Since April 2008, when we bought Nikon D3, we decided that it will be good for TILT to keep track of the shutter count so that we can be prepared when the camera may fail. In a short period of 2 years and 3 months, we realised that we have already taken 150,000 photos to date.
150,000 definitely sounds like a big number. Considering that we do not go for photoshoots every day, this certainly is quite a huge number. As such, we decided that we can do some quick mathematics. To our surprise, that is an average of about 180 photos taken in a day, a pretty digestable number.
Having said that, during our peak periods, the number of photoshoots can be pretty overwhelming. Recently, in the month of June, we did a reality check and realised that we were out on photoshoots for 21 days out of 28 days (and that is inclusive of Saturdays and Sundays). On certain days, we can be rushing for places to places for photoshoots. In fact, just in early June, there was 5 photoshoots happening in 1 single day. Our photographer was shooting from 8am – 10pm. Well, there are breaks in between where it is used for travelling and meals, but nonetheless, it definitely can be very tiring.
So, what exactly is shutter count? Why does it matter? How do you keep track of it?
The shutter count is the number of pictures that a camera has already taken. Shutter count is actually the laymen’s way of saying it. The actual term is known as actuations. The shutter blades are delicate mechanical parts, and are subjected to wear & tear. They are generally the first thing to fail on a digital SLR.
For entry level cameras (Canon Rebel, Nikon D80, etc.) the shutter is rated for 50,000 shots.
With mid-range cameras (Canon 40D, Nikon D200) it’s 100,000 shots.
With professional cameras it’s over 200,000 shots.
Note than any given camera can fail sooner or last much, much longer. These numbers are just guidelines. At any rate, the lower the shutter count, the better.
For those who are interested in finding out your camera’s shutter count, you can download the free Opanda IExif where you can then use it to check on your camera’s shutter count.
For the record, this is the photograph taken which was our registered 150,000 shot. This was taken at Jalan Besar Stadium on 16 July 2010 for a S-league match between SAF FC and Home United FC. The photo shows the contrast between Home United’s celebration and SAF FC’s disappointment after Home United had scored a goal. For the record, Home United won 5 – 2 at the end of 90 minutes.
We are still counting and we definitely will be looking to getting a new DSLR soon.