Development objectives: A compact and highly reliable camera
Digital camera is a photographic tool, or a weapon for a photographer to express his mind and philosophy on a photograph. Everybody has his own insistence on a camera to love as his photographic tool. Needless to say, the picture quality of the camera has to be high but that is not enough condition, the camera quality needs to be high as well. How could he be disappointed if his loving camera breaks down easily? Instantly he will lose his trust to the camera. Our GR Digital engineers have pursued a camera trust worthy as a photographic tool, to devote every effort to study and decide various specifications of the feature.
Firstly, it is a magnesium alloy body. “The camera has to be durable and to last long period of time if it is worth to be admitted as a succeeding camera of the GR,” Says Mr. Hajime Itoh, a chief designer in charge of the mechanism including the outer shell. The critical feature is the 2.5cm thickness of the body. “Just take a look at the battery compartment and you will find there is little space left after the component parts installed, such as lens unit, LCD display, printed circuit board and battery,” Says Mr. Koji Yokoyama, a designer of the internal parts layout. “You need to install the body frame in the little space left,” he adds.
Sturdy and dignified magnesium alloy
We had an eye on the magnesium alloy as the material for the body frame. Magnesium alloy is known as light and sturdy material, which is hard to get scratched and durable to protect internal electronic component parts for a long period of time. The body frame also works as the outer shell, a key to the camera dignity because it significantly contributes to the feeling of the camera holding. In order to fit the camera frame into the little space left, we had to reduce the thickness o the frame to a minimum level possible. If it is too thin then it cannot maintain the sturdiness. The designers of the internal parts and the outer shell worked together and repeatedly redesigned the thickness until it reached to an optimum level.
Once the drawing was finished, what Mr. Ito had to do was to look for a reliable molder who could realize to make the very thin body. When he could finally find a molder with a positive answer, he felt relieved. Next, they studied together redrawing the documents again and again to realize the optimum thickness for both sturdy and precise body. Mr. Ito recalls now that he realized the higher Japanese technology level than his imagination.