Branding the build
Getting across the hidden strengths of Nikon gear
How do you distinguish a new camera from the rest of the pack when the raw specs may be similar, in the race for digital SLR one-upmanship? Twenty-something million pixels? Of course! Multiple cross-type AF points? Check. ISO north of one million? You’d better believe it.
So Nikon’s marketing team must have been high-fiving all the way to their whiteboards when the engineering department came up with the idea of using ‘Sereebo’ in the construction of the D750. Instead of an all-magnesium alloy body, the front body and front cover are made from a carbon-fibre reinforced thermoplastic used in a ‘monocoque structure’ (another high five). Monocoque is a method of construction that relies on a structural skin, rather than a chassis, for its strength, with the camera’s exterior panels serving as a frame that protects the internal structure, in addition to shaving a little off the weight.
Sereebo was actually first used in the structural parts of the D5300, released in 2013 – in fact, it was the first time the plastic had been adopted in a commercial product. Since then, it’s become a familiar selling point for updated Nikon bodies, with ‘a monocoque carbon-reinforced shell’ (high five!) being used in the likes of the D5400, D5600 and D7500. In fact, even the D500 flagship DX body uses a blend of magnesium alloy at the top and rear and carbon fibre at the front (see above). Shuter nutter s Aside from the camera body, the biggest stresses in a DSLR occur within the mirror assembly and shutter. Nikon has again led the way here, with the shutter foil in the original Nikon F SLR being made of titanium (0.02mm in thickness) for the first time in the world. The shutter and quick return of the mirror were reportedly put through a 100,000-cycle stress test to ensure reliability.
These days, the shutter blades of high-end Nikon DSLRs are made from Kevlar/carbon-fibre composite and tested to ensure they have the durability to cope with the increased load that comes from the machine-gun frame rates and prodigious buffers that professionals demand. According to Nikon, the D5 has been tested to 400,000 cycles, with the shutter unit loaded into a fully assembled camera. The flagship FX body also includes a self-diagnostic shutter monitor that detects any difference between the shutter speed and the actual speed of the blades, and minimizes
Nikon’s marketing team must have been high-fiving all the way to their whiteboards
Nikon’s use of futuristic materials makes its cameras tough and light