cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Shutter Count

Joel4JC
Occasional Contributor

I am buying a used 5D Mark III and I have 30 days to try it out for a full refund. All the post on this site that I've found referring to shutter count, the solution says PM to the person asking the question. How do I find the solution? How can I check the shutter count on a 5D Mark III?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Joel

18 REPLIES 18

MikeSowsun
Respected Contributor

You can Google search it and there will be a few results that come up. Most will charge about $5 to use their program.

 

One that I have used is called Eosmsg.  It worked on both my 5D Mk III and 80D.

Mike Sowsun
80D, 5D Mk III

Joel4JC
Occasional Contributor

Thanks Mike for the quick response. Last night I downloaded Free Shutter Count ($7) which runs on Windows 10 and it seemed to work. I say seemed to work because I have no way of validating the results without taking it to Canon to get their official count. However, I do verify that the image file names are sequentially numbered from 1, on the day I purchased the camera new, to the current value. Should the camea have a numbering limitation and recycles, say at 9,999, 99,999, etc, I use a bulk rename tool to insert the proper leading number (1, 2, 3, etc). That being said, the shutter count value returned by Free Shutter Count was within 200 of my image numbering on two of my cameras (one camera was closer than the other). I attribute the count discrepancy to perhaps video taking and/or actuation done at the Canon service center during a tune up, and/or manufacturing quality testing. Thanks again for your response.

 

Joel

 

Canon is the only way to get a true accurate count.  I believe shutter count is of little to no value anyway. A better solution but it will cost a bit more is to have Canon do a C&C on the camera and ask for a shutter count (no extra charge) if you must. Of course this is in case you actually buy the camera because Canon will look at everything inside the camera not just the shutter.

 

Consider this you could buy a camera with 100 clicks on the shutter, great you say, but it was used exclusively shooting half videos. Or, you could have a camera with 10,000 clicks which was used in a studio a click at a time set at 1/60.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Joel4JC
Occasional Contributor

ebiggs1, I agree that the only way to get a true accurate count is via Canon Service. However I disagree that the "shutter count is of little to no value anyway".

 

Consider your buying a used camera which appears to be excellent condition and rarely used, you pay fair market value for a camera that was rarely usedt, it fails two weeks later after one photo shoot. You take it in to Canon service center and find out it has 300,000 shutter clicks and needs a new shutter, remember you paid fair market value, now you have to pay to have the shutter replaced, you overpaid for the used camera.

 

I know a million scenarios where this won't hold up, yet there are another million scenarios where it does hold up. For me, it is a peace of mind to know I've the best research I can before purchasing a used camera, and I have strong idea of what I am getting into.

 

It's like buying a used car that has been parked in a garage everyday and washed weekly and waxed fregquently. The outside looks emaculate. You check the odometer reading, and find out it has 200,000 miles on it. Now, the odometer may not be accurate either because it could have been broke for over a year (yes, I had a friend who took over a year to get the odometer fixed, while driving over 100 miles a day to and from work).

 

Again a million scenarios both ways. For me it is a peace of mind and I just like knowing.

"For me it is a peace of mind and I just like knowing."

 

Joel if it floats your boat go for it. No harm, no foul.  However, you have a false sense of trust in shutter count numbers.  You car analogy is a good one but it requires you know the history of the car/camera to be of any real help. Suppose you had two identical Crown Vics on a car lot.  Both had 100 000 miles on it. Both look good which do you pick?  Well, one car was normally driven to Denver from KC on I70 at normal speeds.  The other was a police car which sit for hours and hours idling.  They both show 100,000 miles so which has the least life taken out of it? Shutter count is the same unless you know the history of the camera it is of little to no value. This makes the C&C by Canon a much more worthwhile thing to get.

Remember a shutter can fail and they do in 100, 1000, 100,000 or one million clicks

 

"... you pay fair market value for a camera that was rarely usedt, it fails two weeks later after one photo shoot."  OK lets consider this scenario.  Yeah, a bummer for sure!  But is it?  A new shutter is about $300. You get it installed and guess what?  You have virtually a new camera. The reverse is, the shutter never fails and you live happily ever after. Either way.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"This makes the C&C by Canon a much more worthwhile thing to get."

