Firstly, brand vs brand... Nikon's pulled ahead slightly. But the battle has been going on for about four + decades. In each time, each has pulled forwards and backwards in matters of years - and recently, even months. I'd bet that the new release of Canon cameras, in about 2010, will provide immense awesome room for upgrading. Not that the current is bad. They just need to improve AF a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny... bit. Oh well. I stick with Canon. But look...There isn't a better brand. I use Canon for specific reasons. The great debate stretches on and on and on. There isn't a better brand. Sure, Ken Rockwell likes Nikon... Sure, other pros might use Canon... (Note: Yes, I think Ken Rockwell is wrong at times and just plain biased in others, but he does have a disclaimer and he does explain why he prefers Nikon...) You'll notice that almost all sports and action photogs use Canon because when the AF systems were new back in the 90's, Canon's was a lot better than Nikon. And of course, it's not cheap to change... Now, both are tied. In the beginning it was Nikon and pros. Then Canon caught up. The digital era brought Canon to the throne, and now... yes, there are subtle differences in their different lenses, but you can't compare it directly unless you have the same camera body. Oh, put the camera body to the test as well, but no, it doesn't work that way - they both are excellent brands. Sure, sometimes Canon's a bit soft; etc. etc... but here's the *general* run down. Sony = best image quality (in fact, makes sensors for Nikon) Nikon = best ISO handling Canon = best of both Some may not agree, but that's it. Some don't really mind a tiny, tiny, unnoticeable difference in Image Quality and therefore choose Nikon, as its ISO handling is superb. Especially photojournalists, you'll notice. Personally, I like Canon. But think about the differences, what the lenses are and if you are thinking about getting one, what you're going to do. Canon makes great macros... etc. etc. They all have their 'top' lenses: Canon ~ L Nikon ~ ED Sony ~ Carl Zeiss (the most expensive) So you see, you cannot really compare them. --- Then, to these cameras. The EOS 450D is the better camera, in my opinion. It can handle high ISO levels much better than the Sony, as it has a CMOS sensor, instead of CCD - well, it handles it better anyway. At 3200 ISO, the Sony is a blob. Unfortunate, but true. Good for taking dark shots. Apart from that, the fps (450D 3.5fps vs a350 2.5fps) and much larger file size for a350... the 450D wins.