Does Shutter Count Still Matter in 2024?

  • Post author:

In an industry that’s always growing, shutter count can be an important factor. Shutter count refers to the number of times a camera’s shutter has been used in its lifetime. The more times the shutter has been used, the closer it gets to wearing out and failing completely.

Let me tell you this, shutter count does matter but it’s not the only thing you should be looking at.

Does shutter count matter on mirrorless cameras?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not as important as you might think. It can affect the resale value of a mirrorless camera, whatever the brand is. But only to a certain extent.

For example, a Sony a7III with less than 10k shutter actuations will retain a slightly higher value compared to one with 100k, assuming both cameras are in perfect working order.

mirrorless shutter

Shutter count can also be a good indicator of how used a camera is. But again, it is not the only thing you should be looking at.

Also, mirrorless cameras have an electronic shutter that is capable of virtually unlimited shutter actuations as they do not suffer from wear and tear.

You can use that instead of the mechanical shutter and not worry about the shutter count.

When it comes to image quality, a low or high shutter count has no influence whatsoever. Its impact is only felt when the shutter has completely malfunctioned, affecting the camera’s ability to gain correct exposure.

I once bought a Fujifilm XT-2 with over 80k clicks from a friend who was upgrading to an XT-4. Until today, my camera works perfectly (with a 120k shutter count) and still not giving me any early signs of shutter failure.

my fujifilm x-t2

All things considered, knowing the shutter count is important but it should not be the only factor you need to consider when buying or selling a camera.

Always have a thorough inspection of the camera, the lens mount, and check for any wear or tear.

Is the shutter count important for DSLR cameras?

The shutter count is important for DSLRs because it’s one of the few ways to know if a camera has been used extensively.

When buying a used DSLR or any camera, the shutter count matters because it will give you an idea of how much usage the camera had before being put up for sale.

If the number is really high (usually more than 100k clicks), then there’s a higher chance that the shutter may not last as long compared to a camera with a lower count.

Canon EOS-1Ds 

This can be especially important if you plan on using your DSLR for professional purposes, such as shooting weddings or events.

It’s all about the resale value. But still, don’t worry too much about it. Just keep on shooting and enjoy your camera!

Also, shutter count has no impact on the image quality of your DSLR. Even if a camera has a high shutter count, it will still produce high-quality photos.

Is the shutter count relevant for video recording?

When recording videos, the shutter count isn’t relevant. This is because the camera doesn’t use a mechanical shutter when recording videos.

The mechanical shutter stays open and only the electronic shutter is being used during video recording. Therefore, this event will not increase the shutter count.

It works similarly to video cameras that don’t have mechanical shutters. In terms of video quality, like for stills, the shutter count has no effect on the quality of your videos.

Does shutter count matter when buying a used camera?

Yes, it does matter since the number of shutter count can be used to determine the resale value of a camera.

Although, knowing the precise condition of a camera can be challenging, as the shutter count alone does not provide a conclusive answer. This is what makes the concept of shutter count somewhat deceptive.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

For example, you might come across a camera with a low shutter count of 1000, but if it has been frequently used for shooting videos.

It’s possible that it has recorded numerous hours of video footage that the camera does not keep track of.

As I’ve explained earlier, recording videos will not increase the shutter count. So it’s much better to check the camera’s overall condition.

Look for any dots or cracks on the sensor and the body. This is a more reliable indicator than solely relying on the shutter count.

Mechanical vs Electronic Shutter

camera's shutter

This is a whole topic in itself, but I’ll try to make this quick. The difference between an electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter lies in its operation and capabilities.

  • A mechanical shutter consists of two curtains or blinds that open and close to control the exposure time and allow light to reach the sensor.

  • The first curtain opens to start the exposure, and the second curtain closes to end it. Both curtains move in the same direction, ensuring consistent exposure across the sensor.

  • On the other hand, an electronic shutter doesn’t have any moving parts.

  • It gathers image information directly from the sensor over a specified exposure time.

  • This allows for faster shutter speeds than mechanical shutters.

  • However, electronic shutters read the sensor data sequentially, line by line, which can introduce limitations and potential problems.

  • This sequential readout can cause a phenomenon known as “rolling shutter” distortion, where fast-moving objects can appear distorted in the image due to their position changing during the readout process.

We just scratched the surface of their main differences, but I hope it helps explain the difference between mechanical and electronic shutters.

What is a shutter count?

free shutter counter

Shutter count is a term used to describe the number of times the shutter in a camera has been opened and closed to take an exposure. As the number increases, the frequency of recorded data for each exposure rises, increasing the likelihood of potential damage to your camera’s shutter.

And why is that? Because shutters are mechanical, they can be affected by age and usage. And that’s the reason they have a limited lifespan which we’re gonna talk about in the next section.

Shutter life expectancy

This is the term used to measure the number of shutter actuations before your camera’s shutter breaks. This number can vary greatly depending on the camera model, but it’s typically between 100,000 and 500,000 exposures.

Entry-level cameras such as Canon Rebel T7 and Sony a6000 are expected to have a shutter life expectancy of around 100k.

Mid-range and professional-level cameras like Canon 5D Mark IV or Sony a9 are usually rated for 150,000-200,000 actuations.

So, what happens when the shutter count is reached?

Once you reached the camera’s shutter life, in most cases, the camera will be able to function normally. Reaching its lifespan will not automatically mean that your camera will fail or stop working.

Although, if you’re someone like me who shoots for a living, it is important to have a backup camera in case your main camera fails.

So now, what do you do after reaching the shutter count? Some people will say that it’s time to buy a new camera. However, this is not always the case.

Keep shooting, and you might be amazed to see your camera still working after 500k shots.

However, do take note that sometimes shutter failure happens even without reaching its expected lifespan. That’s the harsh reality of being a mechanical device.

Checking your camera’s shutter actuations


To give you an overview, you’ll need to install an app or go to a trusted website like Camera Shutter Count which provides the shutter count feature.

Please refer to our shutter count database to look for your camera model and read the guide on how to check its shutter count.

How many shutter count is too much?

Already at 190K for my Canon-1D Mark IV

This is all my personal opinion, but I will never buy a camera that has 100k clicks even if its price is tempting. That’s already too high! Unless someone will give it to me for free then I’ll gladly accept it.

When buying used, my personal threshold is around 50k, but it’s up to you.

This is also a good time to mention that you should always buy cameras from trusted sellers who provide detailed information about the condition of the item before selling it to you.

Read more about this topic here.


Does shutter count affect image quality?

No, the image quality of your camera doesn’t change. But if you’re planning on selling your camera in the future, then yes, it can affect its price.

What is a good shutter count for a used camera?

I would say a good shutter count for a used camera is between 1,000 to 50,000. The lower the shutter count the better. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Always check the condition of the body before getting it.

Is it worth replacing the camera shutter?

Definitely! If your camera’s shutter is broken, you have to replace it or else your camera will not work properly. It’s also best to replace it as soon as possible.