 

Why is this a better idea?  Because the shutter is just one thing that can fail. Canon will test, check and adjust the entire camera not just the shutter for proper operation. When you get it back, it will look and operate like a new camera.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Joel4JC
Occasional Contributor

ebiggs1 I agree with your scenarios, and as I said, there are a million different scenarios on both sides of the debate.

 

For me, I am not using the shutter count to make a decision between two cameras with high shutter counts, my point is I am trying to avoid buying the used camera with a high shutter count. For me I only purchase used cameras with under 20k clicks.

 

The shutter count report is no guarantee that I am getting a better camera, however, the probability is more in my favor. The lower the shutter count the less likely I'll need the C&C by Canon done, at least according to the statistics. Again no gurantee, just a higher probability. There are always exceptions, but my experience in buying used cameras with low shutter counts has not failed me yet.

 

Unfortunately, for some, they can't afford the cost of a used camera and the extra $300 for a new shutter, Some are stretching their budgets just to get the camera. The cost of a new shutter is just not in their budget. It is a sad thing to save your money to get a good used camera and then have something fail where you can't use it, and you have no money in the budget to get it fixed. That hurts. Again no guarantee, just a higher probability of success with the lower shutter count camera.

 

I'm not disgreeing with any of your scenarios, I just find value in the shutter count report when buying a used camera.

"Some are stretching their budgets just to get the camera."

 

Been there, done that.  Believe me.  I just want you to realize what shutter count actually means.  If it is your top priority and it makes you feel better about your purchase by all means use it.  You do know the shutter is not the number one cause of early camera failure?  It is dropped cameras. Second is wet, getting moisture inside the camera.  Shutter count tells you neither. That is one reason why I say you need to know the history of the camera you are buying used. If the camera was used extensively for videos it is going to have a very low shutter clicks and that would be misleading. There is more, much more, to a camera than the shutter.  Know the history, Joel.

 

I have a friend who was in the business as long as I was. He bought only used 1 series camera.  Most of them from KEH.  He only bought KEH's "ugly" or "bargain" bodies.  They all had a minimum of 100,000+ clicks on them.  He run a successful career.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Joel4JC
Occasional Contributor

"You do know the shutter is not the number one cause of early camera failure?  It is dropped cameras. Second is wet, getting moisture inside the camera.  Shutter count tells you neither. That is one reason why I say you need to know the history of the camera you are buying used. "

 

ebiggs1, if you have the luxury or great fortune of knowing the history of the camera, then I agree with you 100%. Now, let's go back to my used car example. How many used car buyers have the luxury of knowing the actual history of the car they are buying, especially if they are buying it from a dealer. I believe you would much rather purchase the car with the lower mileage versas the high mileage car when you know nothing about the history of the car. There is real value in knowing the odometer reading on a car, that's why by law, the odometer reading has to be disclosed and you attest to its mileage, for both used and new cars. No guarantees, but the probability of the lower mileage car having less problems and lasting longer is greater.

 

The only way I am going to know the history of a used camera is if the person selling me the camera is 100% honest about it's use. If the person selling the camera is not being honest, I'll have no way of knowing if it has been dropped, wet or any other harmful experience.

 

Furthermore, I believe the shutter count would be of more value when buying a Rebel, 60D, 70D, or 80D class camera. Because the impact of 50,000 clicks on one of these is way different than the impact of 50,000 clicks on a 5D or 1D series camera.

 

Now, if you are selling a camera and you can show the shutter count is low, you will get a higher price for the camera. I know some professionals photographers and prosumers have heart burn with buying cameras on eBay, however a ton of peope do. So, using eBay as an example, just two days ago, a 5D Mark III with an advertised shutter count of 4111, went for $1775.00, while yesterday a 5D Mark III without a shutter count being shown, went for $890. Looking at past sells on eBay the average price of a 5D Mark III is in around $1100 and a lot of them show the shutter count. So for the seller in this case, there was real value in knowing the shutter count and advertising it with the camera.

 

ebiggs1 all I am saying, is that there is a real value in knowing the shutter count, at least for me.