Perhaps you have been enjoying your DSLR very much and are curious if the shutter on your beloved DSLR has approached its life expectancy. Here are some information on how to find out the total shutter actuations.

For both Windows and Mac OS X users, the best tool to use is the ExifTool by Phol Harvey. Simply run the following command in a Windows command window or in Mac’s Terminal window (Replace MyPhoto with the photo file you want to get the shutter count):

exiftool -ShutterCount MyPhoto

ExifTool is a very powerful command-line utility. In Windows, simply drag and drop the photo over its default name “exiftool(-k).exe” and a console window will show you all the Exif information. 

You can rename it to “exiftool(-k -a -u -g1 -w txt).exe” to get it to write the Exif information into a text file. This assumes that the shutter actuation count is actually recorded in the Exif.

For more details on how to use ExifTool, please check out the software’s website.

Alternatively, you can try to use software such as PhotoME or Opanda iExif.

Canon DSLR users may want to check out the utility program called EOSInfo (a Windows only program). Please note the following on the EOSInfo website.

The shutter count information is available *only* on Canon DIGIC III/IV DSLRs *except* the 1D* series. This means that EOSInfo will display the shutter counter for the 40D, the 50D, the 450D, 500D, and the 1000D. It will also show the shutter counter for the 5DMkII, but the camera must be power-cycled before the value is updated. The shutter counter will not be displayed (or will be displayed as “0″) on the 1D*, 5D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 300D, 350D, and 400D. It’s not that I have anything against the owners of those cameras, but simply that the Canon SDK does not support retrieving the shutter count for them. UPDATE (08/06/2009): Apparently, Canon has removed the facility for checking the shutter count on the 500D …

If you cannot seem to find the total shutter actuations of your camera, it is possible that the information is not there. The camera manufacturer may choose not to implement it, or it may be hidden somewhere in the camera but not written to the image file.

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