Ratings on build quality from Brit mag

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They disliked the Canon 300 and Nikon D70 builds, saying
the build quality was poor. They loved the Canon
20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
people?
-Rich
 
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I think there is a significant psychological issue - I happily admit to
feeling `uncomfortable` shooting with a lightweight or plasticky
camera. A good, solid, professional feel to a camera gives me extra
confidence and makes me feel like really concentrating on getting the
best possible result - maybe it's some sort of ego thing..? (O:

Because despite all the complaints about poor build quality, do you
really see *that* many reports of cameras that break, without good
cause?
 
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"Chrlz" <chrlz@go.com> wrote in message
news:1110499444.220737.125470@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>I think there is a significant psychological issue - I happily admit to
> feeling `uncomfortable` shooting with a lightweight or plasticky
> camera. A good, solid, professional feel to a camera gives me extra
> confidence and makes me feel like really concentrating on getting the
> best possible result - maybe it's some sort of ego thing..? (O:
>
> Because despite all the complaints about poor build quality, do you
> really see *that* many reports of cameras that break, without good
> cause?

I've read a lot of anecdotes about D70's being dropped and tipping over on
tripods with no ill effects. That doesn't mean I'm going to do it on
purpose, but the stories make it sound like the camera is pretty sturdy.
Even the memory card door, which seems a bit flimsy, doesn't seem to have a
history of problems.
 
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I remember chatting to a professional tourism photographer (who used
Velvia on Minolta 35mm (back in the days when the Maxxum was just
appearing), along with a bit of medium format and a big pano camera),
and he said he absolutely loved his Minolta gear. He said he had given
up on Canon because he sweated a lot, and the Canon models he had been
using had an issue with sweat getting into the electronics near/under
the shutter button. After 4 failures in 12 months he had given up and
changed over!

By the way, clearly this is an old anecdote from the vintage days of
film cameras (heheh), and should not be applied to current models!
 
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"Chrlz" <chrlz@go.com> wrote in message
news:1110499444.220737.125470@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>I think there is a significant psychological issue - I happily admit to
> feeling `uncomfortable` shooting with a lightweight or plasticky
> camera. A good, solid, professional feel to a camera gives me extra
> confidence and makes me feel like really concentrating on getting the
> best possible result - maybe it's some sort of ego thing..? (O:
>
> Because despite all the complaints about poor build quality, do you
> really see *that* many reports of cameras that break, without good
> cause?

No, mostly it's failures with shutters, buttons, or electronic parts;
usually not caused by a drop or a bump. Moisture is another issue. Some
folks have "fried" their cameras while trying to use them in rain/snow/sleet
conditions.
 
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"Chrlz" <chrlz@go.com> writes:

> I think there is a significant psychological issue - I happily admit to
> feeling `uncomfortable` shooting with a lightweight or plasticky
> camera. A good, solid, professional feel to a camera gives me extra
> confidence and makes me feel like really concentrating on getting the
> best possible result - maybe it's some sort of ego thing..? (O:

I think you're right. It's a question of what people got used to. In
the days of hand machining, "built like a Swiss watch" was the term
for the top examples. But in fact plastic will bounce off pavement
that metal will crack on, sometimes. And my Leica M3 did just that.

> Because despite all the complaints about poor build quality, do you
> really see *that* many reports of cameras that break, without good
> cause?

No.
--
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RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
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In article <62h131dufg8seg6pr3gtvdnho9qq9qidag@4ax.com>, none@none.com
says...
> They disliked the Canon 300 and Nikon D70 builds, saying
> the build quality was poor. They loved the Canon
> 20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
> on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
> standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
> people?
> -Rich

There's nothing wrong with polycarbonate. In fact, it's better at
impact resistance than magnesium alloy, on average. In any case, don't
drop your camera.
 
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Chrlz wrote:

> I think there is a significant psychological issue - I happily admit to
> feeling `uncomfortable` shooting with a lightweight or plasticky
> camera. A good, solid, professional feel to a camera gives me extra
> confidence and makes me feel like really concentrating on getting the
> best possible result - maybe it's some sort of ego thing..? (O:

I like meaty cameras myself. I just got the Maxxum 7D and it has a nice
solid feel to it. It's a mainly metal frame, but the back shell is poly
carb.

Cheers,
Alan.

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>On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:05:34 -0500, RichA <none@none.com> wrote:
>They disliked the Canon 300 and Nikon D70 builds, saying
>the build quality was poor. They loved the Canon
>20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
>on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
>standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
>people?

The term "plastic" is a rather vague and imprecise designation that
refers a wide gamut of materials with vastly varying characteristics.

