A ShortCourse Book
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D Photography

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D Photography

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D

This clearly written and easy-to understand short course on your Canon Digital Rebel XTi, called the 400D in some countries, explains step-by-step how, why and when you use your camera's controls for better pictures. This guide is available as a traditional 144 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD or download instantly. The eBook also includes links to animations and other resources that bring to life the core concepts of digital photography.


Introducing Animations

The eBook version of this book has 55 interactive animations that illustrate and explain the core concepts of digital photography. Integrated throughout the eBook, these animations help you understand your camera better, and they are also a lot of fun.

To use the animations you need the eBook version of this book and an Internet connection.

Click to explore the light path through an SLR then minimize or close the animation window.
Click to see how full color images are created from only three colors then minimize or close the animation window.


New, a Short Courses digital photography book for people who want to get better pictures with their Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D digital camera. This beautifully written and illustrated guide, drawing on the much more comprehensive information on the ShortCourses Web site, pulls together answers to the questions you might have about using the XTi/400D, including the following:
  • Taking a Picture in Full Auto Mode
  • Preventing Shooting without a Card
  • Turning the Beep On or Off
  • Using Menus
  • Managing Your Images—Using Buttons
  • Jumping in Playback
  • Giving Slide Shows
  • Managing Your Images—Using Menus
  • Selecting Image Quality
  • Changing Exposure Modes
  • Using Image Zone Modes
  • Using Program AE (P) Mode
  • Using Program Shift
  • Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode
  • Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode
  • Using Manual (M) Mode
  • Changing the Metering Mode
  • Using Exposure Compensation
  • Using Autoexposure (AE) Lock
  • Using Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB)
  • Displaying Histograms
  • Selecting the Brightness or RGB Histogram
  • Evaluating Histograms
  • Using the Self-timer
  • Changing the ISO
  • Using the Self-timer
  • Increasing the Sharpness of Moving Objects
  • Selecting an Autofocus Mode
  • Selecting AF Points
  • Using Focus Lock
  • Using Manual Focus
  • Setting Your Lens to the Hyperfocal Distance
  • Zone Focusing
  • Using Auto Depth-of-Field AE (A-DEP)
  • Decreasing Depth of Field
  • Conveying Motion
  • Selecting a White Balance Mode
  • Setting a Custom White Balance
  • Selecting a Color Space
  • Using White Balance Correction/Bracketing
  • Using Bulb Exposures
  • Mounting and Unmounting a Lens
  • Zooming a Lens
  • Increasing Depth of Field in Close-ups
  • Using Autoflash
  • Turning Red-eye Mode On and Off
  • Using Fill Flash
  • Using Slow Sync Flash
  • Preventing the Flash from Firing
  • Using Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Using Flash Exposure (FE) Lock
  • Turning Continuous Mode On and Off
  • Selecting & Changing Picture Styles
  • Using the Set-up Menus
  • Changing Custom Functions
  • Clearing Custom Functions
  • Entering a Print Order
  • Manually Cleaning the Sensor or Disabling It Obtaining Dust Delete Data

The book is designed to work with the www.shortcourses.com site. The book explains how to get better pictures but you'll find more on that subject on the site. In addition, there is lots of information on the site about what you can do with your pictures after you've taken them.


Chapter 1
Camera Controls and Creativity ...7

The Digital Rebel XTi Camera ...8
Jump Start—Using Full Auto Mode ...9
Good Things to Know...10
Operating the Camera ...12
Using Buttons to Change Settings ...14
Using Menus to Change Settings ...15
Playing Back & Managing Your Images ...16
Selecting Image Quality and Size ...19

Chapter 2
Controlling Exposure ...24

Understanding Exposure ...25
The Shutter Controls Light and Motion ...26
The Aperture Controls Light and Depth of Field ...28
Using Shutter Speed and Aperture Together ...30
Retaining Highlight and Shadow Details ...33
Choosing Exposure Modes ...34
Using Image Zone Modes ...35
Using Program AE (P) Mode and Program Shift ...36
Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode ...37
Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode ...38
Using Manual (M) Mode ...39
How Your Exposure System Works ...40
When Automatic Exposure Works Well ...43
When to Override Automatic Exposure ...44
How Overriding Autoexposure Works ...48
How to Override Automatic Exposure ...49
Using Histograms ...52
Using the RAW Format ...56

