Note: This is my first DSLR. Link - here http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2682
- to my A640 review and compact fatigue.
1. For my hands (medium sized Asian), the 450D has great ergonomics. The grip somehow feels nicer than the 400D and especially when compared to the 350D. The bigger screen pushes buttons around, mainly to the right of the device, which I find great. Dedicated ISO button, good tactile response. Sturdier construction, still plastic but no creaks and the kind that would survive moderate drops.
2. Surprisingly light. Combined with the relatively small overall size it makes for a very -take me with you- vibe, unlike the heavier 40D and 5D.
3. Live View works, as long as you don't expect compact style shooting. Quick mode, which flips the mirror up, accomplishes faster AF. Live mode (similar to compact shooting) is slow - approx. 2-3 seconds. May be useful for shooting objects, scenes and landscapes from unique vantage points, where looking through the viewfinder would be impossible. As far as I see it, not useful for portraits.
4. Menus are good if you're used to Canon, but are a bit crowded for those used to Sony. Great graphics on the LCD for the normal info mode, I set a blueish theme.
5. Chroma noise starting from ISO 800 if High ISO noise reduction is turned off. When turned on, seemingly impressive results( tested outside, inside, macro), especially knowing they crammed 12.2 MP on that APS-C sensor. Otherwise stellar image quality. Paired up with an L-lens and lower ISO settings I'd reckon the 450D has the best APS-C image quality in the field.
6. The IS kitlens is a great starter lens. IS works - could go as low as 0"3 shutter speed and still get noticeable advantage from the IS. Everything over 1/15 seems shake-safe. Excellent sharpness, even reasonable in the corners. Little vignetting. Fast and silent (knowing its non-USM) AF, hunting in dark conditions. All in all, a big step up from the old kitlens.
7. Big screen is good. Sharp, sufficient for focus check without zoom (although the scroll wheel allows you to quickly browse images in the same preview zoom setting - I loved this). Good hue (unlike 30D, 5D). Viewing angle good for off-angle shooting using Live View. Swivel is missed. Nose/face smudging, a screen protector is very recommended.
8. I always use continuous shooting, a habit from the A640, so I never miss a shot or scene. On the 450D it's reasonable, but the 40D's performance is in another league. Sufficient for framing or bracketing, perhaps a tad too slow for sports.
Images to follow (on elective, not much time).
The 450D is a baby 40D. It has Live View, the big screen and better ergonomics. Retains Rebel size, but is beefier in looks and feel. Based on first 30-40 shots impressive image quality from the sensor and the IS kit lens. Highly recommended entry-level camera. Competition mostly is the Sony A300/A350 (swivel screen, larger physical size, better Live View). Nikon D60 is feature crippled.