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What's my Sony shutter count?

Having information on the number of shots taken by your digital camera is valuable as it serves as an indicator of device usage and the remaining lifespan of its shutter. Sony has integrated data on the number of shutter releases for most of its interchangeable lens cameras in EXIF (EXchangeable Image File) metadata, which is saved alongside every image file. By using an EXIF-reader application, you can access this data and determine the number of images captured by your camera to date.

How to find the actuation count?

In order to find out how many shots your Sony Alpha has taken, just upload a recent, unedited JPG image using the dialog box below (raw images will also work, but are much larger and, thus, slower to upload). It is important that the image has not processed by a photo editing application, such as Photoshop, as the software will sometimes strip the metadata from the file. For the same reason, images that have been transferred from or to mobile phones might not contain the necessary information to determine the shutter count.

Smaller files will upload faster. Your image will be deleted from the server immediately after the shutter count information has been read.

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Please note the following:

  • The uploaded image contained only very rudimentary EXIF data.
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  • If so, you may want to try again by uploading an image that comes directly from the camera.

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unprocessed image
Please note the following:

  • Canon includes the shutter count in EXIF data only for a few, older cameras.
  • However, other methods exist to retrieve the shutter count for more recent EOS cameras.
  • Find out about the available options in the Canon Shutter Count Hub.

Canon Shutter Count
Retrieval Options

The shutter count of the Sony Alpha cameras below (A-mount and E-mount) is accessible via the app. Please let me know, if you succeed in retrieving the actuation count for another Sony camera.


Why is the shutter count important?

The shutter count is a metric that indicates the number of images captured by a camera using its mechanical shutter. A mechanical focal-plane shutter comprises two light-tight curtains that move to uncover the sensor during the exposure time. Each time the shutter opens and closes, it undergoes minimal wear and tear that can ultimately result in malfunction and the need for repair or replacement. Although a shutter can fail suddenly, it is more common for it to 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 you observe these warning signs, it is recommended that you take action and have your camera shutter replaced. Typically, shutter replacement costs range between US$200 and US$400, and the process generally requires sending the camera to a service center. In any case, it is good to keep track of one's shutter count and be proactive in maintaining the camera's performance.

Sony shutter
Shutter unit of a Sony A7R III

Although the actuation count is an indicator of whether or not the camera's shutter might need to be replaced soon, it also provides valuable insight into the overall condition of the device. A high shutter count suggests that the camera has been intensively used and has likely been subjected to more wear and tear, as well as bumps, knocks, dust exposure, and use in harsh conditions, than a camera that has been kept in storage for most of its life, resulting in a low actuation count. Consequently, second-hand buyers on platforms like eBay or Craigslist are more willing to pay 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 Sony?

Shutter life ratings differ across cameras. Most modern interchangeable lens cameras, such as the Sony A6000, have shutters that support at least 100 000 actuations. Semi-pro models, such as the Sony A6500, are rated for about 200 000 shots, while professional cameras, such as the Sony A7R V, have shutters that can sustain 500 000 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 Between 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 Sony A6000'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.

Watch how a shutter breaks down

Are you curious what it looks like when a shutter breaks down? The team at Continue Crushing Tech pushed a camera to its extreme by shooting it in burst mode for hours until the shutter gave up. The camera used was not a Sony, but a Canon 7D Mark II. Nevertheless, the adjacent video gives you an impression on how it looks if a camera shutter fails. In this particular case, the 7D Mark II made 199 591 shots and thereby about reached the shutter's formal rating of 200 000 actuations.

FAQ on checking the Sony shutter count

Below are some frequently asked questions concerning camera shutter counts.

What is a good shutter count on my Sony 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.

Does the use of the electronic shutter augment the shutter count?

No, using the electronic shutter does not lead to any actuation of the mechanical shutter and does not increase the camera's shot count metric.

How are videos reflected in the shutter 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 shutter count of my brand new Sony 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 Sony'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, Sony will indeed replace the shutter free of charge.

What should I do if my Sony camera reaches the end of its rated shutter life?

You can continue to use the camera, but should be mindful that the likelihood of a shutter failure is heightened. Hence, you might want to avoid using the camera during an important event or trip, or ensure that you have a backup camera available.

What happens to the actuation 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 reset the shutter count on my Sony camera?

No, it is not possible to reset the actuation count to zero. Only Sony service centers can do this if they install a replacement shutter.

Can I replace the shutter of my Sony 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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