Before you get "American Cinematographer Manual" which is a technical manual for shooting on film you will probably want to start with something that explains the ins and out of the motion picture camera and how to shoot on film. This book does just that.
Essentially the book deals with all the different formats of motion picture cameras, their internal mechanisms and threading paths. Then the book goes on to dealing with motion picture film itself, the various brands that are available, differences between black and white, color, color reversal and negatives along with a bit about the development process of each one. It is not technically detailed, it just describes and illustrates each one so that you will understand more about them and how they are used. The book then deals with lenses and how to frame your shots and covers a good bit about exposure, fps, filters and lighting.
This is an excellent starters manual and will get you up and running with your motion picture camera in no time. However when you are shooting on film you will need something like the "American Cinematographer Manual" for technical details on focusing the lens, threading the type of camera you have and exposure adjustments for filters.
As a note, there is a lot of new digital cinematography cameras on the up and coming that work on digital video tape and not film and many new filmmakers may be advised to check out this route as a cheaper and less costly way of shooting their first film.
This book doesn't need 1,000 words - it speaks for itself. We recommend it to all our students as THE text book to have. An excellent primer before moving on to specialist books. I don't want to be responsible for our students spending a fortune on books, so I tell them that if they can only afford one, then this is the one to get. The problem with many film books is that you can spend a fortune on getting the wrong ones. This is the only one you need to learn all the basics before you specialise.