What’s amazing is that at full screen, I can easily make out the Bethesda Fountain and the Angel. It’s about one third from the right, and one-third from the top. Considering that the 70-300mm 5.6 IS is a non-L lens, I’m very impressed with it. It folds down nicely, and fits easily in my bag. So my kit – for a day trip is the 30mm Sigma and the 70-300mm. I also came across these neat cases for cards made by Pelican. So if I’m using SD cards with the 450, I bring that case with 6 cards. I’ve never used more than 2 in any one day – but I have the extras just in case. And with the 40D, I have a small Pelican CF case. Since I do a lot of shooting in the rain / snow etc. they seem to be well-protected and I don’t need to have a bunch of cards floating around to lose. It comes with a rubber insert – and I can’t really figure out what that’s for. It’s got a clasp which has been easy to open and close with gloves on in the snow.
My only gripe with the 450D is that the focus lock / lock exposure button is too small; and unlike the 40D there is no separate button for focus lock. On the other hand, the tiny size of the 450D which I didn’t like at first – is now a pleasure to use and that My Menu thing which I never used before has turned out to be handy because you can set it to come up first when you press the menu button and most of the stuff that I need to get to quickly is on the menu. I take it everywhere (usually with the 30mm Sigma) and for me, that’s one of the prerequisites of a good camera, i.e. a camera that you don’t need to think twice about taking with you.
I have no qualms about shooting at 800 and frankly 1600 has been good also. As far as weather-proofing goes – I guess it’s not great but I have had it soaked once in a rain without a problem but if I know I’m going into bad weather, I’ll usually go for the 40D instead. Though I have no idea if there’s any difference in terms of weather-proofing.
Another thing I’ve noticed as far as the LifePixel conversion goes – is that for whatever reason – the 450D has a different look than the previous XT I was using. In some cases, the infrared effect seems stronger – with blue skies – and yet it seems more sensitive to tungsten lights – and in many cases I can give it a “non-infrared” look in Lightroom. So it’s pretty versatile. I did a series of shots in the restaurant complex of Rockefeller Center – and the camera was sensitive to the tungsten lighting. On the other hand – if you are in a subway car without a flash – forget it. You can over expose from eight stops from the meter reading and still get nothing but blackness (florescent lights).