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Author Topic: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?  (Read 6490 times)

D.Sim

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Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« on: February 10, 2012, 08:36:51 AM »
The higher end Canon cameras have bene made using a Magnesium alloy for a while - and its supposed to be pretty strong.

Just how strong is it supposed to be? It won't just crack would it?



I ask coz I uh... had a small accident....  And I'm wondering if its due to just bad luck or there being stress fractures in the body itself before, which helped it just.... uh break off...


 :-[

Will post a picture for reference later...

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Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« on: February 10, 2012, 08:36:51 AM »

AprilForever

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 09:24:20 AM »
I was bicycling through the Shark Valley Loop in the Everglades with my 7D, and I wrecked and it hit the road (along with me).

The 7D came out just fine!
What is truth?

D.Sim

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 01:16:23 PM »
thats what I figured too... its supposed to be pretty strong... and yet... =(

Tijn

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 01:23:31 PM »
What did you do to it?

D.Sim

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 01:29:18 PM »
Uh, cliff notes version, I went to sleep with it on my tripod, tethered to my computer transferring a full card of RAW files over - tripod legs retracted, its about a foot off the ground. I woke up, somehow managed to kick the camera... and in slow, slow motion it fell... hit the ground...

and now the bit with the canon logo broke off. yes it hurt, yes i was stupid =(

canon says they can replace it, it'll cost RM199 to replace the front plate - not overly expensive i guess, but i expected magnesium alloy to be stronger... thankfully, the lens is okay - at least, i think its okay....its going in for a checkup as well - sending all my lenses in for calibration since the camera has to be sent off anyway....

considering I've seen (and heard of) videos/stories where the falls have been worse... im actually a bit surprised it just went crack - For what its worth, it cracked across the two screw holes, so that could have weakened it quite a bit....

Rocky

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 02:01:43 PM »
The shutter release button may fail before the body is broken ( I do not "baby" my camera). My 20D shutter release button failed with a perfect body. you can find out from this forum that there is quite a few people are having the same problem like me. Therefore I do not buy a camera because it has a metal body. I buy it because it got what I want.

wickidwombat

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:37:41 PM »
I've been using 1D bodies in pretty harsh environments for a couple of year now and the punishment these things take and hold up to is amazing, its not that I mistreat them its just the environment is extremely agressive with dust, high humidity, all sorts of nasties. I've definately put the weather sealing of the body and lenses to the test (be carefull of very fine dust and extending barrel lenses the the lens will drag dust into the focus ring which means a trip to canon for a pull down and cleanout).
Having a disciplined cleaning regime helps, when shooting this stuff I spend more time cleaning the gear afterwards than shooting
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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:37:41 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 07:33:07 PM »
Anything will break.  The magnesium makes the body less flexible and that has a firm feel, but pastic bodies are likely to take a harder shock and survive.  Plastic can flex without any problem, but magnesium has only a very small ability to flex before it is permanently bent or cracked.  It might take more force to bend it then a plastic body, but thats not the whole story.

I prefer the feel of a magnesium body, but either works fine for me.

Jim K

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 08:31:13 PM »
Uh, cliff notes version, I went to sleep with it on my tripod, tethered to my computer transferring a full card of RAW files over - tripod legs retracted, its about a foot off the ground. I woke up, somehow managed to kick the camera... and in slow, slow motion it fell... hit the ground...

and now the bit with the canon logo broke off. yes it hurt, yes i was stupid =(

canon says they can replace it, it'll cost RM199 to replace the front plate - not overly expensive i guess, but i expected magnesium alloy to be stronger... thankfully, the lens is okay - at least, i think its okay....its going in for a checkup as well - sending all my lenses in for calibration since the camera has to be sent off anyway....

considering I've seen (and heard of) videos/stories where the falls have been worse... im actually a bit surprised it just went crack - For what its worth, it cracked across the two screw holes, so that could have weakened it quite a bit....

