on 7 May 2008
Up to now I've always used point and click cameras, the smaller the better so I can just keep it in my pocket as I hate carrying large items around with me. I decided I would like to try and take photography a little more seriously so in April 2008 I decided the Canon EOS 450D was for me so ordered it through Amazon. I could have got it for about £20 cheaper but did not know the retailer so played safe. It turned up within 2 days as promised.
My first impressions when unpacking the camera was that it was surprisingly light and seemd well built (time will tell if that is correct!). It most certainly will not fit in my pocket and as it does not come with a carrying case my first additional expenditure was £30 on a case.
For a newbie to DSLR cameras there are an awful lot of buttons, switches and dials. Pressing the menu button brings up 7 menus, each with 7 or 8 sub menus and most of these have a number of sub sub menus. This left no option other than to open the instruction book....all 196 pages of it! To be fair they are small pages and cover each topic in sufficient detail to understand what they are but if you're like me, new to "serious" photography, then a number of hours on the internet finding out how and when you use each of the features will be required.
The lens that came with it seems o.k (but then who am I to judge!)in that the first pictures I took looked sharp on my P.C. but I haven't printed any out yet to see how they compare with my "point and click" camera. The image stabilising (IS) seems to work very well.
I have had the camera for about 5 weeks now and the first thing I want is a tele-photo lens as I have found the supplied lens too limited. I've borrowed a 55mm-200mm lens (see, I'm getting into the jargon after only 5 weeks) and this has made a huge difference to the type of photographs I can take and has made things much more interesting. Unfortunately, a reasonable quality lens like this seems to start at about £300 so this clearly isn't going to be the cheapest hobby!
I think the camera is brilliant. The large screen on the back is easy to see and has all of the information you need on it (and it rather cleverly goes blank when you bring it up to your face to take a photo).
The buttons are well laid out and easy to use (when you understand what they are all for!) and the software that comes with the camera is easy to understand, although a bit basic, so if you want to do anything clever with your pictures you will need some photo software as well.
The live view shooting i.e. using the LCD screen on the back rather than the view finder only works on the manual settings not the automatic settings which is a slight pain as using the view finder when you wear glasses is a little bit awkward.
In conclusion, after having the camera for 5 weeks, I am absolutely delighted with it and, as a newcomer to photography, would thoroughly recommend it
on 22 April 2008
I have recently purchased this item and the pictures which it take are amazing, even with the lens which comes with it, I do advise however that you should also buy a different lens. but with the kit you get a fairly good lens. I managed to pick up this camera for a lot less than amazon, so shop around and you may find yourself a bargain!!But all in all, im very pleased I forked out the extra cash and brought this model!!
1 Minor annoyance, the 450D takes diffferent batteries. And it also takes SD cards, and i would advise you get a 4gb SDHC card, which is fast and you can take around 50 frames in one burst!!
on 18 July 2008
Whilst this is an excellent camera in itself - I particularly like the smooth action of the motorised mirror - it's worth mentioning certain drawbacks of going down the Canon road if you're new to digital SLR photography.
It can be quite expensive kitting out Canon cameras with lenses for the following reasons:
1. Image stabilisation is not built into the camera body. This means that to have the benefit of image stabilisation you need to buy lenses with that facility built in. This makes the lenses inherently more expensive for any given spec.
2. The 'kit' lenses available from Canon (the 18-55 and 55-250) do not have internal focus and this makes the use of polarising filters difficult with the filter thread rotating with focus.
3. Canon do not supply lens hoods with their lenses and, unless you opt for cheap far-eastern alternatives, are quite expensive to acquire.
4. The optical performance of the kit lenses doesn't do justice to the resolving capability of the excellent CMOS sensor. To really get the benefit of your investment you will need to buy the more up-market lens offerings from Canon and they really don't come cheap.
If you're on a budget you might consider investing in a system where the image stabilisation is built into the camera itself. You may find the camera slightly more expensive but the lens savings will easily offset that.
on 10 June 2008
I have had a Canon 30D for about 18 months and found it to be a great camera. I had decided to up-grade to a 40D but with the new 450D having a similar speck, also with Live View and with 12.2 mega pixles compared to the 40Ds 10.2! So I decided on the 450D.
I made the right decision, this is a fantastic Camera with teriffic picture quality and makes the 30D look old and soft in comparrison. I could go on about how great his camera is only to say I am delighted with it and has much better battery life than the 30D even with using Live View. and the only down side is the 18-55 lens compromises picture quality somewhat. An up-grade to the Sigma 18-50 DC-EX will make all the difference if you want top quality pictures that this Camera can produce.
If you have a compact or an older DSLR the 450D would be a priority choice.
on 2 May 2008
Had it for around a week and chose it over the Nikon D60 & D80. Very high detail and superb image quality with very little noise, even at ISO 800, so I leave it at auto ISO (100-800) - really. Build quality not top quality but, these days, who expects a body to last for more than a few years?
