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Canon 450D vs Panasonic L1

The Canon EOS 450D (called Canon XSi in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2008 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (450D) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 450D   Panasonic L1
Canon 450D Panasonic L1
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 450D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 450D and the Panasonic L1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 450D vs Panasonic L1
Compare 450D versus L1 top
Comparison 450D or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 450D and the Panasonic L1 are of equal size. However, the L1 is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the 450D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 450D nor the L1 are weather-sealed.

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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (450D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L1).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 450D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Panasonic L1« 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999- i Panasonic L1
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Leica Digilux 3« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499- i Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Olympus E-330« » 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999- i Olympus E-330
 
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799- i Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 450D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the L1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 450D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 450D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon 450D and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the 450D offers a higher resolution than the L1 (7.4MP), but the 450D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.19μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, the 450D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the L1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 450D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 450D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inch or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inch or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inch or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 450D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

450D versus L1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 450D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Panasonic L1« Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Panasonic L1
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Leica Digilux 3« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Olympus E-330« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Olympus E-330
 
Olympus E-300« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10
Both the 450D and the L1 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 450D and the L1 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 450D has a higher magnification than the one of the L1 (0.54x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 450D, the Panasonic L1, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 450D»optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Panasonic L1«optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L1
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XT
 
Leica Digilux 3« »optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Olympus E-330« »optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-330
 
Olympus E-300« »optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 450D and the L1 write their files to SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 450D»Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Panasonic L1«Y-----2.0---Panasonic L1
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon XT« »Y-----2.0---Canon XT
 
Leica Digilux 3« »Ystereomono---2.0---Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Olympus E-330« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-330
 
Olympus E-300« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L10« »Y-----2.0---Panasonic L10

Both the 450D and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, 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 and Panasonic websites.


Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 450D better than the Panasonic L1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 450D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 7.4MP) with a 31% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.47x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 207k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 82g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the L1).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 450D is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 2 points). 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.

450D 12:02 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 450D and the Panasonic L1 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 450D and the L1 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 450D»+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Panasonic L1«85/100+-o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999- i Panasonic L1
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon XT« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Leica Digilux 3« »----- Sep 2006 1,499- i Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D5000« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Olympus E-330« »-+o3.5/5- Jan 2006 999- i Olympus E-330
 
Olympus E-300« »-+oo4.5/5 Sep 2004 799- i Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L10« »85/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Canon 450D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 450D vs Panasonic L1

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2008 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 450D Panasonic L1
    Battery Type LP-E5 CGR-S602
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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