I'm an amateur photographer. I am an APS-C camera owner and I'm willing to upgrade to a FF body. There is a shop in my neighborhood offering a second-hand Canon Eos 6d for €1150, with a four-year warranty. I recognise is is a good bargain, though the camera has got 14000 shots.

Is the number of shots taken too high for the camera to be reliable? Could it affect perhaps image quality or durability of the camera?


The EOS 6D has a shutter rating of 100,000 actuations. This means that Canon expects half of the 6Ds sold to have shutters that last longer than 100,000 cycles and the other half to last less than 100,000 cycles. As with any MTBF estimate, there is a Bell curve involved and most samples will land fairly close on either side of the center while a few outliers will last much shorter or much longer.

14,000 actuations is 14,000 actuations. It really doesn't matter if they've been accumulated over several years or only over several months. Unlike other things, such as vehicles, cameras aren't usually parked out under the UV rays of the sun and in the weather when they're not being used. They don't have lubricants that need to be changed regularly due to chemical changes that take place whether the vehicle is driven or not.

In the case of the 6D in question, the shutter has been used approximately one-seventh of its expected life. If the price you are paying is less than six-sevenths of the price for a new 6D in your area it is probably a good deal if the camera checks out in all the other ways that you should look at any used piece of photographic gear. The fact that the seller is giving you a better warranty than Canon gives new (at least here in the U.S. all new Canon gear comes with a 1 year warranty) removes a lot of the risk of buying used gear.

  • Just curious about this statement: "Canon expects half of the 6Ds sold to have shutters that last longer than 100,000 cycles and the other half to last less than 100,000 cycles". I always thought that the rating would be more than 50%. Are there any reference material for this? – Viv Jul 11 '16 at 15:14
  • That's based on the assumption that the shutter rating is an MTBF/MTTF (Mean Time Before Failure/Mean Time To Failure) rating. By definition an MTBF/MTTF rating means half will fall on each side of the peak of the bell curve. Nikon is more explicit at this point and does state their shutter ratings are MTBF numbers. Canon may do so as well. I've never really looked for it. From my perspective a shutter on a camera I buy will work until it fails. – Michael C Jul 12 '16 at 2:17

My simple rule of thumb is to consider the click count on a camera the same way you consider mileage on a car. Judge that against the age of the camera, and assume usage is around 10k clicks/year.

So, you can think of the 6D you're looking at the camera equivalent of a four-year old car with 14,000 miles on it. I.e., a relatively lightly-used camera. But, this judgment depends on how old the camera actually is. If the camera is relatively new and was owned for less than a year, that's slightly above average usage.


The cheapest contemporary DSLRs are rated for roughly 50k actuations. 6D's shutter is said to be good by Canon for 100k actuations. Shutter may as well fail before that number, the rating is not a guaranteed number of actuations. 14000 is way smaller than the shutter mileage variation.

You should not buy the expensive technology without having spare money or spare unit because if it fails you will be offline for long. Shutter replacement costs fraction of the camera price.

Is the number of shots taken too high for the camera to be reliable?


Could it affect perhaps image quality ...?

In rare cases if camera was used for vey long exposures exclusively (or video recording) the camera could have hundreds of damaged pixels but even a thousand of pixels is just 1/22000 area of Canon 6D's sensor and defective pixels are masked either fully automatically or semi-automatically (by demand) and produce no perceptible effect in uncontrolled (non-laboratory) conditions.

Could it affect perhaps ... durability of the camera?

Not in any implicit way.

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