Picture quality is superb. Fantastic detail, especially with RAW. Indeed RAW really brings the most out of this camera. It's really difficult to describe how good the image quality really is. The kit lens is very good, although a little plastic but one needs to consider the market Canon is aiming this camera at.
Bottom line - a superb consumer camera - recommended. If you want high quality build, go for the 40D.
I have just upgraded from a four year old 300D, the difference in quality is astounding, I always enjoyed taking really odd lit pictures and messing about with the camera settings trying to create odd effects, the 450D takes this to another level, and backed up with double the number of pixels captured. I took it out and started capturing some basic landscapes in bright sunlight, when I got home I had goosebumps, the quality was simply stunning, over my old 300D.
My wife was so impressed with this camera and I with the offer of £50 cashback during July 2008, that after only 9 days of using it, we bought another 450D for my wife to use as well!
Also take a look at the 55-250mm budget Cannon IS lens, at only £190, a good budget telephoto addition to the amateur's kitbag.
If you can stretch to the cost of this camera, do it, you will not regret it!
on 22 August 2008
Overall, a sturdy, well specified no-nonsense camera which I'd highly recommend for the price.
I'm not going to include the lens in this review as its inclusion in the package is worth it as a backup given the differential between package price and body only price. Suffice to say, I like to manual focus and this is a bit fiddly with the supplied EF-S IS 18-55mm in certain circumstances, with only average overall quality IMO. However, I wish they'd give buyers the choice of a fixed focal length but fast standard lens as an alternative to the wooly and slow zoom.
I've given the camera itself 4.5 stars (4 on the official rating with no half increments): Firstly, I do not understand the charges that suggest this camera is "a bit plastic-like". I think the build quality of the body (not the supplied lens) is of the usual high quality expected from Canon and is indeed, according to the mark, made in Japan and not the usual Chinese clone-shop effort I had expected. I have large hands and very quickly got used to the small size, finding the grip very effective for single hand-holds - but then I am right-handed. The most relevant function buttons seem to be in all the right places (inc depth-of-field) with the shutter button being very positive and accurately punctuated at the half-way metering point. The functions and features available are seemingly geared towards those with serious photographic aspirations, with Canon resisting the temptation to add on special effect features, gimmicks and video other than monochrome/b & w. All the attention goes into photography whilst the rest can be done through software (not reviewed here).
The reason I don't give this camera full marks is easy for 3 reasons; 1) the delicate image sensor can easily be damaged when changing lenses if the camera is inadvertently left on and the set button is pressed (which is easy to do when the fingers are blindly holding the camera when fixing from the front), so it's imperative that users realise this and understand that the sensor should only be open to the air (with the mirror up) when Canon engineers are manually cleaning it for whatever reason - although the instructions do permit manual self-cleaning in certain circumstances. 2) The live view/preview screen, like most dSLRs that I've come across, is fixed into the rear of the body. My Canon G5 screen is articulated such that it becomes very, very useful in awkward places. So if I need to place the camera on the floor for a shot, the screen can be popped out and pointed towards the photographer at almost any angle. This is not possible with this camera. 3) The ISO settings are limited to the higher range of 1600. I suspect this is artificially set by Canon according to price and intended market but feel the camera's sensor is more than capable of taking the ISO setting to 3200 and beyond.
My favourite features are, 1) the RAW + dL setting which allows both RAW and highest quality jpg's to be saved simultaneously and 2) the camera's speed of performance given the price range. It is very responsive, allowing for candid shots to be made akin to the semi-pro models.
To reiterate, overall, a sturdy, well specified, no-nonsense camera which I'd highly recommend at the price (£450 mark) for those venturing into dSLR photography.
on 23 June 2008
The Canon EOS 450D Digital SLR is a powerful, effective and nicely designed camera. My wife, Anna's, specific interest is macro photography (precise close-ups) of things like butterflies and flowers, so macro features and functionality will be the focus of this review.
Our previous purchases in the digital photography field have been Fuji: a FinePix S602 (my favourite), then the much more powerful FinePix S9500. This Canon EOS is our first digital SLR.
The first, massive, improvement (and, I believe, over the 400D too) is the screen: it's much larger, brighter and clearer. However, I prefer to frame my shots using the screen (`Live View') but then you can't have the camera in `Full Auto' mode: Not a devastating restriction, but still significant.
For pukka macro photography there will always be the need to get at least one specific macro lens. We went for a cheap (£65) Tamron AF 55-200mm Macro Zoom which offers a workable compromise: but this lens still requires the purchase of a quality close-up lens (another £45-£50) because filling a frame with a bumble bee, for instance, needs the extra help & power of a close-up lens.
