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The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion [Paperback]

by Ben Long
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 19, 2008 0596520867 978-0596520861 1

Through a series of easy-to-follow lessons, The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/D450 Companion gives you a complete class on digital photography, tailored specifically for people who use this camera. This is not a typical camera guide: rather than just showing you what all the buttons do, this unique book teaches you how to use various Digital Rebel features to make great photographs.

With The Canon Digital Rebel XSi Companion in your camera bag, you have the perfect field reference for taking stunning pictures of any occasion or place, any time. You get valuable creative tips and technical advice for capturing professional-looking images of people, landscapes, action shots, close-ups, night shots, and more.

  • Get to know the Digital Rebel XSi and how it works
  • Take creative control and go beyond automatic settings
  • Learn the basic rules of composition
  • Know when to let the camera work for you
  • Photograph fast-moving objects, and learn to capture decisive moments
  • Discover ways to use a flash indoors and outdoors
  • Learn the advantages of different lenses, and the best time to use them
  • Understand the options for shooting RAW, and whether it's right for you

There are plenty of photography books, but only this companion guide teaches you how to take high-quality digital photos using the camera model you own. Professional photographer Ben Long includes plenty of full-color examples to show you what's possible once you graduate from snapshots and focus on the pictures you've always wanted to take.

Frequently Bought Together

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion + Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D For Dummies + Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D Digital Field Guide
Price for all three: $55.81

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Learning How to Take Pictures You Love With the Camera You Have

About the Author

Ben Long is a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer based in San Francisco. A long-time computer journalist, he has written hundreds of features, reviews, and how-to's for magazines such as Macworld, MacWeek, Macworld UK, MacUser, Computer Graphics World, Maximum PC, and eMediaWeekly. He is currently a Senior Editor for, where he writes a regular digital photography column. His most recent books include Apple's Pro Training guide for Aperture, Real World Aperture, Getting Started with Camera Raw, and Complete Digital Photography, 3rd edition.

As a photographer and videographer, his clients have included Blue Note Records, 20th Century Fox, the Pickle Circus, Global Business Network, Head Start, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. You can learn more about him and his work at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596520867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596520861
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Long is a San Francisco-based photographer and writer. The author of over a dozen books on digital photography and digital video, he has been a longtime contributor or contributing editor to many magazines including MacWeek, MacUser, Macworld UK, and others. He currently writes for Photoshop Elements magazine, is a Senior Contributor at Macworld Magazine and, and a senior editor at His photography clients have included 20th Century Fox, Blue Note Records, Global Business Network, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Pickle Family Circus, and Grammy-nominated jazz musicians Don Byron and Dafnis Prieto. He has taught and lectured on photography around the world. A sometime dabbler in computer programming, he has written a Mac-based image editing utility that is used by the British Museum, the White House, and others. You can learn more about what he's up to at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Long Makes it Easy October 20, 2008
I recently bought a Canon SXI camera. I read through the manual. The manual is well written, but I felt I needed more information. I found that information in The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSI/450D Companion by Ben Long.
Long takes the approach that you are brand new to photography and have recently bought this great camera. Now, how do you use it? He takes you step by step through using the camera. The first chapter gets you acquainted with the very basic functions of using the camera in full auto mode. By the time I finished the book, I had a very good idea what the camera will and won't do. I also know how to use it in different situations.
Long's chapter on composition is one of the best synopses I have read. I have used a film SLR for many years and have read several photography books, so I hope I know what I am talking about.
Canon would do well to bundle this book with the XSI as well as their own very good manual.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb November 12, 2008
I have been using point and shoot cameras for some time now but decided to make the leap to an SLR. I bought the XSi without knowing anything about SLR cameras. I just knew I wanted to learn how to take better pictures and had read reviews that stated the XSi was a great entry level camera. When I picked up this book, I was looking for something that would be pretty basic, but also get into some of the more complex functions of the camera and give a basic overview of them.

If what I described above sounds like you, this book is an absolute must buy. I am literally shocked at how easy it is to ready. The author has a sense of humor throughout and everything he describes is very clear and concise. If this is your first SLR purchase and you don't buy the book, I think you are making a big mistake as I learned things about taking care of the camera I would not have otherwise known or thought about.

