What makes a Rebel a Rebel?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by bobatkins, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Since the EOS 60D was announced a few days ago there seems to be a greek chorus developing on the internet photography forums that it's not a real EOS 60D, it's more of a digital Rebel T3i (or 600D).
    Well what makes a Rebel a Rebel? From what I've been able to gather the answer is a plastic body! Doesn't seem to matter what you put in that body, if it's plastic, it's a Rebel. If you put a plastic body on the EOS 7D, it would instantly become an EOS 700D (Rebel). Nevermind that it's engineering grade polycarbonate. Plastic is plastic and everyone knows that plastic cameras aren't as good. Exactly why plastic isn't as good isn't as clear, but it's clearly not good.
    You can put in the viewfinder and 9 zone all cross sensor AF system from the EOS 50D, but that's not enough to make it not a Rebel. Even if you actually give it a little more coverage than the 50D, that's still not enough. You can use a real optical Pentaprism rather than a pentamirror, but that makes no difference either. You can add the most capable video system yet found on any EOS DSLR, but no, that's not enough to lift it from Rebel status. You can take the built in wireless flash capability of the EOS 7D and add that. Still not enough. It's got a plastic body, it's a Rebel.
    You can use a high capacity battery, like the 7D, but it's still a Rebel since the body is plastic. You can give it a rear QCD and a top panel LCD - but no, it's got a plastic body so it's a Rebel. Likewise an interchangable viewfinder screen makes no difference. Still plastic, still a Rebel.
  2. Marketing.
  3. Already answered: it's the not-so-clued-in greek chorus, exactly. ;-)
  4. My A2E is plastic and it's not a rebel.
    IMO the rebels lack the wheel. And the prism.
  5. This camera just kind of threw everybody for a loop, that's all. The Canon faithful were not expecting the xxD series to split the way it did. They see the 60D as a downgrade because of the shell. And the loss of micro adjust seems to be an issue with many. And now they feel that Canon is expecting them to pay the higher 7D price, putting the squeeze on them if you will to get the xxD quality they used to have. They are just PO'd and venting any way they can.
    I'm looking foreword to handling the 60D. I bet when it's all said and done, it's going to be a top seller.
  6. etc, etc, etc, ..... Still not enough. It's got a plastic body, it's a Rebel.​

    I think you're somewhat being blinded by the plastic. Rebels are smaller, use a pentamirror, and have a smaller viewfinder and no control wheel or top LCD. None of this means they aren't excellent cameras, but this is the answer to your question in the title of your post.
  7. if it shoots more than 3.x fps, it's not a rebel.
  8. The 60D is going to do well despite internet grumbling. When I shot with one for an hour of so earlier in the month, the fact that the body was plastic made absolutely no difference to me. At the time I didn't know it was plastic and it felt much like the 40D and 50D to hold. I thought the camera was great. The user interface is a little different, but that's more of a matter of getting used to it than anything else.
    I's say the loss of AF microadjustment is probably the most significant "downgrade" from the EOS 50D. On the other hand I've been shooting with an EOS 40D and EOS 5D for years now (neither of which has AF microadjustment) and I've never actually felt the need for it. Maybe I'm lucky and my lenses are all well calibrated. Still, it would be nice to have "just in case".
    Again though, if the lack of AF adjustment made a camera a Rebel, then my EOS 40D would be a Rebel.
    I guess a lot of new cameras are a disappointment to those who have been reading rumors for months and salivating over the possibility of a "7D killer" at a lower price. That would likely be the 7D MkII.
  9. Brett - I think you missed the irony tags.
  10. My bad.
    I was most disappointed that it lacks continuous AF in video, which was rumored.
  11. Did you mean "geek chorus?" ;-)
  12. I am not getting this whole plastic thing anyways. Some of my best images are from a Rebel, but for me the viewfinder makes a Rebel a Rebel - the Pentamirror was pretty bad for me, but liveview I am sure would alieve some of my challenge with the pentamirror now. For an amusing look at how durable a "plastic" body is, follow the video at this link, and then go to part two to see images from the cameras after the test.
