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How can I get the actual shutter actuation count for a Canon EOS 500D or 550D (Digital Rebel T1i or T2i)?

Two popular solutions for most earlier Canon cameras don't work:

  1. I peeked at location 0x9d-9e in a raw file but for the EOS 550 a constant value 0x0001 is stored there. (This worked for pre-500 bodies.)

  2. The EOSInfo software fails to detect the camera (perhaps because I'm running a 64-bit system). (This isn't supposed to work anyway...)

share|improve this question
See for earlier Canon Rebel models: – mattdm Mar 22 '11 at 4:01
This question is very popular and gets a lot of incoming traffic for the site — but we don't have a good answer. However, a lot has changed since October 2010... maybe someone knows something new now? – mattdm Sep 16 '11 at 12:29
If one of the solutions in the question for earlier models works for these models now, maybe the two questions should be merged at this point. – mattdm Sep 16 '11 at 12:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Have you tried just snapping a shot and previewing the image? The Rebel series usually shows in the upper right corner the number of shots since the last time you reset the image counter. So long as you have not reset the counter, it should be equivalent to the total number of actuations.

share|improve this answer
This isn't a very reliable method since it assumes a) the counter hasn't been reset and b) there haven't been more than 9,999 photos. – ahockley Oct 8 '10 at 18:06
@jrista: Good point. I'm aware of this, but wanted a better estimate of the actuation count because I expect that (1) over time the discrepancy between this and the true value might grow, especially if the counter is ever reset, and (2) I have noticed that in some circumstances the counter does not advance. For example, it won't change when connected to a PC for remote shooting (even if you press the shutter button on the camera itself). – whuber Oct 8 '10 at 18:09
I know its not an accurate test, but it would give you a ballpark number. Regarding tethered use, I guess it makes sense that it wouldn't update the image counter. If you've used it tethered, its probably a bad idea to use the in-camera counter. I would guess that opening the shutter for cleaning also doesn't get counted in the image counter, so if you've done that, it would also throw off the count. – jrista Oct 8 '10 at 18:26
I'm accepting this response, which has stood for over a week, as indicating that the answer to my question is "no." But if any reader has other information, please share it with us in a reply! – whuber Oct 18 '10 at 15:28
Sadly, it looks like that EOSInfo tool has not been updated since the 450D. It has the 500D listed, but highlighted in red and crossed out. :( I too would be interested in knowing if there is a good way of figuring out how many true shutter actuations there have been on any Canon body. – jrista Oct 18 '10 at 16:51

This article claims to provide a method for getting the shutter count for the 7D.

In short, you install gPhoto2 and run the command:

photo2 --get-config /main/status/shuttercounter

Version 2.4.11 (released on Apr 17th, 2011) has been tested and works with 500D.
A little warning: under Ubuntu Linux, my first attempts failed because of the following error:

*** Error ***  
An error occurred in the io-library ('Could not lock the device'): Camera is already in use.  
*** Error (-60: 'Could not lock the device') ***  

The simplest and quickest workaround to avoid the problem is to remove the SD card from the camera before connecting it to the computer and running the command.

Documentation in gphoto source code repository refers to shuttercounter parameter for the 1000D, 450D, 500D, 60D and 7D (as of 8th Jan 2012).

Since the 500D, 550D, 7D, 60D and 1100D are newer than the latest version of EOSInfo Utility, it might just be that its developer has yet to update for the newer cameras.

share|improve this answer
@dr Thanks. I'll check that out. In the meantime, +1 for the lead. – whuber Mar 21 '11 at 13:53
FYI i've checked through more of the source code which specifically mentions shutter count for the 500D and 60D (no sign of the 550D or 1100D yet, presumably as both are very new... but I'd expect them to be supported in the coming months as i think gPhoto2 is reasonably actively developed) – drfrogsplat Mar 23 '11 at 4:32

In the 550D you can use Magic Lantern. Just install it, press MENU and then DISP. The shutter count will appear in the bottom of the screen.

Updating my answer, the current build (as of today 11/17), shows you how many shutter actuations the camera have, and also tells you the number of pictures taken and LV switches + quick focus attempts

share|improve this answer
Great tip, thanks. However, extensive warnings like "this software can damage or destroy your camera" suggest that using this software merely to obtain an actuation count presents a high risk:reward ratio... . – whuber Mar 21 '11 at 18:47
Don't worry, the number of cameras bricked by ML is zero. They use that disclaimer because no one can give you warranty with this piece of software. Also, you will gain a lot of cool features besides the shutter counter. – Andres Mar 21 '11 at 18:59
A bit of a late comment, but for anybody reading this, Magic Lantern is 99% safe. I've been using it every day for the past year with absolutely no problems whatsoever. – Blender Feb 3 '12 at 2:45
I'm using it since december of 2010 and still no issues at all. Even tried experimental versions and no problems still! – Andres Feb 3 '12 at 14:16

Magic Lantern is definitely the easiest way to find the info you require. I, too, have had the various releases of ML installed for quite some time now on my Canon t2i/550D with absolutely NO issues. Have a look at for details.

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There is an app for OS X called EOS Inspector.

Download it on the Mac App Store and then connect your camera via USB cable to get accurate shutter actuations count measurement.

For detailed information about camera compatibility please refer to the support page.

Long story short: it works with all modern Canon EOS cameras.

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It looks great, thanks. Alas, it works only on Macs... . – whuber May 22 '14 at 18:31

For Mac: "This works on any of the Canon DIGIC III/IV DSLRs except the 1D* series. This means it will work for the 40D, the 50D, the 450D, the 500D, and the 1000D"

I have used this successfully on both my 40D and 500D.

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Couldn't get it to work with a 7D, if anyone was wondering – Znarkus Jan 13 '12 at 21:14

the magic lantern firmware will provide shutter counts under an info tab, in camera, with a breakdown between photo actuations and video actuations.

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protected by John Cavan Apr 10 '14 at 10:22

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