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?

  • Well if Nikon said it's "tested to Over 100.000 cycles" it means that value is not the MTBF, that value is the "guaranteed operation". That said I have not seen any data showing the MTBF, or any other statistic data regarding the failure rate or statistical distribution. But it is certainly fair to say that one can get a D5x00 series camera and take 200K or more photos with no problem whatsoever. A small number will even go further then that up to the 300K/400K we simply do not know what is the percentage (small tho) that could reach such number of cycles. – Strider May 27 at 10:20
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    I would almost bet that there is an asterisk or a <sup>1</sup> somewhere near this number, which will tell you that it is MTBF. Otherwise, Nikon could be held responsible for shutter failures, no matter when they appear, as long as the shutter count is < 100 000. – flolilolilo May 27 at 11:23
up vote 29 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.

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.

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

This is the biggest problem of the fast shutter speed cameras Canon says the shutter lasts up till 100K, but the good news is you might be lucky enough to use your shutter till 200K or even 400K, but in any case, you can replace it for roughly 300 USD if it fails early

However, note that you should never replace your shutter if the repair price exceeds 30% the price of the whole camera, so in order to get a better solution, sell it when it reaches 70K — and dont forget to honestly inform the buyer about the shutter count — and get yourself newer model so you will always be updated by the latest models without involving yourself in the hassle of repairs. Hopefully, you will be changing the camera body without the lenses and don't need to change the lenses as long as you protect them well by UV filters and seal them well in your antishock camera bag.

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