Monday, April 28, 2008

Tip: How to Find Shutter Actuations

A Lot of you been asking me if there is anyway we could get the count of the effective number of shutter actuations.

This is an issue many people been debating over the web and it seems that is a request that the camera manufacturers forgot to mention on their software.

Some people have looked for photography classes on online-colleges.org in an effort to learn more about this.

In order for us to get this number we needed, up until now, to send the camera to the manufacturers or representative support system in order for them to run a software to count the effective number of shutter actuations that your camera has.

This number is very useful so you could know if your shutter has reached it's limits or if it's time to make an expensive exchange of the shutter curtains .

Fear not today you will get a way of seeing this numbers :)


The first program I got in contact with was CanCount, written by German photographer Wolfram Söns, mostly displays information that can already be seen in Canon's own applications, including the camera model, firmware version, camera body serial number, image comment and Custom Function settings. But it has three tricks up its sleeve that make CanCount a useful way to view shooting data inside EOS-1D, EOS-1Ds, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS-1Ds Mark II photos:


* The program displays a body's total shutter actuations at the time the analysed RAW or JPEG picture was taken. This information is not shown in ImageBrowser, ZoomBrowser EX or any other software from Canon we've tried.

* CanCount will assemble into a single page all the metadata it can display. This is a handy way to see almost all camera settings, plus an image thumbnail and histogram, and store that information if desired as a PDF (using either the built-in PDF support of Mac OS X or an add-in to the printing architecture within Windows) or hard copy printout. We've used this feature to share with other photographers our settings, and similarly to grab the settings used by other photographers too.

* Generally speaking, it's quicker to use than Canon's own software when the goal is to view the complete metadata within a handful of pictures. Launch the program, drag and drop a picture file and the picture's metadata populates the program's various screens.

You can find the Trial version here for Win and Mac but you will have to pay 11,52 euros for a register version.

The older free version in DOS format you can get it here. Is not as fancy as the payed one but you'll get the job done.

Here are the counts for my cameras with the German free DOS version:

Did you know that you can get the same information if you have Adobe Photoshop CS2 or CS3?

Yes that's right just take a look in the above photos.

How to get there, you may ask?

Well, If you have a MKII with an updated firmware you should be able to get the count in Photoshop CS2 or CS3.

In Photoshop open the photo file and go to File > File Info and then click on Advanced (last item in the list) and select http://ns.adobe.com/exif/1.0/aux and look for an item called Aux: ImageNumber. That should be the shutter count.
It works with RAW and JPG images.

Canon 1D MarkII

Canon 1D MarkIIN

Well if you have a Canon 1D series then you are off the hook :)

I tried the same thing with my Canon Powershot G9 but with no luck :(

Since Canon 1D are the only ones I've got I did not tried this with some others. If you have find some great results with other cameras just drop me a line on the comments so that others could share this good Tip.

After I wrote this article I get in contact with Canon to know if this numbers that were showing would be the effective ones of your camera. Canon replied that they have a special software for this matter and you cannot trust this counters. The best way was to put the camera through custom service in order to know what are the real actuation of the shutter.

Well at least they are not the real ones but you can make an estimate on how many shots you have made with your camera.

I also noticed that if you upload a saved preset custom function the camera will assume that count as if it was the real actuation, well it's strange but it's the deal.

Unless Canon and the other camera manufacturers would not include this function on their software were do not have any real way of knowing what is the count for the shutter actuation.




--//-- Update 2012-05-20 --//--


There is a webpage where you can check your shutter actuation called EOSCount and it's a must for you to control your clicks.

This page only works under Internet Explorer and over Windows system because it uses an ActiveX controller to pull out the information from the camera.

Here is what the page looks like after pulling the info from my 1D MarkIV.

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