Digital camera for the modern person
February 14, 2023 10:51 PM   Subscribe

What is the modern equivalent of Canon's EOS 450D – or Digital Rebel XSi as it was known in the US?

I had one in cough *2008* and loved it dearly. Looking for something similar in function but updated for 2023. I plan to use it for photos of my cat, travel, the usual. My only real specification is that I'd like to get a 50mm lens for those ultra glam feline shots.
posted by socky_puppy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have any lenses remaining from the previous camera?

The EOS Rebel T7 is Canon's current model in the APS-C sensor size DSLR size. To do much better than that you'd be looking at full frame sensors in much more expensive bodies. But there are also now a lot of options in mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras that have come along since your last camera.

Can you maybe tell us a little more about what you expect to use this camera for, or things you liked/didn't like about the last camera, or budget, or, well, anything that would help us narrow things down?
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:39 PM on February 14, 2023

I’d agree that mirrorless APS-C interchangeable-lens cameras are the modern equivalent. They’re smaller, quieter, better sensors, more intuitive options. I got a Canon M6 MkII because I wanted to use my old Canon DSLR glass with an adapter. This was a mistake; I didn’t have enough good lenses for it to be worth it, and the M-mount zoom lens is way better and more compact for my purposes. That said, I like it a lot, and my old lenses let me save a little money up front, though I’ve since sold them. I’m sure I’d like a Fuji or Sony too.
posted by supercres at 1:40 AM on February 15, 2023

The short answer is: the nearest equivalent to a 450D now is an 850D. They'll take the same lenses and work pretty much the same, but images will be better and it'll do 4K video if you care about that.

However, there's an enormous caveat, which is heavily dependent on whether you're planning on "getting into" photography or just want something better than your phone to point-and-shoot and that's that DSLRs are essentially dead at this point; the 850D is a good few years old, and Canon show no signs of releasing anything new in that kind of range, having thrown their lot in with mirrorless (along with every other manufacturer). Practically, this means there will be no new lenses released for the 850D (by Canon - third party manufacturers will likely continue to support EF lenses for a while yet).

Functionally speaking, "going mirrorless" means you get an electronic viewfinder, not optical, but in exchange you get much faster focusing, better stabilisation, a smaller/lighter camera and the camera can do a bunch more stuff in software compared to a DSLR. Plus, it's where all camera manufacturers have decided the future lies.

For Canon, there are, confusingly, two mirrorless systems, the older/smaller/lower-end EF-M (including the M6 mentioned above) and the newer RF. They're incompatible - you can't use EF-M lenses on an RF body, and it looks a lot like EF-M is _also_ semi-abandoned at this point - Canon just released a swathe of new RF bodies that essentially replace the EF-M range. There's nothing as small as the very smallest EF-M bodies though, so if that's important, it's still worth considering them.

So, that being said: the entry-level RF-system camera that's closest to a 450D/850D is the just-announced Canon EOS R50. It's not available to buy immediately, so if you want something _now_, the EOS R10 is slightly more expensive, but fills about the same niche. There's a 50mm f1.8 RF prime lens that is basically the same as the one you used on your 450D (or, if you've still got it, you can use that lens with an adapter).

(for reference: I just replaced my EOS 760D with an EOS R7, after looking for an upgrade and dithering for a while about whether to "go mirrorless". I'm glad I did; all my old lenses still work, the autofocus is vastly better, and the electronic viewfinder, while it takes a bit of getting used to, works fine.)
posted by parm at 2:08 AM on February 15, 2023 [7 favorites]

Looking at the Canon EOS timeline on Wikipedia, in 2008 the 450D was in their "entry-level APS-C DSLR" slot in their lineup.

As mentioned above, their current "entry-level APS-C DSLR" model is the 850D. But that model is getting long in the tooth, and probably won't be replaced with a newer model.

Canon just last week announced their latest "entry-level APS-C mirrorless" model, the EOS R50, which is not yet available in stores. If you go this route, you will either have to buy an adapter to use your existing lenses, or a new RF-mount 50mm lens will cost an additional $200 or so.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:17 AM on February 15, 2023

Shortened version as I'm on the way out the door.

Nthing that you probably want a Canon mirrorless body if you're buying new. There's 3-4 major players at this point - Nikon, Canon, Sony, and micro 4/3rds space (Panasonic and the company formerly known as Olympus).

If you want to buy used, almost any DSLR made in the past decade will take great pictures for your purposes. Obviously, the more expensive models have benefits but unless you really think you need 40 Megapixels, extreme low light performance, or autofocus that works well in fast action shots, you're not going to see a big difference for casual shooting. I'm a Nikon guy - for casual, well lit shots, I have plenty of images from my 2011 D7000 that hold up against my much more modern and expensive D850 or Z9 photos.

If you still have good Canon lenses and want to buy new, I'd get an RF body. If you don't care about old lenses, any of the four are fine. Micor 4/3rds is a fading star but there's tons of good lenses for it and quite decent bodies. The big 3 have the longest longevity, however.

My only real specification is that I'd like to get a 50mm lens for those ultra glam feline shots.

Keep in mind that your EOS had a 1.6 crop factor so what you think of as 50mm is really 80mm in 35mm terms. If you change to a different crop factor, keep that in mind.
posted by Candleman at 10:46 AM on February 15, 2023

Buying guides organized by price, brand, and use case can be found here.
posted by conrad53 at 9:16 AM on February 16, 2023

Instead of repeating myself I'll just link to a previous thread where I commented a few times. Executive summary: if you don't have a lot of glass you have specific reasons to keep (that would tie you to a specific brand, in your case Canon), you should go shopping at an actual camera store and put your hands on everything remotely in your price range. Lots of stuff has changed in fifteen years, and basically every new camera these days is a good camera. The question is what camera suits you based on the grip, the physical controls, the software, and the lens lineup. It may not be the brand you liked before. You may love everything about a particular camera based on specs but it may turn out to be heavier than you enjoy carrying, or the buttons may be too small or too close together, or the software may frustrate you, or there may be a gap in the lens lineup where you want there to be a particular design that another brand might offer. There's no "best camera" anymore, there's just the best camera for you at any moment in time (and an awareness that your needs might not always be the same).
posted by fedward at 10:47 AM on February 16, 2023 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you! These are all excellent replies — seems I missed the mirrorless. I just sold all my old lenses so would be starting from scratch. The Canon R50 seems like a good shout but I'll go to a store and try them as suggested (shout out to my micro hands haha).
posted by socky_puppy at 12:08 AM on February 19, 2023

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