What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

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.

Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 9,838
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
7

Donald B wrote:

pretty much sums it up. All the other companies are real worried about Olympus. Hense all the sales reps trolling the m43 forums.

Don

I sometimes wonder if people realise that a lot of the aircraft they fly in on holiday have "plastic bodies" likewise much of modern cars and boats (and flack jackets, bullet proof glass etc) that are essentials of our every day life

As one who spent a career researching polymeric materials so that we could better understand how to design them to meet the demanding needs of many and various uses I sometimes wonder at the ignorance of the self-proclaimed "experts" who pontificate on and denigrate the use of such materials in modern camera bodies

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cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 1,464
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
3

JaKing wrote:

My E-30 had a polycarbonate composite body and alloy chassis, and my E-510 was mostly polycarbonate with some internal metal bits. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively, and still function perfectly.

In some ways, I prefer the E-30 build parameters, as strong composites are far tougher than metal when it comes to shock resistance. My E-510 is the only camera I have ever dropped in over 60 years. Not a mark on it. That was on the second day I owned it . Still works perfectly.

I do appreciate that both my E-M1s are built like tanks, but does it really matter for the vast majority of us? I doubt it.

In practical use, probably not. But be honest, do you wear a plastic watch? Would you buy plastic earrings for your spouse?

BTW thanks to Helen, Chris and others who have addressed the lack of correct factual information in such detail.

There is a huge differece in strength and cost between plain Polycarbonate, and reinforced Polycarbonate. Unfortunately, those few cameras and lenses I have taken apart used just plain Polycarbonate.  Indicating it was used to save cost, not weight.

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whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,785
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

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.

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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

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.

JaKing
JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 6,046
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

cba_melbourne wrote:

JaKing wrote:

My E-30 had a polycarbonate composite body and alloy chassis, and my E-510 was mostly polycarbonate with some internal metal bits. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively, and still function perfectly.

In some ways, I prefer the E-30 build parameters, as strong composites are far tougher than metal when it comes to shock resistance. My E-510 is the only camera I have ever dropped in over 60 years. Not a mark on it. That was on the second day I owned it . Still works perfectly.

I do appreciate that both my E-M1s are built like tanks, but does it really matter for the vast majority of us? I doubt it.

In practical use, probably not. But be honest, do you wear a plastic watch? Would you buy plastic earrings for your spouse?

My phone is all enigineered materials. Unlike my wife's Samsung, it doesn't need a protective case and screen cover. Mine is IP68 bare, IIRC ... Can be dropped onto concrete or into a lavatory without problems. Not that I've tested either ... .

BTW thanks to Helen, Chris and others who have addressed the lack of correct factual information in such detail.

There is a huge differece in strength and cost between plain Polycarbonate, and reinforced Polycarbonate. Unfortunately, those few cameras and lenses I have taken apart used just plain Polycarbonate. Indicating it was used to save cost, not weight.

Chris, the bumpers on both our cars are unreinforced polycarbonate, unlike some cheap cars where they are weaker/cheaper plastics. IME, these polycarbonate bumpers are far stronger and tougher than the metal bumpers on most of my older cars.

I replaced the one on mine with an alloy roo bar to protect my top radiator tank, but not because of toughness, because of coverage.

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cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 1,464
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
4

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.

The jury is still out, if Olympus chose to use "superior engineered plastics" or just plain injection molded Polycarbonate.

I wonder if Olympus will release pictures of the raw components, as they did with their metal cameras. You see, when a maker puts out detail pictures of a raw Magnesium casting chassis, you pretty well know what sort of build quality you buy. Magnesium is Magnesium, there are only small differences in alloy composition. With plastics you can only hope and wish, there are huge differences between recycled yogurt jars and "engineered plastics" yet they may look externally identical.

It's the difference between having proof it's good solid durable material, and only believing or hoping it may be just as good.

In your everyday life experience, how often have you been disappointed by inferior plastics not performing as expected, like breaking or perishing prematurely? I find it much easier to predict the life span of say a metal bucket vs a plastic bucket.

Look, makers are reading forums too. If they replaced metal for any "superior engineered plastics" in a new model, their marketing will soon come out with pictures and reassurances. But if the sole purpose was to save manufacturing cost it, will remain quiet. As it is, all makers are very fast at releasing pics of their metal castings (there are many outside of m43 too), proof that they themselves believe it is a superior build feature.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,110
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

JaKing wrote:

cba_melbourne wrote:

JaKing wrote:

My E-30 had a polycarbonate composite body and alloy chassis, and my E-510 was mostly polycarbonate with some internal metal bits. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively, and still function perfectly.

In some ways, I prefer the E-30 build parameters, as strong composites are far tougher than metal when it comes to shock resistance. My E-510 is the only camera I have ever dropped in over 60 years. Not a mark on it. That was on the second day I owned it . Still works perfectly.

