321,643 Clicks and Counting

It is always interesting to check the shutter count on our cameras to learn how many photographs we have captured since first acquiring our gear. As part of my camera system maintenance I recently created a spreadsheet so I could track the shutter counts of each of my camera bodies. As of this morning my Nikon 1 cameras have registered a combined total of 321,643 clicks and counting. I bought my first Nikon 1 V2 in August 2013.

NOTE: I’ve added a few images as visual breaks. You can click on them to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-200

When buying used camera bodies, most of us try to do our due diligence by checking the shutter count before we actually purchase a used body.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 160 mm, efov 432 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-250

While I’ve had the shutter mechanism in one of my previous DSLR camera bodies replaced under warranty, I’ve never had a camera body fail because of a shutter wearing out. It would be interesting to learn about the experiences readers have had in this regard.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-640

For most of us, a camera body will fail more often than not from misuse on our part (e.g. having a non weather proof body get wet), or damage that we have caused by dropping it, or it being knocked over/blown over when on a tripod.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 258 mm, efov 697 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-160

Like many things digital, it is also possible that some of the main circuitry inside the bodies of our cameras will fail before the shutter mechanism does.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 132 mm, efov 356 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-640

If we live in hot, damp climates and do not store our gear properly in humidity controlled environments it may develop mould or fungus inside which will eventually cause it to fail, long before a shutter wears out.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 170 mm, efov 459 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-560

The subject matter we photograph and the techniques we use can dramatically affect the wear and tear on our camera’s shutter. For example, many birders shoot using continuous auto-focus and will fill their buffers with fairly long image runs. Landscape and street photography shooters may only take a few images of a scene before moving on.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 224 mm, efov 605 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1000

The Nikon 1 V3 I use for birding has a shutter count of 106,289 compared to the one my wife uses for landscape and travel photography which only has a shutter count of 7,704. My Nikon 1 V2s have shutter counts of 14,505, 57,472 and 91,452. Some of the shutter count is due to them being used for birding. My J5s have shutter counts of 7,485, 17,088, and 19,648 because they are almost never used for birding, and are also newer.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-220

If you would like to know the shutter count of your cameras you can use the link provided.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1800

I plan on tracking my shutter count for each of my Nikon 1 bodies and rotating them as needed to help spread out my usage. I’m also investigating the feasibility of a humidity controlled cabinet for my gear.

What have your experiences been? Have you had any of your cameras’ shutter mechanisms fail? Are you concerned about the shutter count on your camera gear? What are the shutter counts on your cameras? What kinds of precautions do you use when storing your gear?

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about the Nikon 1 system, you may want to have a look at our eBook, The Little Camera That Could. It illustrates the capability of the Nikon 1 system through hundreds of original photographs. There is also commentary and tips about the Nikon 1 system. The cost is $9.99 Canadian.


Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro or PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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10 thoughts on “321,643 Clicks and Counting”

  1. Hi Tom,

    It’s interesting you brought this up. I have had the pleasure of using Nikons for 12 years since jumping on the digital wagon in 2005 with a D70. Early onset of GAS (and one mishap) made me jump to a new model every 1-2-3 years (D80 to D200 to D300 to D7100 to D800) and having been on the seller and buyer ends of the preowned market (only my D80 and D7100 were bought brand new :D), I must say that a lot of the camera bodies in the market I’ve encountered, mine included, are nowhere the rated shutter life ceilings. Maybe, goes to show that a chunk of the users do not maximize their bodies’ utility/usability, before moving on to the next model. Also, that the more casual shooter may have not to be overly concerned with the rated shutter count ceiling since most likely, they will not be breached, or if by chance the figure/s are reached, the shutter will keep on functioning (of course with the caveat that one uses his/her gear with care, store them with prudence). I live in a part of the world where humidity and excessive moisture are a real concern so storage after use is an important factor.

    Onwards to the next 321,463 clicks perhaps for your Nikons!


    PS: What app/site do you personally use to check your camera bodies’ shutter counts?

    1. Hi Oggie,

      This link was embedded in the article, but perhaps not very noticeable, re: shutter count website: https://www.camerashuttercount.com/ I always take a meaningless jpeg image, (the coffee cup on my office desk for example) to use as the sample upload image for the website. When using a high density sensor camera like a D800 it would be a good idea to shoot a small sized jpeg.

      I agree with your comment that it is very likely that most casual photographers never come close to the rated shutter life ceilings, before they sell their camera bodies, moving on to something else. It is my impression that non-pro photographers change out their gear much more frequently than do pro photographers due to the effects of GAS. I have no empirical evidence to support my belief, but it seems to me that pros have more financial incentive to hang onto their gear as long as it remains serviceable and capable of delivery the quality of photographs demanded by their clients.

      The professional wedding photographer that shot my daughter’s wedding did a superb job. She did so with two full frame Canon DSLRs, roughly 3 and 6-7 years old, and a Nikon D300 that was likely at least 10 years old. I suspect that the older Canon and her Nikon D300 could have both been beyond their rated shutter life ceilings.

      How long my Nikon 1 gear will last is unclear at best. I’ve always done my best to keep my camera gear in very good condition with frequent cleaning and prudent use. Since I have a total of 8 Nikon 1 bodies I suppose reaching a 1,000,000 total shutter count milestone is not unrealistic, assuming that my collection of lenses and batteries can hold out. Other than my 1 Nikkor primes and my 10-100 PD which are the lenses I basically only use for client video work, I have duplicate copies of what I consider my critical zoom lenses (6.7-13, 10-100 non-PD, 30-110, and CX 70-300). Time will tell of course… I hope my creativity hangs in there too!


  2. I know they cleaned the sensor, and some of the outside doors had to be replaced. A few of the buttons were also serviced. Unfortunately that was a number of years ago, and I don’t know if I still have a copy of the work order. The price was not too high; and at a guess I would say around $500.00, so a lot less than the cost to buy a replacement. If I come across a copy of the work order, I will update with a further post.

  3. I had a D3X that I used for years to shoot sports with (mostly horse polo at the time). I literally wore the camera out, and had to have it refurbed. I don’t remember the exact count, however it was in the range of 200,000 shots. I also owed a D3S that I primarily used for shooting High School sports (American Football, Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Basketball, Golf, Bowling, Track Events, etc.). I used that camera for several years, and probably racked up another 100,000 or more shots with just it. Since I gave up sports photography, I don’t shoot near as much anymore. My days of shooting 3,000 to 7,000 shots (or more) during a week are over. I would hate to have an exact count.

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