Panasonic ditches plastic in its new G-body

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by RichA, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, Jul 18, 2012
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  2. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, Jul 18, 2012
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  3. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    It hardly matters what the front panel (Panasonic G5) or whole body
    shell (Olympus OM-D E-M5) is made of when in both cameras the key
    components requiring - and providing - dimensional accuracy are made
    of plastic. I refer to the chassis that carry both the sensor and the
    lens mount.

    The outer shell is purely that, a shell. If it is made of metal, all
    it does is conceal the plastic from view. It plays absolutely no part
    in the structural rigidity and dimensional stability of the only bits
    that matter.
    Bruce, Jul 18, 2012
  4. RichA

    Mort Guest


    This reminds me of when the Olympus OM-4Ti first appeared with much
    advertising about the new titanium body. It turns out that the body was
    identical to the old OM-4, and only a very thin top plate was titanium.
    Does it really matter, except for marketing? No.

    Mort Linder
    Mort, Jul 19, 2012
  5. RichA

    Rich Guest

    Metal bodies can be made even more compact owing to thinner dimensions.
    The Sony NEX 3N versus 5N as examples. Plus, small parts made of plastic
    in cameras are ticking time-bombs waiting to break. Nikon DSLR flash
    hold-downs being a case in point. Metal hook, plastic tab, plastic tab
    breaks, fix costs more than the body is worth after a couple years.
    Rich, Jul 19, 2012
  6. RichA

    Rich Guest

    Course it matters. It effects camera size, and most weather-sealed bodies
    are metal. All semi-pro and pro bodies are metal, for strength and
    tolerance control.
    Rich, Jul 19, 2012
  7. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I think the bottom plate was as well, because they both show finish
    wear. I had one.
    RichA, Jul 19, 2012
  8. RichA

    ray Guest


    Wish I could understand the blanket condemnation so many folks have for
    everything 'plastic'. Modern 'plastics' come in a wide variety of
    formulations which can have quite a variety of physical properties
    depending on the intended use. And it is my understanding that at least
    some 'plastics' are more stable than many metals - which do, in fact,
    expand and contract with temperature. Carbon fibre and kevlar are good
    examples - kevlar is used extensively in 'bulletproof' vests and is much
    stronger than steel - not only pound for pound but also in lines (ropes)
    diameter for diameter.
    ray, Jul 20, 2012
  9. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but scrap polycarbonate is neither
    carbon fiber or kevlar.
    RichA, Jul 20, 2012
  10. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Whether scrap or not, polycarbonate is an extremely strong and tough
    material. See and
    Eric Stevens, Jul 20, 2012
  11. RichA

    RichA Guest

    It's not as good as metal. It's not as strong, it expands and
    contracts more with temperature change (which makes any weather-
    sealing questionable) and it cannot be made as accurately when it
    comes to machining. Also, it requires strengthening with metal at key
    points or premature wear will occur. In addition, it requires thicker
    walls when making products because of flexture. One good thing about
    it, for cheap cameras, a finish can be pre-molded or "built-in" to the
    plastic, unlike metal.
    RichA, Jul 20, 2012
  12. RichA

    isw Guest

    Incompetent product designers may well see all those things as
    "problems"; excellent designers, not so much.

    isw, Jul 20, 2012
  13. RichA

    ray Guest

    It would seem that if polycarbonate is good enough for the cockpit canopy
    of the F-22 fighter and used for motorcycle, small plane and helicopter
    windscreens, and bulletproof windows, it might be good enough for the
    case of a camera.
    ray, Jul 21, 2012
  14. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    The problem you have when you make these criticisms is that you don't
    think like a designer.

    "It's not as good as metal" is a value judgement for which you give no
    real justification.

    "It's not as strong" is open ended criticism which ignores the fact
    that properly designed objects have the right amount of material in
    the right place to enable their physical properties to carry the loads

    "It expands and contracts more with temperature change (which makes
    any weather-sealing questionable)" is a nonsense claim. Headlights on
    cars are weather sealed. There are no problems arising from
    temperature change with the very common acrylic lenses used in
    eyeglasses. Its all a question of designing for the properties of the
    material you are using.

    "It cannot be made as accurately when it comes to machining." is
    nonsense. In most cases machining is not required: the component is
    molded to the finished shape and is as accurate as is the (metal)

    "It requires strengthening with metal at key points or premature wear
    will occur". You are not talking about strength. You mean wear
    resistance. Few metals have really good wear resistance either, unless
    they lubricated in some way. If you are not able to lubricate the
    bearing a plastic such as HMW polyethelene is the best choice.

    "In addition, it requires thicker walls when making products because
    of flexture." So what? It is always important to choose a suitable
    wall thickness when flexure is a problem.

    A plastic camera is not just a metal camera with plastic substituted
    for metal. It should be a completely new design. Even though it ends
    up looking much the same, for the reasons that concern you, I would
    expect it to be completely different in detail.
    Eric Stevens, Jul 21, 2012
  15. RichA

    Rich Guest

    I justified what I said with a slew of examples of physical
    characteristics of plastic, and you can make anything stong. How would
    you be with a cardboard body an inch thick for a camera?
    Rich, Jul 22, 2012
  16. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Slew? Six at my count,, virtually al of them demonstrating a lack of
    understanding of the problem. How do you explain the fact that if even
    one of your criticisms was correct you wouldn't find polycarbonate
    being used for underwater camera housings; See
    Eric Stevens, Jul 22, 2012
  17. RichA

    Joe Kotroczo Guest

    On 20/07/2012 13:22, RichA wrote:

    That has changed recently, company called Liquidmetal has patented a
    process that allows pre-molding metal.

    Apple have bagged an exclusive licence to use the stuff in consumer
    Joe Kotroczo, Jul 22, 2012
  18. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    The material has a long way to go yet. See
    Eric Stevens, Jul 22, 2012
  19. It's just RichA, and he's got the idea that plastic lives and
    tries to strangle him at night or something.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jul 23, 2012
  20. RichA

    Rich Guest

    Uhhh, do you know of any transparent metals?
    Rich, Jul 24, 2012
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