Is the number of shutters really important in DSLRs?

What does the number of trips say?

The solutions are the mileage of the camera

When the camera is sold at the latest, many interested parties legitimately ask how many “releases” the camera has. With releases (or "clicks") we mean the number of photos that have been taken with a camera. Similar to the mileage of cars, the number of times the DSLR is triggered provides information about how intensively the camera has been used and what the potential life expectancy is.

Number of trips and service life

Since the mechanics of the shutter work with every photo, a defect will, as expected, occur at some point due to wear and tear or material fatigue. The only question is when. Similar to motors in vehicles, the cameras are also tested for durability and designed so that they can withstand a certain number of trips on average.

Of course, professional housings like the Nikon D4s tend to be designed for a higher number of resolutions than, for example, a Nikon D3300. It is not uncommon for a sports photographer to take several hundred thousand photos a year. Accordingly, the shutter of such a professional camera has a life expectancy of 300,000 or more clicks. I have seen cameras with over 500,000 releases several times on the used market. Consumer cameras, on the other hand, are designed for 100 - 150,000 releases. Since these cameras are mostly not used professionally and do not even approach the serial frame rate of a professional housing, such values ​​are rather rare here.

Don't be afraid of a lot of clicks

Given these prospects, I think it is unfounded to attach too much importance to a few trips. If you buy a camera from a professional photographer, it can quickly have 100,000 releases without looking at it from the outside. You can now work out how long you can still enjoy such a camera when you, as a hobby photographer, get maybe 20,000 photos a year. By the time the closure may reach its limits after 10 years, a successor model has usually already been purchased. It is similar with the entry-level models. These are usually issued with 10 - 50,000 trips. So you should be able to take photos with it for the next five years. And the general rule is: even a defective shutter is economically affordable, depending on the value of the camera. In many cases, repairs are cheaper than buying a new camera. In the case of professional housings in particular, it is therefore worth purchasing a higher number of trips. Nevertheless, of course, you have to consider the shutter release when buying or selling a camera. A camera with few triggers will always tend to be more expensive than the same camera with many triggers.

Reading out the releases

In order to know exactly what the camera is worth when it is sold, it is therefore of course also important to read out the exact number of releases in the Exif data and not to rely on the image counter of the file names (e.g. DSC_2388). It is possible that the counter in the camera has been reset or that it automatically starts again at 0 after 9999. In contrast, the exact status of the tripping is stored in the Exif data. As a rule, this number cannot be manipulated.

There are special programs such as the Exif viewer for reading out the releases. The solutions can also be read out in many image processing programs. In Photoshop CS6, for example, the information can be found under File> File Information> Advanced> Scheme> ImageNumber