This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).
Canon EOS 450D vs. Sony Alpha 350
Canon EOS 450D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with MLU)
Sony Alpha 350: Minolta 50 mm F2.8 Macro lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 450D
Sony Alpha 350
3.7MB JPEG (4272 x 2848)
4.0MB JPEG (4592 x 3056)
Despite the Alpha 350's two megapixel advantage here really isn't a lot between these cameras (processing aside); Canon is applying a little more sharpening and has been less successful in removing false color (moiré) from the lines on 'coin' in the third crop down. The Alpha has marginally better highlight retention (something confirmed in our dynamic range tests) and slightly more vivid color but I think it's fair to say these two cameras are very evenly matched at base ISO in JPEG mode.