  13. I'd say the loss of AF microadjustment is probably the most significant "downgrade" from the EOS 50D
    100% agree.
  14. 1. The 60D obviously looks and works like a xxD much more than a Rebel
    2. The plastic body is obvious a bad surprise for almost everyone. But that's Canon's point, they can make it the same like the 40D, 50D, or they can even give a better body, but they decide to go with plastics and this is not the first time they do that. If someone don't like it, just don't buy it, and if it will sell fast then Canon wins again. Remember when Canon moved from the metal Canon EF to the plastic AE-1, A-1, was that a failure?
    3. It would be great for people who want video in their DSLR, but since I don't care about the LCD and video, I always feel sad to see they make bigger and bigger LCD. Now the LCD is even "getting out" and "jumping around". I feel sad because the buttons are pushed to the right and become very crowded which makes them hard to use
  15. Optical reflex cameras designed like the EOS family can't have continuous phase detection AF. To get it Sony had to throw out the optical viewfinder system and make an electronic viewfinder camera (which is no longer technically a DSLR since it doesn't have optical reflex viewing).
    To get continuous phase detection AF Canon would have to drastically redesign the camera, making it much more of a hybrid beast than a true DSLR that also shoots video. It would need to become like the Sony, which is essentially an interchangeable lens video camera with an APS-C sized sensor that looks like a DSLR and also shoots stills. If you push enough video into the thing, it starts to push the advantages of an optical reflex viewing DSLR out. Compromises have to be made.
    It's not technically impossible to make a continuous phase detection AF DLSR with optical reflex viewing, but it would need a pretty complex optical system and the required pellicle mirrors would rob the sensor of a significant amount of light, effectively reducing the maximum effective ISO setting (or increasing the noise at any given high ISO setting). I'm not sure that's a compromise that many still shooters would want to see in exchange for continuous AF video.
    Of course the rumor mongers don't care. They can wish for (and predict) things that are currently technically impractical to do and at a price that simply can't be met. I'm still waiting for that $20,000 all electric car with a 1000 mile range that outperforms a Porsche 911 and I'll be bitterly disappointed when something is offered at $35,000 with a 100 mile range that won't outperform a Toyota Prius.
  16. The new Nikon D3100 is a DSLR and has continuous video AF, and it goes to ISO 12,800, and it costs $700
  17. Continuous phase-detection AF can be realized by putting the phase-detection sensors on the image sensor. Fuji has already done that in the the F300EXR, and Canon has a patent on this idea.
  18. Don't ride on the new 787 when it comes out if you fear plastic bodies. The wings, save the leading edges are plastic. Why in airplanes? Weight but more importantly the very serious corrosion problems in almost all conventional aircraft that become inevitable eventually. So the D60, for my photography would be just fine and I would save a few hundred bucks. I was talking to this guy without a long lens who said he was going to buy a 7000 dollar Nikon. He couldn't really tell me why, though. Somebody tell me why the material in the body of a camera would affect my normal, every day usage and the quality of my pictures. .
  19. I think it's up to Canon to decide what makes a Rebel a Rebel and what makes a 60D a 60D.
  20. The EOS 1, 1N, 3, 5, D30 & D60 were plastic fantastic, so there is a precedent for use of plastic in pro and prosumer EOS. I haven't seen or touched a 60D, but the smaller size next to the 50D and 7D probably do the most to cause it to be compared to a Rebel/Kiss series. Also, the loss of many dedicated buttons on the back contribute to the Kiss vibe.
    All that aside, calling the 60D a Rebel in the USA might actually help sales as the name has more household recognition and it would be sold at more mass market/big box retailers. People have asked me many times if my 7D and 5DII were an older models made before the Rebel (I think the larger size makes it seem old skool to Joe Average).
