Now Available!  The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 560 and 580 Digital SLR Cameras by Gary Friedman and Tony Phillips!

Download your copy now – only $22.99!


Buy a printed copy in Color or Black-and-White

Finally, an easy-to-understand manual that is a match for the cameras it describes!

Gary Friedman and Tony Phillip’s book on the Sony Alpha 560 and Alpha 580 (aka, “Sony A560” and “A580”) digital cameras provide a complete instruction manual which explains each feature in plain English and provides hundreds of visual examples as well.

In this 496-page full-color book you’ll learn: 

  • What every mode, knob, and button do – in plain, easy-to-understand text.
  • The secrets of taking outstanding photos.
  • All about the 8 flash modes – including an entire chapter on Wireless Flash!
  • A chapter on Movie Mode which explains the alphabet soup behind AVCHD.
  • The most common digital “jargon” and what it all means to you.
  • An entire chapter on the synergy of Live View coupled with Face Detection.
  • An introduction to the image editing software that comes with your camera, and how to get the benefits of shooting RAW.
  • NEW!  A set of “Cliffs Notes” cards you can print showing the recipies for common shooting situations, and Gary’s Personal Camera Settings. 

Get the most out of your investment – Learn about the wonders of digital imaging and improve your photography at the same time!

This e-Book is available in TWO different formats:

1)  As an instantly-downloadable, full-color .pdf file – over 495 pages of information, knowledge, and wisdom for ONLY USD $22.99!!! 

2) For those of you who prefer to hold the things you read, this book is also available as a printed and bound book that will be mailed right to your door.  It’s available in both color and Black-and-White.  The color version is a little more expensive than your typical book, but as some readers have reported, significantly cheaper than printing the .pdf file on your inkjet printer.

What others are saying about this and Gary’s previous e-books:

“I couldn’t resist contacting you to express how THOROUGHLY delightful / informative I’m finding your book.  Outstanding! doesn’t begin to cover it, especially given the gentle humor scattered throughout to take the edge off of the technicalities.  I adore it when an author pays attention to, and accommodates, the psychology of the reader.”  – Pam Gaines

“GREAT JOB!  Very, very, informative and written in a way anyone can understand.  This is the first book I have seen that explains things so clearly and easily.  This will help bring back the joy of taking pictures that I lacked when I was struggling with the settings on my camera.”   – Cesar Borges

“I learned more by reading the first four chapters of your book than I did from the whole of the other two books.  Not only that, but you explain exactly which controls to use to achieve the desired result — How simple is that!?!:”  – Simon Daw

“Let me say that your book is a real winner, full of very useful information and a must buy for any 580 user.” – John Symington

Your book is a Godsend – I would’ve been completely lost with the manual.” – Dave Gerard

“Your pictures are an inspiration for me to be as good as you. The Sony book you wrote is excellent and I’ll make sure other Alpha owners know it too!”  – Michael Rutkowski

I have to say that your book was the best manual i can remember reading on any device.  I think it is admirable how eager you are to share your knowledge and help people develop their own process for acquiring knowledge.  It was a pleasant surprise to learn so much about photography in general from what i was expecting was a camera manual.” – Steve Newman

“I’ve bought your book and I just HAVE to send you a personal email to tell you how great that book is. Not only does it cover virtually everything about the camera including everything the original manual left out, it covers interesting and meaningful help about composition, lightning and using flashes. And for the price it is offered at, it’s nothing short of fantastic. It was and will continue to be a great resource to me, many many thanks!”   Kristian Tigersjäl, Sweden

“I want to say Thank You Very Much, not only for your personal assistance, but also for writing such a cohesive and clear book spoken in an easy to understand and implement manner.  You pointers and insight with in depth practical knowledge of the camera I’m using to start my career as a photographer / photo journalist has allowed me to vastly shorten my learning curve.” – Lee Shatto

“However the main reason to mail you is to thank you for your True Jewels.  For me your attitude as well as the style of your narration is the greatest value I find in your guides.  Thank you also for the excellent documentary about my country – Latvia. Your travel diaries show you not only as a masterful photographer, but also as highly concerned, responsive person.”  -Gunars Severs

I just recently purchased you Sony A 500 book and have begun reading it.  I have to say THANK YOU, as a new DSLR user (and nuclear engineer) I enjoy your writing style and instruction.  Great job and thanks for guiding me through the DSLR world.” – John J. Arnish

