Find out how long it is before your camera will die

Fstoppers:

Depending on the camera you have, the typical life of a shutter can vary from anything as low as 50,000 shutter actuations right up to 350,000. Some photographers may get unlucky and find themselves on the lower side of those numbers while others may find their cameras are still going strong after 500,000 shots.

For this reason, it’s crucial you keep an eye on how many pictures your current camera has made and how many frames your particular model will be at when it reaches the end of its life cycle. Knowing these numbers is equally as important to be aware of when looking to purchase a camera secondhand. If something you find on eBay has already taken a lot of pictures it may not last as long as you hope or be as much of a bargain as you think.

No, this won’t tell you definitively when your camera’s shutter will fail but it might help to know how many actuations your DSLR has done. It’s also helpful for those who buy used bodies to find out how much wear and tear there may be on the shutter mechanism.



  • But now it’s also depend on how you use it and you handle

  • GlennC777

    I could go on a serious rant about how over-rated shutter counts are.

    Shutters fail almost randomly. Visit any of the shutter-failure tracking websites and that becomes pretty clear.

    In addition, the shutter is only one mechanism in the camera and can be replaced cost-effectively on most higher-value cameras.

    My main issue though is the use of shutter counts as a proxy for overall use and wear.

    In this respect, shutter counts are nothing like the “car mileage” equivalent typically cited. Some folks, sports shooters for example, will put 3k shots on a camera every time they use it. Others, casual amateurs mainly, will carry their camera around all day and put a hundred shots on it.

    A 100k shutter count from the first guy will mean the camera has been used and handled maybe thirty times, with commensurate minimal wear to grips, minimal exposure to environmental hazards, and so on. This camera might well look and work like new, and will still have more life left on its shutter than most would ever use.

    The second guy by 20k has handled the camera a couple hundred times, many hundreds of hours. The grips are all worn and peeling, it’s been exposed to all kinds of dust and weather, it’s been set down dozens of times on hard surfaces, and it’s probably been dropped a time or two. The shutter might be fine, but this camera is heavily worn in every other respect.

    I’ve seen these differences many times. Unfortunately, once people have a number on which to fix their attention, good luck re-directing it in some more useful direction.

    Shutter counts matter but only as a secondary (or even lesser) indication of use and remaining value, much less important than the actual physical condition of the camera itself.

  • lucascott

    to me the real value in this is merely pointing out that shutters don’t last forever. I’ve had to explain this to tons of non tech friends just like I had to explain that batteries don’t last forever. what’s funny is that most of them understand the battery thing when talking about their cars but computers, phones etc they magically thought would be different. when explaining the camera thing I had to do comparisons like ‘its like your brake pads’ to get them to understand it.