DSRL Cameras are pretty expensive toys and one will be forced to think it will make more sense if it lasts a whole lifetime. Well, your camera won’t last a whole lifetime. In fact, you are snuffing the life out of your DSRL camera with every single click! You maybe thinking I have gone crazy right? Nope, I am perfectly fine. Ok let me break it down for you.
DSRL cameras have a shutter and mirror component which is a mechanism for exposing and concealing the sensor whenever you take a photo. When you want to take a photo, and you hit the shutter release button, the shutter and mirror component move, about two to three times in order to take the photo. This whole movement equals one shutter cycle. Now like every mechanical assembly out there, your camera’s shutter mechnism also have a rating.
A motor vehicle’s tyre has a rating measured in miles or kilometer, after which it is expected to be changed due to wear. Some tyres are rated at 3000 miles, 5000 kilometers ETC. Now let us apply this same analogy to our DSRL camera. DSRL camera shutter life are rated in cycles. Whenever you take a photo, you have made one shutter cycle (this is not the case when you are in HDR mode as HDR mode is always more than one cycle). Your DSRL camera do have a shutter rating which you can confirm from your DSRL camera manufacturer.
Generally, Nikon entry level DSRL cameras have a rating of about 50k cycles to 100k cycles while their mid range and pro models are rated at 100k – 500k cycles. Canon entry level DSRL cameras are rate at 50k-100k cycles while their mid range and pro models are rated at 100k-500k cycles. Sony normally do not reveal their camera’s shutter rating but they did for the a7s and a7r line of cameras which are rated at 200k.
Have it at the back of your mind that these are just ratings, mere prediction from camera manufacturers. A shutter rated at 50k may do well above even 200k and a shutter rated at 100k actuation can go bad at just 10k actuation. Remember you can always replace your shutter mechanism whenever it goes bad so it ain’t the end of the world for yor DSRL camera.
Have your shutter mechanism ever gone bad on you? Please share your experience with us by using the comment box below.