I just began reading The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 300/350.  Right now I can just say one thing… Wow!  Okay, two things… Great book!”  – Scott Kramer

“I just wanted to thank you for putting this fabulous book out there. My boyfriend bought me my first DSLR (the A300) and I had no idea what to do with it.  Photography always interested me, and I wanted to move away from my little Sony Cybershot.  After reading your book, I feel fully prepared for my upcoming vacations to California and Disney World and I can safely say that I won’t be shooting in just AUTO mode! (yay!)” – Kristina Samaritano

I would like to congratulate you on such a thorough and thoughtful compendium.  Your ‘patient’ explanations and excellent examples have made my experience with the Sony so much more enjoyable.  This book, along with your “25 Ways” and “Advanced Topics” is the best investment in DSLR photography material that I have made.  Thank you so much for the help and enlightenment!” – Des Wann 


“Last night I finished reading your e-book and enjoyed it immensely. Thank you so much for such an in-depth and to-the-point book loaded with information you can really use. I will be sure to mention it highly on chat lines and other locations I frequent.” – Barbara Lodge

“I purchased the color version of your Sony Alpha e-book last night and started reading it with the intention of reading the intro and quickly skimming through the rest.  About 4 hours later, I realized that I was reading through every single page of the first 6 chapters.  Needless to say, this is a wonderful book, very informative and well laid out.  Thanks!”  -Anil

“Just wanted to let you know that the A700 book is fantastic.” – Bill Taylor

Thank you so much for making this e-book!  So clearly done in such a way that, yes, I got some of those “Aha!” moments!  I certainly will pass this on wherever I can.  You have just taken a big chunk of anxiety out of my learning curve!” Veronica

“Your book is excelent. Really detail, clear, useful… an EXCELENT guide.” – Kurt Marlow

“The contents of your book go beyond my expectations! I couldn’t pull myself away to tell you until I had finished reading more than 60 pages. Your book is very clearly written, and your spiral approach to teaching will prove to be an easy way of learning in depth the many topics you include. Thank you, again!”  – Janet Lustgarten

“I downloaded it yesterday and learnt more about the camera than all the reviews, articles and even Sony’s own manual combined.  Well worth it.  I especially liked his coverage of the Minolta wireless flash system which has always been a mystery to me.”  – Setev from  Read entire thread

“Your writing is a marvel.  Your evident respect for the genius of the Minolta/Sony engineers adds substantially to my appreciation and enjoyment. With your background I now have a foundation for more fully understanding what it takes to be as creative as they are in providing us with these pleasure-full tools/toys.”  – Don Stromberg

Thanks for a great book! It is the most complete reference I have found on this camera. It puts the Magic Lantern guide to shame both in its coverage of the camera and of photographic methods.”  – James Handcock

“I found your book to be indispensable.  I love your books; your tutorials are a godsend, and your work…omg…total inspiration.”  – Charles Neinnger

“The manual that you have written is truly comprehensive and must have been a monumental undertaking. […T]he many tips on the various function settings and especially the flash guide have shown me that there is more to this camera than I thought at first.”  – Bob Johnston

“I must congratulate you on your book.  The use of plain English is outstanding and the wealth of information top class.  I have a number of other publications on the Sony Alpha and they just assumed I knew more than I did.  While I was able to glean information from them, the experience was not pleasurable as a book should be.  I must say your book was a true pleasure to read from start to finish and an invaluable tool that I shall keep referring to time and time again!” – John Rice (JR)

I just purchased your Sony Alpha guidebook, and absolutely love it.  You have a great talent for writing and describing things most people would not understand without you!  I can happily say that you have made me a better and more knowledgeable photographer.”  – Jeff Childers

“I have to admit, it is a great guide.  I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it last night, I didn’t get to sleep because of it actually.  The amounts of insights, hints, tips and clues in every section covered every single question I had in my mind since I bought my A100 and opened a whole new horizon for my photography.  Thanks a lot for the enlightenment.”  – Adham El Deeb (Egypt)

“I purchased and downloaded your guide earlier today.  I took a few minutes to look through it during lunch and I am blown away.  The pages I looked at contain incredible how to information, wonderful tips, and a wealth of information about digital imaging generally.  Thank you so much.  I can’t wait to have more time with both your book and my camera.” – Avi Freund

