Yes, you are quite right about the higher ISO settings. Increased shutter speed makes for increased sharpness and especially with the 450D I have no fear of noise. Actually I have mostly applied this practise (for the first time ever) during this trip. You might still notice with future postings how I have pushed my ISO settings, sometimes even up to ISO 1600. The only reason why this one was at ISO 400 was because of the abundance of available light. As you can see the shutter speed was already set at 1/3000 and if I chose ISO 800 (with the pre-selected f/stop) the shutter speed would have gone over 1/4000 which is the maximum for the 450D. I have first heard about this from Howard Cheek (Marhowie) and I was determined to experiment with it during this trip and with the new camera. However, I did the same with the 350D as well and I was pleasantly surprised with the results of those photos too. The trick is in the fast shutter speed. That is what takes care of the noise. With a slow shutter speed one might still experience some noise, although I understand that it is vastly improved in the 450D censor.
I reckon with the image stabilising ability of the new Sigma 150-500mm APO DG OS HSM lens, which I've just acquired, I will be able to improve even more on the sharpness. Just a pity I didn't receive the lens before going on this vacation.
The only problem I encountered was with the White Balance settings. It seems like the increased light played a bit of havoc with the white balance and if I selected either Auto White Balance or Sunny White Balance then the colours became too blue. There I had to opt for Cloudy White Balance to get a normal (or warmer) result. I'll still play a bit with this though to try and find the optimum.
Shelley's Francolin (84) *