Fuji gets titanium, Olympus gets...plastic?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Helen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,842
Re: Fuji gets titanium, Olympus gets...plastic?

whumber wrote:

Tommi K1 wrote:

You're mistaken, you only repeat hard facts of value of numbers, but to completely missed the context.

I think you're the one missing the context. My reply was to the conversation trying to claim that polycarbonates are as strong as titanium which is complete nonsense. Not to say that polycarbonate is a poor choice for cameras, or guns for that matter as others were discussing.

But same thing is with camera bodies etc. Plastic is better as it will withstand more impacts by being softer and bending better. It can take a drop better than titanium that might not have same strength but will still receive impacts that even it can't withstand without damage, so softer can be stronger in the end.

Polycarbonate has fracture toughness an order of magnitude lower than titanium, it's absolutely not better than titanium for taking a drop. Magnesium on the other hand is more brittle. Magnesium is popular for camera bodies because it's lightweight and easy to cast accurately.

Different temperature behaviors, environmental effects with can very well speak benefits for plastic, as the context ain't such that where titanium would be much better choice.

I can't really think of any reason to be using titanium in a camera. Even from the sample pictures, the machining on the top plate looks relatively crude compared to what we are used to seeing from cast magnesium, although that may just be the industrial design Fuji is going for.

Yes, I noticed that the reflections on the X-Pro3's top cover look somewhat wobbly.  I read that titanium is much more difficult to work with than other metals and alloys commonly used for cameras, and that it requires more hand-finishing.  I wonder if that's the reason for the wobbliness, or if the pictured examples are pre-production (seems likely as it's often mentioned that the ones used at the launch events were pre-production) and if that's the reason (though I guess there's no reason to assume it'll get any easier to finish without wobbles).  Looking at them, it appears to me that they might be having to screen-print the brand and model logos on top rather than having them cast and in-filled, which is ironic (pun not intended) as it looks a bit "cheap".  I see that the part of the top plate on which the exposure compensation dial is mounted appears to require a separate part (there's a seam visible that wasn't on the X-Pro2) - I wonder what that part is made of?

Please notice that Fuji reviewers say that only top and bottom case are titanium, everything between is plastic. And that you get at different models too.

It's a titanium top and bottom plate over a magnesium chassis, not plastic.

Yes, definitely mentioned by Fujifilm that the chassis is magnesium.  I think the plastic main chassis goes only as far up the range as the X-T30.

What is clear, is that Fuji only rides with the consumers illusion that "titanium is always better" a la "premium" feature, regardless is it in application where it really is best choice... Like can be asked for every material...

Is titanium a great material for a camera? No, it's pretty dumb and overkill but the X-Pro line has always been more fashion accessory than camera so it's no surprise that they would do something like this.

As an aside, I noticed in a couple of posts in this thread that some people assumed only the $200US/£180GB-surcharge Dura Silver and Dura Black models had titanium top and baseplates, but the standard-price black painted version does too.  I notice Fuji says that version will "age beautifully" - which I take to mean that the paint will wear gradually.  The Dura versions have Citizen's patented Duratect clear coatings - either completely clear (showing the titanium's natural colour) or black-tinted clear (giving the graphite-looking version) which are apparently rather scratch- and wear-resistant - though I see they are far from resistant to oil from skin and look a mess when they've been handled, especially the darker one.  In Chris and Jordan's DPR TV video, Chris mentions how any oil/grease is nigh-on impossible to clean off, too.

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