Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2 Digital) Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Superb resolution, good per-pixel sharpness (especially in raw files)
- Good tonal response and dynamic range
- Trademark Canon CMOS noise free images, remain detailed even at high sensitivities
- Optional high ISO NR removes all chroma noise
- Viewfinder bigger and brighter than predecessors
- New features (live view, spot metering, MyMenu, Highlight Tone Priority, 14-bit raw) lift it above the typical 'entry level' and move closer to 40D territory
- Improved continuous shooting, 3.5 fps and better buffering
- Feels very fast and responsive in use
- Good battery life
- Compact, sharp stabilized kit lens (though it can't match the sensor's superb resolving capabilities)
- ISO indication in viewfinder (finally!)
- Lots of external controls including new ISO button give instant access to commonly changed functions
- Contrast-detect focus in live view (though see cons, below)
- Bright, clear 3.0-inch screen and clear, logical menu system
Conclusion - Cons
- Average automatic white balance performance, still very poor under incandescent light
- Limited exposure compensation range (+/- 2.0 EV)
- Contrast detect AF so slow it's useless for most types of photography
- Metering has tendency to overexpose in very bright, contrasty conditions
- Default JPEG output may be a little 'over processed' for some tastes (raw far more flexible)
- Flash must be up for AF assist lamp (although AF is good even in low light)
- Automatic AF point selection unpredictable (use center AF, it's safer)
- Occasional total focus failures (in our case only 5 or 6 shots in almost 2000)
- New Auto Lighting Optimizer doesn't really seem to do anything
- No mass storage USB support
- A little pricey
The EOS 450D represents Canon's response to the increasingly crowded and competitive nature of the entry-level DSLR market. Where the original 'people's DLSR', the EOS 300D, owed at least some of its success to the simple paucity of competitors, the market in 2008 is a very different place indeed, and one that's seen Nikon (with the D40/D40x/D60) carve a sizeable slice of the action, and where Olympus, Sony and Pentax have strong offerings at price points unthinkable just couple of years ago.
It would appear that Canon decided the best way to avoid getting caught up in the melee was to aim just a little higher, giving the EOS 450D as much of a feature boost as it could without it treading on the 40D's toes. So although some of the upgrades are an entirely predictable box-ticking exercise (bigger screen, live view etc), there are some pleasant surprises too. The new sensor is superb, and from a resolution point of view puts the EOS 40D to shame without losing any of the high ISO performance that has been Canon's trump card for so long. Canon was never going to take any risks with its biggest breadwinner, and we feel the EOS 450D is a significant, albeit incremental step in the right direction. We're certainly happy to see the improved buffering, spot metering and ISO button / viewfinder display, as well as the improvement in the viewfinder itself.
These performance improvements (not just in continuous shooting but across the board) and new features make the EOS 450D feel a lot less intentionally crippled than any of its predecessors, and put some clear blue water between it and cameras such as Nikon's D60 or Olympus's E-420 (with a small price premium to match). In fact you can't help thinking that there is now a space at the bottom of the EOS range for a true 'entry-level' model, something the internet's rumor mongers haven't failed to notice either.
The EOS 450D feels like a mature product, it is capable of superb results (even if it's actually now good enough to reveal the limitations of the cheaper EF-S lenses) and it has a feature set that offers an excellent balance between beginner-friendly ease of use and the manual control / customization demanded by those wanting something a little more serious. The new stabilized 18-55mm lens is a distinct improvement on some of Canon's earlier kit zooms and the fact it only adds $100 to the body price is a real bonus. That said, you really need to be using primes and pro-level zoom lenses to really see what the sensor is capable of.
Of course no camera is perfect and the EOS 450D isn't without its annoying foibles and weaknesses; the default JPEG output is very punchy but it's a bit 'over cooked' for my taste (too bright and contrasty) and I found myself using RAW even more often than normal. The metering occasionally gets it wrong and I'd recommend turning off the auto focus point selection as it can get jumpy and produce unpredictable results (if the focus is wrong the metering, which is linked to the AF point, gets it wrong too). But the overall hit rate is very high, and virtually all the things we found to complain about can be dealt with easily if you know your way around a camera, or by shooting RAW if you don't like Canon's processing.
We're still not keen on the handling (the small grip means it doesn't sit as comfortably in the hand as, for example, the Nikon D60 or Olympus E-520) and we'd love to see a second control wheel - and like most current SLRs the live view feature is of limited use outside the studio - but we've moved far from 'deal breaking' territory here.
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Canon at the sales counter is that the EOS 450D costs too much to compete with the real entry-level DSLRs and and - on paper at least - cameras such as the Sony Alpha 350 that offer a lot more bang for your buck. But compared to many of its competitors the EOS 450D just feels like a more 'sorted' camera; in the half decade since the original 'Rebel' the line has matured to the point where we have to dig pretty deep to find anything serious to complain about.
Canon may no longer be the automatic choice for the entry-level SLR user, and I possibly wouldn't recommend it over a Nikon D60 or Olympus E-420 for absolute beginners or anyone wanting 'point and shoot' access to well optimized JPEG ouput. But if you want to move to the next level of image quality and performance, and are prepared to take control of parameters (and ideally shoot raw) to get the best possible results, the EOS 450D is an easy recommendation.
Rating (out of 10)
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
- 19 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 20 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 21 Photographic tests (DR)
- 22 Photographic tests
- 23 Compared to
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (JPEG)
- 27 Compared to (JPEG)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (RAW)
- 31 Compared to (RAW)
- 32 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 33 Compared to (Resolution)
- 34 Conclusion
- 35 Samples
|Iconic Tree by Jerry-astro|
from Fall colors
|USA1053a by embie|
from We salute you!
|Pot of Gold by Take5|
from Flower center
|Zombie DP by MarioSS|
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.
After releasing a popular 4K action cam and an affordable mirrorless M43 camera, Chinese camera maker YI is diving into yet another market: 360° VR. Meet the YI 360 VR: a powerful little two-lens camera that can shoot and stream in 4K.
The DJI Spark has received a lot of attention thanks to its diminutive size, but how does it stack up? In our review, we take a look at what it's like to fly this pint-sized drone, as well as what's in it for photographers.
Between now and the end of the year we'll be counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Coming in at #10 is a fast wide prime and part of the highly-acclaimed Sigma Art series.
DxOMark has awarded the Pentax 645Z 101 points, making it the second-highest scoring medium format camera it's tested (or the highest scoring from 2015 to now, based on the originally published results).
A small explosion that sounded like a gunshot caused a panic and 24 flight cancellations at Orlando International Airport last Friday. As it turns out, it was a camera battery that exploded inside a traveler's bag.
At last, a premium superzoom bridge camera with phase detect autofocus. Is this the best all-in-one camera ever made? Read on.
Unlike most smartphone cameras, the new Google Pixel 2 devices combine optical and electronic image stabilization for a smooth video experience. Here's how it works.