I do appreciate that both my E-M1s are built like tanks, but does it really matter for the vast majority of us? I doubt it.

In practical use, probably not. But be honest, do you wear a plastic watch? Would you buy plastic earrings for your spouse?

My phone is all enigineered materials. Unlike my wife's Samsung, it doesn't need a protective case and screen cover. Mine is IP68 bare, IIRC ... Can be dropped onto concrete or into a lavatory without problems. Not that I've tested either ... .

BTW thanks to Helen, Chris and others who have addressed the lack of correct factual information in such detail.

There is a huge differece in strength and cost between plain Polycarbonate, and reinforced Polycarbonate. Unfortunately, those few cameras and lenses I have taken apart used just plain Polycarbonate. Indicating it was used to save cost, not weight.

Chris, the bumpers on both our cars are unreinforced polycarbonate, unlike some cheap cars where they are weaker/cheaper plastics. IME, these polycarbonate bumpers are far stronger and tougher than the metal bumpers on most of my older cars.

Now come on, your stretching that a bit far, give me good steel bars any day on my Landrover You can have your cheap plastic crap next they will be making plastic tow bars

I replaced the one on mine with an alloy roo bar to protect my top radiator tank, but not because of toughness, because of coverage.

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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

Donald B wrote:

JaKing wrote:

cba_melbourne wrote:

JaKing wrote:

My E-30 had a polycarbonate composite body and alloy chassis, and my E-510 was mostly polycarbonate with some internal metal bits. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively, and still function perfectly.

In some ways, I prefer the E-30 build parameters, as strong composites are far tougher than metal when it comes to shock resistance. My E-510 is the only camera I have ever dropped in over 60 years. Not a mark on it. That was on the second day I owned it . Still works perfectly.

I do appreciate that both my E-M1s are built like tanks, but does it really matter for the vast majority of us? I doubt it.

In practical use, probably not. But be honest, do you wear a plastic watch? Would you buy plastic earrings for your spouse?

My phone is all enigineered materials. Unlike my wife's Samsung, it doesn't need a protective case and screen cover. Mine is IP68 bare, IIRC ... Can be dropped onto concrete or into a lavatory without problems. Not that I've tested either ... .

BTW thanks to Helen, Chris and others who have addressed the lack of correct factual information in such detail.

There is a huge differece in strength and cost between plain Polycarbonate, and reinforced Polycarbonate. Unfortunately, those few cameras and lenses I have taken apart used just plain Polycarbonate. Indicating it was used to save cost, not weight.

Chris, the bumpers on both our cars are unreinforced polycarbonate, unlike some cheap cars where they are weaker/cheaper plastics. IME, these polycarbonate bumpers are far stronger and tougher than the metal bumpers on most of my older cars.

Now come on, your stretching that a bit far, give me good steel bars any day on my Landrover You can have your cheap plastic crap next they will be making plastic tow bars

I replaced the one on mine with an alloy roo bar to protect my top radiator tank, but not because of toughness, because of coverage.

Nope. People have no idea how good properly engineered plastics are.

https://youtu.be/w5eMMf11uhM

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,110
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

Gnine wrote:

Donald B wrote:

JaKing wrote:

cba_melbourne wrote:

JaKing wrote:

My E-30 had a polycarbonate composite body and alloy chassis, and my E-510 was mostly polycarbonate with some internal metal bits. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively, and still function perfectly.

In some ways, I prefer the E-30 build parameters, as strong composites are far tougher than metal when it comes to shock resistance. My E-510 is the only camera I have ever dropped in over 60 years. Not a mark on it. That was on the second day I owned it . Still works perfectly.

I do appreciate that both my E-M1s are built like tanks, but does it really matter for the vast majority of us? I doubt it.

In practical use, probably not. But be honest, do you wear a plastic watch? Would you buy plastic earrings for your spouse?

My phone is all enigineered materials. Unlike my wife's Samsung, it doesn't need a protective case and screen cover. Mine is IP68 bare, IIRC ... Can be dropped onto concrete or into a lavatory without problems. Not that I've tested either ... .

BTW thanks to Helen, Chris and others who have addressed the lack of correct factual information in such detail.

There is a huge differece in strength and cost between plain Polycarbonate, and reinforced Polycarbonate. Unfortunately, those few cameras and lenses I have taken apart used just plain Polycarbonate. Indicating it was used to save cost, not weight.

Chris, the bumpers on both our cars are unreinforced polycarbonate, unlike some cheap cars where they are weaker/cheaper plastics. IME, these polycarbonate bumpers are far stronger and tougher than the metal bumpers on most of my older cars.

Now come on, your stretching that a bit far, give me good steel bars any day on my Landrover You can have your cheap plastic crap next they will be making plastic tow bars

I replaced the one on mine with an alloy roo bar to protect my top radiator tank, but not because of toughness, because of coverage.

