I recommend John Hedgecoe's "The New Manual of Photography"..
This isn't necessarily for dSLRs only, but also covers film as well; which ends up being historically educational at the least. The book as a whole however is a bounty of treasure explaining everything from Depth of Field to ISO and includes many hundreds of pictures to illustrate the points made and to inspire you with ideas. It was recommended by many people here on DPReview and I picked it up and found it something that I ended up reading for hours at a time, then looking at the clock and realizing I'd just burned away a major part of the day. You can't say that for many technical reads. It's really that good...
I have never read the book mentioned by Eclipse and his description made me eager to a look at it.Two books that I consider as the ones that got me started are:Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson andDigital Photography by Scott Kelby..
Both books present hands-on examples with photo's (and after all an image can say more than a thousand words ) but both books do it in a different manner, the first one more structured than the second one..
The first one is the one to give ideas, the second one is usefull as a reference for what you are looking for.I'd say, google for them and take a look at what they offer..
Love my D80 ..
I know I had a big learning curve with my first DSLR being the 30D, I can only imagine the 40D being a bit more complicated. I'd like to echo the books already suggested here, but I'd also like to stress that the book you want to read first is the owners manual. (Or at least until you get one of the above-mentioned books, and then read them side-by-side with the manual.) Seriously, take the manual and the camera and adjust the things it tells you to adjust. Take some shots and see what it does, explore the different modes, etc. Start with the basics and then get more creative with custom functions, etc.Mostly, have fun! It's a lot to learn, but it's so worth it!JonGive me something to shoot..
Thanks for your replies..
I agree about reading the manual and I have a couple of times now. Experimenting with shots is also what I'm doing now..
However the manual only goes so far and I find it's explanations the most minimal they can be. I understand how to change settings I'm just having trouble picking the right settings in certain situations. I need to now more about what to do in the field as they say..
I am quite amazed and a little daunted by what I have gotten myself into lol. Steep learning curve.Ianb..
Please take a look at the book I recommended. It is built for getting you through the learning curve. After reading it, I could practically guess what f/stop and shutter speed to use while I was driving down the road past scenes and thinking with my viewfinder cap on. ..
Your message could have been written my me. I'm new to SLR photography and have only owned point-and shoot digitals in the past..
I purchased a Canon EOS 40D a week ago based on reviews I read on DPReview.com. I read the owners manual the same day and then I purchased the book "Mastering Digital SLR Photography" by David D. Busch..
This book takes you from how a dSLR works through learning about Depth of Field, Exposure, Aperture, Shutter, ISO, RAW files, etc... It has been a big help to me thus far..
Here is a link to the book (second edition) on Amazon:.
Another good place to start is Gary Friedman's ebook "The Complete Guide to Canon's Digital Rebels.".
Thanks for the replies I will probably buy a couple of books.Ianb..