How Many Shutter Count Is Too Much – A Photographer’s Dilemma

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If you’re a curious photographer, then you might be wondering how much shutter count is too much. Is there an ideal number that photographers should shoot for when it comes to this important camera statistic? Does the shutter count even matter?

How many shutter count is too much for mirrorless and DSLR cameras?

For me, a camera that has more than 100,000 shutter actuations is already too high. What’s more, I don’t think that it would be a wise move to buy a camera with that shutter count.


I know that this is a bold statement to make, but it’s based on the fact that camera shutters are designed with mechanical parts and mechanisms. As such, they will wear out over time as they’re used more and more often.

But it also depends on the model you’re buying. An entry-level camera like the Canon Rebel series with 80k clicks on it is worse than a Canon 6d Mark II with the same number of clicks.

The reason for this is that Canon Rebel cameras have a shutter life expectancy of 100k, while the 6d Mark II has a life expectancy of 150k.

Personally, I wouldn’t buy a camera that hovers around 100k shutter count unless it’s a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Is 5000 shutter count a lot?

Generally speaking, a camera with 1000 – 5000 shutter count is still low since most cameras have a 100,000 shutter lifespan.

Considering that everything is in great working condition, you can expect that its price will be higher than the average price of a camera with a higher shutter count.

Canon T8i : 850D : Kiss X10i

But it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a camera. There are many other things that you should consider, such as the camera’s age, condition, and whether it has been repaired.

Also, if the model is a popular video camera like the Sony a7 III, there’s a chance that it has a lower shutter count but it has hundreds of hours of footage recorded on it.

With this in mind, shutter count doesn’t mean much. So always check its overall condition before making a purchase.

Is 20,000 shutter actuations a lot?

A shutter actuation of 20,000 – 50,000 is pretty normal and not a lot for a camera. Typically, most cameras on the used market range from these numbers. This means that if you’re buying a used camera, then it’s not too old.

For me, this is the sweet spot when buying used cameras. I have a handful of cameras that I’ve bought used and they were in this range.

I’ve used them for years and they’re still going strong.

How about a camera with 100k clicks?

100,000 shutter clicks are a lot. Especially for entry-level cameras such as the Sony a6000 and the Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D. These cameras are meant for beginners and as such, they aren’t expected to reach this many shutter actuations.

Canon EOS-1D MARK IV with 85mm lens

However, when we’re talking about high-end cameras like the Sony a9 and Canon EOS R6 Mark II, 100k shutter actuations are nothing. These cameras are built for professionals and in their line of work, they will be used a lot.

For example, the shutter life expectancy of a Sony a9 is 500,000 while the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is 300,000 clicks.

What is a shutter count?


A shutter count is a number that indicates how many times the shutter in your camera has opened and closed. The shutter count can be found in the camera’s EXIF data, which is information that is recorded with every photo you take.

The EXIF data includes information such as when and where the photo was taken, what camera settings were used, and—most importantly—the shutter count.

Shutter life expectancy

The shutter is a mechanical device that opens and closes to allow light into your camera’s sensor.

As you take pictures, the shutter opens and closes to let light through so that an image can be recorded onto your memory card.

Every time a shutter fires, it wears out slightly but eventually reaches its lifespan—at which point it needs to be replaced. The shutter life expectancy is how long the manufacturer estimates a given model will last before needing replacement

sony a7ii with batt grip

We compiled a shutter life database for Canon and Sony cameras to give you an idea of how many clicks you can expect from your camera.

What happens when the maximum shutter count is reached?

If your camera reaches its expected shutter lifespan, you’ll notice that it still works perfectly! Shutter count has no impact on the image quality of your photos. It’s merely a number that shows how many times the shutter has fired.

Or you can also do the following:

  • upgrade to a newer model
  • use it as a backup
  • give it to me

Taking care of your shutter

To guarantee the longevity and optimal performance of your camera, it is crucial to take proper care of its shutter. Below, you will find some valuable tips to assist you in maintaining your camera shutter effectively:

  1. Protect your camera from physical impacts or drops, as these can cause damage to the delicate shutter mechanism. Use a protective camera case or bag when transporting your camera, and handle it with care to prevent accidental drops or knocks.

  2. Keep your camera clean. Dust and debris can accumulate on the shutter blades, affecting their movement and potentially causing malfunctions. Regularly clean your camera body and lens using appropriate cleaning tools and techniques.

  3. Consider regular maintenance and servicing for your camera. Depending on the camera model and usage, it’s recommended to have your camera professionally serviced every year or every few years to ensure optimal performance.

By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your camera’s shutter and maintain its functionality for years to come.

Is it possible to reset the shutter count?

Yes, it’s possible to reset the shutter count. However, you can only do it by changing the shutter itself. Shutter count is recorded by the camera’s internal computer.

When you change the shutter, the camera will reset its count and start over from zero.


What is the lifespan of a DSLR camera?

The lifespan of DSLR cameras varied greatly from model to model and from brand to brand. In general, though, it’s safe to say that the lifespan of a DSLR is about 5-10 years.

Should I worry about the shutter count?

No, not at all — shutter count isn’t something to worry about. Even if you do a lot of photography, it shouldn’t be an issue. As long as you take good care of your camera and keep it clean, there’s no reason why your shutter should malfunction or break down.