  21. Rebels lack the control wheel.
  22. Can't say I have used an EOS1, 1n or 3, but I have owned three rebels and after a couple of years all looked like badly abused tupperware containers. The plastic does not wear well. In contrast all the metal skinned cameras I have owned have developed a bit of a classic look to them with age.
    The Elan 7N had a nice feel with its combination of metal and plastic skin. Even the better made P&Ss have a metal skin.
    You don't hear of plastics or composites being traded on commodity exchanges. That is because it is cheap.
  23. Every newly introduced camera model gets its fair share of "raking over the coals". I don't see this one being any different in that regard. Seems the greek chorus is mostly made up of the whiners, complainers, and trolls.
    I think the new 60D represents some forward thinking and ideas brought into reality. If I were in the market for a new camera of XXD caliber, I wouldn't hesitate a moment to purchase one.
  24. @puppyface
    I haven't seen or touched a 60D, but the smaller size next to the 50D and 7D probably do the most to cause it to be compared to a Rebel/Kiss series.​
    The 60D is not smaller. In fact it's larger than the 50D and the 7D in two out of three axes.
    50D - 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    7D - 148 x 111 x 74 mm
    60D - 150 x 107 x 75 m
  25. @Bob Atkins
    (I got the sarcasm) From what I can remember from the top of my head, its always been the top lcd and the control wheel besides size that made the difference. We live in a world of plastics, and yes, metal is great sometimes, but other times, who wants to deal with it? I carry around an M4 everywhere I go right now and I love the fact it has plastic on it for carrying ease. Canon upgraded the 50d, and the starting price is very attractive even for someone starting out. I'd recommend a rebel to someone who doesn't know if they'd like it, and I'd recommend a 60D to someone intent on making an investment. Stop hating canon, they upgraded a camera, made it better, and gave it a great price. If you aren't happy with the DSLR's video features, go buy a video camera. Its an extra, not the main feature, at least for now.
    Interesting so see the biggest size difference in dimensions is at 4mm, giving the 60D the advantage! I was starting to buy it being smaller too.
    @ Everyone
    And come on, the new viewfinder on this DSLR is a big step forward. I had this feature 7-8 years ago on my powershot A80! This should be as impressive as when they first introduced live view! This should significantly cut out the need for a right angle viewfinder!
  26. My EOS 300/Aka Rebel 2000 had a top LCD screen.
    I think the fact that Canon went backwards in a few areas is what has annoyed some people. The loss of MFA, slower frame rate, plastic, removal of the joystick are all steps backwards. To be fair there are also some obvious steps forward. The cheaper price is welcome.
    But with the exception of the plastic, those things that have gone missing compared to the 50D probably did not make the 60D any cheaper to build. So Canon have dumbed down the 60D in a few areas as a point of differentiation rather than to save costs. That is a little irritating.
  27. The 60D sure looks smaller than the 50D and 7D in these side by side photos:
    Maybe it's an optical illusion. However, these size specs might be incorrect for the 60D:
    50D - 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    7D - 148 x 111 x 74 mm
    60D - 150 x 107 x 75 m​
    The 60D specs are listed as 145 x 106 x 79 mm at DP. Of course, maybe it has grown during the past week!
  28. I'd agree that the removal of microfocus adjustment appears to be a marketing move. Since it's purely a software function and the software has already been developed, the added cost would have been negligable.
    While it may make some people decide to buy a 7D, it might make others buy a T2i. If the 60D doesn't have MFA, some might think they may as well save $300 and just get a T2i.
    As for the joystick, well, if you look at the real estate taken up by the articulated LCD, there's not much room left on the back of the camera. The multi-axis controller inside the QCD ring has the same function, but needs no extra space. The joystick may have had better ergonomics though. The frame rate is slower, but it's still over 5 fps. In fact the 50D frame rate is a little bit slower than that of the 40D. I'd say it's fast enough to make 95% of users quite happy.
