Canon EOS 450D review (Rebel XSi)
Dimensions and Construction
One of the first things that strikes you about the 450D is how little ‘camera’ there actually is, which makes carrying it around convenient and unobtrusive. Together with SD support and live view, this will no doubt smooth the transition for compact owners upgrading to a DSLR.
The body of the camera itself is constructed from a stainless steel frame encased in a semi-matt plastic chassis. In many ways it resembles that of the 40D, with the bulk of the built-in flash flowing with the contours of the top-plate. Overall, the body feels and looks smooth, with the rubberised grip and thumb-plate providing a firm and comfortable hold.
Something that certainly makes an impression is the enlarged LCD screen, which has pushed all of the buttons to its top and right hand side. The familiar five-button menu pad immediately separates the camera from the scroll-wheel enabled models higher up the EOS line, and is used in conjunction with the front command dial to navigate the menu system. A dedicated ISO button has been shoehorned between the mode dial and shutter button, while a thumb rest separates the AE lock and AF point selection button from the remainder of the rear’s controls.
These fall to the right-hand side of the LCD, with metering, AF mode, Picture Style and Drive mode options assigned to the menu pad’s directional buttons. The Direct Print button that Canon insists on most of its cameras has been coupled with the more useful White Balance function, while exposure compensation, playback and delete controls complete the arrangement. The menu and display buttons, meanwhile, lie to the top left of the LCD screen, with the only other feature of note being the LCD proximity sensor below the viewfinder, which senses when to activate and deactivate the LCD screen.
Canon’s implementation of the tabbed and colour co-ordinated menu system segregates shooting, reviewing and other options, making their selection, for the most part, speedy. The menu system has been expanded to accommodate the functionality and features now on offer, with seven separate menus and 13 Custom Functions now available.
Additionally, shooting information can be viewed in one of four different colour themes, which, along with the Custom Functions and My Menu option, continues the camera’s inclination to be customised to the user’s preferences.