Both excellent cameras. Canon's is however newer and has more features such as live view, sensor cleaning, as well as having a higher resolution sensor with less noise at high ISOs. That would be my choice, but then I already own a Canon 400D! Either way, before committing handle both cameras in the shop..
As for portraits and landscapes, this lies more with your lens choice rather than the camera. Whatever camera you choose, I would recommend a wide angle zoom or prime for landscapes and a 50mm or greater wide aperture (f1.4) prime lens for portraits..
You might also consider an even longer lens or zoom for "picking out" details in a landscape and for portraits with a flatter perspective...
Also the D80 is a lot bigger than the 450d which might have some bearing on your decision...
I was looking at the same cameras today. From a construction standpoint, the XSi is plastic versus a stronger construction on the D80. The D80 was also about 100-200 dollars more with the kit...
If you can, go to a good camera shop and try them out. Shoot them w/ a lens comparable to the one you will want to get. Canon and Nikon both make excellent camera, but in the long run, the body wears out or becomes outdated and you will probably carry forward with your lenses..
I have friends who have Cannon DSLRs and I just started shooting DSLRs. They rave about their Cannons, but I went w/ the Nikon because I already have Nikon lenses. I picked the camera body based on features and comfort. Features you can read about on this site. Comfort depends on you. I have had several days where I carried my camera and shot pictures five or six hours and have been happy w/ the d80.
But the camera feels good in my hands..
Most of all, once you get your camera, get to know it's features and go out and shoot a little every day. Find a feature and try it out. I have been happy with this approach. You don't want to have to figure out your camera while you are trying to get "the shot". Most likely you'll miss it and you'll end up not being happy with the camera...
New to the DSLR world and am after purchasing my for DSLR Camera. Ihave been looking at the above two camera's and was wondering ifanyone had any advice on the benifits of each.
450D is smaller, lighter, has bigger LCD, live view, lower noise, nore resolution, faster burst rate..
D80 is more luxuriously finished (though no 'tougher' in reality), bigger (may be an advantage depending on your hands)..
And which for a userwould be best for portrait and landscape pictures?.
No difference at all..
I'd only go for the D80 if you much preferred the feel of it in your hands. Bear in mind that the D80 has been around a few years and may be replaced soon. The 450D is brand new. Not that that need matter much..
Although 450D has some better options such as higher resolution and live view ..., I suggest D80 because of some reasons: First, it has definitely better grip and far more better handling if you can afford the excess weight, Secondly, it has better view-finder (Optional grid-line and precise magnification), you can realize that in first glance. Also, 11 points vs 9 points of focus. Third, the ability to command the external flashes. And finally, you can take more pictures with one charge of battery..
I had experiences with them, 450D has better resolution (how large you want to print?) and a little better noise performance in high ISO (but I believe different does not affect your decision at all). Moreover, the live-view technology in DSLRs is completely new and is not a mature one; in my experience using view-finder still work better. (I mean live-view should not affect your decision since definitely, you will see the major changes to it's technology soon) ..
Furthermore, D80 kits are with 18-135mm which is almost better for portrait photography with more depth of field control on 135mm rather than 18-55mm in 450D kits...