    I suppose you can put phase detection sensors on the image sensor, but then you'd need another set for "normal" use in a DSLR because the image doesn't hit the sensor unless you're in Live View or Video modes. I suspect that any phase detection sensors embedded in the image sensor wouldn't have the sensitivity and accuracy of dedicated sensors, plus they'd displace some image pixels so you'd have to interpolate missing data. Sure it could be done, but at what cost (in terms of cost and performance)? I guess we'll find out when we see a full test of the D3100.
  29. I wonder if someone's going to hack the 60D firmware so as to add AF midroadjust.
  30. Re: size - Stupid internets, giving me bad info, imagine that. I was wrong, sorry about that, but the 60D is still a lot closer to the 50D than the Rebel. I don't think it can be said that people will perceive it to be like a Rebel based on size.
    Canon USA has the following
    50D - 145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5mm
    60D - 144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm
    t2i - 128.8 x 97.5 x 75.3mm
  31. The Nikon D3100 uses contrast-based AF when Live View is activated (see the press release). AFAIK, a DSLR with phase-detection sensors on the image sensor has not yet been announced.
  32. Hi Bob
    I was one of the 600D nay-sayers. Apologies for sharing my first impressions.
    I was a happy rebel user and I do not mean to sleight the rebel cameras or their users.
    As you will recall, up until the 1V came out Canon cameras felt like toys compared to the Nikons. Compare an original EOS 1 to a Nikon f4, compare an EOS 3 to a Nikon f100. To this day, compare a Nikon AF-D lens to an EF lens, even an L.
    Nikons have had the edge on build quality. And I say that as a firm canon user.
    Canon had the AF and the bang per buck and the nice interface, the nikons felt better in the hand.
    Canon had been trouncing Nikon for years but then a couple of things happened:
    The EOS 5D mirror.
    The 1DsMk3 prism and AF.
    The 50D in general.
    Just in time for Nikon to go full frame and up the ISO stakes. Suddenly Canon were playing catch up.
    They lauched the 7D, the camera the 50D should have been, and I liked it so much I bough one and am still delighted with it.
    But then what do they do? They bring out the 60D, which is made of plastic. Which just confuses Canons product line even further (do we really need a T1i a T2i and 60D?) yes I can think of situations where the screen would be useful, but I can't help think that Canon are taking their foot off the pedal again. Same chip used in 3 cams? On here we are quite informed and are struggling to differentiate, what about the consumer at large?
    It's a backwards step. No matter how tough the plastic it will always feel cheaper than metal. A superficial point? Perhaps.
    In the days when I worked in camera retail I would espouse about the benefits of Canons AF and fast lenses. I would almost have them then they'd pick up a Nikon for comparison and the feeling of it in their hands would sell it.
    The 60D is aimed at serious users. If it doesn't feel right then they won't go for it. No matter how great it is inside. And this is the mistake Canon have made.
    On the subject of Continuous AF...
    Anybody who has used a camcorder for more than 10 minutes will quickly realise that the best position for the AF switch is not at C-AF but OFF. C-AF works for stills because you only need to have the subject in focus for one instant to get a picture.
    Video is contiguous and thats why AF doesn't work for it. I'll make a very bold statement here: anybody who uses AF for video doesn't take video seriously.
    The 7D has a useful 5x 10x preview for focus checking. An expanded feature set to make the AF camera button 'one touch AF' only would be fantastic (some mid range cameras have a small focus button for this purpose) the downside is that at the moment the lens needs to be left on AF. Fine on ring type lenses, not on micro motor lenses.
    If canon want to make the video functions more capable then it could start with headphone sockets, EF lenses with proper focus end stops & scales, that hold back focus through a zoom and with rear focus groups so that there is no creeping when focus changes.
    Such lenses would still be perfectly functional for stills as well, and would make the video shooters life a lot easier.
