Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera

March 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Digital Photography Product

Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera

  • Top industry expert, Canon Explorer of Light and bestselling author Rick Sammon shares invaluable advice for taking amazing photos with a point-and-shoot camera
  • Explains how to capture proper exposure, create depth of field, use the appropriate flash settings and more, all using your point-and-shoot camera
  • Boasts hundreds of beautiful photos with accompanying explanations as to the various techniques Sammon used to get a specific shot
  • Motivates and inspires you to improve your compact camera skills

Top photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon shares his best tips and tricks for getting high-quality images with your point-and-shoot cameraProlific author and renowned photographer Rick Sammon shares essential tips, tricks, and advice from years of vast and unique photography experiences. Packed with pointers and helpful hints, this handy, full-color guide can travel with you on your journeys for getting stunning photographs taken with point-and-shoot cameras. You’ll learn how to c

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3 Responses to “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera”
  1. Robert S. Tobias says:
    32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A nice overview (and not just for owners of compact cameras), April 1, 2010
    By 
    Robert S. Tobias (Arlington, VA USA) –
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    This review is from: Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera (Paperback)
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    Bottom line: A well written, non-threatening overview into the world of photography beyond taking snapshots.

    What I liked:

    – Excellent advice clearly presented in digestible chunks.

    – Good organization. The photography section is broken into categories and then by specific topic. You can easily get back to a point with a quick scan of the table of contents. There are also over 20 tips aimed at Photoshop Elements.

    – Clear good vs. bad examples. Too many photography books show the “bad” shot so small that you can’t clearly make out what’s wrong. There are even books printed so badly that you can’t make out what’s right. This doesn’t suffer either problem.

    – Rick used Photoshop Elements (PSE) as the “editor” when referring to digital editing. My sense is this is the most common editor owned by potential readers of this book.

    What I didn’t like (relatively minor points which do not equate to anything bad):

    – Each topic/point only has a few pages and example pictures devoted to it. I understand this was done in the interest of space, cost, and keeping the book at an appropriate level of detail. I’m sure that anyone interested will also want to consider the dozens of other books by this author which take a deeper dive into these aspects of photography.

    – It would have been useful to include a discussion on cataloging images (beyond the excellent recommendation to save copies).

    – Rick recommends certain plug-ins as an add-on to PSE. It’s a personal thing and I prefer Photo Essentials 3. (He recommends one plug-in that is a component of this suite and I say, get the whole thing!)

    – He never mentions how to hold a camera. (A small but very important point.)

    – He uses a Canon G10 as his compact camera. Most people reading this book would probably not be using a camera of this caliber. Also, making some of the adjustments recommended in this book is much easier with this camera than a more typical compact camera that has fewer external controls and the adjustments are buried several menu levels down. It occurs to me that the readership would have been better served if the pictures included and the accompanying recommendations had been developed using a camera more like what is pictured on the cover. That way the material would be more appropriate for more readers.

    – He talks about the problems of digital noise in several places but doesn’t suggest tools that can help correct for it. (My choice is Neat Image, not available through Amazon.)

    – The section on infrared is inappropriate. Also, the chapter on printer calibration is not that useful since it is effectively distilled to a recommendation for purchasing another book. I would have preferred if this space could have been allocated to including some additional examples on some of the more basic issues facing a compact camera user.

    Recommendation:

    Buy this if you want to take your photography to the next level and want one book to introduce you the various ways to improve you images.

    BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews take the place of first-hand experiences that are lacking in online shopping. I’ve always appreciated the help I’ve gotten from other reviewers and continue to return the favor as best as I can. If you thought this review was helpful please let me know by clicking on “Yes” button where it asks. If there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to fix it.

    BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews can take the place of first-hand experiences that are lacking in online shopping. I’ve always appreciated the help I’ve received from other reviewers and work hard to return the favor as best as I can. I hope you found this review helpful and if there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to fix it.

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  2. Jeffrey N. Fritz "Nikon Jeff" says:
    68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Making the Case for Compact Cameras, March 24, 2010
    By 
    Jeffrey N. Fritz “Nikon Jeff” (Morgantown, West Virginia) –
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    This review is from: Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera (Paperback)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    “On of the things I love about my compact camera is that I can always have it with me. I never leave home without it…Always carry your compact camera. I guarantee that you will begin to see more creative picture opportunities.”

    That quote forms one of the main premises of Rick Sammon’s new book, “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera.” And it’s a good premise–one that I can vouch for personally.

    I consider myself to be an advanced amateur photographer. I own and regularly use a high end Nikon prosumer DSLR complete with multiple lenses, filters, speedlights and various other photo accessories. My extra large sized camera bag is completely full and everything in it gets used and often. Yet if you happen to pass me on the street, more often than not you will notice not a Nikon DSLR, but a Canon PowerShot S90 compact camera with me. I carry the S90 in a leather carrying pouch attached to my belt. It goes wherever I go. You never know when that special photographic opportunity or moment will present itself–and it usually doesn’t wait for you to go home and get your DSLR. As a result, I’ve taken many impromptu photos with the S90 that my viewers find very interesting and attractive. Sammon is right. Canon S90, I couldn’t have done it without you!

