Focus on Imaging and the 400D

I went to the Focus on Imaging show at the NEC at the weekend. The show itself was a little disappointing, obviously oriented more around trade sales than the end-consumer, and was marred a little by poor organisation from the NEC resulting in large queues, a car-park merry-go-round, and so on. But nevertheless, there were some interesting stalls - Canon and Nikon having the largest and most impressive, with some substantial Canon L-series lenses on display.

I availed myself of the special show pricing (and suffered the robust crowds) to buy a Canon 400D body, plus the lens I’ve been trying to get hold of - the Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. The lens is cheap, but allegedly better optically than its poor non-image-stabilised cousin that is shipped by default with many Canon bodies. At some point, I’ll invest in something better.

I had a (35mm) SLR some time ago, but sold it when I started using my digital compact more. I’ve been missing the flexibility of an SLR, though, and the appeal of higher ISO (the heroin of digital photography?) was too much. I’ll give it its first proper crack at the whip at the weekend, no doubt.


Fair enough. Still reckon they should get rid of it though :)
I see what you are getting at, but I prefer the one on the top - Habbit maybe (my 300D didnt display settings on the colour LCD on the back, just the monocrhome one).
Anton, that's kinda my point - the LCD on the top now just duplicates the one on the back. It takes up space and I bet they'll get rid of it eventually. Ditto Live View will work properly, eventually. Sounds like Panasonic are ahead of Canon on that one.
Actually the lcd screen IS useful, and is on the 40D - I use it a lot. It is backlit and shows all camera settings. Of course it is on the top of the camera rather than the back, and you can use the colour lcd screen to show the data too just like on the 400D (300D couldnt) The new panasonic SLR has a live mode that is just like a point and shoot camera, full auto, focusing etc. The 40D's live mode means you have to flip the mirror down to do any focusing, so makes it only useful in a few specific situations (still life photos really)
Agreed. If the live mode was use-always (get rid of viewfinder - heresy!), and it didn't have to flip the mirror to focus, I'd like it. But it seems like a poorly-thought-out add-on at the moment. They'll figure out how to fix that eventually (same way as they eventually got rid of the pointless LCD settings screen on the top of the 300/350D). As for the lens, I haven't done a scientific test, but I've used the stock lens enough times to say that I think the IS version certainly isn't noticeably worse. Most of the online reviews seem to agree - one in particular had gushing praise for the one I bought in value for money terms. In the end, as I say, I'll probably upgrade it at some point anyway.
Ive also heard (from the local LondonCamerExchange) that the 18-55 IS lens actually has worse quality than the kit lens... I only have the kit one so can't say either way
I cant speak for the 450D, but I find the live mode useful for macro on my 40D. For everything else your are right, it isnt very useful. Apparently it is also good for astrophotography and digiscoping. The MP doesnt do a huge amount for you, and frankly you are probably better spending more money on lenses than the body in most cases.
No, the 450D is vastly overpriced, I think. It brings 12MP (not that big a deal, I've now decided), Live View (useless after having tried it), and not much else. Nevertheless, it's at least £200 more. Not worth it in my opinion... The problem with buying it in the USA (I was toying with buying one when I was there last year) is that Canon don't honour the warranty in Europe. Very irritating, but c'est la vie.
You weren't tempted to wait for the 450D then? Perhaps picking it up on a trip to the US sometime around the end of April?!