    What Canon will do instead is launch an XL style camera with the EF mount and APS-C or FF sensor.
    So sorry for having an opinion Bob, and I'm really really sorry it isn't the same as yours. Plastic feels cheap. And rationally or otherwise, that is the problem folks have and buyers will have with the 60D. Maybe they'll do a bundle with the 50mm f1.8 II?
  33. @Paul - Video is contiguous and thats why AF doesn't work for it.​
    As we just pointed out Nikon has already released a DSLR with continuous video AF. Regardless of the tech approach to accomplishing it, there it is. And frankly your bold statement on video AF is a bit absurd IMO. You're essentially lumping NFL cameramen with million dollar cameras and decades of experience in the same boat with the average person shooting some action scene, walking around handheld with the camera at waist level and the subject constantly and rapidly changing distance from the camera. Of course there's a place and a need for video AF, and of course you can use it and still take video seriously.
  34. So sorry for having an opinion Bob, and I'm really really sorry it isn't the same as yours. Plastic feels cheap.​
    No problem. However I have held and used an EOS 60D for a couple of hours so I know how it feels - and I'm guessing that you probably haven't. I can tell you that it felt very much like my 40D to hold and quite different from the T2i which I had for a couple of weeks to test. In terms of size, weight, "heft" and feel, it's a 40D/50D type of camera. In contrast the T2i felt lighter and distinctly smaller. In fact I think I may have said in one of my T2i reviews that I found it too small to comfortably fit my hand. I did not feel that way about the 60D.
    So speaking from actual experience, I can state that the 60D looks and feels much more like the 40D/50D series than any Rebel I have used (and I think I've probably tested all of them).
  35. Of course there's a place and a need for video AF, and of course you can use it and still take video seriously.​
    "IMO" that place and need is amateur hour. Have it by all means, also have an off switch.
    Hunting AF is bad enough on cameras with a 1/4 or 1/3 sensor, on an APS-C or FF camera it is going to be unusable. No matter how much Nikon or whoever else comes along shouts and bawls about how great their video AF is, the best option is not to use it. Auto modes work fine for stills up to a point because they only need to be right for one moment. Video is not like that.
    A fundamental difference that most folk don't get until they try to watch their footage on a big screen tv.
    Don't need to be professional, just need to want to shoot watchable video. Its even more of an issue with large sensor cameras.
    Bob, I'll defer to your hands on review for now. As a long time canon user I hope it isn't a backwards step. Quality control and perception of quality are two areas where Canon have suffered recently, causing them to lose top spot, Nikon have always had the better builds, no debate in my mind, I think it was the wrong time for Canon to launch a plastic camera in this market segment, no matter how nice the plastic in question is. I really do hope the buyers agree with you, for Canons sake.
  36. Some time ago there was a post about a news article were a sky diver lost his Rebel after he jumped from the plane. The Camera was later recovered and after the dirt and grass was wiped off it was found to work correctly (no major damage). I'm not concerned about plastic construction.
    Optical reflex cameras designed like the EOS family can't have continuous phase detection AF. To get it Sony had to throw out the optical viewfinder system and make an electronic viewfinder camera (which is no longer technically a DSLR since it doesn't have optical reflex viewing).​
    Bob, a question, How was autofocus maintained in the EOS pelical mirror cameras? After reading about the new Sony cameras with a Pelical mirror it became clear that although the camera could take 10FPS the EVF could not keep up making it difficult to impossible to track a rapidly moving subject. From what I have read the EOS pelical mirror cameras did have a ptical view finder as well as phase detect auto focus system. Was there some sort of compromise on the Canon Pelical mirror design to get PD Auto focus?
  37. If it doesn't have the AF Microadjustment feature, its a rebel.
  38. Calm, Bob. This is unusual for you to get so agitated. :|
    I don't care about plastic or not bodies. The EOS 3 film camera is plastic (OMG), for example.
