As was predicted, Canon has launched its latest DSLR, the EOS 450D - or - for our American brethren, the Digital Rebel XSi.

A replacement for the 400D, that's been getting a little long in the tooth, the new model features a 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, EOS Integrated Cleaning System, a 3-inch LCD (that's 50% brighter than the one on the 400D) and now with Live View - the debut of such tech on a consumer model from Canon, and a new 9-point AF system.

The camera also ditches the CompactFlash card format in favour of SD.

The DIGIC III image processor and a redesigned menu system is borrowed from Canon's EOS-1 pro-level range while a choice of 13 custom functions allowing the user to customise the camera to their shooting style will please enthusiasts.

The EOS 450D features:

* 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
* Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning System
* 3.5 frames per second
* 3.0-inch LCD with Live View shooting
* 9-point wide-area AF system with f/2.8 cross-type centre point
* Picture Style image processing parameters
* DIGIC III image processor
* Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software1
* Compact and Lightweight body
* Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Other improvements over the earlier model include a more lightweight body (the 450D weighs less than 475 grams), an improved grip design, a new high capacity battery good for 500 shots, 14-bit processing and RAW, expanded PictBridge functionality, more rapid response times and spot metering.

The EOS 450D Body only is priced at £599.99 and the EOS 450D plus a 18-55mm lens kit is £679.99. Both are available from March 2008 in the UK.

For our international readers, the body-only cost in the US will be $799, with complete with 18-55mm lens kit costing $899. European pricing comes in at 749 euros for body only and 849 for the kit.