When purchasing a camera, how do you know that it is new and not used? And if you’re buying used equipment, how to assess the wear of the internal mechanisms of the device? Of course, only an authorized service center can carry out full diagnostics of the camera. However, for a quick preliminary assessment of the state of the camera, it is worth knowing the mileage of the camera – how many frames have been taken on it up to that moment.
How to assess the wear and tear of a camera? What is shutter life?
Interchangeable-lens cameras, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras are always equipped with a shutter. These mechanical shutters control the amount of light entering the camera’s sensor and measure the exact exposure time. Like any mechanism, the shutter is subject to wear. Different models of cameras are equipped with different shutters, each of which has a certain guaranteed release rate. So, the shutters of the most affordable cameras have only 15 thousand frames, and for cameras of an advanced and professional level – already as much as 150-300 thousand. This does not mean at all that, having reached this figure, the mechanism will immediately stop – it can work for much longer. So, the editorial board knows cases when the youngest amateur DSLRs worked out both 150 and 200 thousand frames. However, the shutter resource will show how much safety margin is included in the camera by the manufacturer.
The analogy with cars suggests itself – with the same mileage, cars can be in completely different states, depending on how they were used. Nevertheless, both in the field of auto and in the field of photography, mileage will be an important factor in assessing the general condition of equipment. As in the case of a car, the longer the vehicle has traveled, the lower its price will be.
Why is the shutter of a camera with a high mileage dangerous? The old shutter does not work out the shutter speed correctly, which means that the exposure of the frame will also be inaccurate. When shooting at high shutter speeds or when using a flash, black bars may appear in the photo. The above is the reason for contacting the service center for replacing the shutter with a new one. Otherwise, the old bolt may simply jam at some point.
Unfortunately, the shutter mileage does not reflect the number of videos recorded on the camera. After all, when shooting video, the shutter is always open, but all the same wear of electronic components, matrix, processor, battery, housing and controls occurs. Therefore, when buying a used camera, ask the seller how actively the video was recorded on this camera.
Even when buying a new camera, it is worth checking its shutter – and under the guise of new technology, they may try to sell you a used or refurbished one.
How to find out the mileage of the camera?
How can you see how many frames have been taken by the camera at the moment? Note that some devices do not allow you to accurately know your mileage, for example, the FUJIFILM X series. Depending on the manufacturer and model of the camera, there are several ways to view the data on the number of shutter releases. And we will start with universal services that are suitable for testing a large number of different camera models.
Camera shutter count
This service will help you check the mileage of the camera online. It mainly supports current models from Nikon and Pentax, as well as some older Canon and Sony cameras. Just upload a raw JPEG or RAW to Camera Shutter Count and the result will be shown in a flash.
This application is installed on your computer and allows you to find out the mileage of Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Pentax cameras – a complete list of supported models is available on the program’s website. One drawback: on Windows 10, it only works in compatibility mode with Windows XP.
View EXIF data
Essentially, Camera Shutter Count simply finds the EXIF mileage data (shooting parameter data written directly to the photo file) of the picture. This means that we can find them there and on our own. Shutter mileage data is recorded by Nikon cameras and some other models, such as Pentax. Jeffrey’s Image Metadata Viewer will be a convenient option – it will help you see all the data you need online. Just load the unprocessed snapshot and in the opened table we will find the item “Shutter Count” – it will display the desired number. We tested the efficiency of this method on Nikon D810 and Pentax K-1 cameras. So, our Nikon D810’s mileage is 76,599 frames.
How do I know the shutter mileage of a Canon camera?
In addition to the already mentioned EOSMSG, an online service http://eoscount.com was created to test Canon cameras, which works only with the Internet Explorer browser. It does not work exactly like the previous services – to get data on the mileage, you need to connect the camera to the computer via USB. The EOSinfo utility works in the same way: install it on a PC, connect the camera, and find out its mileage.
How can I view the mileage of cameras from other brands?
There are many brands of cameras left behind in this article because you simply cannot write about all of them in a short article.
For example, at Olympus, you can check the mileage through the service menu, but such a check entails a number of dangers, so we are not talking about this here. But you can find such information very easily on the net. To learn not only about checking the shutter mileage, but also about other nuances of using photographic equipment of certain brands, thematic sites and forums will help them, where owners share their personal experience. Before buying a camera, do not forget to visit one of them – this will help to collect all the necessary information about the camera, its features and how to check it upon purchase.
Viewing the shutter mileage will make sure you are buying a new product, and if you are buying a used camera, it will give you a reason to bargain if the numbers do not match the seller’s claims.
But it is important to remember that such a check will not replace a comprehensive diagnosis of the camera, but will only help assess its general condition. The best way to fully check the camera is to take it for diagnostics to an authorized service center.
What is the mileage of your camera? Write the numbers in the comments – let’s see who has more!