    I think the true criterial attribute (I'm an archaeologist and we love concepts like that one), is the operating system on the camera. If it has the "Quick Control" AND "Main" dials, then it is no Rebel, however it is labeled. If you have to look at the back LCD screen to see the settings (as opposed to the top plate lcd), and there is only one dial, then it's a Rebel (gee I dislike that name).
    As a side bar, if there is a group less sensitive to irony than some of our members are, they'd probably be autistic. [IRONY marker]
  39. Geez, what a rant. But then again, I too have been surprised at the number and strength of vitriolous threads on various forums. Though to me it didn't seem to be about the plastic so much. It's much like the punters in the stands in soccer stadiums the world over, where every one of them would make a better coach than the one actually on the bench. On DPR everyone can run a camera company, duh.
    Canon made a brave move. To satisfy the video crowd, they had to break the mold at some point (on a video related blog the author said the hinge was worth the price difference over the Rebel alone!). And they chose the xxD line after they had introduced the xD so the gap between Rebel and FF wouldn't get too large. Also for two years now they had to stand by and see the D90 take market-share from both the Rebels - on account it was more pro but not much more money - and the xxD - on account it wasn't that much less pro, but quite a lot cheaper. With the new setup they are matching Nikon's hierarchy much more closely. Strategically all very sound, I think.
    If I had waited to upgrade a 40D, say, I'd miss the direct access to WB and the second Custom Mode. If you really think about it, one Custom Mode is no better than none at all - you have no choice! It acts more like a user reset, where everything reverts to whatever you designed to be "normal". But no longer does it feel, to paraphrase Ken R. , as if you had three - or in the case of a 50D two - cameras along.
  40. The plastic v. metal folks crack me up. Plastic flexs and can crack; metal flexes and can dent. Either could be the best choice for various purposes, and construction from plastic or composites is not necessarily cheaper (in the functional or cost sense) than construction from metal.
    Yes, cameras used to be made of metal. That doesn't mean that good cameras must always be made of metal.
  41. Either could be the best choice for various purposes, and construction from plastic or composites is not necessarily cheaper (in the functional or cost sense) than construction from metal.​
    Ehem. So why exactly does Canon use magnesium alloy in all their top end cameras and plastic in their entry level cameras? It is clear to me that Canon's different model lineup indicates that they themselves think metal is tougher and classier.
    Anyway enough said. Pastic isn't a deal breaker but a dissappointment. I have been on the upgrade path every couple of years until dslr technology matured, and had confined myself mostly to rebels to limit the depreciation cost. I was looking to invest in a dslr with the hope of hanging on to the next one for 5-7 years, but I am not sure the 60D is the model. And the 7D is too big for my walkaround camera.
    I'll bet some form of metal skin makes a comeback in the xxD line before too long.
  42. There are a variety of reasons that Canon and other manufacturers may use more metal in bodies such as those I the one
    series. These include the fact that they Ito a market segment in which weight is not so much considered a liability, and the
    fact (witness this thread) that a certain retro notion that "metal good, plastic bad" is still strong.

    This same process has taken place in other fields. To pick one, it wasn't that many years ago that the first attempts at
    making high end bicycles (think Tour de France) were derided. It was though that the bikes would not have the structural
    integrity of the traditional (and quite wonderful) brazed metal frames. A few years later, and we see that the new materials
    have replaced the old.

    Photographers can be an odd bunch when it comes to equipment.
  43. It's all about how it feels.
    My point is that Canon have had a few quality issues (true the 3 worst offenders were metal bodied cameras) and as such, in this area of the market, it was indeed a bold move to launch a camera that -rightly or wrongly- could be perceived as having a lesser quality feel to it.
    Plastic good for making stock em hi sell em cheap rebels, nothing wrong with that at all, up against the Nikon D300s? Up against the Olympus E-30? Up against the Pentax K-7? Plastic bad, bad plastic.