This is even more true of the supplied 18-55mm lens. The gent in our local photography shop described the standard lens supplied by Canon as `very basic' - but it is still a really good lens. Macro shooting is obviously much more restricted because, to fill the whole frame with a butterfly, for instance, you have to get, literally, right on top of it and the lens is unable to focus when you get that close to a subject. Therefore, a good close-up lens is essential. (The Canon 500D Close-up Lens we bought for the Fuji S9500 works perfectly as it's also a 58mm thread. Unfortunately, the Tamron Macro Zoom uses a 52mm thread. Such is life!) But some basic macro work is still possible with the standard Canon lens (if you're clever and very patient), but a close-up lens is a necessity... And the basic 18-55mm lens even includes very effective integral image stabilisation.
Anna says that `the big bonus is the clarity & sharpness of the images if you're comparing a standard digital with a digital SLR'.
In the end, the extra investment is more than justified in the move to digital SLR. Photography becomes more intuitive (something like it used to be on old 35mm SLRs) but still benefits from the digital age. A friend who has owned a Canon 35mm SLR for more than a decade said that the buttons and dials are much the same, so those who liked the old Canon SLR system may feel at home right away. For us, the Canon 450D represents a significant improvement over our previous digitals (and Fuji's over-complex menu systems) but note that `significant' improvement also comes at a `significant' cost: a half-grand camera may well require another half-grand on lenses - or more. However, if you have the cash, I think you'll be happy with your purchase.
on 26 August 2008
I ordered through Amazon as they had the best price at the time, took a little longer than expected to arrive, over 2 weeks.
I had upgraded from a Sony Cybershot 7.2MP. Well you cant even compare the two. From only ever owning a point and shoot camera I now do not believe I could ever use anything but a dslr again.
The camera came with the 18-55mm canon lens, and the normal included accessories. This did not include a pouch, so I ordered the canon semi hard case EH19 L from 7dayshop for £27.99. Expensive but quality product. The only problem you might find is that the case fits the camera only with the 18-55mm lens, and so when I am using the 55-250mm lens I need to change the lens before I pack it away. Minor issue for me.
Ordered the Kingston Technology 4GB Secure Digital High Capacity Class4 Card - gets over 600 photos on a good quality setting (not RAW).
Having read all the other feedback I also ordered the 55-250mm canon lens through Amazon. Not being a pro photographer I can only give a layman's view - the 18-55 is great for normal shots, but useless for zooming. The 55-250mm is a telephoto lens, and the photos are magnificent. I tested it on numerous occasions eg day at Lords watching cricket, and the 55-250mm adds a whole new dimension to what you can take pictures of. Taking pics one after the other, and switching between the two lens', highlights how you cant really do with one or the other, you need both. I read some comments about buying the camera body only, and then not getting the 18-55mm and ordering other types, but my maths told me that the incremental cost to get the offered package meant I was only really paying in about £45 more to get the lens than just the body. You cant get any lens for that price. If you want a specific lens for your individual circumstance and you have more money to spend - go for it. If you arent really sure and were only going to do it because others recommended it, think again.
The extra lens doesnt come with a pouch either - I ordered a lowepro 1N through 7dayshop for £10. Fits perfectly, I had read that I should get the 1W - no good - its too big. I know lots of people order special backpacks for their cameras - this didnt suit me - I want to be able to pack my camera away, not carry a whole bag just for the camera.
Back to the camera - I am learning all types of new things. There are different pre-set modes that cover most scenarios, but as you read through the extensive manual you slowly learn more advanced techniques and begin to use the manual mode where you make your own decisions for the different settings. I have a long way to go, but anyone can see what a huge difference the camera has made to the quality of photos I am now taking. I honestly am not able to provide any info on flaws or problems because I havent come across any.
This camera is great quality, there are good accessories available, the photo's are stunning, and with the determination to learn how to use all the features you will increase your photography knowledge by a huge amount. Highly recommended.
The Canon 450D is a lovely camera to use: it isn't too heavy and has a lot of pre-set modes for taking pictures in various conditions - night time, sport, portrait etc. - which is handy for the beginner who will often like to 'let the camera do the work for them'. There are also other settings that allow much more manual changes, but can combine with automatic features, so is really good for someone trying to learn how to use an SLR step by step.
The lens that accompanies it is pretty good for most situations and I've taken some reasonable images of plants on the closest zoom and some good landscapes on the wide angle setting. I've found that colours are also accurate.
I bought this camera a few months ago from Amazon as part of a deal, so thought I would pass my words of caution on. This 'deal' included a 4GB memory card and a carry case. Brilliant, however, when it arrived the memory card was of the Compact Flash type and completely useless for the camera. At this moment (7th September) it appears you can purchase the correct type of memory card - the SDHC type - with the camera for approx. £470. This is a good deal, but please make sure that anything thrown in with the camera is compatible, as, from my experience, it appears you can't trust Amazon to do this for you.