Magnesium bodies

Started Mar 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Leonard Migliore
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Re: Price, weight and quantity
In reply to steephill, Mar 27, 2012

steephill wrote:

Titanium alloys are about 4x more expensive than magnesium alloys. And magnesium alloys are 2.5x less dense than titanium alloys so for lowest mass you would go for magnesium.

The amounts involved in camera manufacture are very small so relative material cost is not a major issue. Ease of manufacture and mechanical properties are the important criteria.

Ease of manufacture (or the lack thereof) is a big downside of titanium. It's expensive to cast and very miserable to machine. And it tends to crawl around on you after processing, which is the last thing you want in a camera frame.

Magnesium is readiily die cast and machines like a dream; that's probably why camera designers like it over aluminum, which is about equal in stiffness-to-weight. Its only downside is that it has poor ductility, so that it cracks rather than bends. But a bent camera body is no better than a cracked one.

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Leonard Migliore

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