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Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D)

Canon450D
Review Date: Jul 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $935.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: -nice 3" screen -sensor cleaning system -better grip than the 350D/XT -better kitlens -good image quality -use of SD/SD HC
Cons:
-a bit pricey -different battery and grips than it's predecessors

I bought this camera to upgrade my 350D/Rebel XT and I got it pretty cheap for 623 euros/$935

Appearance:
-The upgrade from the 350's 1,8 inch screen to the 450's 3" is just...wow. The only thing I've to get used to is the removal of the 2nd, small LCD screen which used to show information like aperture and shutter speed. On the 450D this info is now shown really big on one main LCD screen.

-The 450D has a nice rounded form which gives a slightly professional look.

-The grip has improved. Because I don't have big hands like men, the 350's grip has never become an real issue. But after 2 or 3 hours shooting, the grip just feels smaller and smaller.
But as soon as I had the 450 in my hands, it felt a lot more comfortable. A rubbery patch has been added to the grip and on the thumb area.

-A dedicated ISO and picture style button! Smile
Both can be changed really quickly now

Features:
-I love the fact that the 450D uses SD/SD HC as storage. It's so much easier now that I don't have to carry this big card reader with me since most laptops have built in SD readers.

-I haven't seen much of the sensor cleaning system, but the fact that there is one, makes me happy Wink

-The live view mode isn't really the feature I bought this for. It's nice that it's here, but I don't think I'll use it that much.
Plus, it's a bit time consuming to use it since you'd have to go into the menu, enable the feature, go back to shooting mode and then you can press the set button to activate it.

-The sensor to turn of the LCD screen when you bring the camera to your face is a great power saver

-Compared to the 350D, the 450D has now 2 histogram modes (RGB/brightness)

-Improved AF points; they now are placed in a circle

-Love the fact that you can now customize your menu and settings.

-Increase in megapixels

Image quality:
As we all know Canon is best known for, the image quality is good. Again, Canon managed to get low noise and rather sharp images.
The kit lens is decent for the money, but I'd recommend not to stick around with this lens.

Conclusion:
I have no regrets in upgrading my 350D to the 450D. Because I was already familiar with Canon it was very easy to start out.

The fact that the 450D, like it's predecessors, is made from plastic and therefor light weighted, can be both a pro and a con.
A little weight can be nice for stabilizing while taking photo's, while it's also a load you'd have to carry with you.

My cousin (Nikon to the bone) always teases me that I'm carrying around a piece of plastic and not a real camera.
But then again, if it were to fall into water, mine would float and his will sink Wink

I have also been looking at Nikon but for me as a amateur photographer, there were 2 minimum features I wanted my next camera to have: a 3" screen and a sensor cleaning system.
If I were to switch to Nikon, I'd have to buy a D300 for twice the money. Plus, I already have a Canon 28-135 USM and a 50mm f/1.8 which I both love, so I'm guessing I'm going to stick around Canon for a while.

I'd highly recommend this camera to anyone who'd wish to upgrade from a 300D/350D or a point and shoot compact.
In my opinion's the gap between the 400D and 450D not big enough to spend the money.

Also, for those who are trying to chose between this one and the 1000D/Xs, I'd recommend this one. The price difference of both kits is about 40 euros (in the Netherlands), but with the 450D you'll get more on at least 8 features.


 
Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D)

rebel_xt
Review Date: May 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good photo quality, good battery life, lightweight, small
Cons:
plastic material starts to wear off, CF storage, small, quickly outdated

I bought the 350D back in '05 and is my very first DSLR or my SLR for that matter.
As a novice in photography I wanted to learn and for that you'll need a decent camera. At the moment I was torn between the Nikon D50 and the Canon 350D and after a lot of thinking and saving up money, I decided to go for the Canon for 2 reasons. a) I bought a Nikon compact digital camera back in '01 and was very unpleased with it. I know that digital camera's were just starting to rise, but at the moment the image quality was so bad that I quickly fell back on a compact analog. b) the Canon was suddenly on a 1 day sale for 600 euro.

The overall impression is good. A rather small, light weighted, decent build body. It fits nicely in a small Lowepro shoulderbag and you won't be dragging heavy gear.

However, after 3 years of shooting, it's starting to feel a bit too small; that's why I have it at pro's and con's. As a woman I have rather big hands and the 350 feels okay, but I can imagine that big male hands won't be liking the small form of the 350.

Also, the plastic is starting to discolor(?) or wear off.

Because my knowledge of lenses was like, zero, I bought the 350 with the 18-55 kit lens. Despite all the negative comments, I'd like to say that the lens is O.K. No, it's not L glass and it feels like a toy, but the image quality is somewhat decent, it has a pretty good range and the price is low. For me, it was enough to get me started and save up for new glass.

The build in flash is good, but after a year of annoying shadows, I bought a simple Metz external flash, which really improves the quality of your images.

The 350D uses CF cards as storage media. It's not a bad thing, because it's not that expensive like xD or MemorySticks, except nowadays laptop computers have build in card readers without CF. Of course you can always use the USB cable.

The battery life is amazing; I've never run out of power. (let's hope it'll stay that way Wink)

Like most electronics, a dSLR is quickly outdated and new toys hit the market. At the moment I'm drooling on the 450D mainly because of it's larger display and sensor cleaning, but hey you can't always get what you want Wink

Concluded, the 350D is intended for consumers and I think it lives up to that. It's great for amateur/novices who are introducing themselves into photography and want/need more than simple point and shoot compact camera.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: May 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: f/1.8, good bokeh, cheap
Cons:
build quality, small focus ring, a little soft (but not that annoying)

After reading alot of reviews about this lens, I decided to buy it new for about 80 euro.
I have it for a week now and been shooting with it alot on my 350D. This is absolutely a must have considering the price.

I did have to get used in using a prime since my other lenses (Canon 18-55 and Tamron 55-200) are all zooms.
Also, the build quality is pretty poor. But what do you expect for 80 euro?

Other than that, I love the f/1.8 even though a little soft. It's get better past f/3 or so. It's just a must have for a novice/intermediate like me. I think that pro's would rather buy the f/1.4 or f/1.2 L version.