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How to find the shutter count?

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Knowing the number of shots your digital camera has taken is useful as an indicator of device usage and remaining shutter life expectancy. Some camera manufacturers, notably Nikon, Pentax, and Sony, embed information on the number of shutter releases for many of their cameras in EXIF (EXchangeable Image File) data. These metadata are saved alongside each and every image file. EXIF-readers can access this information (please see the App below) and, thus, convey how many images a camera has taken so far.

For many of the cameras it has released since 2017, Fujifilm also saves the image count as an EXIF entry, so that this information can be accessed via respective Apps, such as the one further down the page. For earlier Fujifilm models, no easy way to obtain the actuation count is available. The exception here is the Fujifilm X100-series of cameras, which conveniently display the shutter count in the operating menu.

Olympus and Panasonic store shutter count information not in EXIF data, but in hidden menus that can be accessed by pressing combinations of camera buttons. Please see the details of the model-specific procedures on separate pages on this site dedicated to retrieving the number of shutter releases for Olympus, Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds and Panasonic L-Mount cameras.

Canon used to save shutter count information in the EXIF data up to 2011, so that for older cameras, such as the Canon 1D, Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark II N, Canon 1DS, Canon 1DS Mark II, the number of shots can be retrieved by uploading an unedited JPG image to an EXIF-reader (see below). However, for more recent Canon cameras, the actuation count is stored in firmware and can only be retrieved by purchasing and installing an App and connecting the camera to it. One popular App for Mac users is Konstantin Pavlikhin's EOS Inspector 2. For Windows users, Canon EOS Digital Info can read shutter count data for many, though not for the most recent, Canon cameras.

Photo count

How many images has my camera taken up to now?

In order to find out how many shots your Fujifilm, Nikon, Pentax, Sony or (older) Canon has taken, just upload a new, unedited JPG image using the dialog box below. Smaller files will upload faster. Your image will be deleted from the server once the EXIF-information has been read.

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The shutter count corresponds to the number of images a camera has captured with its mechanical shutter (Fujifilm also includes still pictures taken with the electronic shutter in the reported "image count"). Mechanical focal-plane shutters consist of a pair of light-tight curtains that move to uncover the sensor during the exposure time. Every actuation, that is every shutter opening and closing, will cause some minimal wear and tear that will eventually result in malfunction and the need for repair or replacement. A shutter can fail completely on one incident, but more likely it will deteriorate gradually. It becomes unreliable when shooting at high shutter speeds or the first and second curtains get out of sync, so that the shutter speed becomes inaccurate. If these warning signs appear, it is time to take action and get your camera shutter replaced. Shutter replacement costs generally fall into the range of US$200 to US$400, plus the hassle of having to send the camera to the service center.

That said, the actuation count is not just an indicator on whether or not the shutter might soon need to be replaced, but more generally on the overall condition of the camera. A high shutter count indicates that the camera has been intensively used and probably also been subject to more bumps and knocks, more frequent exposure to dust, and more recurrent usage in the rain than a camera that has been kept in a drawer most of the time and therefore shows a low actuation count. As a result, second-hand buyers on Ebay or Craigslist are willing to offer a higher price for a camera with a low number of shutter releases than for the same model with a high actuation count.

What is the shutter life expectancy of my camera?

Shutter life ratings differ across cameras. Most modern interchangeable lens cameras, such as the Nikon D3500, have shutters that support at least 100 000 actuations. Semi-pro models, such as the Nikon D500, are rated for about 200 000 shots, while professional cameras, such as the Nikon D5, have shutters that can sustain 400 000 actuations. It is important to note that the shutter rating does not provide a guarantee of a certain photo count before shutter maintenance or replacement are needed. The shutter might fail earlier, or it could last longer without causing any problems. The shutter rating should, thus, be seen as representing a statistically determined failure average or Mean Time Before Failure.