I feel your pain and hope everything else is fine. BTW, have you bought a card reader yet?
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D.Sim

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 09:28:50 PM »
Anything will break.  The magnesium makes the body less flexible and that has a firm feel, but pastic bodies are likely to take a harder shock and survive.  Plastic can flex without any problem, but magnesium has only a very small ability to flex before it is permanently bent or cracked.  It might take more force to bend it then a plastic body, but thats not the whole story.

I prefer the feel of a magnesium body, but either works fine for me.

You make a good point about the rigidity making it more likely to break, never figured it that way...
That said, I've heard of stories of people falling off bikes, tripping in the jungle, etc, and not having an issue - probably just bad luck on my part...

To this point - just how much stronger is the Magnesium Alloy body over say the 60D with its composite?

To Jim K
Yep, got my card reader - the camera has been sent over to the HQ for repairs - will take at least 3 weeks before I get it back. Sent over my array of lenses for calibration as well, seeing as its gotta make the trip over, and most of them are still under Canon Malaysia's 1+1 warranty. So theres one good thing thats come from it...

awinphoto

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 10:49:27 PM »
While I cant say I have tested my cameras to it's breaking points, I have not babied my cameras... I've broken the LCD on my 5d2... I bought the replacement screen but the adhesive that came with it still has the gummy feel with the LCD screen and doesn't have a solid feel, but the body is fine.  The closest i have been to disaster was a while ago with my first digi camera I actually bought with my own money, the 10D, mag alloy body as well... I was shooting in this stream/river area and had the perfect angle, shot i wanted, I just needed to wait an hour or so for the light to go out... The light was just so where a neutral density wouldn't have mattered anywho because it was in the scene on the trees/leaves, etc and i needed it to set enough where it wasn't on them anymore...  I had my tripod set up in the river (an older metal tripod that has been in my family for decades)...  I had the camera set on the tripod (you can almost see where this is going now, can you)...  The current wasn't bad at all and wasn't disturbing the set up, and I was sitting on a dry rock next to the half submerged tripod just waiting on the sun.  Dont ask me what happened or if it was fate or whatever, but for whatever reason, the tripod head decided to die and the 3 way pan screw part that that controls the up/down axis broke and the camera slammed down into the tripod, the tripod almost losing balance due to the sudden movement and thankfully I was there to grab it before the entire thing submerged...  When it came to the shot, I had some zip ties and bungies I used to hold the head in place long enough to get the shot off when it was time and was the last time I used that tripod for obvious reasons. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

eos650

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 01:30:01 AM »
I'm more worried about the electronics, then the the body. Of course dropping your equipment is scary, no matter what.

Over the holidays I bit the bullet and picked up a 5D Mark II on sale. I decided I couldn't wait for general availability and pricing for the Mark III or whatever it will be.

On Saturday, the USB port on the 5D MK II quit working. I tried it on four different computers with three different USB cables. I took out the battery, shut it off, etc. I'm calling tomorrow for Canon trouble shooting and expect that I will be sending it in for service.

I baby the hell out of this camera. I've had it for two months and have less than 600 shots. This is the first digital camera, out of about a dozen, including several DSLR's and Point & Shoots, that I have ever had an issue with.

Bad luck, I guess...

wopbv4

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 01:45:18 AM »
I had a bit of mishap with my 7D.
I was photographing the night skye (startrails) and I knocked my tripod over. The lens hit the ground first (17-40L) and the Uv Filter and the front element were broken. Lens is a write off. I had the 7D checked and there is no damage.
Had some 10,000 shots since and never had a failure
1DX, 7D and lots of gear

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 01:45:18 AM »

ro_n

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 03:49:35 AM »
Even Rebel/xxxD body's can stand a lot more than one may think.

Proven here ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1tTBncIsm8#ws/
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motorhead

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 05:36:40 AM »
The Eos-3 is of all plastic build. You should have read and heard the fuss made over that! But as already mentioned here, being plastic, it absorbs shocks and it has proven to be a very successful camera. So why Canon continues to build magnesium alloy chassis I have no idea, it cannot be for financial reasons because surely metal is more expensive?

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Re: Just how strong is the Magnesium Alloy construction?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 05:36:40 AM »