Canon 450D vs 5D
The Canon EOS 450D (called Canon XSi in some regions) and the Canon EOS 5D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2008 and August 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (450D) and a full frame (5D) sensor. The 450D has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the 5D provides 12.7 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 450D and the Canon EOS 5D? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 450D and the Canon 5D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D is notably larger (36 percent) than the Canon 450D. Moreover, the 5D is substantially heavier (71 percent) than the 450D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5D is splash and dust-proof, while the 450D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 5D) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (450D). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|2.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 5D Mark III||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499|
|9.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|10.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|11.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|13.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|14.||Canon 1000D||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|15.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999|
|17.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 450D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 76 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 450D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D is 163 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 450D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 3) than the 5D (DIGIC 2), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the 450D (12.2MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 5.19μm for the 450D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 450D is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 5 months) than the 5D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 450D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-3200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 5D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 450D (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|8.||Canon 5D Mark III||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|10.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|13.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 450D and the 5D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the 5D offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the 450D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 5D has a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 450D and Canon 5D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon 5D Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||n|
|10.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 450D has one, while the 5D does not. While the built-in flash of the 450D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 450D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the 5D uses Compact Flash cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 450D and Canon EOS 5D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon 5D Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 5D (unlike the 450D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 450D and the 5D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark II, while the 450D was followed by the Canon 500D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 450D and the Canon 5D? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 450D:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 3 vs DIGIC 2).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 152x113mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 371g or 41 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (76 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 5D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 5D:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.54x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2005).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (9 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 450D and the Canon 5D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 450D and the 5D in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|2.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 5D Mark III||..||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499|
|9.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|10.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|11.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|13.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|14.||Canon 1000D||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|15.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Canon 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999|
|17.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 450D vs Canon 5D
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2008||August 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 3,299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.2 x 14.8 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||328.56 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.7 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||12.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4272 x 2848 pixels||4368 x 2912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.19 μm||8.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.70 MP/cm2||1.47 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 3||DIGIC 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||61||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||692||1368|
|Screen Specs||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 450D||Canon 5D|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
152 x 113 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||524 g (18.5 oz)||895 g (31.6 oz)|
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