What is the metallic alloy used in camera cases?

They are manufatured by what process?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ duraluminum alloy is pretty common. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ Are there machining marks anywhere? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ An extremely common cheap solution for this sort of applications - cast metal where durability doesn't need to be superb, just okay-ish - is ZnAl - a zinc-alluminum alloy, both cheap, light and very friendly for casting, but not very durable. I can't say if camera bodies use it (with that price tag they really can splurge on something better) but it's so extremely ubiquitous I suspect this is the case, at least with the cheaper ones. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


In mass production complex shapes like that are usually cast, then the casting is machined where accuracy and good finish is required. Magnesium is a good candidate for casting and Googling around about cast camera casings it seems many if not most of them use magnesium.

This is the Samsung NX1 which is magnesium. enter image description here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_alloy

Huh. Apparently magnesium is even lighter than aluminum. I did not know that.

  • $\begingroup$ Cast by injection mold. Magnesium primary advantage is low density. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @blacksmith37 - MIM (metal injection moulding) is very different from Die Casting - MIM uses powdered metal which is later sintered into a mostly solid block, where Die Casting uses Molten Metal directly. redstonemanufacturing.com/… $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like this is HPDC (high pressure die casting), but I'm only judging from the photo - I haven't researched specifically. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanRSwift Well in any case, I use the term "cast" loosely here just to say some form of mould is involved. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ I meant die cast injection mold ; some use a ram or piston to pressurize the molten metal immediately as it fills the mold. Die castings do not generally have any machining done other than run thread taps into holes and trim gates and any flash. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 0:14

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