Four and a half years have passed since the first affordable digital SLR from Canon; the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel). In that time we have witnessed two further iterations (the EOS 350D and EOS 400D) leading up to today's fourth generation EOS 450D, with twice the megapixel count of the original (twelve versus six) in a smaller body with a far wider range of functionality and features and a $200 lower list price. Since those heady days in 2004 when the EOS 300D was the only kid on the block we've seen Nikon, Pentax and Olympus all attempt to hit the same sweet spot of size, features and price at the 'lower end' of the DSLR market, with varying degrees of success. Without a doubt the EOS 450D will have to do more today to prove itself in an increasingly crowded market.

On the third page of this review you'll find a detailed breakdown of all of the changes and updates compared to the EOS 400D but the headlines are; a larger 3.0" LCD monitor, Live View with both passive and contrast detect AF, Spot metering, improved auto-focus, 3.5 fps continuous shooting a larger viewfinder and a switch SD/SDHC for storage (all previous cameras in this range were Compact Flash). Other features appear to be inherited from the EOS 40D; 14-bit image pipeline, Highlight Tone priority, optional High ISO noise reduction, 'My Menu' and display of the ISO sensitivity on the viewfinder status line. There's also the new stabilized kit lens (for review and samples click here).

Note that throughout this review we will refer to the EOS 450D by its European name; if you live in other parts of the world you'll know the camera by (in order of silliness) Rebel XSi or Kiss X2 Digital, but they're all the same.

A brief history; Canon entry level digital SLR series