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Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D)

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30 64523 Aug 21, 2013
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97% of reviewers $748.86
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• 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
• Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System
• 3.5 frames per second
• 3.0” LCD with Live View shooting
• 9-point wide-area AF system with f/2.8 cross-type centre point
• Picture Style image processing parameters
• DIGIC III image processor
• Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software1
• Compact and Lightweight body
• Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites


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Registered: Dec 26, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 3138
Review Date: Sep 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, reliable AF with center cross hair, very useful live view, portable (great for hikers like me), best viewfinder in rebel series
AF microadjust should have been added

Have been using the XSi since it was first released.

It is an amazing camera.

Sep 4, 2008
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Registered: Jul 18, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 2603
Review Date: Aug 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small and light but still comfortable to use, fantastic image quality, very good high ISO performance, nice viewfinder.
Shutter sound a bit sharp, but nothing too bad.

This is a wonderful camera and a perfect companion to my 5D. The 5D has better image quality (of course), but with good lenses the difference isn't huge and I never hesitate to leave the 5D at home when I want to go light.

Because of its high resolution the 450D sensor is demanding and appreciates good glass if you can afford it. It actually outresolves many lenses.

Put a sharp prime on it and you get a fantastic camera for street photography.

With good lenses the 12MP are very useful. You can crop heavily and still get a sharp and detailed photo.

Autofocus on mine has been nothing less than excellent.

I love my 5D, but actually prefer the handling of the 450D. It fits my hands perfectly and all the buttons are easy to reach. The menu with its tabs and "My menu" is very practical.

Auto-ISO works very well and I actually keep it there 98% of the time.

Aug 18, 2008
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Registered: Sep 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2386
Review Date: Aug 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very inexpensive, outstanding image quality, very light, great high-ISO performance.
Small grip is just a bit too narrow and doesn't need to be so narrow just to be light.

I bought the XSi first as a cheap camera I could get modified for astrophotography. I was really surprised at the build quality and even more so with the image quality. I find the images it produces to be slightly better in overall IQ than those I got from my 40D. As a result, I sold my 40D and my XSi is now my preferred travel camera/camera that is always on me. Apart from the too-narrow grip, my only other complaint is that the AF accuracy is less than I would have hoped for, but its still very good, so I can't really complain. Overall a great deal, and a perfect portable camera.

Aug 15, 2008
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Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Aug 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $745.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, highlight tone priority, 3" display, noise reduction, lightweight, dust removal system, user friendly controls
Auto ISO shutter speeds set too low

I purchased the XSi as a walk-around/travel camera to complement my 5d and use as a back-up if necessary. It also replaces my Xti, which is a great camera, but the Xsi is even better. The higher resolution, highlight tone priority, and noise reduction all make a noticeable difference in IQ.

After a couple of thousand test shots and a real-world photo shoot using the 17-55 F/2.8 IS and the 70-200 F/4.0L IS, I have to say this is an amazing camera and the image quality is just exceptional. What works best for me is stopping the camera down by two-thirds, enabling the highlight tone priority and noise reduction (I love these features), and shooting in raw.

The only negative comment I have about the camera is that the auto ISO speeds are set too low. The only misfocused shots I’ve taken were when this feature was enabled. When I reviewed the exif data, I was shocked at the low shutter speeds.

I’ve rated the camera a 10 because of its outstanding image quality and the fact that you can shoot with comfort at ISO speeds up to 1600.

Aug 8, 2008
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Registered: Aug 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 


This is not a technical review.

I'm probably the person they built this camera for. Although I have a great deal of past experience shooting and processing film, my interests led me away from photography for many years. I was content to shoot snapshots on an Olympus 3040 that replaced my Nikon F2 and Rolleiflex kits when it became clear some years ago that I needed at least a basic digital camera. In fact, if I recall, the Olympus cost almost what I paid for the XSi, which shows how far things have come in the last few years. I lived with the frustrations of that camera (how? I suffer in silence) until I began writing a regular column for a magazine about a year ago. I illustrate it with my own pictures and the slow response of the Olympus finally became too much to endure. It took pictures, so it wasn't all bad.

