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As a long-time Sony SLT-A55 user and recent Sony SLT-A77 purchaser, I know the complexity of both cameras and I also know the deficiencies of Sony camera manuals. The manuals, more or less, cover the capabilities of the cameras, but make many assumptions about the knowledge level of the camera users. Perhaps, more important, the manual writers assume all purchasers of Sony cameras have the same familiarity with both digital photography and camera technology. Of course, that’s far from the reality of the situation.
Enter, The Sony SLT-A77: The Unofficial Quintessential Guide. Its authors are both photographers and technologists. More, to the benefit of readers of the Guide, they are also very interested in sharing their own experiences with the A77. They take readers from when they opened the camera’s box, through their learning process with the A77, to putting the camera to practical use.
Their book, as would be expected, covers all the menu setups, camera controls and available settings. But, more important, authors, Carol Roullard and Brian Matsumoto also share what they’ve found to be their best settings for a multitude of shooting situations—from the studio, to the field, and even into their research laboratory. They also offer many shortcuts to speed up the handling of the camera. And, for those readers who want their answers in the back of the book, they’ve provided 30 pages of charts giving pretty much every menu set-up command and error warning the A77 has to offer.
If you’re a new A77 user—or one who wants instruction beyond the tech manual—you’ll find The Sony SLT-A77: The Unofficial Quintessential Guide a useful and enjoyable read.