Canon EOS 450D review

Price when reviewed

The 450D is the latest in the line of EOS models that kick-started the affordable DSLR revolution, with the 300D back in 2003 (web ID: 50471). At the time, the 300D was the cheapest DSLR at a mere £765, but its successor is now very much in the middle ground, price-wise.

Basic specifications are among the best, starting with a CMOS sensor sporting 12.2 megapixels – second only to the Sony A350’s 14.2 megapixels. Burst rate is 3.5fps, making it the joint-best -along with the Olympus E-420 – if you want to shoot live action. Note, though, that its maximum RAW buffer depth is only six shots, after which it will slow down while the buffer flushes to SD card. In JPEG mode that isn’t a problem, with at least 50 shots on offer before you experience any slow-down.

The 450D is the first in the range to include spot metering, rather than the “partial” metering mode of its forebears.

When it comes to reviewing your shots you’ll find a 3in screen on the back of the 450D’s body. It’s also a boon when it comes to the live-view mode. With onscreen live-view magnification of 5x or 10x, fine focusing is easy. But it lacks the superb hinging screen of the Sony A350, and can’t use the super-fast “native” focus and metering sensors like the Sony can, either. That makes live-view far more sluggish than using the viewfinder.

There’s no in-body image stabilisation, but as with the EOS 1000D, Canon partially compensates with the 18-55mm kit lens. It isn’t as sharp as Nikon’s, though, and appears marginally more prone to chromatic aberrations.

Where the 450D excels is as a platform for more expensive lenses, either from Canon itself or third parties such as Sigma and Tamron. The reason for that is the superb CMOS sensor, which delivers better high-ISO results and the best rendition of detail of any camera this month.

Where once Canon dominated the scene, it’s no longer nearly so clear-cut. There’s no way the 450D can win on value compared with the Sony A200. But for the best quality below £500 the 450D has the edge, and that means it walks away with an award.


Image quality 6

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 12.2MP
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 3.0x
Camera maximum resolution 4,272 x 2,848
Camera optical image stabilisation in kit lens

Weight and dimensions

Weight 764g
Dimensions 129 x 140 x 98mm (WDH)


Battery type included Lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 500 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f3.5 - f5.6
Camera minimum focus distance 0.25m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 28
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 88
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/4,000
Bulb exposure mode? yes
RAW recording mode? yes
Exposure compensation range +/- 2EV
ISO range 100 - 1600
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? yes
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 3.5fps
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? yes
Memory-card type SD card
Viewfinder coverage 95%
LCD resolution 230k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Plastic
Tripod mounting thread? yes
Data connector type Mini-USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? yes
Software supplied Canon Digital Photo Professional, Canon PhotoStitch

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