Choosing a digital camera can be tricky. There are hundreds of models to choose from, and dependent on your skill level there are both boons and setbacks to all of them.
Brushing up on your photography skills may be the best way to choose a digital camera. Once you know what you’re working with, choosing a model that is right for you will be much more intuitive. Here are the top five books about digital photography for beginners to get you started.
The Digital Photography Book
First published in 2006, Scott Kelby’s The Digital Photography Book changed the landscape of amateur digital photography forever.
• Written in four parts that correspond to varying skill levels and shooting complexity
• Updated edition published in 2013
• Doesn’t require readers to have extensive working knowledge of photography or technology
• Includes checklists for taking stellar photos in several locations
• More conceptual than basic
• Doesn’t include glossary or scientific explanation of photographic principles or equipment
Complete Digital Photography
Now in its seventh edition, this how-to book starts with the basics but includes something for everyone.
• Interesting, narrative style makes dry information easy to read
• Includes software how-to’s for editing, printing, and workflow
• Easy to reference
• Used as college textbook, so definitely covers all the basics
• Lacks in-depth detailed information about specific subjects (eg, flash photography)
• Could use more color photos
• Index is corrupted on Kindle version
Digital Photography Essentials
This comprehensive book not only covers basic mechanics, but is also for photographers looking for advice on how to creatively see the world through a camera lens.
• Easy to read, includes many full-color photos and graphics
• Includes detailed information about lighting, composition, and color
• Includes links to online resources that back up book material
• Writing style is clear and direct
• Explanations tend to be about what to do rather than how to do it
• Could use more detailed information about camera settings for featured examples
• Explanations lack in-depth information, need to be supplemented by additional research
Digital Photography for Dummies
A longstanding series generally held in high regard, this guidebook explains digital photography basics about as clearly and efficiently as possible.
• Includes honest debate about pros and cons of an SLR
• Good information for any digital camera user
• Highly developed glossary of terms and products
• Includes discussion of storage, printing, and transferring images
• Does not include discussion of photo editing software
• Very basic—not as helpful if you already know a bit about your camera
• Could use an updated version
Getting Started in Digital Photography
This book is for anyone who’s used a digital camera, produced less-than-stellar photos, and wanted to take the hobby a step further.
• Good basic information about camera terms you’ll need to know (ie: megapixels)
• Easy introduction to move past “auto” settings
• Includes broader discussions applicable to any type of digital camera or photography
• Includes invitation to book Flickr group to take your photos to the next level
• Does not include discussion of editing software