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I own a Nikon D5000 and I've read in numerous places that the earliest part that fails in a DSLR is the shutter. This is rated to 100,000 actuations, and since there are weeks when I shoot 1000 pics, I am getting a bit worried.

Can it be replaced? Is it (very) expensive? Is it a routine thing?

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up vote 23 down vote accepted

I wouldn't worry about it. Shutters can (and do) eventually fail, but the good news is that repair is relatively affordable. I know a few folks who have had shutters replaced, the cost has generally been between $200-300.

Take a look at another question which discussions how many actuations are "too many" and talks about the likelihood of failure. Enjoy your camera, create some great images, and if you wear the thing out it's a sign you're enjoying your hobby :)

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+1 for enjoying the camera and not worrying about it's technical failures – Andres Aug 23 '11 at 21:41

While I have heard of a few D5000 users encountering Error. Press shutter release button again., indicating a shutter failure, this is rare. Considering your usage, the shutter should last at least two to three years. If and when the shutter fails, it would probably cost about $200 to $300 to replace, but that's a large part of the value of the camera body and you may want to get a new camera at that point.

Note that Nikon says "tested to over 100,000 cycles" (emphasis added), so the shutter should be expected to last some time past the 100K mark and probably should not be expected to fail at just over 100K, but likely somewhere between 120K and 150K. Furthermore, this is a mean time between failures; your shutter may last longer or shorter than this number of cycles. In fact, there have been brand new D5100s with this problem.

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+1 for MTBF, I know this from HDDs ;) – Andrei Rinea Aug 24 '11 at 6:45

It might fail on your D5000 soon, or it might not. When it does it might be expensive for what you need, or might be a case of it's time for a new body. I'm not saying a point of failure is an excuse for an upgrade, but the repair price of a shutter in a D5000 is probably getting close to the price of a second hand model at that point (it's probably a long way off after all!), so if and when it does fail it might be worth looking at whether a replacing that shutter is cost effective compared to a new body.

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For a Canon XXD series, generally a new shutterbox repair runs $330

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