As Brain points out, the "plastic" used for Canon bodies, is not mere
"plastic", but polycarbonate (Lexan)!! There's a big difference between
polycarbonate, and the stuff they used to manufacture Kodak Brownies
from! And when Brian sez that polycarbonate is more impact-resistant
than magnesium, that's a bit of an understatement. Polycarbonate is the
laminate used in the production of bullet-proof glass! As the king of
"plastics" It's pretty much indestructible!

Anyone at all familiar with the properties and characteristics of
polycarbonate, I would suspect that they would consider it a bonus
benefit over cheap magnesium, rather than a deficit.
 
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In article <4234d7ae.12189562@news.netrover.com>,
<birch999@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:05:34 -0500, RichA <none@none.com> wrote:
>>They disliked the Canon 300 and Nikon D70 builds, saying
>>the build quality was poor. They loved the Canon
>>20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
>>on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
>>standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
>>people?
>
>The term "plastic" is a rather vague and imprecise designation that
>refers a wide gamut of materials with vastly varying characteristics.
>
>As Brain points out, the "plastic" used for Canon bodies, is not mere
>"plastic", but polycarbonate (Lexan)!! There's a big difference between
>polycarbonate, and the stuff they used to manufacture Kodak Brownies
>from! And when Brian sez that polycarbonate is more impact-resistant
>than magnesium, that's a bit of an understatement. Polycarbonate is the
>laminate used in the production of bullet-proof glass! As the king of
>"plastics" It's pretty much indestructible!
>
>Anyone at all familiar with the properties and characteristics of
>polycarbonate, I would suspect that they would consider it a bonus
>benefit over cheap magnesium, rather than a deficit.

I would consider Delrin (Acetal) to also be an excellent
material for camera bodies -- especially since it is not transparent in
its natural state, and can be obtained in a nice solid black (which
machines quite well, and is *very* impact resistant, too. It actually
machines more freely than Lexan does, in my experience.

Enjoy,
DoN.

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RichA wrote:
>
> They disliked the Canon 300 and Nikon D70 builds, saying
> the build quality was poor. They loved the Canon
> 20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
> on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
> standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
> people?
> -Rich

There was a perception prevalent with 'plastic' cameras years ago,
before the advent of AF, that the expansion coefficient of plastic,
being greater than metal, allowed the lens-film distance to alter with
temperature, thus potentially causing MF focus problems. Whether that
actually happened sufficiently to cause focusing errors is moot.

Colin
 
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In article <42312E68.B502841B@killspam.127.0.0.1>,
Colin D <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote:
>
>
>RichA wrote:

[ ... ]

>> 20D's build quality. Does the plastic outer housing
>> on the cheaper cameras really matter from a durability
>> standpoint, or is it merely aesthetics that concerns
>> people?

[ ... ]

>There was a perception prevalent with 'plastic' cameras years ago,
>before the advent of AF, that the expansion coefficient of plastic,
>being greater than metal, allowed the lens-film distance to alter with
>temperature, thus potentially causing MF focus problems. Whether that
>actually happened sufficiently to cause focusing errors is moot.

Hmm ... It would seem to me that the path to the focusing screen
is of the same material, and would expand at the same rate as the path
to the film or sensor, so for a SLR, this would seem to be a
non-problem.

However -- for a rangefinder design, it *might* make some
difference -- though I think that the operating temperature range of the
camera -- and the *human* operating it -- would not allow much
differential expansion.

I think that in most cases, it would be within the depth of
field, or the errors of the rangefinder mechanism, so you would never
see it.

Obviously, some plastics, stored (if not operated) at too high a
temperature, would distort, thus introducing a *permanent* error.

Enjoy,
DoN.
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In article <d0t1i7$4li$1@fuego.d-and-d.com>, dnichols@d-and-d.com
says...
> I would consider Delrin (Acetal) to also be an excellent
> material for camera bodies -- especially since it is not transparent in
> its natural state, and can be obtained in a nice solid black (which
> machines quite well, and is *very* impact resistant, too. It actually
> machines more freely than Lexan does, in my experience.

Might be good for small batches, but Lexan and other forms of Polycarb
injection and vacuum mold so easily and are much cheaper.
 
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Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net> wrote:

>My next step is to take ione to an indoor arena where horses are raising the
>kind of superfine, talcum-like dust Im going to have to deal with, and see if
>the dust gets inside the D70 as easily as it got into the DRebel.

I'm not sure if you'd need to change lenses for the kind of shooting
you do, but if you find the D70 doesn't have too bad a dust ingress
with the lens mounted, then it would make sense to buy two or three
D70 bodies, one for each lens. You could get two D70 bodies for
the price of a 20D.


