual or discussed online. You can buy a 7D and use the centre point all the time, or maybe you want to use the 19 AF points... However that's a personal practical decision more often than a clear cut objective decision.

Lets take shots of aircraft or birds - use the centre-point or all AF points? Some people prefer the tracking, some prefer the generally faster centre point. The technical details are discussed in the manual. All the rest is preference. (There is manual focus too ;))


I've recommended two books to people that've gotten good reviews back:

I carry the Lowrie book on my iPad as a Kindle book, and it's a lot better to refer to when I have a quick question than trying to find it in the camera manuals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ SE normally converts Amazon referral codes automatically, but the URL shorteners used here evade that. (As well as obfuscating the target.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ apologies, didn't realize that. just pulled links the way I typically do, didn't think taht it might be against policy. \$\endgroup\$
    – chuqui
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 2:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The main reason I care (as opposed to why Stack Exchange as a for-profit company might care) is that referral links compromise the editorial integrity of answers; are the recommendations actually meant to be helpful, or just meant to attract the most profit? I don't doubt that you mean well here, but it's the kind of thing where if it were the norm, it would definitely reduce the overall quality of the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 14:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Separately, URL shorteners are bad because they obfuscate the actual target of the link, introduce possible additional tracking and spying on our readers, and introduce another layer of fragility. If you need a shorter, nicer URL, use markdown links instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 14:19

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