Rear of camera controls

The rear layout (compared to the EOS 400D) has changed fairly significantly. Thanks to its size there are no longer any buttons down the left side of the LCD monitor; the menu and display buttons are now found to the left of the viewfinder. To the right of the LCD there are now a total of nine buttons (from the 400D's seven) which provide full control over a range of camera options including the new combined direct print / white balance button. Including the ISO button on the top of the camera the EOS 450D provides a very useful range of 'hard button' direct access to the mostly commonly changed camera settings.

On-screen settings adjustment

When pressed the camera's hard buttons activate an adjustment screen (on the LCD) where a setting change can be made using the cursor buttons. The style of adjustment is identical to the EOS 400D (except for a subtle color change). Options are changed using the arrow buttons (left / right / up / down), annoyingly (an inexplicably) you can't use the main dial to change on-screen settings.

Shooting mode buttons

The EOS 450D is a "shooting priority" camera, which means that no matter what mode you are in you can always still take a photograph by pressing the shutter release button.

Button Operation 
Camera Menu

Pressing this button enters or leaves the camera menu, described in more detail on the following pages of this review.

Pressing the DISP button shows or hides the camera setting screen (which is shown by default), you can define whether the status of the screen (on or off) is recalled at power off via C.Fn 12.
Exposure compensation / Aperture

Hold this button and turn the main dial to change exposure compensation in the range -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV, steps of either 1/3 or 1/2 stop, C.Fn 1. In manual exposure mode hold this button while turning the main dial to change the aperture.
White Balance

 • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Shade
 • Cloudy
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
 • Custom
Metering mode

 • Evaluative metering
 • Partial metering
 • Spot metering
 • Center-weighted average

Drive mode

 • Single
 • Continuous
 • Self-timer (10 sec) / Remote control
 • Self-timer (2 sec)
 • Self-timer (10 sec): Continuous (2 - 10 shots)

SET (Live View) / Multi-function

If enabled switches into (or back out of) Live View. The 'Live View function setting' option on the setup menu controls if Live View is available, whether a grid overlay is shown and how long the metered value is displayed. C.Fn 8 controls the type of Auto Focus used in Live View mode; Quick mode (Passive; mirror-flip), Live mode (Contrast detect; like a compact camera). Alternatively with Live View disabled you can use this button to set Quality, Flash exposure compensation, LCD monitor on/off or Menu display (set via C.Fn 11).

AF mode

 • One shot
 • AI Focus
 • AI Servo

Picture Style

 • Standard
 • Portrait
 • Landscape
 • Neutral
 • Faithful
 • Monochrome
 • User def. 1
 • User def. 2
 • User def. 3


Enters play mode which displays the last image taken or the last image on the card.

Erase (during record review)

Press the Erase button during record review to display a Cancel / Erase option, selecting OK removes the displayed image before it is finalized to the card.

Play mode buttons

Button Operation 
Camera Menu

Pressing this button enters or leaves the camera menu, described in more detail on the following pages of this review.

Toggles between three different play display modes:
• Single image view with no overlay
• Single image view with folder, file number, exposure and frame count
• Thumbnail image with exposure information, luminance histogram and blinking highlights
• Thumbnail image with exposure information, lum & rgb histograms and blinking highlights

Direct Print / PictBridge

If the camera is connected to a PictBridge printer or PTP connection to a computer pressing this button initiates printing / image transfer.

Jump (Main dial)

Turn the dial left or right to jump through images, the dial can also be used to navigate menu options.
Cursor buttons

Press the left or right buttons to browse through images, also be used to navigate menu options. Press the up button to change the jump mode.

Return to shooting mode, the same can be achieved by simply half-pressing the shutter release button.


Press the Erase button to display a Cancel / Erase option. The 450D doesn't provide an 'All' option from the Erase button, instead you use the 'Erase images / All images on card' option from the Play menu or Format option from the first setup menu.

Front of camera controls

On the front right side of the camera are the final set of camera controls. First is the flash open button, a press of this will electronically release the flash unit. Below the lens release button is the depth of field preview button, hold this and the lens stops down to the indicated aperture to give a preview of the depth of field, either through the viewfinder or in Live View.