What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,730
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

Gnine wrote:

whumber wrote:

Gnine wrote:

cba_melbourne wrote:

Why do you think the better laptop computers pride themselves having a metal chasssis? Why do people buy them? Phones with one piece metal chassis... etc. Think about it.

Perception and reality are two very different things. Take a look at high end supercars. F1. High end bicycles. Engineered plastics are superior, when you're pushing the limits. A lot of the manufacturers simply aren't willing to invest in the new technologies, and are happy to push the old bigger and heavier is obviously better and stronger line, and keep producing the same old same old.

There's a world of difference though between composite materials and just straight plastic. You're not going to find any F1 or high end bicycle structural components made out of just plastic. Plastics are great because you can very easily manufacture them with very high precision in a highly automated process. Composites are not nearly as easy to manufacture and require significantly more engineering to tailor the layup schedule correctly.

Nikon seem to manage okay with their entry level composite body cameras. The D5500/6500 & 7500 are all carbon composite. My old Canon xxxD DSLR's were all plastic composite bodies, very reasonably priced, light, and tough as nails. No problems or issues whatsover. If Olympus can't manage it, it's not the fault of the material being used.

Nikon isn't using a true carbon fiber build for their cameras. They use a product called Sereebo which is just plastic with small strands of carbon fiber mixed in. The benefit is that it can be fully injection molded and requires minimal changes in engineering versus using straight plastic as it approximates an orthotropic material to a degree. The downside is that it's nowhere close to as strong or configurable as traditional epoxy impregnated carbon fiber layups. Engineering plastics are great and there's really no problem with using them for a camera body. But trying to compare what Nikon or Olympus is doing with what you see in a 787 or high end carbon fiber bicycles is not at all accurate.

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