Repair or replace your DSLR?

camerasIt’s always great to start a new year with new gear but before you go out and purchase a new camera body.

I would head to this DSLR shutter life database and look up your model and see if it’s listed.

If your DSLR isn’t listed, it’s probably because it’s considered too new to be near the end of its useful live. 😉

Canon DSLR users have no easy way to determine how many shutter actuations are on their camera because Canon DSLR doesn’t appear to write that info into the EXIF info.

Those of you who shoot with Nikon can try uploading your latests picture to Shutter Counter. If you are on a Mac platform, do this:

Find the Finder, choose the most recent image you made, then hold down the “Control” key and click on that image and choose “Open with Preview.

Open your most recent image shoot on your Nikon DSLR
STEP 1: Open your most recent image shoot on your Nikon DSLR

STEP 2--Open the image with Preview
STEP 2–Open the image with Preview

Then under “Tools” choose “Show Inspector.”

Next, click the middle tab that has an “i” for information and then EXIF.

Then scroll all the way down the list until you see the Image Number.

Sadly Canon users don’t have this info so readily available to read.

They have to get a hold of a Windows computer, they can download and install EOS info

Is it time to shop for a new DSLR?

STEP 3–Under “Tools”, choose “Show Inspector”

See what the average number of shutter actuations your camera body is expected to have before it croaks.
It shouldn’t shock you that the body may look great and pristine especially if you are the sort to baby the camera, always keeping it swaddled and wrapped.

Shutter life ratings can be found on DP Review for instance, my Canon 5D Mark 2 is supposed to last 150,000 actuations. (Look under the Shutter section).

See when I can expect of my  Canon 5DMark2 shutter.

If your camera is acting up and it’s nowhere near those numbers, I don’t expect you’ll have any recourse but to replace it.

Typical shutter repair cost so much for than what the body is worth, it’s pointless to repair it.

For the cost of the repair, it’s often more cost efficient to replace it with a newer body.

Bear in mind, the newer body will usually have features that are so much better like lower noise in high ISO, video recording capability, faster autofocus technology, built-in flash with ability to trigger external Speedlights and the list goes on.

In other words, get past your nostalgia and being so in love with your present DSLR, they’re not engineered to last forever.

Consider that I typically shoot  1000 images a wedding, so it stands to reason that if I do even just 20 weddings a year, I can expect to reach that number in 5 years.

Also important before upgrading, if you plan to shoot raw, you may have to wait till Adobe catches up and supports the new format.

Otherwise, plan on using Canon or Nikon’s software to convert the image.

Peter Phun Photography

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2 thoughts on “Repair or replace your DSLR?”

  1. Hi Sabe,
    Here’s a situation I encountered in class. The IT department doesn’t install upgrades as soon as they are out or in this case when a new DSLR is introduced. Most of the time the camera manufacturers don’t make changes to their file formats but I had a situation last semester when the new Nikon .NEF format was not supported, so the Macs in the lab could not read the file.

    I had warned the student not to shoot raw since he had just bought the very latest Nikon DSLR. He didn’t heed my warning, so he sat in class frustrated. In this case Adobe had not updated their Camera Raw software to read that new file. It would have alright if he had the bundled Nikon software but he didn’t.

  2. Hey Peter…

    What did you mean about Adobe catching up with the RAW shooters? I am processing my RAW shots with Adobe products. Is there a new format that I am unaware of?

    Thanks, Sabe

  3. Jo,
    You are a riot. Let me assure you when I wrote that, I didn’t have the Catholic church in mind.

    I do agree that they are in their current dilemma because of their resistance to change. 😉

  4. “Get past your nostalgia and being so in love with your present body, it’s not engineered to last forever.”

    Just change one word and we’ve got spiritual advice worthy of Jesus himself. I love it! Thanks, Peter (especially right now with the Pope resigning and all . . . we need all the advice we can get).

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