What is a shutter count, and why is it important? 

The shutter count is the number of photos you have taken. While most parts of your device probably won’t damage, the shutter undergoes frequent deterioration throughout its lifetime.

Whatever your Canon model, a DSLR can withstand approximately 30,000 to 300,000 shutter actuations before needing a replacement. Since replacements can cost hundreds of dollars, one should check the actuations before purchasing the model.

If you are searching for a used camera, shutter count is especially important. Used DSLRs have more limitations depending on how often the previous owner snapped photos. By knowing the Canon shutter count, you can determine how long your item will be usable.

You may be wondering, “How do I find the shutter count on my Canon camera?” Keep on reading to learn more.


Photo by Dujin Yun licensed under Pixabay

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Using EXIF Data to Get Shutter Count

Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) defines information related to the photo, like the exposure settings, date and time, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and sometimes the shutter actuation data.

To access the data, begin by changing the settings to capture photos in JPEG form. It’s necessary to use JPEG because other image formats require third-party conversion software that often lose information.

Once you have snapped a JPEG, download an EXIF viewer like ExifTool or IExif to see all the metadata without stripping information from the file.

If you choose ExifTool, you must move the file to your root drive and open up the command prompt. Type “cd c:” on Windows and “cd /” on MacOS to locate ExifTool. Type ‘Canon DSLR: exiftool YourFileNameHere.jpg | find “Image Number”’ using your file instead of YourFileNameHere.


Photo by ErrantX licensed under CC BY-SA

Getting Canon Shutter Count Using EOSInfo

Windows users may want to consider EOSInfo to check the shutter count on their camera.

You install the software, plug your camera into your computer, and discover tons of information on the spot. Apart from the shutter count, you can also read the firmware version, date and time, and owner, artist, and copyright strings.

EOSInfo is compatible with many cameras, such as the Canon 5D Mark II, 50D, 450D, 60D, and 70D. However, it fails to work with many of the older models, including some Canon 5D iterations.

If you have a Mac, you can use ShutterCheck to discover information on your Canon DSLR, including shutter count, serial number, battery charge level, and firmware version. Like with EOSInfo, you install the app, plug your model into the computer, and learn valuable information before purchasing.

ShutterCheck is fully compatible with many Canon 5D models, as well as many of the newer products sold.

If EOSInfo or ShutterCheck does not support your Canon, don’t worry. There are more methods you can try.

Using IExif, you only need to install the program, open it up, and select your JPEG that you wish to view. Scroll down until you see the phrase “Total Number of Shutter Releases for Camera.” The number next to it is your Canon shutter count.

If an EXIF viewer does not work with your Canon DSLR, don’t lose hope yet.

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What If My Canon Isn’t Supported?

If you have an older model, like the Canon 5D, software limitations prohibit you from viewing the actuations. Yours may have as few as 1,000 shutter counts or upwards of 100,000.

Give the camera a hand inspection. Check if the hand-grips, hot shoe, or tripod mount are worn. You can also research the serial numbers to track down its make date.

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What Is the Highest Shutter Count For My Canon?

Once you have found your Canon shutter count, you will need to check the Camera Shutter Life Database to determine how much longer yours will be usable. This database compiles hundreds of user reports to list the typical expectancy for your model.

For example, the EOS 5D Mark II has, on average, 140,181.4 actuations before it dies. On the other hand, the EOS-1Ds Mark 3 has an average lifespan of 266,127.9 actuations as it is more professional-grade. Not all cameras live up to Canon’s reported standards, so checking the database will provide anecdotal evidence concerning your camera’s maximum lifespan.

FAQs About Canon Shutter Count

When looking up “How do I find the shutter count on my Canon camera,” you may be left with a few questions about the actuations.

⬥ Doesn’t the memory card tell me the shutter count?

If you have yet to replace the memory card on your DSLR, then it can tell you the shutter count. However, if you have ever reset your model or replaced the memory card, the count might be inaccurate. As such, you will not get a true shutter count reading from a replacement.

⬥ How do Live Views and videos affect the shutter count?

A Live View will increase the shutter actuation by one. Each video also counts as a single shutter.

⬥ Should I return my used camera with a high shutter count?

Shopping online doesn’t always give you the chance to verify the Canon shutter count before purchasing.

Before you return it, consider what events will call for its use. If you are a casual photographer who only takes photos at your annual family reunion, you will likely get by for a while without needing a replacement. Conversely, if you are a professional, you should check into the return policies.

A good rule of thumb when e-shopping is to make sure the company has a return policy. Products don’t always come as they looked on the website, and shipping and handling can damage a fragile object.

Camera Shutter

Photo by Zaphad1 licensed under CC BY 2.0

Also, look into the cost of a shutter replacement for your model. If it is within your budget, you can invest in that to preserve the camera’s life until you want to buy a new one.

⬥ How do I see the shutter count on my Canon EOS 80D?

Canon has made locating shutter counts on recent models increasingly tricky. Some users have reported success with the program eosmsg, but it costs money to check each device. Another potential program is gPhoto2, though you will need to run it on a UNIX or UNIX-like system.

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