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Canon® EOS Rebel XSi/450D Guide to Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch

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Manual Exposure

Part of being an experienced photographer comes from knowing when to rely on your Rebel XSi’s automation (including P mode and Basic Zone settings), when to go semiautomatic (with Tv or Av), and when to set exposure manually (using M). Some photographers actually prefer to set their exposure manually, as the XSi will be happy to provide an indication of when its metering system judges your manual settings provide the proper exposure, using the analog exposure scale at the bottom of the viewfinder and on the status LCD.

Manual exposure can come in handy in some situations. You might be taking a silhouette photo and find that none of the exposure modes or EV correction features give you exactly the effect you want. For example, ...

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