Compared to the EOS 400D, the 450D hasn't changed much. The Canon EOS 450D is a beautiful and compact digital reflex camera. Despite its small dimensions, the camera offers an excellent hand-fit, thanks to its clear handgrip. If you find the camera's height inconvenient, since part of the fingers fall below the grip, you can place a battery pack underneath. Although this would mean the benefit of a small camera is lost. If your coat pockets have a reasonable size, the Canon EOS 450D will fit in them perfectly together with the standard EF-S 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS lens.
Canon EOS 450D camera housing
In order to keep the Canon 450D light and affordable, a lot of plastic has been used. This shouldn't be a problem however, since plastic can be very strong. It is a pity though that Canon did not opt for a somewhat rougher surface. The Canon EOS 450D feels a tad cheap. But don't let this deceive you, as it is still a strong camera.
Canon auto focus lenses for 450D
If you were to remove the nametags and place the Canon EOS 450D next to its predecessor, you'd have to look very closely in order to find the differences. The white and red dots near the bayonet remain characteristic features. The white dot serves to point out the EF-S lenses and the red the standard EF lenses. This means you can use all auto focus lenses on the Canon 450D, although the camera would be off-balance with a heavy EF 24-70 mm F2.8 L USM or an even larger telephoto lens. The Canon EOS 450D is at its best with a compact EF-S lens.
Canon EOS 450D command dial
On top of the camera, alongside the hot shoe, the familiar command dial is placed for the program modes. It offers a wide array of choices. Right in front of it, the button to adjust the sensitivity is placed. It has been moved to an excellent spot, enabling you to operate the button without removing the camera from your eye. And since the sensitivity is also visible in the viewfinder, for which Canon deserve praise; you're able to find an extra variable of exposure very fast. You will use it frequently, you'll see. In any case; I did.
Canon 450D with 3" LCD screen
The large 3 inch monitor changed the looks of the Canon EOS 450D's back somewhat. The row of buttons to the left of the monitor disappeared and moved to the top, and at the same time a number of buttons are placed to the right side. This might take some time to get acquainted with if you are used to working with the 400D, but my guess is that the amount of people making the switch will not be very large. The Canon EOS 450D will probably be the first DSLR for most people. The buttons are well-organized; in one glance you will know where everything sits. A number of buttons can also be adjusted through the menu, and can be given other functions. Live View for example can be activated very fast by pushing the SET button, and you can unlink the auto focus from the shutter release button. These are very convenient options.
Image sensor & Optical viewfinder
Below the ocular, there is an image sensor that is capable of sensing whether or not the camera is in front of your eye. We have seen this on the 400D too. The sensor responds to anything that comes in front of it, so when the camera dangles from your shoulder, the LCD will turn on and off frequently. Thankfully you can deactivate this function. If you don't care to work with Live View, you have an excellent optical viewfinder at your disposal. Finally Canon offer a decent viewfinder in this segment. It is not as big as the one on the EOS 5D but still very reasonable. In addition, the viewfinder offers a wealth of information and is extremely pleasant to use.