How many actuations are "too many actuations"?

  • When looking at used camera bodies, a question that comes up a lot, is "how many shutter actuations, or clicks, does it have?"

    What I am wondering is, how many is too many. In other words, is there a reference for knowing when a sensor is more likely to go? How should I judge a camera body with 20000 vs 5000? Is that a significant difference, or is that not even relevant.

    Obviously this might something that is dependent on model, so if there is some information based on model that would be even more interesting.

    One of the guys at Canon Tech Support said that this is completely irrelevant for the Rebel series cameras, but he is obviously slightly biased. :)

    I really had no clue what tags to use for this, so if I missed one, go ahead and fix it.

    "is there a reference for knowing when a sensor is more likely to go?" - it is not about the sensor really but the shutter life

    I am quite surprised at the actuation count myself as I own a Canon 450D which I have put 20k on in a few months and have a Sony A55 which has over 170k. The Sony is 10 months old and it will have 200k actuations before the end of November 2011. I wonder if the warranty stands if it breaks down with this many actuations on it. Every time I go out I end up rattling off anywhere from 500 to 2000 shots.

    Keep in mind a dead shutter is not necessarily the end of a camera's life. For a low end Rebel it might not be worth it to spend $300-400 to replace a shutter. But on a $6,000 1D X or a $3,500 5DIII it certainly would be.

  • Eruditass

    Eruditass Correct answer

    11 years ago

    A great resource for looking at camera bodies and shutter life is the Camera Shutter Life Expectancy Database. For those that have DSLR's, spread the word and submit your #'s!

    Different camera bodies have different MTBF ratings. Some more important factors are how the person cared for their camera and the typical environment. Regular dust cleaning, for example, helps a lot.

    This is very interesting, thanks for the link! The 450D section is very heartening. :)

    I have accepted this answer for the following reason, this is a much more scientific approach to the question than what Canon puts out, and I am a scientist. Many of the other answers were good, and even great, but I have to pick one.

    Perhaps, but that database surely has a great deal of sample bias. I would hope Canon is doing some sort of controlled testing to come up with their numbers.

    yup, and some of the numbers are just off the chart. Looked at the range for the D200, one user was listed as almost 2.5 million actuations and no failure, another listed as under 2000 and no failure. The first is clearly bogus, the second useless data.

    Mine is Nikon D-810 and had no idea until now that the camera dies after certain amount of shooting :( I use it for a hobby and make no money with it to pay for itself. Now I am even afraid going out shooting :( Previously I used to say oh a cute butterfly! Let's take a picture of it! And the database link posted above didn't have info about D-810 either :(

    Sadly it looks like this site is no longer being updated. I can't find data on the Canon EOS 5D Mk iii here.

    @Crowder The site is still being updated, just not the quick links to the most popular models at the link included in the answer. To see all models, just click on the site map link at the bottom of the page linked above.

    @BBischof The linked database is a fun resource, but hardly scientific. The sample is almost certainly biased towards cameras with early shutter failure, as owners of a camera with a failed shutter are far more likely to search for such a site than those whose shutters have not failed.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM