Olympus mFT shutter count
When buying or selling a camera on the second-hand market, it is often useful to know the number of shutter releases the camera has performed. This information can serve as an approximation for how intensively it has been used. While Olympus does not provide any indication on how to retrieve the shutter count in it's camera manuals, the number of images a camera has taken can be retrieved from hidden service menus. The latter can be accessed by pressing several buttons on the camera in a particular sequence.
The procedure to check the number of actuations differs between Olympus cameras produced before and after June 2009. The steps as outlined below apply to the more recent models, notably, but not exclusively, the Micro Four Thirds cameras:
- Olympus PEN E-P1, E-P2, E-P3, and E-P5;
- Olympus PEN E-PL1, E-PL2, E-PL3, E-PL5, E-PL6, E-PL7, and E-PL8;
- Olympus PEN E-PM1 and E-PM2;
- Olympus PEN-F;
- Olympus OM-D E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5, E-M5 II, E-M10, E-M10 II and E-M10 III;
- Olympus E-5;
- Olympus XZ-1 (but not the XZ-2 or XZ-10 !);
- Possibly also Olympus Stylus SH series, TG series, and SP series (to be confirmed);
The procedure to follow for the earlier Four Thirds cameras is described separately on the Olympus FT shutter count page. No problems have been reported to date from accessing the hidden menus, but 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. In case you notice a mistake in the description, or can provide instructions for cameras not (yet) listed, please drop me a line, so that we can update the information.
Finding the shutter count
Getting the number of shutter actuations on Olympus cameras is a multi-step procedure. With your camera's battery well charged, perform the following fifteen steps in sequence. You can also follow the procedure in the following YouTube video.
- Turn the camera ON while holding down the MENU button;
- Once the LCD screen lights up, release the MENU button and then press it again briefly;
- Use the arrow pad to move DOWN to the SPANNER item in the menu and press RIGHT;
- Use the arrow pad to move DOWN to the BRIGHTNESS item in the menu and press RIGHT;
- Press INFO;
- Press OK, and a screen showing the camera designation will come up;
- Press arrow pad UP;
- Press arrow pad DOWN;
- Press arrow pad LEFT;
- Press arrow pad RIGHT;
- Press the SHUTTER RELEASE button;
- Press arrow pad UP (a PAGE 1 with some abbreviations and numbers appears);
- Press arrow pad RIGHT to move to PAGE 2;
- Write down the number to the right of "R" of "MS" on PAGE 2. This is the number of shutter releases (the number to the right of "S" is the number of times the flash has fired);
- Switch the camera off to revert back to normal operating mode. Congratulations, you have successfully retrieved the shutter count information!
|Hidden menu codes|
|R or MS||Total shot count|
|S||Total shots with flash|
|U||Switch on count|
|B||Total shots with IBIS|
At step 12/13, you can use the arrow pad buttons to move between several pages of hidden menus. The listed information is mainly intended for Olympus service personnel and helps them diagnose any problem that the camera might have experienced. In case you are interested, many of the codes have been deciphered by Olympus enthusiasts and are reported on the webpages of John Foster and Guy Parsons. For example, page 3 of the hidden menus contains information on the camera's serial number ("CS") and the manufacturing year and month (digits 5-7 of the "MCS" number). In addition, page 4 shows an entry labelled "D", which lists damage codes (if any).
In case you are thinking of developing your mFT system, you might be interested to have a look at the Micro Four Thirds lens compendium, which lists all the AF and MF lenses available for the mount. You can also simulate the appearance of any particular camera-lens combination with the matching tool at four-thirds.org. Finally, if all the marketing jargon around new cameras and lenses seems a little confusing, check out the mFT glossary for related definitions and explanations.