The Digital Photography Handbook is nicely produced for such a relatively cheap volume. It is roughly Ocatvo in size, measuring 15.5 x 21.5cm, a little too big for a pocket but ideal for slipping in the side of your camera bag. The cover is softback, and finished in a hard-wearing matt surface that doesn't mark easily, a useful feature for a book that is likely to see a lot of use out in the field. The paper and printing quality are excellent, and the many colour photos throughout look superb. The binding is quite loose, and the book will lie open at a page without bending the spine. It includes a useful four-page glossary and an even more useful five-page index.
Despite the enforced brevity of the format Doug Harman manages to impart a large amount of information in very few words, a skill no doubt honed during his long career as a camera journalist, writing articles and reviews for some of the biggest camera magazines in the country. Doug is an excellent writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of digital photography, and like many of the best magazine writers he has the ability to explain a complicated subject to a non-expert audience and make it seem simple. His passion for his subject makes it engaging, informative and interesting to read.
The only real criticism that can be levelled against the Digital Photography Handbook is that it tries to do too much in too little space, and as a result doesn't cover any part of the subject in sufficient depth. It is a very good introduction to the subject and absolutely ideal for beginners and those considering buying their first digital camera, but even novices will outgrow it fairly quickly. It would be good to see Doug Harman write a companion volume of the same size and quality covering the same subjects as the Using Your Digital Camera chapters but in greater detail, and then maybe another expanding on the digital darkroom techniques, but I'm sure his publisher has already thought of that.
The Digital Photography Handbook is the perfect guide for anyone considering buying their first digital camera, or for any beginner keen to learn more about the subject. It is well produced, beautifully illustrated, the writing is concise and easy to understand, and it's a bargain at the price. If you're looking for a Christmas present for the budding digital photographer in your family, look no further.