I come to this as newbie in respect to digital photography, but with an instant requirement for a reasonably professional brief. What ruled my decision was remembering what it was like to tote three or four lenses, all the crap that goes with that and the Nikon body. I reckoned I'd appreciate a small, competent compact camera that I would always have with me. For me, it has to be about getting the picture, and I can't get it with a camera that I don't have with me.

My first impression after unboxing the camera was "Man, does this thing feel cheap" And the kit lens was worse! But I thought, what the hell, just use it. And I have been doing that for about six weeks.
Frankly, for my purposes the kit lens works well enough although it is embarrassing to me to take it off the camera and hold it in my hand.
But it takes pictures, and I don't compare them to what an L lens will take, I just send them to my publisher and see them in the magazine later. Least I be considered a ludite, integrity demands that I say that I have already purchased a 50mm f1.4 (which also feels cheap) and is a bit disappointing, although I have yet to fully explore it. Outdoors, where I do the body of my work, the kit lens seems (casually considered) to be more useful to me. I bought the camera with the 55-250 and it too, is just fine for my purposes as a lightweight piece of equipment for those times when I am walking around and don't want to tote weight. OK. I also bought a 70-200mm f4 IS because I wanted more than need a good telephoto zoom, and I am eager to get going with that, but haven't had an opportunity to use it yet. It's a refinement that isn't really necessary for my work, but what the hell, when weight isn't an object I'll have a good medium distance lens for taking snappier shots. My rig is set up to operate in two aspects. Very lightweight, medium wide to medium telephoto for my working life, and an available light lens for when needed. The 70-200mm thing is just for me.

I'm very much learning this camera, but the curve has been fast. I've made some goofy beginner mistakes that cost me some really nice shots, but what I've found is that if I let the camera do the job and concentrate on getting the picture, the XSi is a terrific tool, and I think it will do just fine. I think I'm done with the EF-S lenses for now, as any second body I might get will have a bigger sensor.

So I can't say that this is abetter camera than the D80, or 40D, but for what I need, it is just fine. Cheap build? I don't know, it works great. It's just light. It's as good or bad as I am. I expect it won't be so many years before I buy my next camera again, but unless things change dramatically, I don't see myself getting rid of the Reb. Having shot large, heavy film cameras all my life, I have come to really appreciate small, light machines that take great pictures. Actually capturing them is my job, which, if I can do half as well as the camera does, I will be doing fine.

Oh, if I were to have gone for a bigger heavier camera, it would have been the D300 and their 18-200. It was the "cheap" build that won me over. After that, it was my thinking that the Nikon package has, at this moment, eclipsed Canon's offering for the one lens photographer. But hey! I like lenses!

Aug 6, 2008
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Registered: Oct 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 589
Review Date: Aug 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $749.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Improved menu and button layout. Spectacular sensor. Live view that works well.
Metering is a bit schizo in challenging scenarios.

I've owned a lot of APS-C based cameras. The 20D was my first and it was superb. I owned an XT and then an XTI and both were ho-hum and nothing to really love. I then had a 40D which was a lot better but after I used it for a while I didn't like the quality of the landscape pictures and bought a 5D instead. I then missed having a light APS-C camera available and debated buying the XSi in lieu of another 40D.

I'm glad I got the XSi. Some cameras in a line are just special, this is the really special camera of the Rebel series. I don't know what they did but they created a sensor that's better than expected. It seems like the kind of sensor that should be in the xxD line of cameras. It's good. It's very good. If Canon creates a 50D and put this sensor in that camera it will be an amazing machine too.

The AF is good. It's not 1-Series good but it works pretty well. I haven't had any problems with it.

High ISO shots are good and they clean up well. No problems here. The dedicated ISO button is VERY welcome.

The 14-bit A/D converter is a big plus. What you get here are RAW files that you can really tweak a lot futher in a RAW converter than 12-bit files. Say you underexposed a shot a bit and need to bring it back to normal exposure, well with 14-bit you're going to get a better end result with more details in the shadows being preserved and smoother tonalities.

