Sunday, March 30, 2008

EOS 450D first impressions

After eagerly anticipating the release of Canon's new 'entry level plus' DSLR, I finally got my hands on one this afternoon, and I was decidedly underwhelmed. It was the briefest of hands-on, and it's possible that with more time I'll really grow to love it, but the first impression was that Canon still haven't managed to build a starter DSLR that feels good in the hands. I can't help comparing it with the Nikon D40 that I've been using for the last month (and the new D60), which manages to be affordable and still feel substantial. I prefer Canon's control layout, and the newly-added ISO button and superb display are very welcome, but as a long time user of metal-bodied compacts (my lovely Ixus 700 is still going strong) and of bricks like the T90, I really can't get excited about paying over £600 for something that feels so flimsy (I'm sure it's perfectly sturdy in reality, but perception is everything here). I'm much more likely to step up to the EOS 40D. Maybe that's the intention, but I think it's a misstep on Canon's part that will hand a chunk of the first-time market to Nikon, and quite possibly Sony.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Trav28 said...

I'm not a great lover of the Sony cameras, they feel like a fisher price toy compared to the Nikon and you're right on the 450 Build.

I think the 40D is quite a nice entry level bit of kit but I adore the builds on Nikons. Saying that, the 5D didn't feel too substantial 'til I got the battery grip. Now it feels like a grown up camera ;)

4:07 PM  
Blogger Robert Sharl said...

I went back for a second play with the 450D, and it didn't win me over. It's even lighter than the 400D, which is already too light for my tastes, and the diminutive dimensions make the controls and grip feel even more cramped. I think if I were looking for a carry-everywhere, point-and-shoot SLR than I might like it, but I think this defeats the purpose on a camera targeted at creative play. Ah well that's just me I guess.

As I suggested, this dissatisfaction pushed me to acquaint myself more fully with the 40D, where the metal body, increased size/weight, proper grip and direct controls really make a difference (even compared to a colleague's old 20D). Astonishingly, Canon's current cashback offer brings the price of the body down to £530 - cheaper than the 450D - and the discount I negotiated made it cheaper still. I've had it for less than a week and only a little shooting time, but my hands are already in love with it, and it'll be accompanying me on my trip to HK this Friday.

Hmm, I wonder how much the battery grip is going for along Nathan Road, Kowloon..

8:50 PM  
Blogger Trav28 said...

Hoorah for well built bodies and for hopefully cheap grips ;)

If you see a really cheap shutter release cable for the 5D, give me a yell ;)

Which lens are you using with the 40D?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Robert Sharl said...

Do you know the list price for the cable release? I can certainly look. I think it's the same one for the 40D.

I bought the 40D with the 17-85IS USM kit lens, not because it's especially good (it barrels at the wide end but is much better mid and long) but because it added only £190 to the price after some more cashback, and it's £339 even on Amazon. I'm planning on a short zoom like the Sigma 10-20mm, and later a better travel zoom (maybe the Sigma 18-200mm OS). I know you're shooting full-frame, but what are you using mostly?

The latest snap on my Flickr stream is the first I've posted from the 40D, but I'll have more up soon.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Trav28 said...

That new 18-55mm sounds quite sweet!

Currently using the 24-105 USM L canon lens which is rather versatile but useless for macro work. I need a nice macro and maybe a 10-20mm EF at some point but have a few expenses on the horizon so maybe Xmas might prove lens bountiful

9:30 PM  
Blogger Pakpong said...

Canon Eos 450d video at digital camera blog

10:32 AM  

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