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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Long Makes it Easy
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...
Published on October 20, 2008 by Charles Flum

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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
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...
Published on February 21, 2009 by A. Skerritt


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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Long Makes it Easy, October 20, 2008
This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for people with XSi as their first DSLR, October 7, 2008
By 
MEJazz (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
UPDATE 01/26/2009:
I would like to de-emphasize the "travel companion" focus of the original review; this is a great book that teaches one how to hold the camera, basic concepts of photography and of course all the features of XSi. Missing stuff includes remote shooting, Bulb mode, and Live View - all of which get very little - even just a one liner - coverage. I also feel that the book could have provided some appendix on the XSI's bundled software - especially the raw file processing tool.
Other errors that i noticed were referring to JPEG image as 24 bit vs. RAW as 14 bits and claiming hence RAW is superior. Author should really refer to JPEG as being 8-bit per primary color per pixel vs. RAW as being 14-bit per sensor element per pixel (i believe there are 4 sensor elements per pixel)
Nevertheless, its a great book and been very helpful to me in capturing great photos.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: I ordered this book even though there were no customer reviews for it based upon its description and reviews of other XSi books categorizing them as "glorified manuals". This seemed more useful from description and it turned out to be more than just manual. It is compact and can be carried along and has good advice from holding your camera right to using all the modes of XSi. It is filled with color photos and is written in an easy to read manner. The only downside of this book that i have noticed is that at times it asks the reader to perform certain tasks without telling them how - that ultimately is explained in a later chapter. E.g. the first chapter tell you to insert a CF card and install the battery but it is only in chapter 2 that it shows you the location of these objects and where they go in your camera. It is really nit-picking but to an absolute beginner who has never used a digital camera, it might confuse them. My advice: read the Nomenclature chapter first and then come back to chapter one.
By no means it is a comprehensive tutorial on photography but as a compact traveling companion on SLR photography and reference for XSi, this is almost perfect.
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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
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This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real instruction, examples, and advice from a real pro, December 24, 2008
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This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
I've visited Mr. Long's website and looked at some of his work. He is an actual professional that likes to write reviews and books for the benefit of people looking into the art of photography.

For the most part, the book covers what the manual that comes with the XSi covers (and more of course). But that's not a bad thing, the manual is quite good and I would have hated it if Ben Long would have continuously said to refer to the manual instead of explaining it again. I like that he made this book all inclusive, meaning all of the new material he adds along with the old material you should have seen already in the manual. It makes it so you can replace your manual completely with this book instead of adding to it, and having to look back and forth if you're unfamiliar with dSLR photography.

He offers a lot of tips and tricks on what to do, what settings he recommends, and other things in every chapter, including those covering the basic functions. Knowing the basic functions is great, knowing how to best use them is better. He also provides a lot of tips and tricks on how to get good shots and end up with good photos. There are some fundamentals that he provides in this book that you can use on with any camera. Like how to properly hold the camera, how to compose your shot, and all of that stuff.

Every important aspect is illustrated with photos, not because you're too dumb to read, but because nothing beats actually seeing the end results of his tips or actually seeing which button he's talking about using to do what function. It makes for fewer mistakes down the road and gives you a better idea of how something is supposed to look like.

I really like it as a beginner in digital SLR photography. Before I only had a digital point and shoot camera (also Canon). I've always had an interest in photography but never had the money to get into the SLR's. This book is a must-have if you own a Canon XSi/450D. I also like that Mr. Long does not tease the reader for not knowing the basics like Scott Kelby does in his book Digital Photography. I would recommend this, and my friend who is a semi-pro photographer also recommends Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I'll be reviewing that as soon as I finish reading it, just received it today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for boneheads, October 10, 2008
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This review is from: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion (Paperback)
I am new to the SRL world. I needed a book that would treat me gently. Ben takes you by the hand and walks you through. He presented information in a way that is not overwhelming. This is not a read it from cover to cover book and then go out and be a photographer. THis was designed to read a section at a time, then pick up your camera and tinker. Ben gives you little "assignments" to help with ths process. He shares ideas and tibits so that you can morph yourself into photography as a hobby. The information in the book is presented in a logical manner so that the information is tangible and useable. At the end of the book, I was able to play with my camera but am also very aware that I have a lot more to learn about photography. If a chose to do so, this could be a hobby that lasts a lifetime, that will not get boring, will always present some new challenge
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The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion
The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion by Ben Long (Paperback - September 22, 2008)
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