The new Canon XSi/450D digital single reflex camera is my top pick if I indeed decide to buy a DSLR. The only things that will dissuade me is if the camera doesn’t feel good in my hands or if it turns out to be a real dud.
As an entry level DSLR, the Canon XSi meets all my must-have features requirements. It best fits my shooting style as well.
High ISO performance
If past performance is any indication of future performance, both the Canon XSi and Nikon 60 should satisfy most users in the high ISO department. However, reviewers point out that Canon has the edge, albeit small, for producing images with low noise in high ISO shots.
The otherwise fantastic Olympus E-510 dropped out of the competition first because its high ISO performance is not known to be on par with the Canon and Nikon. It is certainly much better than point-and-shoot digital cameras, but it does not meet my personal expectations for a DSLR in the high ISO department.
In-camera Image Stabilization seemed at first blush the way to go, and it may be for many. But I’ve learned, when using the long telephoto lenses, in-lens Image Stabilization is often preferred.
When composing, tracking and focusing on a subject, it is important to see the effects of stabilization in the viewfinder. With in-camera IS, you can only see the stabilization effects on the Live View LCD .
Lens and autofocus lens options
I’ve also learned that there are more lens options at this time for Canon DSLRs than either Nikon or Olympus. This is especially true if you want a fast or an autofocus lens. All current Canon and third party autofocus lenses will autofocus on the Canon XSi.
It should be pointed out that the focus motor drive for the D60 is built into each lens, not the camera body, so it is not compatible with all lenses. Depending on the lens, some or a combination of functions may not be supported such as autofocus. Certain shooting modes or exposure meter do not work in manual mode.
Making sure the availability of lenses you may want to buy is just as important as deciding which camera body is best.
Now, I’m off to study lenses…
Note: After the release of the XSi, Canon launched the XS, a 10 megapixel DSRL with slightly less features than the XSi.