    Re: the bike analogy, there aren't any many plastic bikes. Between the brazed steel and the carbon fibre models there were all sorts of other stages such as brazed titanium, bonded composite, the very popular welded aluminium before costs dropped and a reputation for reliability was established.
    From my club experience, folk run carbon frames for three or four years before changing, there are some with vintage flying scot and colagno brazed steel frames with modern groupsets.
    Apart from that the 7D seems to have erased the 60D's traditional market. There are too many products in Canons line, not enough diversification. The swing LCD is a good idea, and that really is the 60D's sole USP. I can think of more reasons to buy another model much cheaper or marginally more expensive. Wrong camera, wrong time and we can argue about this forever if you like, wrong material.
  44. Why do cameras need unique selling points Paul? It's not necessary. You offer a product with a set of features at a given price. People will evaluate it and if they want they'll buy it. The 60D will sell extremely well because it offers - over a Rebel - a larger size body, better viewfinder, and a top LCD and control wheel, for less than a 7D and not much more than a Rebel. It makes perfect sense to me, and will make a great backup camera.
  45. I hope there are plenty more like you Brett, and I also hope Bob is correct.
    Not for me though.
  46. With DSLRs I think the metal vs plastic issue is rather over stated. In the days of film bodies it could make a difference in durability. However, plastics were not as good and old film bodies lack vulnerable LCD displays. One of my old F1 s once fell over 750 feet down a mountain and despite sever denting still works fine - had it been an AE1 it might not have survived. However that was 20 years ago - I suspect the same test on my 1DIIN and a D60 will result in both cameras suffering as the LCD displays of the 1D are not protected by a metal covering. For wear and tear and durability the metal body has the edge but the effective life of DSLRs is not as long as film bodies.
    Certainly plastic bodies seem to work fine - both my T90s are still going strong and they have been used in -35 degrees C. Similarly I have used by 1NRS in similar conditions. Indeed the 1NRS and 1VHS feel almost identicalk although one has much more plastic in its chassis than the other.
    I think Canon will do very well with the 60D and that the use of more plastics is not a big issue for the intended market. Indeed Canon did see fit to keep a prism viewfinder.
  47. The FAA airworthiness office certifies all aircraft structures. They have been working on the use of composite (carbon re-eforced plastic) since at least 1990. No material goes into a US manufactured commercial airplane without their certification. Fifty percent of the 787 structure is composite (80 percent by volume). There are applications where composite materials are better than metal and vice-versa. Now if the job of the 787 is to fly 300 people cross country in safety it doesn't make any difference to the certifiers whether the aiplane is made of metal or plastic. It has to meet certain rigid standards including wear, strength, heat resistance etc. Metals do that better in some cases and plastic is better in others. As a forty year pilot what the airplane is made of is not as important as the fact that the materials meet certain strength, resiliancy, wear, corrosion and other published standards. I started in airplanes with canvas stretched over wood for their main structural materials. The same is true in my mind about cameras. It matters not whether the body is mostly plastic or metal. It does matter that the camera can demonstrate certain strength, wear, resilency and functional specifications because, in my mind, I will take function, research, and rigid testing over long held, anecdotal biases anytime. Metal is not better than plastic or vice versa. They are just raw material. What matters is what the engineers do with them in making a quality product. The real test is long term use and that begins with excellent design, quality manufacturing and high level Quality Control I think we are in a simplistic argument that really doesn't get at the true issues of quality photographic products. This whole subject is a lot more complex than whether a product is made of plastic or metal. The D60 looks like it would do a great job for a long time. I have owned an EOS 1n and used it professionally for several years in some pretty bad weather conditions. I didn't even know it was plastic until it was brought up in this thread. I have a 60D that is still in use. I think the build is quite solid but it's plastic but its function is a little slow. So, admitting that I am no expert I think this is a fruitless debate. The one thing that is done in airplanes is destructive testing. i am certain the Boeing has tested several 787 components to failure including the wings until they snap in flexion. It appears those plastic wings got by those tests.
