Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Digital Camera Review

We’ve had a 450D for a while now and have finally gotten around to putting up our impressions and image noise test results.
The Canon 450D or Rebel XSi in the US is Canon’s latest iteration of this excellent product line. As an owner of both the 350D and 400D I was very curious to see what it was like.

The 450D is a 12.2Mpixel dSLR camera with an APS-C sized sensor. It has integrated dust cleaning and Live View systems and moves to a 14-bit per color channel A/D converter technology that should produce smoother graduations when doing image processing post-shoot. It has a nice, large 3.0 inch LCD on the back to make reviews easier.

It feels and handles very much like the earlier Rebel models. There are two things that have changed that I don’t really like. Canon has moved to SDMC cards from the more usual (for them) Compact Flash. I see no real reason for doing this, as it has not made the camera particularly smaller and just makes life harder for those upgrading from a previous model. It also becomes a pain if you have a 450D as a second body to a 50D, 5D or 1Ds Mark III. Secondly they have changed the battery design, causing an objection for me for the same reasons as the previous one, why change something when there is no clear advantage in doing so?

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

In use the 450D is fast and responsive, fits the hand well and the control layout is great. Image quality is excellent. As you’ll see in the tests below, noise is very well controlled with rising ISO, though I feel the noise at 100ISO is slightly higher than the previous model.

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

These daylight, outdoor test exposures show a 100% section from the center of the image. The full RAW files for these images are available on our camera test page.

100ISO
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

200ISO
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

400ISO
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

800ISO
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

1600ISO
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Now in the studio I shot our usual test target.
Daylight exposures:
Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

And now if you look at the histograms for the above test patches you can see excellent noise handling through 400ISO and even 800ISO.

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

With 15 second exposures we can see a rise in noise but it is still very well controlled, as you can see from the histogram displays.

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

In other shooting with the 450D the above test results are confirmed. So below is a 100% strip down the center of an image shot at 1600ISO. Given the ISO and sensor resolution this is a very low noise result that could be improved further by using one of the various noise reduction programs.

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

The Canon 450D/Rebel XSi is an excellent camera. Handles well, shoots well and has excellent noise handling in camera, this is a very good update to the Digital Rebel range and well worth considering.

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Image Noise Review

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