Chapter 3
Getting Sharper Pictures ...59

Sharpness Isn't Everything ...61
How to Photograph Motion Sharply ...62
Focus and Depth of Field ...64
Focusing Techniques ...66
Controlling Depth of Field ...70
Using Deep Depth of Field ...71
Using Shallow Depth of Field ...73
Conveying the Feeling of Motion ...74

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color ...75

Where Does Color Come From? ...76
White Balance and Color ...77
Using White Balance Correction & Bracketing ...80
Color and Time of Day ...81
Sunsets and Sunrises ...82
Weather ...84
Photographing at Night ...86
The Direction of Light ...88
The Quality of Light ...90

Chapter 5
Understanding Lenses...91

Canon Lenses ...92
Focal Length ...96
Zoom Lenses ...97
Normal Lenses ...98
Wide-Angle Lenses ...99
Telephoto Lenses...101
Macro Lenses and Accessories ...103
Tilt-Shift Lenses ...105
Lens Accessories ...106
Perspective in a Photograph ...107

Chapter 6
Using Flash & Studio Lighting ...108

How Flash Works ...109
Using Autoflash ...110
Portraits with Flash ...112
Using Fill Flash ...114
Using Slow Sync Flash ...115
Using Available Light ...116
Controlling Flash Exposures ...117
Using an External Flash ...119
Using Flash in Close-ups ...121
Studio Lighting ...122
Portrait and Product Photography—Introduction ...125
The Main Light ...126
The Fill Light ...127
The Background Light ...128
The Rim Light ...129

Chapter 7
Other Features and Commands ...130

Continuous Photography ...131
Selecting & Changing Picture Styles ...132
Remote Control Photography ...133
Using the Set-up Menus ...134
Using Custom Functions ...137
Entering a Print Order ...140
Caring for Your Camera ...141


A great photograph begins when you recognize a great scene or subject. But recognizing a great opportunity isn't enough to capture it; you also have to be prepared. A large part of being prepared involves understanding your camera well enough to capture what you see. Getting you prepared to see and capture great photographs is what this book is all about. It doesn't matter if you are taking pictures for business or pleasure, there's a lot here to help you get better results and more satisfaction from your photography.

To get better, and possibly even great photographs, you need to understand both concepts and procedures; the "whys" and "hows" of photography.

  • Concepts of photography are the underlying principles that apply regardless of the camera you are using. They include such things as how sharpness and exposure affect your images and the way they are perceived by viewers. Understanding concepts answers the "why" kinds of questions you might have about photography.
  • Procedures are those things specific to one kind of camera, and explain step-by-step how you set your camera's controls to capture an image just the way you want to. Understanding procedures gives you the answers to the "how" kinds of questions you might have.
This book is organized around the concepts of digital photography because that's how photographers think. You think about scenes and subjects, highlights and shadows, softness and sharpness, color and tone. The procedures you use with the Canon XTi/400D camera are integrated throughout the concepts, appearing in those places where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of photography and then see step by step how to use the XTi/400D in all kinds of photographic situations.

To get more effective, interesting, and creative photographs, you only need to understand how and when to use a few simple features on your camera such as focus, exposure controls, and flash. If you've previously avoided understanding these features and the profound impact they can have on your images, you'll be pleased to know that you can learn them on a weekend. You can then spend the rest of your life marveling at how the infinite variety of combinations make it possible to convey your own personal view of the world. You'll be ready to keep everything in a scene sharp for maximum detail or to blur it all for an impressionistic portrayal. You'll be able to get dramatic close-ups, freeze fast action, create wonderful panoramas, and capture the beauty and wonder of rainbows, sunsets, fireworks, and nighttime scenes.

As you explore your camera, be sure to have fun. There are no "rules" or "best" way to make a picture. Great photographs come from using what you know to experiment and try new approaches. Digital cameras make this especially easy because there are no film costs or delays. Every experiment is free and you see the results immediately so you can learn step by step.

This book assumes you've mastered the mechanics of your camera. It's about getting great pictures, not about connecting your camera to computers and using your software. That information is well presented in the user guide that came with your camera. Be sure to visit our Web site at www.shortcourses.com for even more digital photography information.

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