Support me when shopping by clicking here first!
Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Gordon Laing, April 2008
 

Canon EOS 450D / XSi results : Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Support this site by price checking below



Outdoor resolution - Canon EOS 450D / XSi vs 400X / XTi vs Sony Alpha A350
 

To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Canon EOS 450D / XSi, EOS 400D / XTi and the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings, 100 ISO sensitivities and default processing options. The 450D / XSi's High ISO Noise Reduction and Highlight Priority were set to their default OFF and Disable settings respectively.

We tested each camera with their respective kit lenses and the focal length of each adjusted to deliver the same field of view. The lenses were set to f8 in Aperture Priority mode for optimum sharpness.
 

The image above was taken with the Canon EOS 450D / XSi at a sensitivity of 100 ISO, using the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens at 23mm f8; the original Large Fine JPEG file measured 4.99MB. All crops are presented at 100% and show gradually smaller areas from left to right as the sensor resolutions of the respective cameras increase.

Note Sony has asked us to describe the A350 sample tested as a pre-production model, but running the same version 1.0 firmware as final retail samples, we're confident the output below is close or identical to what you can expect. We will update this page with results from a final retail A350 in the future.

The first thing you notice from the 450D / XSi crops in the middle column is they're relatively soft compared to the models on either side. As also seen on Canon's previous DSLR, the EOS 40D, the company appears to be applying relatively modest in-camera sharpening by default. This is a sensible aproach as you can always add sharpening, but not take it away from an over-sharpened image. So like the EOS 40D, the new EOS 450D / XSi's images can certainly stand additional sharpening, either with an extra notch applied in the Picture Styles, or using software on your computer later.

That said, the softness isn't entirely down to in-camera processing. We found the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens which came with our earlier EOS 400D / XTi actually delivered slightly sharper and punchier output than the newer Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS in the EOS 450D / XSi kit - this is particularly apparent in the crops taken from towards the edges, like the third row of crops. To be sure we repeated the tests using both lenses mounted on the EOS 450D / XSi and noticed the same result. This is the first sample of the EF-S 18-55mm IS we've tested, so we look forward to seeing if other samples exhibit a similar effect.

In terms of metering, we adjusted the EOS 400D / XTi and Sony Alpha A350 to use the same exposure as the new EOS 450D / XSi, but both the Sony and the older Canon actually metered the scene as being about half a stop brighter, and therefore in automatic exposure modes, would have both delivered darker images. The earlier 400D / XTi had a reputation for underexposing, so it's reassuring to find the 450D / XSi delivering slightly brighter images in automatic.

And now to detail. From left to right you're looking at crops taken from DSLRs with 10.1, 12.2 and 14.2 Megapixels respectively, and you'd understandably expect to see the higher resolution models recording greater detail. This difference is certainly measurable in our studio resolution results on the next page, but in real-life situations here, the differences can be subtle to say the least. The new EOS 450D / XSi is certainly capturing a little more detail than its predecessor, and the Sony A350 is capturing a little more still, but again it's not a difference of night and day.

Of course, these results are taken with the respective kit lenses, and if you equip each camera with something better, you'll notice bigger differences. As resolutions increase beyond 10 Megapixels, the use of decent optics becomes even more important. We're definitely not seeing any of the cameras below in their best light, so if you want to make the most of their high resolution sensor, consider upgrading to a better lens sooner rather than later. The kit lenses may be fine to get you started, but don't kid yourself you're getting the best from your new camera. Look out for some new tests these bodies using higher quality lenses in the near future.


If you'd really like to make the most of the 450D / XSi, you should also be shooting in RAW mode and we have comparisons against the in-camera JPEG at the bottom of this page. If you can't wait to really see the detail differences between the three cameras though, head on over to our EOS 450D / XSi Studio Resolution page.



Canon EOS 400D / XTi
with Canon EF-S 18-55mm
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS
Sony Alpha DSLR-A350
with Sony DT 18-70mm

   
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
         
   
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
         
   
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
         
   
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO



Canon EOS 450D / XSi: JPEG versus RAW


We photographed the scene here in Large Fine JPEG + RAW mode and presented crops below from each file for comparison. The RAW file was converted using the supplied Digital Photo Professional 3.3 software using the default settings and sent to Photoshop in 16 bits. This was then reduced to 8 bits and processed the same way as the original JPEG for presentation here.

Ah, the benefits of a little sharpening. Just like the EOS 40D before it, the crop from the RAW file is noticeably sharper than the JPEG using the default settings, and ultimately preferred. Just look at the detail retrieved in the trees for starters. As you'll see throughout these results and sample images pages, the EOS 450D / XSi's JPEGs using the default settings can appear relatively subdued and soft compared to rival models. So unless you prefer this look, you may wish to increase the in-camera sharpening by a notch or better still, shoot in RAW instead. Then you'll really see what the 450D / XSi is capable of. Now let's look at the EOS 450D / XSi's resolution.

Canon EOS 450D / XSi JPEG
with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS
 
Canon EOS 450D / XSi RAW
with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO


Canon EOS 450D / XSi results continued...

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise



All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs