How To Check The Shutter Count On A Canon 6D (and Why You Should Care)

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I really don’t know why Canon won’t include this feature on their cameras. I’m referring to the total number of times your camera shutter has been used—not just while you are shooting on a single charge of your battery.

The shutter count is a great way to gauge the condition of your Canon 6D. It’s also helpful if you’re looking for a used 6D in the market. You don’t want to buy a used car without checking its mileage, right? The same principle applies to cameras.

Effective ways to check the shutter count of your Canon EOS 6D

So, how do you check the shutter count? Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do but you might need to spend a little money on an app to do it.

Here are a few apps or software that will let you check the shutter count of your Canon EOS 6D.

freeshuttercounter app



  • Free shutter count – this paid version can read your shutter count past 1000 actuations/ Windows/Mac

These are the best ways to check your camera’s shutter count. I tried the Free Shutter Count app and I find it accurate and easy to use.

In addition, the apps support older and newer generation DSLRs from different brands. They are also pretty affordable too!

So, how do they work? They will use the camera’s serial number and the EXIF data on your images to calculate the shutter count based on that.

Why the Shutter Count Matters

Canon 6D with Tokina lens

So why should you care about the shutter count on your Canon EOS 6D or any camera for that matter?

Well, it’s important to understand that the shutter of your camera is a mechanical device. It moves up and down in order to expose light into the sensor.

The more times you use it, the more likely it will wear out over time. The shutter is also an important part of your camera, so if it breaks, your camera will be unable to work properly.

Now, the shutter count won’t exactly tell you how long your camera will last or when it will break. It’s just one of many factors that can contribute to a camera’s longevity, but it is still an important one.

Knowing the shutter count of a camera is also a great way to gauge its condition. If you’re looking to buy a used camera, it can be very useful information to have, especially if you want to negotiate the price.

If the camera has a high shutter count, you might be able to get it cheaper than if it has a low shutter count.

Canon 6D shutter life

The Canon EOS 6D has a shutter life of approximately 150,000 cycles. More or less like the Canon EOS 7D! This is a good number for a camera, especially if you’re using it professionally.

But keep in mind that the shutter life is just a number. It doesn’t mean that the shutter is going to break after 150,000 actuations or that it will break way before that.

Here is an interesting chart that shows the average lifespan of the shutter.

The average number of actuations after which the shutter is still alive: 120,610

The average number of actuations after which the shutter died: 115,234

canon 6d shutter life

What happens when the shutter count is reached?

In case you already reached your camera’s shutter lifespan expectancy, there is no need to panic. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal.

Your camera will still continue to work normally and you won’t notice any difference in performance.

Two of my DSLR cameras even went way above their expected shutter lifespan and still worked perfectly fine. I also watched a few Youtube videos where people had reached more than 1,000,000 shutter actuations. Isn’t that amazing?

Want to know more about Canon 6D? Check out these resources:

Canon 6D For Low-light Shooting

Canon 6D Mark II Settings For Portraits

Canon 6D Wedding Photography Tips

Settings for Astrophotography

Is The Canon 6D a Mirrorless Camera?

Is it possible to reset the shutter count?

I believe that it’s technically possible but for us mere mortals, it’s pretty much impossible. The firmware on most cameras including the Canon 6D is very secure.

In order to reset the shutter count, you have to replace the shutter itself.

How do I know if my shutter is failing?

A clear indication that you may be experiencing shutter failure is if your photos are grossly overexposed or underexposed regardless of your camera settings.

Also, if strong light streaks are present across the frame and when you notice a delay and some mechanical noise when you press the shutter button down, it’s a sign that there is something wrong with your shutter.

This is actually a photo of a mountain.

With Canon cameras, sometimes you’ll get a message that says “Err: 30″.

It means the camera detected a problem with the shutter and is going to shut it down. It is an indication that your shutter may have failed or will fail soon.

Err 30 shutter error Canon

However, the camera can be wrong about this. What you need to do is to turn off your camera, remove then re-insert the battery. If your camera still doesn’t work, then it’s time to take it in for service.

Can you replace the shutter?

Fortunately, if your shutter fails, it can be replaced. You’ll need to take your camera to a service center and have them do it for you. The price varies based on the model of camera you have, but it should be around $200 – $400 to have it replaced.

If you’re feeling adventurous and you think you have the skill, you can also take apart your camera and replace it yourself. However, it’s not an easy task and you need to be knowledgeable about cameras and electronics.

Should you worry about a high shutter count

No, don’t worry at all! Continue to use your camera as you normally would. Just keep shooting my friend!

It’s not like the shutter is going to wear out if you exceed its limit. As long as you take care of the camera and keep it in good condition, it should last for many years to come.

Now, if you’re buying a used camera and the shutter count is already high (around 100,000 actuations or higher), you may want to look elsewhere.

It doesn’t mean that the camera is automatically bad, but it does increase the chance that something else will break down in the near future.

However, if the price is really tempting and you actually know the risk of buying one, then go ahead and take the chance. As I’ve mentioned earlier, these cameras can go as high as 150,000 actuations with no problem.