Magnesium bodies

Started Mar 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Magnesium bodies
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2012

jonikon wrote:

Plastic may be adequate structurally, but it is an excellent insulator and really holds in the heat generated by the electronics and also solar gain on a sunny day. I prefer a magnesium body camera because of it's superior thermal qualities that dissipate heat much faster than plastic. A magnesium body camera remains noticeably cooler in my hand than a plastic body camera, and since I usually use a hand strap instead of a neck strap, my camera stays in my hand for long periods of time. I find a plastic body camera gets uncomfortably warm in a very short period of time. I think it is likely that a metal body also keeps the electronics cooler as well, for longer life and less heat generated sensor noise.
That's my two cents on the subject anyway.

I don't find that to be true at all. I shoot weddings and events all day with a 40D (magnesium), 5D (magnesium), and 60D (plastic), and I find no difference in the temperature of any of these cameras. In no way does my plastic-bodied 60D get "uncomfortably warm in a very short period of time", nor does it get that way in a very long period of time. Nor have I ever seen it reported that any of the other millions of plastic DSLR bodies being used out in the wild (popular cameras like the Canon Rebel T3i's, Nikon D5100's, etc.) get "uncomfortably warm". And plastic-bodied DSLRs are by far the most widely sold cameras out there!

Even with extensive video shooting on my Canon 60D, the camera does not get any warmer than my 5D or 40D that don't shoot video! One would expect that if there were any situation where you could generate a significant and noticeable difference in camera temperature, it would be with video shooting...especially with a plastic body that is supposedly retaining all the heat generated by video shooting. But that simply isn't the case.

You also have to remember that most magnesium bodies have a core of high strength engineering plastic. It might be metal on the outside, but it's plastic on the inside.

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