What is Shutter in Camera ?

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Shutter in a camera especially a DSLR camera, plays an important role. The time delay between opening and closing of the shutter defines the shutter speed in photography. Shutter speed defines the exposure when combined with ISO and Aperture.

Shutter in Camera

Shutter is basically a curtain in front of the image sensor of the camera. The shutter is generally in closed condition and does not allow any light to pass through to the sensor. When the user presses the shutter release button to take the photograph , the shutter opens and exposes the camera sensor with the light coming from the lens.

Depending on the chosen shutter speed value the shutter eventually closes again. This stops the light collection by the sensor.

The time for which the shutter is open is called as shutter speed. The name shutter speed might be confusing but it is actually measured in terms of time . It is basically the time period between opening and closing of the shutter.

Below image shows the exact position of shutter in a camera.

DSLR Full form

Parts of DSLR camera

  1. Lens
  2. Mirror
  3. Shutter
  4. Image Sensor
  5. Focusing screen
  6. Condenser lens
  7. Pentaprism
  8. Eye Piece
Shutter in DSLR camera

What is shutter count in DSLR camera ?

Shutter count is the number of times the shutter was opened and closed during the life of the camera. Shutter count is a critical reliability and durability parameter of the camera . Modern DSLR cameras are tested to provide very high shutter count values i.e high shutter life.

Typical DSLR cameras offer 200,000 shutter actuations of shutter life. Lower shutter count is better if you are buying a used camera.

Shutter in Mirrorless camera

Mirrorless cameras are not like DSLRs. They don’t need a pentaprism or mirror box to project light into the viewfinder. Instead, when using a mirrorless camera the sensor is perpetually exposed to incoming light by default with nothing in-between. This is why mirrorless cameras use either an LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder to monitor what is coming through the lens.

You can read more about how shutters work in detail in this post here.

How to Find Your Camera’s Shutter Actuation Count

It is important to know the shutter actuation count of a camera when you’re looking to sell or buy a camera , especially a used one . This number is how many times the shutter has been fired on that camera. Different cameras depending on their usage pattern may have different shutter counts for same number of years. This is just as if you were purchasing a car. You wouldn’t buy a vehicle without knowing its mileage.

Professional cameras offer shutter count reliability in the range of 400,000 while most typical cameras last up to 200,000 shutter count.

Finding shutter count online

Each photo’s EXIF data contains the shutter count. All you need to do is take a photo and upload the file to the website myshuttercount.com. The website will then show you the exact number of that photo.

How to determine the shutter count for Canon cameras

You can upload your photo file to camerashuttercount.com. Although it claims that it works with many Canon cameras, there is a possibility that some won’t.

If this doesn’t work, then you’ll need to download a program called EOS Info. Although it may not work with the 500D series DSLRs, the website suggests that it might be worth a try. You just need to connect your camera to your computer using the USB cable, and then run the program. The program will give you a lot of information including the shutter count.

EOS Info will only work on Windows computers, but you can use the older 40D Shutter Count program if you are a Mac user. Other DSLR cameras, including the 1D series, will work with EOS Info.