The Canon EOS 450D

The Canon EOS 450D shaves a little size and weight off its predecessors, while easing the upgrade path from compact to DSLR. We take a quick hands-on look

“The Canon EOS 450D is the first of the consumer-level Canon DSLR models to bring the Live View feature to the party”

When Canon announced the successor to its wildly successful consumer-level DSLRs, we decided to take a hands-on look at the Canon EOS 450D: a camera in a range that began with the 300D back in 2005, and has dominated the market ever since. The new model supplants the EOS 400D, but how does it stack up?

Despite the already diminutive proportions of its predecessors – which are small enough for some to complain they’re awkward to hold – the 450D sheds even more bulk. It’s a marginal difference – just 3mm off the width of the body – but has a surprisingly noticeable effect and the camera definitely seems smaller.

The reduction in size is mainly down to the fact that Canon has abandoned Compact Flash memory cards in favour of the smaller and increasingly prevalent SD Card memory. It makes a lot of sense when you consider that Canon wants digital-compact owners to upgrade to a DSLR, and the vast majority of compacts these days use SD Cards. That makes one less expense for anyone wanting to upgrade.

The Canon EOS 450D is the first of the consumer-level Canon models to bring the Live View feature to the party. This was pioneered by Olympus and made its Canon debut in the higher-end EOS 40D last year. It means that a DSLR can now act like a compact camera, allowing you to frame the shot by looking at the display rather than having to use the optical viewfinder. It also means you can make over-the-head shots in crowds a bit less of a hit-and-miss affair.

That’s helped by the new screen, a great big three-inch affair that’s very bright and clear. The extra half an inch over the 400D makes a big difference, and Canon claims any impact on battery life has been eliminated with a new and larger battery with around 40 percent more capacity.

Basic specification has been given a predictable nudge, with an increase in pixel count from 10.1 to 12.2 megapixels and the smallest of bumps in its burst rate, from 3.0fps to a claimed 3.5fps. A little disappointing is the lack of a sensitivity mode above ISO 1600, especially considering that even some compact cameras offer an ISO 3200 option.

The new model will come as a standard kit with the same EF-S 18-55mm IS image-stabilised lens that debuted on the 400D.

It all adds up to what looks like enough to keep Canon’s huge market lead ticking over, but with Sony and Samsung focussing on new, cheap models with built-in image stabilisation, the dominance of the series is in question.

We’ll bring you a full in-depth review of the 450D very soon.

Canon EOS 450D Info

Typical price: £600 with 18-55mm lens

Our first impressions: The world’s most popular DSLR range gets a boost, but is it enough? The Canon 450D’s 3-inch screen is bigger and brighter than earlier models, but a larger battery means this has no impact on battery life. Its compact size and Live View feature will appeal to compact users, and an improved burst rate may tempt DSLR users to upgrade, but a lack of in-built image stabilisation and no ISO 3200 option are disappointing.

More info: Canon Website