Live view works well on this camera. It can focus without moving the mirror out of the way first. It really does work well. Live view would be perfect with an articulating LCD but I'm not sure I want to see that on a Rebel though as it kind of smacks of cheesiness.

The metering seems a little nervous. I tend to overexpose in situations I wouldn't with my 1-Series. But hey, it's not a 1 series so I'm not deducting points. It tends to do this only in situations where it is expected anyway; situations that are hard for any metering system such as the whites in a scene that also has a lot of shadows and dark colors. Still, the metering is as good or better than what I noticed with the 40D.

Handling and build is where people tend to throw down with this camera. It's intended to be small and light so if that is bad for your hands that's not a negative against the camera but just a personal opinion. That aside, the feel of this camera is quite good and yes my hands do get a bit fatigued if I use it for long periods but that's a minor issue. I like that it's small and light. It's unobstrusive and I feel like I can be very candid and unnoticed with a very powerful camera.

The battery is pretty long-lasting too. I haven't actually been able to exhaust it in just one day yet.

I haven't used it with any EF-S lenses but I have used with a few L lenses. It worked stunningly well with my 200mm f/2L.

It's been reliable. It hasn't had any errors, no lost pictures, no weirdness of any kind.

I've heard some negative comments about the shutter sound. I'll admit the shutter sound is odd. It's hard to describe and doesn't sound like any other shutter I've ever heard. It's a bit tinny sounding, almost like a metallic sound. But it's not loud and it's not annoying (to me) and who really cares beyond that, right?

Aug 4, 2008
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Paul Morrison
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Registered: Nov 3, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, 3" screen, auto dust removal, 12 MP sensor, performance at ISO 800 and 1600, 3.5 fps, improved menus, dedicated ISO button near shutter release, IS kit lens, improved 3.5 fps motor, My Menu, good viewfinder, good battery life
SD cards, another different battery and charger

This is an excellent camera for anyone. For a beginner or as a fun/ backup camera for a pro, the XSi delivers an amazing amount of photographic performance for it's size, it's weight and it's price. I thought the XT was great, the XTi better again and now, the XSi is better yet again. I own the 40D, and while it too, is an excellent camera with faster motor drive speed, the quality of the images at ISO 800 and 1600 with the XSi makes it very worth owning. There isn't much to complain about at all, but here are a few minor quibbles. I wish it used the larger, easier to handle CF cards, that I didn't have to have another different battery and it's charger and I still wish for a 'one button' approach to mirror lockup. The huge and easily read LCD screen, the much improved viewfinder, the faster motor, the sharp IS kit lens, the quality of the 12 MP sensor and it's high ISO performance, improved controls, custom programmable 'My Menu' options and great handling (unless you have large hands) make this an excellent upgrade from any of the earlier Rebels or from 20D and 30D cameras.

Jul 22, 2008
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Registered: May 26, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
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
-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

-The upgrade from the 350's 1,8 inch screen to the 450's 3" is 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

-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.

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.

Jul 19, 2008
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Mike Whalen
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Registered: Jan 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great picture quality at all ISO settings, auto ISO, bigger viewfinder, kit lens is very good, "feels" a little better balanced, very good resolution.
build quality could be a little better, RAW image buffer is a little smaller.

I bought this camera to replace my 400D (XTi). Just about every aspect has been improved. The bigger viewfinder alone was very welcome. The biggest surprise was that the image quality does not degrade very much at ISO's 800 or 1600, as they did on the XTi, (better processing I suppose) even with the sensor bump-up to 12MP. I really like this camera since it is small, light, portable and takes great pictures.

One very small negative is that the plastic case looks a little cheap. I don't think this affects the functionality much, but I don't see why a skin similar to the 40D could not have been used. My only other minor gripe is that the RAW image buffer now only hold 6 RAW files instead of 9 on the XTi. This is most likely due to the 40% increase in file size (due to the larger sensor (12 vs 10 MP) and the bit-depth increase per color (14-bits vs 12-bits).

PS. I only shoot in RAW mode and use Adobe Lightroom, so I can't comment on JPEG quality.

Jul 18, 2008
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Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4445
Review Date: Jul 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: • Picture Quality • Ease of Use • Control Options • Handling • Build • Value

Rather than haul my heavier 5D or Nikon D2x w/lenses, I rented an xsi and a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for a 3-week vacation that took my wife and I from Seattle, WA to New Jersey.

Having owned a D60, 10D and a 40D previously, I honestly didn't think the xsi would be quite up there in IQ with my 5D or D2x ... but it is. In fact, I just finished a cursory review of the nearly 2,000 images, and they are all far, far better than I ever could have expected from an $800 camera, or even a $1200 camera for that matter.

I'd go so far as to say that the images from the xsi equal or exceed the clarity, detail, color and contrast of my old 1Ds (which I no longer own), including when viewed at 100%. In many ways the xsi is a better camera than the 1Ds. It's much more consistent from shot to shot, has lower noise at ISOs above 800 and, of course, is much lighter and more compact. But more importantly, the images from the xsi have less of that "digital" look than the 1Ds images and often exceed the 5D in their overall naturalness. The performance of this camera at ISO 1600, by the way, is excellent. Using the Tamron 17-50 wide open, I had no trouble whatsoever capturing excellent hand-held low-light indoor shots.

I am impressed with the xsi beyond words and just might end up purchasing one as my permanent travel camera. It feels great, it operates smoothly (although I find some of the button locations to be a little awkward), has enough control flexibility to meet the demands of just about any situation (with perhaps the exception of serious action or sports work), and it's REALLY LIGHT!

A great camera; a real leap forward for the Canon Rebel series.

Jul 10, 2008
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 13810
Review Date: Jul 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, fantastic sensor, My menu, big lcd, doesn't underexpose like 400D did, live view, 12 meg gives more scope to crop.
Viewfinder not much bigger than 400D/Xti, still average grip (much better with BG-E5 attached), average build quality

This is a peach. It's a significant upgrade from the 400D/Xti even if it doesn't look like one.

It's fast in use, accurate focusing, light, has more options than ever at a really good price.

Considering where we all were a few years ago (this has more pixels than a 1Ds for heavens sake) this is a fantastic piece of kit.

A faster frame rate would be nice as would a proper big viewfinder but with care and good lenses this thing can take fantastic quality pictures.

You need to upgrade from the kit lens though, which is better than the non-IS version, but still way off my Tamron 17-50.

You just can't go wrong if you're already in the Canon system.

Jul 1, 2008
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Registered: Apr 22, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I bought this camera as a exchange for my old 400D, both of them as second camera from my 5D, and a light walk around camera. First i was inpressed by the buildquality, as a light camera it is extremely well build. After about 3000 shots, botn nature, portrait, and macros i-m very imprest by the owerall quality, it is way better then 400D, the dynamic range of color due to the new 14Bit colorchit and the lightcompensation features, i get nearley every shot perfect. I recommend this camera to everyone who wants to get started with digiphoto
No one so far at all

Jun 22, 2008
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1702
Review Date: May 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I can`t really fault the camera and not just on cost
Some high quality true WA lenses for the EF-S mount needed.