“Today I bought your gorgeous e-book for Sony’s DSLR.  I must admit that it’s second to none and clearly shows your immense love and passion for photography.  I think that Sony must seriously consider using your book to advertise their new camera.  Rather than their dull incomplete manual that’s discouraging for both novice and professionals alike, they should simply license your book and include a copy with each camera they sell.  I REALLY mean it!  I thank you heartily for having brought to Sony users such a wonderful guide.”  – Fariborz Amirshahi, Italy

“I dare say that you are a genius and heaven sent.  I love the ebook.  I finally found a resource material that helps me understand what I need to know about the basics of photography and how to best enjoy the camera.  I believe in your book and would recommend it to any Alpha owner out there; even to the more experienced photographer.  Very concise yet easy to understand.  All my other resource materials are now gathering dust in my library at home. I don’t need them anymore.”  – Roberto Ramon Concepcion

“I wanted to say how INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED I am with the Sony book!  Brilliant work, mate!  Having read through the tiny Sony manual many times, this has to be one of the best-written books that gives CONTEXT to how / why you would want to do something and the examples and anecdotes are great!  I will most definitely be recommending the book to all my friends.  Most enjoyable!” – Geoff Elwood

“All this ‘ol gent can say is: WOW!  You make everything so utterly simple, and the form of your writing keeps one totally interested.  I am really excited with what I have already learned about my one-year-old 7D, in just the first several pages of the book!”  – Ed Schwing

“It is the best guide out there for A100 owners hands down…..Sony should PAY him and bundle this book with their cameras….well worth EVERY penny.”  – Eskasi on  Read the entire discussion forum thread.

“I don’t know how you do it, but your style of writing is so enjoyable, friendly, and incredibly informative all at the same time.  I read the entire book from cover to cover in one sitting with the camera by my side the whole time, and as I went through it, I started to realize that I finally understood what all of the formerly cryptic numbers and symbols on the LCD meant and it’s such a great feeling!  […]  I can’t thank you enough for getting me out of “Auto” mode!  – Stacey Jarasa

“Over the years I’ve read a ton of photo books and I have to say yours is the most approachable and filled with the most usable tips and examples.”  – Mark Lynch

“I bought Gary’s A100 e-book for my Father-in-Law, who has owned his A100 for a month or so.  FIL has called me twice in the last week to say how thrilled he is with Gary’s e-book, it has made the A100 much more powerful and understandable for him.  There are many favourable comments in this forum for Gary Friedman’s work; and this is another enthusiastic recommendation.  Best $20 you could spend, if you’re an A100 owner.”  – Bob Eklind from

“Dear Gary: I am really enjoying your book, it is the best manual on anything I have ever read.  You should do the computer manuals, you are a born teacher and clearly you really know your subject.”   – Ivan Tentchoff

“I can’t say enough about your Sony guide.  It has rejuvenated my photography like nothing else.  I just had to thank you again, not just for the guide but also for access to some wonderful topics on your site.”  – Karl Jones

Thanks for your prompt answer.  You are such a trustworthy person and it’s a pleasure to buy and read your publications.  What I like most about you is the way you describe complex functions with such a simple and comprehensible language.  This is a divine gift which makes you so distinctive among other writers who have serious problems of communication!  Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.”  – Fariborz

“Gary – I haven’t gotten through the whole thing yet, but I love it!  I’ve already made some settings tweaks, and have some new insights to work with.  Can’t wait to study the White Balance and remote flash stuff.  I have to admit, when I first started reading, I thought “Great; this is for newbies and technophobes”, but as I went on I see that you have skillfully addressed both newbies and experienced photographers.  Thanks – the book is an incredible value!   -David Aguilar

“I have read the manual several times, but didn’t understand many of the features. I want you to know that I understand MORE just by reading the first 100 pages of your book than by reading the manual over and over.  Thanks for writing a GREAT guide for this camera!” Janet DeCristofaro

“I have your super e-book and I am highly impressed with the way you explain things.  You, my friend, are awesome with words!”  Allan Mann

I must admit I was overwhelmed and intimidated by this powerful and somewhat confusing camera. Having just finished your book, I am now confident that my new friend and I have many exciting adventures ahead. And I know that I’ll be referring back to your book for many years to come.  Thank you for opening the world of photography to novices like me!  I am a true-believer and a loyal fan.  BTW, even if your book wasn’t about photography, I would have enjoyed reading it. You’re an excellent writer.”  – Everett Madden