--
Ken Tough
 

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In article <5LZNOBFt$ANCFw99@objectech.co.uk>, ken@objectech.co.uk says...
> Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> >My next step is to take ione to an indoor arena where horses are raising the
> >kind of superfine, talcum-like dust Im going to have to deal with, and see if
> >the dust gets inside the D70 as easily as it got into the DRebel.
>
> I'm not sure if you'd need to change lenses for the kind of shooting
> you do, but if you find the D70 doesn't have too bad a dust ingress
> with the lens mounted, then it would make sense to buy two or three
> D70 bodies, one for each lens. You could get two D70 bodies for
> the price of a 20D.
>
>
>

Most of my "in the ring" shooting is done between 50 and 70 mm focal length
(equivalent).

If I could afford to buy 2 D70s I probably would just buy lenses instead.

I did, however, test a freinds D70 (Under his panicky snoopervision) under
VERY dusty circumstances last night, and the camera passed with flying
colors.

My problem with dust in the DSLR I used in the ring before (A Digital Rebel)
was occuring without any lens changes, and thats why I din't buy one. I
EXPECT dust incursion when changing lenses, and I can guard against it, but
the dust incursion I was getting was happening without opening the camera.

We also had a Rebel with us last night, and it got dust in it just hanging
around my friends neck!

For now it looks like the D70 with one lens will have to get me by until
later in the season.


If I get the quality I expect, I dont see a need to buy "more" camera, just
more lenses.






--
Larry Lynch
Mystic, Ct.
 
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On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 07:35:06 -0500, Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net>
wrote:

>In article <5LZNOBFt$ANCFw99@objectech.co.uk>, ken@objectech.co.uk says...
>> Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>> >My next step is to take ione to an indoor arena where horses are raising the
>> >kind of superfine, talcum-like dust Im going to have to deal with, and see if
>> >the dust gets inside the D70 as easily as it got into the DRebel.
>>
>> I'm not sure if you'd need to change lenses for the kind of shooting
>> you do, but if you find the D70 doesn't have too bad a dust ingress
>> with the lens mounted, then it would make sense to buy two or three
>> D70 bodies, one for each lens. You could get two D70 bodies for
>> the price of a 20D.
>>
>>
>>
>
>Most of my "in the ring" shooting is done between 50 and 70 mm focal length
>(equivalent).
>
>If I could afford to buy 2 D70s I probably would just buy lenses instead.
>
>I did, however, test a freinds D70 (Under his panicky snoopervision) under
>VERY dusty circumstances last night, and the camera passed with flying
>colors.
>
>My problem with dust in the DSLR I used in the ring before (A Digital Rebel)
>was occuring without any lens changes, and thats why I din't buy one. I
>EXPECT dust incursion when changing lenses, and I can guard against it, but
>the dust incursion I was getting was happening without opening the camera.
>
>We also had a Rebel with us last night, and it got dust in it just hanging
>around my friends neck!
>
>For now it looks like the D70 with one lens will have to get me by until
>later in the season.
>
>
>If I get the quality I expect, I dont see a need to buy "more" camera, just
>more lenses.

Iv'e seen some waterproof elasticated soft housings that can be fitted
over the lens (probably custom made for the huge expensive nature
600mm zooms). This would prevent dust from getting into the lens
through the moving zoom mechanism area. What I don't know is how easy
it is to operate the zoom with a huge condom-like thing stuck over it,
or if they are available for standard lenses.

Consider constructing one yourself ?

As for dust getting onto the sensor via the bayonet fitting - just
tape it up, using suitable tape (eg, gaffer tape, *not* duct tape).

--
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http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
 

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In article <ac3b31lc2dpfmm8qeemvu8g899i2d68koq@4ax.com>, Owamanga says...
> On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 07:35:06 -0500, Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
> >In article <5LZNOBFt$ANCFw99@objectech.co.uk>, ken@objectech.co.uk says...
> >> Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> >My next step is to take ione to an indoor arena where horses are raising the
> >> >kind of superfine, talcum-like dust Im going to have to deal with, and see if
> >> >the dust gets inside the D70 as easily as it got into the DRebel.
> >>
> >> I'm not sure if you'd need to change lenses for the kind of shooting
> >> you do, but if you find the D70 doesn't have too bad a dust ingress
> >> with the lens mounted, then it would make sense to buy two or three
> >> D70 bodies, one for each lens. You could get two D70 bodies for
> >> the price of a 20D.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Most of my "in the ring" shooting is done between 50 and 70 mm focal length
> >(equivalent).
> >
> >If I could afford to buy 2 D70s I probably would just buy lenses instead.
> >
> >I did, however, test a freinds D70 (Under his panicky snoopervision) under
> >VERY dusty circumstances last night, and the camera passed with flying
> >colors.
> >
> >My problem with dust in the DSLR I used in the ring before (A Digital Rebel)
> >was occuring without any lens changes, and thats why I din't buy one. I
> >EXPECT dust incursion when changing lenses, and I can guard against it, but
> >the dust incursion I was getting was happening without opening the camera.
> >
> >We also had a Rebel with us last night, and it got dust in it just hanging
> >around my friends neck!
> >
> >For now it looks like the D70 with one lens will have to get me by until
> >later in the season.
> >
> >
> >If I get the quality I expect, I dont see a need to buy "more" camera, just
> >more lenses.
>
> Iv'e seen some waterproof elasticated soft housings that can be fitted
> over the lens (probably custom made for the huge expensive nature
> 600mm zooms). This would prevent dust from getting into the lens
> through the moving zoom mechanism area. What I don't know is how easy
> it is to operate the zoom with a huge condom-like thing stuck over it,
> or if they are available for standard lenses.
>

