The Essential Nikon SLR Handbook By Future Publishing

Nikon SLR 1

For those of you who are considering buying a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera for the first time, do consider getting hold of one of these bookazines in the N-Photo series (published by Future Publishing Limited) to read. This specifically titled handbook explains in detail the functions of a basic Nikon DSLR camera as well as some simple photography tricks to use in different photography situations (refer to ‘100 Nikon DSLR tips you need to know right now).

Camera Body

For a person who has been using a DSLR for more than five years now (mine is a humble good old Nikon D60) , I must say that my skills are still as raw as a photo can get and that there are still lots of room for improvement. Loads, in fact. This handbook played a vital role in reminding me about the various handy functions in my camera that I’ve been neglecting to use, as well as about impressive utilitarian functions in the more up-to-date (and very expensive) contemporary models – a nagging reminder that my camera is a breathing dinosaur trying to survive in a rapidly modernising digital world.

Which is bad. Because right now, I am already starting to crave for a better camera body – one that could at least allow me to employ exposure bracketing to take better HDR photos, has the ‘Mirror lockup’ and ‘Vibration Reduction’ functions to reduce photo blurs, has a liveview of the shots to be taken, has a larger monitor screen (3″ would be good enough), as well as an option to vary the timer delay function. By how much would all of these cravings set me back?

Camera Lens

Apart from detailing the functions of the camera body, the last section of the handbook also provides a comprehensive analysis of the different types of prime and zoom lenses available in the market and which are compatible with the Nikon camera bodies (FX or DX): (1) ultra wide-angle lenses (2) superzooms (3) macro lenses and (4) super telephoto lenses. Each analysis outlines the price, lens features, build quality, image quality and overall worth based on its price. Among the brand names are lenses from Nikon, Samyang, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina.

I was very lucky to have received a 18 – 200mm Sigma superzoom lens when I purchased my standard kit package many years ago. Till today, I’ve found it to be a very functional, adaptable and flexible lens, allowing me to shoot near and far without the hassle of changing to prime lenses. The shortfall is that this particular lens does not have an ‘Vibration Reduction’ option. It is thus very easy to capture blur pictures without a steady hand or a firm grip of the camera body and lens.

I hope to be able to buy a prime macro lens soon (yes, a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 please!), so that I can take better pictures of my food without having to get too far away from them. Perhaps a couple of macro filters would do to satisfy my hankering for now; but I doubt this contentment will last long.

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