Nope. People have no idea how good properly engineered plastics are.

https://youtu.be/w5eMMf11uhM

didnt you watch the $20mill Australia Americas cup boat sink in 30 sec because they cranked the back stay on to much and broke the boat in 2 now on ragamuffin the maxi 80 footer i could crank the backstay on and bend the boat 400mm without a problem. it was made of aluminium.

Don

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whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,785
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

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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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

whumber wrote:

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.

That's exactly my point. So many people hear the word plastic, and completely wig out. Most of this thread is evidence of that. Trying to distance itself from the word plastic. It's not the material, it's the design and engineering.

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 40,094
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Have confirmed the more plastic build  compared to what?  Compared to an em5 mark ii

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whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,785
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
2

Gnine wrote:

whumber wrote:

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.

That's exactly my point. So many people hear the word plastic, and completely wig out. It's not the material, it's the design and engineering.

I would agree about that, I would even go as far as to say that for certain components a plastic can be designed to be superior to metal. The point was just that trying to justify the plastic used in cameras by pointing to aerospace structures, formula one, or high end bicycles is a bit misleading as they're extremely different materials; even the "carbon composite" used by Nikon bears little in common with a traditional composite structure from a material property point of view.

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Bernard de Clairvaux Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

Helen,

Many thanks for taking the time to write this up.

:). Well designed and lmplemented plastic parts are fine.

Remember the Pentax 10D  or 20D Polycarbonate weather sealed body that had the issue of developing cracks along the edges of the c'sunk holes.

Best Regards, Bernard

fstopx2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,020
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
4

I wear a Casio G Shock watch every day. Both to work and for play. The G Shock is almost entire plastic.

The watch is indestructible. Bang it, beat it, freeze it, heat it - ITS FINE. On top of this its solar powered and synced to an atomic clock. I have had to change a battery in years.

All this for $80.

A Vacheron Constantin watch that costs $30,000 is nowhere near as durable and does not keep as good time.

I think a camera thats made of of polymer will be ok .

Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

fstopx2 wrote:

I wear a Casio G Shock watch every day. Both to work and for play. The G Shock is almost entire plastic.

The watch is indestructible. Bang it, beat it, freeze it, heat it - ITS FINE. On top of this its solar powered and synced to an atomic clock. I have had to change a battery in years.

All this for $80.

A Vacheron Constantin watch that costs $30,000 is nowhere near as durable and does not keep as good time.

I think a camera thats made of of polymer will be ok .

Yeah. I bought a plastic phone. For precisely this reason, after cracking a couple of screens in succession https://youtu.be/niL3PCUci3c Utterly brilliant thing

MrALLCAPS
MrALLCAPS Senior Member • Posts: 1,071
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
  • Auf Reisen wrote:

peter ny wrote:

In his review, Robin Wong says the entire body is polycarbonate, which disagrees with the specs DPR has posted. I couldn't find any information about body materials on the Olympus site.

Wex says it's magnesium alloy as well.

So who to believe, a Store or one that works for Olympus?

https://www.wexphotovideo.com/olympus-om-d-e-m5-mark-iii-digital-camera-body-black-1719279/

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whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,785
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?
1

MrALLCAPS wrote:

  • Auf Reisen wrote:

peter ny wrote:

In his review, Robin Wong says the entire body is polycarbonate, which disagrees with the specs DPR has posted. I couldn't find any information about body materials on the Olympus site.

Wex says it's magnesium alloy as well.

So who to believe, a Store or one that works for Olympus?

https://www.wexphotovideo.com/olympus-om-d-e-m5-mark-iii-digital-camera-body-black-1719279/

If it was a typical trade show rep I wouldn't particularly trust either but I think Robin Wong has earned a bit more credit so I'd go with him.

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cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 1,464
Re: What's all this talk about plastic bodies?

fstopx2 wrote:

I wear a Casio G Shock watch every day. Both to work and for play. The G Shock is almost entire plastic.

The watch is indestructible. Bang it, beat it, freeze it, heat it - ITS FINE. On top of this its solar powered and synced to an atomic clock. I have had to change a battery in years.

All this for $80.

A Vacheron Constantin watch that costs $30,000 is nowhere near as durable and does not keep as good time.

I think a camera thats made of of polymer will be ok .

Your Casio G shock actually uses a carbon reinforced resin. Not just injection molded Polycarbonate. There is a difference.

For a true comparison (like between a Magnesium camera top and a Polycarbonate top), look at a nice metal watch versus a cheap Swatch.

Thermoplastic molded case and bracelet. It's a short lived fashion statement.

You do not need to spend anywhere near $30k. My Citizen is solar powered too, synced to atomic clock too, never change a battery etc etc. It is made of Titanium, and does not look out of place when going to a concert. And if one day it looks scratched, just take some fine polishing emery cloth to it and it quickly returns like new. Try that with any plastic.

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