“I also agree about Gary’s writing style.  I like the way he can explain the technical parts without oversimplifying them.  I’m a beginner, not a dummy.  I also like his explanations of what makes good composition.  I bought one photography book at Barnes and Noble and have checked out several more at the library, but none of them really fit me like Gary’s.”  – Michael Pardee from Yahoo! Groups on the A100 camera

“I have now read half of the book in two weeks and have enjoyed every page of it.  And the approach in the book (top down & bottom up in parallel, practical tips here and there) supports learning well. And the enthusiasm of the author shows through and motivates the reader well.  Thank you for the great book!” – Erkki Pöyhönen

“I was a little apprehensive about purchasing this ebook because I didn’t want another “how to” book about photography. But after browsing through the examples of pages on Gary’s website, I took the plunge anyway because I wanted a more comprehensive views on the functions of my 5D. All I have to say is…WHOA… This book is GREAT!  It not only gave me a refresher in some photography techniques, it also captured the true usage of most functions. Sure, I could of read the owner’s manual, but Gary put the technical jargon of the tech manual into language that hit it home for me. I especially like the HINTS: that the author gives throughout the book; such as the program shifts tricks. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about what their 5D/7D can do.” Steve from

“You won’t be sorry you bought Gary Friedman’s book. It’s full of useful tips and lots of info that doesn’t appear in the KM manual….and his style of writing is brilliant.  Wait until you read Chapter 7 about wireless flash. :)”  SteveCz from

“You’ve done a darned fine job of explaining the functions of the camera with a pragmatic, user-centric approach, answering the questions we have as new users and budding hobbyists.  You have saved me hours upon HOURS of frustration trying to figure out practical applications for the various functions of the camera!  Your book makes it easy to traverse the learning curve, not only for the KM cameras, but for digital photography in general.  I shudder at the thought of the time I could have saved if I’d simply had your book a few months ago!!” – Brian Soregaroli

“It’s the best KM 7D/5D book money can buy” Iggy from

“First of all, congratulations on your wonderfully informative book.  I have the 7D model; my friend who has the same camera loaned me his copy of your book.  After only one hour I decided to purchase it.  The amount of information, written in a manner I can really understand, has already made a difference to my photography!”   – Peter Olsen

“I loved the way you explained that the curve tool is a transfer function. You did not use those words but your example of the Centigrade to Fahrenheit conversion was a great way to get the idea across; I have been using the curve tool in PS for a couple of years and never understood it as clearly as I do now, thanks to your book.  Thanks, teacher!”  – David DeBar

The key thing I want to comment on is simply the style of your writing.  It is so easy to read, very down to earth and conversational- it’s like I am asking you questions and you are telling me the answers.  Doesn’t have that “textbook” flavor so many beginner’s books have.  I especially like the personal touch so many of your topics include- you explain why you are making a particular recommendation based upon your own past experience.”   – David and Diane Drake  (Read more)

“Just wanted to drop you a few lines and tell you I purchased your e-book this past weekend. I’ve been enjoying reading through it, and want you to know how much I appreciate having such a valuable recourse for the KM 7D and 5D.  […]  Thank you very much for all the hard work and time that has gone into this Minolta Masterpiece!  Love it.  You are a great inspiration for all of us Minolta fans out here!”Kelly Dazet

“Well, wow!  for the Sony A100 ebook!  I love my A-100 more than before.  One of the best investments I’ve found.  Besides, I probably learn the most useful “aspirine” [sic] knowledge I’ve ever read on any photography book!  […]  Mr. Friedman, I do believe you’re one of the nicest people for anyone to deal with.”  – Dr. Baha Öcal 

“Gary shows his passion for Minolta and his expertise in photography in an elegantly simple fashion without ignoring key details.  Such details are illustrated with rich, full color photographs frequently throughout the book.  7D/5D user who wishes to have a better understanding of this wonderful photographic tool, you have found the book you need.”  -Scott Schappell from the Eksperten User Group (read more!)

