Book Review: Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D From Snapshots to Great Shots

Lin Moos

Posted December 12, 2011 in: Reviews 

Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D From Snapshots to Great Shots
Reviewed by Lin Moos
Calvert Photography Club

BookIf you have just purchased a Canon T3i and you are a relative beginner to anything other than ?point and shoot,? you will quickly realize that the T3i has more functions than you had imagined.  You probably don?t know what 1/2 of the functions accomplish and how they will affect the photographs you want to create.  Then you turn to the Canon T3i Instruction Manual and your enthusiasm for your new camera quickly wanes.  The Instruction Manual is written in tiny, blurry, fine print and only tells you how to push the buttons to activate the different features of your new camera.  It doesn?t tell you why these features are important or how you can use them to create great photographs.

When you purchase your T3i, it should come packaged with this book.  While it is too large to conveniently carry in your camera bag——it will become the manual you rely on to understand and use your new camera?s functions.  This book has wonderful full page photographs and is is clearly written to explain what the 35+ different buttons and dial points on your camera are for, and how to use the different features to take great shots.  Oh, did I note that in addition to the 35+ different buttons and dial points, there are at least another hundred or so discrete settings for these buttons and dials.  You need an instruction manual that is technical enough to explain these functions and their importance, but well written enough so that you want to keep reading!

?From Snapshots to Great Shots? provides photography instruction while being a reference guide for the use of the T3i.  The first chapter lists the first 10 things you should do when you take your camera out of the box.  It directs you on how to set your image quality, how to turn off the auto ISO setting, how to set the white balance, and how to review your shots as well as other things you should know.  From there the book describes everything from ?what is exposure? and ?lens and focal length? to advanced techniques such as bracketing exposures and macro photography.  There are chapters addressing landscape photography, portraits, lighting and action photography.  These chapters and others clearly explain how to use your T3i and its functions to produce the best images possible. 

The feature of the book that I most enjoyed was the ?Pouring Over the Picture? section in each chapter.  The full page photographs with the shooting data and descriptions of how the pictures were taken were invaluable.  In these cases, the pictures did speak a thousand words.  The photographs captured the essence of what was being explained so that the reader could visualize how composition and using different features of the camera created the final image.

There were only two shortcomings to the book.  On page 17, the instructions to “Review Your Shots” incorrectly direct you to use the ?display button? when the button used on the T3i for this function is the “Info button.”  Also, in a couple places, the book refers to “color space” but the term is not included in the index, nor is it defined in the book.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a beginning photographer and owner of the T3i.  Its direct and easy to understand description of the camera and its features combined with its photography instruction make it an unbeatable resource to enable you to fully use your camera and improve your photography skills.

About Lin Moos - Lin Moos is a beginning photographer who recently purchased a new Canon DSLR. While she enjoys the local scenery afforded by the bay, the rural setting and local woodland parks, she is hoping to broaden her range of subjects by taking road trips to new destinations with different photographic opportunities.


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