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Nikon

In most Nikon DSLRs, shutter actuations could be found in the Exif data and it's possible by using a tool as simple as this online Exif viewer, however Nikon support website says that:

This number is not always accurate because the shutter release times may be reset by firmware updates, or reset in the Service department if certain parts are replaced or other operations are performed.

Canon

For Canon it's a bit different, for some of Canon DSLRs this is possible by using software only, such as gPhoto2, EOScount, EOSInfo or EOS Inspector. however, AFAIK, Canon never commented on these methods, instead, they say that reading shutter count information is only possible at authorized Canon service centers.


So, speaking of accuracy of shutter count reading, is there any difference between Canon and Nikon?

Does anyone know how Canon service centers read those information and why they say they're the only one who can do this?

Do you think that Canon is also inaccurate just like Nikon? or is Canon's shutter count data safe from firmware updates?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You already state the Nikon reference, and as far as I know the very same applies to Canon. This is based on the rumors I've found on forums and other sites while searching the very same topic. I found nothing from Canon themselves.

What I gathered is that the number is stored on the camera in a memory, this memory can be reset by replacing that memory for example. Just like Nikon support suggests. A replacement of the shutter mechanism itself might warrant a reset of the number even if the memory itself is not replaced.

If you have not had any major "surgical" procedures done to your camera the number should be fairly accurate. Just keep in mind that it is not the same as number of photos taken, after all the shutter might cycle without taking a picture.

Hope it helps! :)

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Thanks for your answer. AFAIK, a shutter change always reset the shutter count, so that shouldn't be a point for comparison. on the other hand, I've not heard that firmware update reset the shutter count in Canon, maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Canon's shutter count is more accurate and trustworthy, perhaps because Canon's is harder to read, otherwise it would be a negative point for Canon since they're making it hard for no reason. –  Omne Sep 20 '12 at 19:56
1  
@Omne I have done firmware updates on two Canon DSLR cameras and neither has reset the counter. But I am fairly certain it could do that. This is just from personal experience, I have no sources to cite at all on this matter. As I said, just rumors read on webpages and forums while researching this myself some time ago. If anyone has any statements from Canon regarding this I'd love to hear it too :D –  Alendri Sep 20 '12 at 21:50
    
What about for the Nikon? do you know if their shutter count always reset with a firmware update? or is it similar to Canon and may only happen occasionally? –  Omne Sep 25 '12 at 10:53
    
@Omne I have never updated a Nikon sorry. –  Alendri Sep 25 '12 at 13:48
    
No problem :) I don't expect anyone to have both systems. –  Omne Sep 29 '12 at 20:28

I can't speak for Canon or Nikon myself but it's similar to your car odometer.

The shutter count is mainly there for reference when servicing the camera. It's pretty standard to reset the count when replacing the shutter with a new one as this lets the service company and customer know it's been replaced. There is the occasion where the count isn't recoverable from the mainboard and then the count is reset. Firmware updates shouldn't reset the count, although there may be occasions with particular models and/or particular updates.

Shutters have a "life" and is important to note (by the service company and customer, if they so wish) the count as it may need replacing.

I think Nikon say that to just to let the camera owner aware that it may get reset during a service/repair.

If you haven't sent it in for repair then it will (well, should) be accurate.

Kinda like car tyres have a 20,000km (or so) advisory replacement figure, shutters have a 10,000 (or so, depending on brand/model) replacement figure. It's there for reference and is in the service company's interest to retain the count.

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Your question is very hard to answer definitely, I can only add empirical evidence. I have firmware upgraded my EOS 400D and I did not lose the shutter count. I can read the count on the LCD screen, though, so I wonder why Canon claim only they can. It is a good design choice Canon made (if they actually made it) to keep the count through firmware upgrades, as it gives them a valuable piece of information when servicing a camera.

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How can you see your shutter count on the LCD screen?? This is not standard Canon firmware? Magic Lantern, etc maybe??? –  Mike Oct 2 '12 at 16:18
    
400plus :) It is quite interesting; I took around 16k images with it so far. –  Michael Nielsen Oct 2 '12 at 16:20
    
If you're not using third party firmware, then the information that you're seeing is not accurate, it's either dependent on your memory card or battery, depending on your Canon camera, you can find the accurate shutter count only by using one of the compatible methods that I mentioned in my question. –  Omne Oct 4 '12 at 0:08

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