    Rick Sammon is a well known photographer and writer on the subject of photography. His work is so closely associated with high end DSLRs (prosumer and up) that it comes as a shock to see him write a book dedicated to using compact cameras. At least that’s the intent. In “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter” he makes the case that a compact camera can provide much of the capabilities of a DSLR without the size, complexity and weight. However, a weakness in the book is that, early on, Sammon successfully makes his case for the value of owning and using a compact camera even for advanced DSLR users. But then, he keeps making his case over and over again throughout the book. He never “closes the sale.” I wanted to scream back at the book, “Okay, okay! I get it! You can stop trying to convince me now.”

    In the book, Sammon compares the functionality of compact cameras and DSLRs. Sammon points out, correctly I believe, that while a photos taken with a compact camera can rival, in many case, a DSLR, there are significant differences in capabilities between a compact camera and the typical point and shoot camera. The former has enough features to make it function in a somewhat similar manner to a DSLR, but without interchangeable lenses and all the bells and whistles of a DSLR. The latter generally does not.

    That said, the “compact camera” that Rick Sammon uses for most of the photos in the book is a Canon G10. While the G10 sits in the compact camera class, it is on the high end in terms of size, weight, cost and features. It is a popular compact camera, no doubt, but is not truly representative of an important class of compact cameras that cost less and are far more compact than the G10. These are compact cameras such as the Canon PowerShot S90, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 or the Ricoh CX3. These cameras have a much smaller form factor. They fit in a shirt pocket and yet have many of the features found in the G10. It would have been nice to have focused on these cameras instead of the G10.

    To be fair, however, “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter” is not about the Canon G10. Many of the hints and tips scattered through the book can be applied to any camera–even high end DSLRS. And here lies both the strength and the weakness of the book. It’s general in nature. Think of it more like a handbook than a text book and you’ll get the idea. Shooting information and tips are scattered throughout in its pages and they span the gamut ranging from ISO, to shooting modes to composition to RAW to HDR to panos. Little time is spent on any one topic. That makes Sammon’s book too much like the general photography books that stuff the shelves of every bookstore’s Photography sections. It’s not aimed at the experienced photographer. That is unfortunate because the topic of the book could have made it attractive to experienced DSLR users who have eschewed compact cameras and already know most of the tip and information that Sammon includes. In other words, it appears that Sammon has missed his target audience.

    On the other hand, the tips are solid, the paper quality used in the book is good, almost all photos are in color and none are postage sized. In general, this is an attractive book. And, most importantly, it includes an index–something that is sorely missing in far too many photography books. If you accept its limitations, “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter” could occupy a useful place on your photography bookshelf.

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  3. Photogbybev "Photogbybev" says:
    39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Another Winner From Rick Sammon…, March 12, 2010
    By 
    Photogbybev “Photogbybev” (San Francisco, CA USA) –

    This review is from: Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera (Paperback)

    As a photographer and owner of both a Canon G10 and a full-frame DSLR camera, I found this book to be an excellent source of information for both formats. As always, Rick writes in a manner that is easy to understand and fun to read. If you are trying to determine if you need a full-frame DSLR or if a compact camera will do the trick, this book is definitely for you. It is also the perfect book to help DSLR owners see the advantages of owning a compact camera in addition to their DSLR. As Rick points out, the most important thing is not always how great a shot you get, but that you actually do get the shot. You can take a compact camera with you anywhere and always have the ability to capture precious memories–not so with an DSLR.

    Virtually all of the photos in the book were taken by Rick with his Canon G10 compact camera. Rick also includes photos taken with his SLR to demonstrate just how difficult it can be to tell the difference between the two formats. In one chapter, Rick shows photos from both cameras side-by-side and asks the reader to try and guess which photos were taken with the compact camera and which were taken with the DSLR. In this fun and educational exercise, the reader is told that the answers are on the last page of the chapter, but Rick asks that the reader not turn to the answer page…but instead to really examine the photos to see if they can guess which ones were taken with the compact camera.

    Rick does a fabulous job of pointing out the differences between what a compact camera can do versus a DSLR. After reading Rick’s book it will be easy for you to determine which camera will work in different situations. Rick lists the pros and cons of the compact camera, but does confess that he takes his compact camera everywhere (just as I do).

    In addition to doing a superb job of helping you learn how to use both a compact and DSLR, Rick takes you all the way from the beginning of the photo process–“making the picture”–all the way through to enhancing your images with Adobe Photoshop Elements, using Plug-in’s, HDR and Infrared imaging, shooting panoramas, calibrating your computer monitor and printing your images.

    If you can purchase only one book to learn all of the aspects of great photography, buy “Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter”. You will not be disappointed.

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