A long review from a tough critic!
First off, I am a new DSLR user. Back in my film days, I had a Nikon N90...I was ready to take the plung to digital after more than disappointing results with my photos from the World Equestrian Games the fall of 2010. A kind soul at one of the shows let me play with her Nikon D300s...it was that point I knew I was ready for a DSLR. After a month of research, I was convinced I 'needed' the D7000 that was set to release in November 2010...after more research (and reading lots of reviews) I made the purchase of my D7000 in August of 2011 (along with a large wish list that had grown over the months leading up to the DSLR purchase!)...
Mastering the D7000 is my third book purchase on the Nikon D7000. I also have the two books by David Busch (the field guide and the main book Nikon D7000 Guide to Digital SLR Photography). While these books are nice, and explain the users manual well, they only scratch the surface. Oh, I do not even know where to start on the awesomeness of Darrell Youngs 'Mastering the Nikon D7000'.
This book is hands down, the best of the best. Each section references the page(es) in the users manual which I really like. The book also sports a nice index and table of contents. Each section has a 'thumb-tab' (black edge and chapter number) so you can easily flip through the section. Almost every chapter has a full blank page for notes at the end of the chapter.
Darrell gives excellent in-depth explainations of EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know...digging into areas where the David Busch books skimmed over (the David Busch books briefly explained some of the advanced areas, but didn't give any in-depth explaination ---much less an example!). This book gives personal examples throughout the book and suggestions, even offering his setting for this item (and why he has it set this way).
The books has EXCELLENT photos of the menu paths. Other books have one big picture of the top level menu. This book has at least two and up to six (!), screenshots of the menu path on how to get to the setting and set it! Where there are multiple screenshots, they are placed horizonally across the screen and numbered to outline the flow (left to right as you would expect). I love this!!
The book is super nice...nice paper, nice color pictures and lots and lots of nice color screenshots of menus! Nice sized book - 479 pages and small enough to fit in your bag (although the page count does tend to make it a little heavy)
The book also uses color coding, numbering and italics/bold....Blue to refer to camera settings, green for functions and settings displayed on the cameras LCD screen, and italics for textual prompts seen on the cameras LCD screen. I LOVE this feature...it really helps the text 'pop' making the text an easy read. Darrell also uses outline features: numbering 1,2,3...bullets and alpha a,b,c....this also helps break up the text and makes the text easy to read.
I cannot express enough how much I love this book. I am a hardcore 'book person', and am VERY judgemental when it comes to books and what I like. When I purchase a book, binding, paper and format are important to me if I am going to read and reread the book...I don't want it to fall apart after light use.
Also, I signed up for Nikonian.org, I stumbled upon this site before this book came and was surprised to see forum posts answered by Darrell! This site is the office e-mag site for Nikon photographers....great site, sign up if you aren't already a memeber! This book also has a 50% off coupon for the Gold membership (I actually opted for the cheapy $25 option...you get it free for 30days when you sign up).
Buy this book! If you own/plan on owning a D7000, you NEED this book, or else you are going to be missing features the camera has, that other books neglect mentioning...or explaining how to set up and use! A 10-star book! The authors enthusiasm for the Nikon D7000 is clearly shown throughout the book :)