The author also gets into basic entry level information regarding ISO, shutter speed, etc etc. This was a perfect beginner spot for someone who didn't know much about those items. The book begins bye telling you how to work with/care for your camera, talks about using the automatic function built in, and then closes with more detailed instruction for manual use and also has a section on the different lenses, ad-ons. A-Z guide.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful October 4, 2008
By Dan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are lots of camera books that regurgitate the product manual. This book, however, offers explanation of the various options and settings on the camera. It also explains how the camera should be set up for different kinds of photography. It is well illustrated and the figures and photos in the book are first quality. If you own a Canon Rebel Xsi, this is the only book you will need.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much emphasis on Automatic/Program mode February 21, 2009
Overall: the book was well written and quite easy to follow, although not always. I am a beginner and have just recently bought this camera and wanted something to better show me how to use it. It did help alot in helping me recognise, understand and thus use functions on the camera previously unknown to me. However, as time went by and I practised more, read the book more, I realised that there was too much attention given to "shooting in program mode". In fact, there is an entire chapter (chapter 6) on the subject but only a few paragraphs and scattered words throughout the book on shooting in, for eg., AV (Aperture priority) or TV (shutter priority)modes.

For someone that wants to have more control on the use of the camera, this book doesn't do much. With every main topic discussed there is always a mention of "how to do this in program mode". He even uses the words "you would most likely be shooting in program mode most of the time" (paraphrased) . I think this is a lazy approach but, I guess that's a personal preference. For some that may be just what is needed but, I bought a dslr with the assumption more control (and personal preference) would be awarded.

Like I said, overall a good book but how good depends on a person's personal approach to digital photography and the use of dslr's.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical savvy blends with specialty photography tips November 8, 2008
Unlike other camera guides to the Canon, The Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xsi/450d Companion provides a portable class on digital photography for those who use this particular model and shows how to use its special features to take superior photos. Technical savvy blends with specialty photography tips in a survey important for any Canon DOS Digital Rebel camera owner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best photo how to book. October 25, 2008
Ben Long has written the finest how to use a camera book I have ever read. Not only does he clearly describe the camera but he gives very useful information on the the digital world , how to better use any camera, clear descriptions of how to take better photos and how even to hold the camera properly. I would recommend this book to any Canon 450D/xsi users.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Primer for Canon Rebel XSi October 17, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an easy to read guide to using your new Canon Rebel XSi. This a practical manual that provides useful information that can and should be used everyday. I found it extremely valuable in learning the capabilities of the Rebel XSi and how to employ those capabilities to take fantastic pictures. In addition to providing a guide to all of the camera features, the author also provides a short course in basic and slightly advanced photography techniques using your Rebel XSi. I consider this book a must if you want to learn how to use the camera to its fullest advantage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is fine
I've done year's of photography, black and white and color. Started with film and now the digital age. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, practical, easy to understand
I have owned my Canon xsi 450D for 2 years and finally decided to take a photography class to enhance my knowledge of my camera. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kristin Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift
Purchased this a Christmas gift for a friend. I was just the book I was looking for and I hope it was helpful for her. I haven't gotten any feedback from her yet
Published 15 months ago by Barbara T
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This little camera guide is GREAT! I got it used, and I wouldn't know it had it not been for the listing specifically stating it was used. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Kelli A. Downing
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Complete reference for your camera and basic shooting skills!
This book is excellent for learning what your camera can do for your photos. Recommend highly. Learn all the functions and you will become more confident in your abilities and... Read more
Published on April 1, 2012 by Nancy Karl
5.0 out of 5 stars I chose this book and have never regretted it
When I bought my XSi, I knew next to nothing about photography in general, much less how to operate the XSi. I had used point & shoot digital cameras, and that was it. Read more
Published on November 29, 2011 by _Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful, Very Good book for the beginner to professional.
I really like how well this book explained all aspects of my camera. Whether learning to hold and shoot from the beginning to understanding the aspects of camera settings, this... Read more
Published on September 5, 2011 by BEACHBOY PHOTO
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Basic
When will someone write a book for experienced photographers? Skip the aperature/shutter speed explanations, the depth of field and motion stopping drivel! Read more
Published on May 2, 2011 by Owen Gailar
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Have This Camera - Buy This Book!
I wish I would have found this book when I first purchased my Canon EOS Digital Rebel SXI. This book gives a thorough review of all the features so you can make use of them to... Read more
Published on April 21, 2011 by Connie Petty
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
i am on page 73 now and love the way he explain the functions of each... I hope I can learn more techniques before finishing this book and after understanding the basic stuff. Read more
Published on October 28, 2010 by Tranceformer
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