First of all, I`ve given the camera three 10`s (overall quality, build quality, price rating) They are really on price because you wouldn`t expect the 450D to get the same mark as a 1dsmk3 etc.
Now for IQ, I`ve found with the right top notch lenses it is a step up on the 40D and approaches the IQ of the 1 series cameras. True it`s a much lower res but at the appropriate size prints it holds it`s own. It`s not built as good as cameras like the 40D but it is more than adequate as far as features go, in fact I`d pick it up as my crop chip over other Canon crop chip cameras I own. It is a touch small for large hands so I added a battery grip and a Canon E-1 hand strap. Battery life is well good enough and the write speeds are instant. I`ve found the Af to be just fine so far. Metering again no problems. The viewfinder is the usual small size but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in brightness. My 70-200 F4 IS gives image quality very much like on the 1dsmk3(honest) but I`ve found that raw is the way to go(isn`t it always)
My 10-22 works fine on the camera but I think that the chip needs a slightly better lens. I think it`s obvious that Canon are going to keep the 1.6 crop going for some time so a really good WA zoom or prime would not go amiss.(that`s not saying the 10-22 is bad but there is definitely some room for a new higher spec set of lenses. I know this for sure because the 70-200 and my Contax lenses really bring out the IQ of the chip.
You have to look past the entry level build quality and after a few days you could really fall for this camera. Finally, colours out of the camera are important to me and in Lightroom and ACR very few tweaks are required.
Things change so fast now that other makers are starting to play catch up otherwise this might well become a classic.

May 30, 2008
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Rubber Soul
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Registered: Dec 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 636
Review Date: May 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact & lightweight; full-featured dSLR in an entry-level body; quiet shutter; excellent kit lens; best LCD screen at this price range; noise is well controlled even at high ISO;
Poor build quality; grip is still too narrow to be comfortable; huge RAW files; small continous shooting buffer for RAW; Eyepoint is too close;

FEATURES: (10/10)
The EOS 450D is a full-featured SLR packed with all the latest innovations from Canon. Much of the artificial handicaps applied to previous entry-level models from Canon & Nikon are gone from the 450D. The spot meter is finally available. You can now use the pop up flash as an autofocus assist strobe, without being forced to use it during exposure. There's the customizeable MyMenu interface that lets you move your favorite functions to a top level menu, accessible at the press of a single button. There's a LiveView mode, albeit designed as a great tool for tripod work (not for handheld exposures). LiveView works very well when doing remote control tethered shooting via Laptop. There's the class-leading 3" LCD screen too. Other advanced features that made me salivate for the 1Dmk3 just 12 months ago have made it into this entry level camera: 14-bit RAW files, very effective High-ISO Digic3 Noise Reduction, Highlight Tone Priority. These advanced features are simply unheard of in an entry level camera.

I bought this 12 Megapixel camera with the expectation that it comes with increased noise levels in high ISO. Much to my surprise, the high ISO noise levels on the 450D are a noticeable improvement over the 400D. I've shot test images with both cameras. Comparing RAW files, I'd say they are nearly indistinguishable from ISO 100 to ISO 800. In that range, noise levels are very similar. However, the older 400D started falling apart in the darker areas of ISO 1600. The 450D, on the other hand, held up extremely well in ISO 1600. A huge improvement at ISO 1600 RAW. I've also compared RAW files from the 40D and 450D, and there's little to differentiate between them. Amazing that Canon was able to do this inspite of the increase in megapixels from 10 to 12.

The plastic used in the EOS 450D seems flimsy, a noticeable step back from the EOS 400D. It's less glossy, and feels less solid. Unlike the 400D, the 450D plastics start to creak when I grip the camra tight --- a major turnoff. The grip itself remains too narrow for comfort, even for small hands. It really causes your fingers to "pinch" the grip, especially if you mount anything heavier than the kit lens into the camera. Prolonged use puts a strain on my hand.

On the bright side, the grip is at least 1/4" taller than it was in the 350D/400D. The pinky finger no longer slips below the grip. And there are rubberized padding on the grip, similar to the 40D and 5D. The viewfinder looks much bigger than before --- partly because of the increased magnfication (0.80x to 0.87), partly because the eyepoint is moved closer. The downside of the short eyepoint is that you really have to stick your eye up against the viewfinder, or else the edges will be obstructed. Not a good thing if you wear glasses.

OVERALL: (10/10)
I think the EOS 450D is the best camera Canon has ever made for the entry-level Digital Rebel series. Feature-wise, it's essentially an EOS 40D without the fast AF/burst mode, transplanted into a cheaper body.

May 18, 2008
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Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D)

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
30 64523 Aug 21, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $748.86
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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