I've not had much trouble with lenses per-se, only with DSLRs and only with
the FEW I've used (and up 'till last night that was limited to the Digital
Rebel)

The problem I've had has been with dust on the sensor, in a VERY short period
of taking pictures in the show ring. I have stuck with ZLR type digitals (way
past the point where I should have changed to DSLR) because the Rebel was the
only DSLR I could afford (up 'till now).

My small photo operation could afford a D20, if I didn't mind spending that
amount of money, but I don't really feel I need THAT much camera to do what I
do.

I've had no complaints from my customers about picture quality, and most of
the prints I have sold in the last two years have been from shots with a Sony
F-717 or a Fuji S7000, along with a few from the Sony F-828. (I know it
sounds incredible, but good shots, with some post work can be had with those
cameras).


--
Larry Lynch
Mystic, Ct.
 
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In article <MPG.1c9f4f05f1687ab3989766@news.individual.NET>,
Larry <larrylynch3rd@comcast.net> wrote:

>Most of my "in the ring" shooting is done between 50 and 70 mm focal length
>(equivalent).
>
>If I could afford to buy 2 D70s I probably would just buy lenses instead.

Well ... one D70 with the "28-105mm f3.5-4.5 D" would do what
you are asking for. I think that the kit lens covers your range, too,
but I'm sure about the one which I've listed, as it is what I use most
of the time on my D70. (I already had that lens, so I skipped the kit,
and just bought the body.

>I did, however, test a freinds D70 (Under his panicky snoopervision) under
>VERY dusty circumstances last night, and the camera passed with flying
>colors.

Good.

>My problem with dust in the DSLR I used in the ring before (A Digital Rebel)
>was occuring without any lens changes, and thats why I din't buy one. I
>EXPECT dust incursion when changing lenses, and I can guard against it, but
>the dust incursion I was getting was happening without opening the camera.

That is unfortunate.

>We also had a Rebel with us last night, and it got dust in it just hanging
>around my friends neck!

Not even being focused? That *is* bad. I wonder what the path
into the body is?

>For now it looks like the D70 with one lens will have to get me by until
>later in the season.

O.K. It is a good start, anyway.

>If I get the quality I expect, I dont see a need to buy "more" camera, just
>more lenses.

That would normally make sense -- but with your particularly
dusty conditions, maybe not. I've added two other lens to mine so far,
a 50mm f1.4 with autofocus, and a 180mm f2.8 which got a CPU added at a
later time.

If you can handle the extra weight (and cost) of a second lens,
perhaps you should consider something like the 28-205mm instead. A lot
more weight, and just as weak on the wide angle end, but perhaps a
better fit for your needs as they grow.


Good Luck,
DoN.

P.S. Mystic? Do you happen to attend the Sea Music Festival in June
each year? I used to, but have missed the past couple of years.
I was audio recording in the Fishtown Chapel at the left front pew.
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In article <d15of6$39p$1@fuego.d-and-d.com>, dnichols@d-and-d.com says...
> That would normally make sense -- but with your particularly
> dusty conditions, maybe not. I've added two other lens to mine so far,
> a 50mm f1.4 with autofocus, and a 180mm f2.8 which got a CPU added at a
> later time.
>
> If you can handle the extra weight (and cost) of a second lens,
> perhaps you should consider something like the 28-205mm instead. A lot
> more weight, and just as weak on the wide angle end, but perhaps a
> better fit for your needs as they grow.
>
>
> Good Luck,
> DoN.
>
> P.S. Mystic? Do you happen to attend the Sea Music Festival in June
> each year? I used to, but have missed the past couple of years.
> I was audio recording in the Fishtown Chapel at the left front pew.
>
>

I havent done the Mystic Music Festival for years, but it is fun. Come to
think of it, I havent done the art festival either.

There is usually a horse show to shoot while the Festivals are going on.

I think I'll probably be happy with the D70. I havent yet found the path the
dust is using to get into my freinds DRebel, but he is now curious and will
probably keep looking 'til he finds it.


--
Larry Lynch
Mystic, Ct.
 
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