PW

Panasonic L1 & L10 shutter count

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1, its "cousin" – the Leica Digilux 3 – and the Lumix DMC-L10 are very solidly built cameras that should provide good services for a long time. Nevertheless, when buying or selling a used Four Thirds camera from Panasonic or Leica, it is often useful to know the number of shutter releases the camera has performed, as this information can provide an indication on how intensively it has been used. While the L1, L10 and Digilux 3 use a numbering system for the images they store on the memory card, this counter is not strictly sequential, as it omits large quantities of numbers after certain intervals (in particular, when a new folder is created on the card). Luckily, the true shutter count is stored inside the cameras memory and can be retrieved by accessing hidden service menus, as mentioned in the camera's service manual.

Leica shutter count
Digilux 3 service menu[hirosdigitalartgallery]

The procedure to obtain the number of actuations differs between (groups of) cameras. For the Panasonic L1 and the Leica Digilux 3, as well as the Panasonic L10, the steps are outlined in the next sections. The procedure to follow for other FourThirds cameras is described separately on the Olympus FT shutter count page.

All the information listed in the service menus is mainly intended for Panasonic and Leica service personnel and helps them diagnose any problem that the camera might have experienced. While no issues have been reported to date from accessing the hidden menus, care should be taken in following the individual steps in proper order. Also, kindly note that you will perform the procedures outlined below at your own risk.

Shutter count on the L1/Digilux 3

Getting the shutter count on the L1 and Digilux 3 is a multi-step procedure. With your camera's battery well charged, perform the following steps in sequence:

  1. Insert a memory card into the card slot;
  2. Turn the camera ON and take a picture;
  3. Turn the camera OFF ;
  4. Set the shutter speed dial to "8";
  5. Press and hold the AFL/AEL button, while turning the camera ON. You are now entering the Service Menus, which comprises several screens with information intended for repair staff;
  6. To move to the actuations menu, press and hold the FUNC.2 button, while pressing the MENU/SET and LEFT ARROW buttons simultaneously. An error-code log display on white background will appear;
  7. Again, press and hold the FUNC.2 button, together with the MENU/SET and LEFT ARROW buttons. A two-page operation history display will appear;
  8. Press DISPLAY to toggle between the two information menus;
  9. Write down the number to the right of PWRCNT. This is how many times the camera has been powered up;
  10. Write down the number to the right of SHTCNT. This is the shutter activation count;
  11. Write down the number to the right of STBCNT. This is the number of times the flash has fired;
  12. Switch the camera off to revert back to normal operating mode. Congratulations, you have successfully retrieved the shutter count information!
Lumix shutter lifespan
Panasonic L1 shutter life expectancy[olegkikin.com]

Shutter count on the Panasonic L10

Getting the number of shutter actuations on the L10 is a multi-step procedure that sometimes requires pressing several buttons at the same time. With your camera's battery well charged, perform the following steps in sequence:

  1. Insert a memory card into the card slot;
  2. Turn the camera ON and take a picture;
  3. Turn the camera OFF;
  4. Set the aperture dial to "A";
  5. Set the shutter dial to "S" (Single Shot);
  6. Simultaneously press the AFL/AEL and FILM MODE buttons, while turning the camera ON;
  7. Simultaneously press the LEFT ARROW, the MENU/SET and the FILM MODE buttons. An error-code log display will appear;
  8. Again, simultaneously press the LEFT ARROW, the MENU/SET and the FILM MODE buttons. Now, the operation history display will appear;
  9. Write down the number to the right of PWRCNT. This is how many times the camera has been powered up;
  10. Write down the number to the right of SHTCNT. This is the shutter activation count;
  11. Write down the number to the right of STBCNT. This is the number of times the flash has fired;
  12. Switch the camera off to revert back to normal operating mode. Congratulations, you have successfully retrieved the shutter count information!

Further Reading

One major advantage of using Four Thirds cameras has been the access to a comprehensive line of compact, yet high quality 43 lenses. Of course, if you also have an mFT camera or are thinking of upgrading to Micro Four Thirds, the m43 lenses are even smaller and lighter, while providing similar imaging quality. Finally, if all the marketing terms and expressions around the (Micro) Four Thirds system seem overwhelming at times, check out the m43 glossary for respective definitions and explanations.