The A450's lack of sophistication is all the more surprising considering the size and weight of the thing. It shares a bodyshell design with the more advanced A500 and the APS-C flagship A550, but where both these cameras feature an articulated 3.0-inch monitor, with 921k resolution in the case of the A550 , the A450 has a smaller, cheaper fixed 2.7 inch screen with a resolution of only 230k dots, with a wide surrounding frame. It is a physically large camera, 10mm wider, 7mm taller and 19mm thicker than the EOS 500D, and 50g heavier. It is also larger and heavier than the Nikon D5000.
The thickness of the body and the size of the grip make the camera a handful to hold even for those (like me) with large hands. The weight makes it hard to handle comfortably, especially when trying to operate the controls. Despite the camera's bulk it doesn't feel as solidly made as some other DSLRs, and some aspect of the build quality could be better. The battery and card hatches feel a bit flimsy, and the control buttons feel rather spongy and lack tactile feedback.
Like most mid-level DSLRs the A450 has a large number of control buttons arranged over its body, although it has fewer than some rival models. The top panel holds dedicated buttons for ISO setting, self-timer and drive mode , the D-Range optimiser feature and the live view mode, while the angled upper part rear panel includes buttons for exposure compensation and exposure lock on the right, with menu and display mode buttons on the right. The back of the camera is even more sparsely populated, with only the playback and delete button, the function menu button and a simple D-pad with no secondary functions.