  48. I'm amused that this discussion of plastic vs. metal body frames has been focussed primarily on "toughness" as THE main concern. Here in the New Mexico mountains, a photo shoot at dawn can start out at below freezing and by mid-afternoon it's 80+ F, over 100F in a 4x4 parked in direct sun.
    Question is, can a polycarbonate body frame hold the extremely fine tolerances for the mirror mechanism, shutter box, field screen, etc. as well as a metal frame when subjected to extreme thermal fluctuations -- month after month?
  49. @ Richard, I used a rebel in Iraq and El Paso which is just east of you for a long while. I'm going to say it did well. I only needed one sensor cleaning after 5 years of shooting, and the pictures turned out well enough. I'm only now learning to shoot indoors where its safer and lest dusty. (end)
    As for metal and plastic analogies: The US Army used to issue metal frames where a green nylon bag would be attached. This was the "old school" rucksack. I had one of those, but, now they have a new version. Its thinner, lighter, carries more, and feels better. AND ITS MADE OF PLASTIC.
    The M16 A1 and A2 were both made of metal, now only few deploy with the longer weapon. Most will deploy with an M4 variety. The difference? Its smaller and has plastic, and oh is it so much better suited for mobility.
    If you ever had to lug around anything metal for a while in the west texas or iraqi heat, man will your hands burn. I don't care what it is, be it part of your equipment or whatnot.
    There's that post about digitalrev doing the stress test on plastic bodies as well, anecdotally, it seemed convincing enough.
    As for the 60d creation, why do people not see the marketing behind it?
    Canon released a 7D. It was better than the 50D, and in many but not all aspects the 5Dii (lets not argue this one right now though). It clearly has a numbering/naming scheme already in place, so why on earth would it create a 60D that had all the features of the 7D and more? Tell me what would be the point of the 7D if the 60D had all those features.
    All I am reading is complaining how it doesnt have features, which although not always stated by the complainer, is on the 7d. If one wants a 7d so bad, cough up the extra few hundred dollars and get one. If you cannot afford it, the 60d should suffice. If thats still too much, get a rebel.
    Canon made a newer product, they included a new option in their line so they had to broaden the range of offerings. As for MFA if I could give you the feature from my 50D some how, I would. I simply do not find that it is necessary for me. I'm sure canon or some angst ridden yet ambitious programmer will be able to do a firmware update that adds mfa for those so badly upset about the matter.
    I wonder if you people complaining do this with apple's ipod lineup (especially now since the new nano is a shuffle with a screen. OMG no!)
  50. My only complaint with the 60D is that it really has less gains and more losses from prior models in that line that meet my needs. Plastics is not the issue, but SD verses CF is one of my greatest, along with MFA, losses in frame rate and I believe shutter acquisitions. I believe, as has been stated by myself and others prior, that the model line has undergone market change. The 7D line will continue on as the future top end of the APS-c line as it has since its introduction, and the xxD will continue on now to be the mid-line as long as it can hold onto enough market share to be viable for Canon. As a 50D owner, all I can say is that the 60D has not enough features to sway me from my plans to purchase a used 7D or a new 7Dmkii after its future release (2011?).
  51. I've been a photographer for a long time and so am used to non-plastic camera bodies. I used a Canon XSi for a month last year and it did indeed feel like a toy despite the fact that it turned out excellent images. Tried out a Canon 60D last weekend and I was quite pleased to see that it did not feel at all like a toy. In fact it had a rock solid quality feel to it that suggested high end over Rebel. I had been considering a 7D but as a marine and wildlife photographer the thought of toting all that weight around my neck day after day put me off. So I very much suspect I am going to opt for the 60D. One thing bothers me, however, as this is a brand new camera am I going to wind up being a beta tester if I buy an early copy? If so how long should I wait for them to get the new camera bugs out?

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