Finding Your Camera’s Current Shutter Actuations
Here’s how you can easily find your shutter count for your camera using free software. This is something even non-technical people can do. I recently purchased a used camera and wanted to know how many times the shutter button was pressed. In other words, how many pictures were taken by the previous owner.
I searched all over for a free, quick, and simple solution. What did I find? There’s no applications out there that do it for you with a simple click for free.
Here’s what I found that works quite well. We’re going to boot a linux operating system using virtualbox and then run a command line program called gphoto2. It’s a lot easier than you think and only takes about 15 minutes. Before starting, just confirm your camera is supported by gphoto2, which is what we will use to get the count. Most cameras are supported.
If you would rather pay a small fee, you can always opt for this site - eoscount.com. It uses Internet Explorer, so you will need Windows.
Here’s a walk-through in 4 easy steps with screenshots.
Step 1: Download and install VirtualBox for windows or mac and also download Fedora. Download the 32-bit Desktop Edition. This is a linux OS. It’s about 646MB. We will use Fedora as your bootable virtual image. You can follow the default settings when installing VirtualBox.
Click on the ‘New’ button to get started. You’ll need find and select your fedora download as the bootable source. Once you find and select the fedora downloaded file, give it a name. Here I aptly named it Fedora.
This is a default setting. The remaining screen options can be set at the default values.
Use default setting. I reduced it to 2GB, but it doesn’t matter for this application.
Now click the green start arrow at the top to boot up a virtual fedora operating system.
Step 2: Virtual Fedora boots up within minutes. You should soon see the desktop.
We just want to ‘Try Fedora’ not install it to the hard drive, unless you want to.
Click on ‘Activities’ at the top right corner. Use the search bar to find and open ‘terminal’ which is the command prompt utility.
Step 3: Plug your camera in via USB. Click on the usb icon in the dock on the bottom right. Right click it and select your camera.
Click on the third icon from the left. It’s an image usb port connection. Select your camera. In my case it’s Canon.
Step 4: Then run these commands in sequential order.
(This gives you root privileges when running commands)
yum install gphoto2
(this line installs gphoto2 which is a small command line app that reads your camera)
gphoto2 --get-config /main/status/shuttercounter
(this will read your camera and spit out some stats)
Here I already had gphoto2 installed so I just ran the sudo command and then the command to read the camera’s shutter count. My camera arrived with less than 1,000 shutter clicks. I added a few hundred shutter counts myself, which is why it’s higher now.
You can now plug in your other cameras and find out how many camera shutter counts they have. All cameras have a limit before the shutter will physically break, so it’s good to know where you stand. If you’re over the manufacturer’s limit, then it could break at any time and will need repairs or you can just purchase a new camera body. I hope this is helpful for anyone searching for a free basic solution for find a camera shutter count.