“The book actually managed to make exploring all the camera options and knobs a fun and rewarding experience – and that’s quite an achievement in itself.  Additionally, the visual illustrations of the techniques and the teaching method make it all more engaging and easy to follow.  Definitely worth the money!”  – Silverio F

“As a former teacher I know how hard it is to write something like “The Friendly Manual”.  To do a piece of work like that you have to have the gift.  It’s a significant contribution to the Minolta culture. Many thanks!”  –Sten-Åke Sändh

Gary,  I just wanted to let you know that I received your book yesterday. I haven’t been able to put it down. I am finding that, not only am I learning a lot about the 5D, but also photography in general.  I am, what I would consider to be, an intermediate photographer.  I am so glad that I came across this very helpful and informative addition to the camera itself.  […T]he original instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired and your book answers the questions and erases the frustration.  Thanks for writing it!   –Lou Klinger

“Big thumbs up for Friedman’s book. It covers the basics in a thorough but not boring way and has lots of specific 5D/7D info. Despite being relatively knowledgeable and reading the manual cover to cover, I learned quite a few things from his book.”  – jpr from

“Just read Gary Friedman’s book on the 5D and 7D and want to add my voice to the chorus of voices singing it’s praise.”  -entzbrian from Minolta Yahoo! Groups

“Gary Friedman’s Konica Minolta A1, A2 Step-by-Step Guide [his first book – Ed.] is brilliant and I can’t recommend it more highly.  Well done Gary, keep ’em coming.”   – Peter Russell (click here for entire review) (opens new window)

Also read an interview article with me by Peter Russell (opens new window)

“I am delighted with the book which is written in a friendly style and the subjects are clearly explained, the explanation of camera functions together with the sample photographs are exactly what I was looking for. […]  My photography has changed for the better since I applied the principles set out in your book and my photographs do look different”   – Alfred Hopwood

“Thank you so much for writing the wonderful ebook on the Minolta digital camera.  I absolutely needed a book about the camera written with tips and tricks to supplement the camera manual (listing by features).  Your book is extremely well-written.  Although I have only read about 10%, I’ve already used several tips after slapping my forehead.  “Oh, yeah.  Now it makes sense!” 

“I never thought I’d find a 3rd-party manual.  Yours is a gem.”  – Duane Moore

“I read and referenced the manual over and over and I *thought* I had a good understanding of all of the 5D’s functions. Well, you changed that.  I downloaded the book last night (well worth the 20 bucks, I might add), got to about page 220 when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Finished it today at lunch. Not exactly a murder/mystery/suspense/thriller, but I just couldn’t put it down! […]  I’m confident I’ll be using the book as a reference in the weeks and months ahead.”  – Chris Musacchio (read the whole email)

“Love your book, Gary, as well as all the additions you’ve written. So easy to understand, accurate and FUN! A complete opposite to those user manuals!  I am so impressed how I’m absorbing the information so easily. I find I even have a “photographic memory” (no pun intended!) for many of the pages.  [… Y]ou have an incredible gift for writing/teaching in a way that the student will truly absorb the material.  I also loved the tips in the “Cookbook” that you e-mailed to us.”  – Mary Flannery

“[A]bove all I was impressed by the way you make the use of the Sony Alpha (and photography in general)  a “piece of cake”. Your straightforward and humorous style of writing is addictive and I devoured your book in one night.  I just wanted to give you this feedback and I send you my best greetings from Antwerp-Belgium.”  – Jacques Werbrouck

“Dear Gary, I bought another book on my camera before I bought yours, but I wanted to learn more.  I have just started to read your book and now I am on page 55.  So far I have had 4 “Aha!” moments of understanding, and I am sure I will have a lot more. Just the things I have learned so far have paid for the book. Keep up the good work.”  John Maher, Numazu City, Japan

Google led me to your excellent work on this camera.  Based on the recommendations of your happy customers, I purchased & downloaded the Color PDF version of The Complete Guide to Sony’s DSLR Alpha 100 and carry it in my pocket on a flash drive.  Super fast access to the “real” DSLR Alpha 100 instructions.  Good work, Gary!   -BSH Minnesota

“I just wanted to drop a note thanking you for such an excellent manual at a very reasonable cost. I’ve used other 35mm SLR’s so I’m not completely green when it comes to cameras, but your insight and hints take great strides in teaching how to use the camera more effectively. Your book touches on features the camera has built in that an owner probably would never know by reading the factory manual. It’s an easy to read and…better yet…understand “what you just read” publication. Nice job!”  Scott Campbell

And as if the above testimonials were not convincing enough, have a look at this thread on