Most photographers are unlikely to come close to the shutter life expectancy of their imaging tools. For example, if one were to take 100 photos each and every day, this would mean 3 000 actuations per month and 36 000 shots per year. In this case, one would reach the end of the expected lifespan of a Nikon D3500's shutter in about three years. Few people use their cameras as regularly and intensively, and if they do, their cameras might well be up for a replacement after three years anyway for reasons other than shutter failure. Nevertheless, shutters do sometimes break down during photo sessions and such adverse events are getting more likely as the shutter count increases.

FAQ on checking the shutter count

Below are some frequently asked questions concerning the camera shutter count.

How do I find the shutter count for my Leica?

Some of Leica's digital cameras are based on a collaboration with Panasonic. This is notably the case for the more recent models in the Digilux, D-Lux, and V-Lux series. For these cameras, the camera shutter count is accessible via hidden menus, similar to the procedure applying to Panasonic Four Thirds (Leica Digilux 3), Panasonic LX-series (Leica D-Lux), and Panasonic FZ-series (Leica V-Lux) cameras. – Similarly, for the Leica M8 and M9, shot count information can be obtained by accessing hidden service menus, as described by Leicaphilia.

How do I see the actuation count for my Ricoh?

For some Ricoh cameras (GR, GR II, GRD IV, GX200), the shot count can be found in hidden service menus. Here is the procedure (to be undertaken at your own risk): With the camera powered OFF, turn the top mode dial to Movie, then simultaneously press the Playback and DISP buttons to enter a first error history listing, then press right arrow (Flash) to move to a second listing, which shows the shutter count.

Where can I find the shot count for my Hasselblad?

For the Hasselblad H5D-40 and possibly other models, the actuation count can be found in the operating menu: menu > settings > system status > shutter count.

Why do I get such bizarre results for the shutter count of my Fujifilm X-T2?

The X-T2 was the first camera for which Fujifilm implemented EXIF-based actuation recording. However, the internal software does not seem to have been mature at launch, so that, for example, firmware updates have been disrupting the counter. As a result, the shutter count information contained in EXIF metadata is not reliable for the X-T2.

What is a GOOD shutter count for my camera?

A large number of shutter actuations is a sign that you enjoyed shooting with your camera and that it has been a useful tool. However, if you are trying to sell on Ebay or Craigslist, you should be aware that a camera with a shutter count that exceeds 50 percent of the rated shutter life will be traded at a marked discount.

How are videos reflected in the shot count?

When recording moving images, cameras use their electronic shutter and not their mechanical one. Taking videos, thus, does not increment the shutter count by the (large number of) image captures in movie mode.

Shouldn't the actuation count of my brand new camera be zero?

Cameras undergo final quality checks at the factory that frequently involve a number of shutter releases. It is, thus, normal to see a low, non-zero shutter count for a new camera.

Isn't shutter failure covered by the manufacturer's warranty?

If a shutter malfunctions because of a manufacturing fault (and not because of wear and tear) and if this failure happens during the warranty period, the camera manufacturer will indeed replace the shutter free of charge.

What happens to the shot count if my camera's shutter is replaced?

If your shutter malfunctions and needs replacement, the service center will disassemble your camera, substitute the shutter with a new one, and reset the shutter count to zero.

Can I replace the shutter of my camera myself?

Yes, if you are a capable mechanic (and a bit daring), you can dissemble your camera and replace the shutter. Shutter units for many camera models are sold on Ebay.

How can I extend the lifespan of my camera's shutter?

Exposure to dust and dirt will result in increased wear and tear on the moving parts of the shutter mechanism. Hence, being careful and protecting the camera from the environment when changing lenses can help to make your camera's shutter last longer.

Camera comparisons

Does your camera show an elevated shutter count? Is it time to start thinking about a camera upgrade? Check out how different cameras – new and not quite as new – compare in terms of size, sensors, features, and their reception by expert reviewers by selecting two comparators from the menu below. You will then promptly be taken to a detailed side-by-side comparison.


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