Do You Know How Many Times Your Shutter Has Gone Click?

I found out something very cool this weekend and I thought I would share it with you. As you may know, I had my D3100 up for auction on eBay last week so I could make some room in my stable for the next camera (probably a T3i). I listed the camera as “like NEW” because I had taken so few images with it that it really was like new. Well someone that was interested in bidding sent me an email and asked if I knew just how many actual shutter actuations the camera has had. The truth is that I had no idea and as far as I knew, there was no real way to find out so I sent him back a reply and told him it was probably under 200 but I had no way to know for sure. He was nice enough to answer back to tell me that the shutter actuation info is actually recorded in the EXIF data. He also recommended a program called Opanda IExif for reading it.

I have a lot of photo programs so I thought that surely I already had something that could read the EXIF and wouldn’t need to download anything else. First I looked at Lightroom since I already store my images there. I went to the Library and clicked on the Metadata tab and set the Metadata Set to Exif but there was no shutter info to be found.

Then I right-clicked on the image thumbnail and had Lightroom find the image in Explorer. I right-clicked the image in the Explorer window and then clicked on Properties, thinking that maybe the info I was after would be in the Details section, but once again it was not.

Having failed twice, I was sure my next option would be a winner so I opened the image in Photoshop CS5 and then clicked on File – File Info… to open up the rather extensive information window. I scoured through every tab in the panel, starting with Description and ending in Raw Data but I couldn’t find what I was after.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and downloaded Opanda and installed it (it’s a Windows only program). I opened it up and then just dragged the image from my Windows Explorer into the program window. Almost instantly a thumbnail of the image appeared in the upper-left corner and the right-hand panel filled with a bevy of camera data. Every little detail was there; camera make, model, date, time, ISO, shutter-speed, etc., etc. It took me a little while but after reading all the data I finally found the nugget that I was looking for – Total Number of Shutter Releases for Camera – 120.

So here’s what I found out, this particular program only works with JPEG files so you won’t have any luck trying to drag RAW images in. There is a Pro version that supports TIFF files but I couldn’t find anything about RAW support so we will just assume it doesn’t have it. Also, the Shutter Actuation thing does not work with Canon cameras. Apparently Canon does not import that information into their EXIF files. There is supposedly a way for a Canon service person to determine the number of shutter actuations but nothing the regular Joe on the street can do. I don’t have any info on other camera manufacturers but I would be interested to know if any of you Sony/Pentax/Olympus folks out there have looked.

So why is the camera shutter actuation so important? Well, I guess it’s like knowing the actual miles on a used car. Most dSLR cameras have shutters that are said to be good for at least 100,000 actuations. It’s true that a shutter can fail long before that, but wouldn’t it be nice to know if that camera you are thinking of buying has been gently used or is nearing the reasonable life-cycle for the shutter and might be staring at some service time in the near future.

The Opanda IExif software is free to download and can be found here. If you know of any other software or methods for viewing this full Exif data, I would love to hear from you.


  1. I wrote which works with RAW files, you can see compatible models on the front page.

  2. Hi Trey,

    If one’s not command-line challenged, there is the PERL script exiftool. Perl is available on all platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac Os/X (pre-installed on Linux and Mac) but the exiftool interface needs one to install the Image::ExifTool CPAN (Perl Library) package.

    Here’s an example of simply typing “exiftool Henry_Moore_20090419_0011.jpg”

    ExifTool Version Number : 8.10
    File Name : Henry_Moore_20090419_0011.jpg
    Directory : .
    File Size : 1084 kB
    File Modification Date/Time : 2009:04:21 09:06:37+01:00
    File Permissions : rw-r–r–
    File Type : JPEG
    MIME Type : image/jpeg
    JFIF Version : 1.02
    Exif Byte Order : Little-endian (Intel, II)
    Make : Canon
    Camera Model Name : Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    Orientation : Horizontal (normal)
    X Resolution : 240
    Y Resolution : 240
    Resolution Unit : inches
    Software : Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
    Modify Date : 2009:04:21 09:06:36
    Artist : Photographer: Andrew Macpherson
    Copyright : Copyright (c) 2009 Andrew Macpherson, all rights reserved
    Exposure Time : 1/250
    F Number : 6.3
    Exposure Program : Aperture-priority AE
    ISO : 250
    Exif Version : 0221
    Date/Time Original : 2009:04:19 14:21:33
    Create Date : 2009:04:19 14:21:33
    Shutter Speed Value : 1/250
    Aperture Value : 6.3
    Exposure Compensation : 0
    Max Aperture Value : 2.8
    Metering Mode : Multi-segment
    Flash : Off, Did not fire
    Focal Length : 14.0 mm
    Sub Sec Time : 01
    Sub Sec Time Original : 01
    Sub Sec Time Digitized : 01
    Color Space : sRGB
    Exif Image Width : 1620
    Exif Image Height : 1080
    Focal Plane X Resolution : 3849.211789
    Focal Plane Y Resolution : 3908.141962
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit : inches
    Custom Rendered : Normal
    Exposure Mode : Auto
    Scene Capture Type : Standard
    Compression : JPEG (old-style)
    Thumbnail Offset : 900
    Thumbnail Length : 4927
    Current IPTC Digest : aff825805f8c05d27275b01c9c797c60
    Application Record Version : 0
    By-line : Photographer: Andrew Macpherson
    Copyright Notice : Copyright (c) 2009 Andrew Macpherson, all rights reserved
    IPTC Digest : aff825805f8c05d27275b01c9c797c60
    Displayed Units X : inches
    Displayed Units Y : inches
    Global Angle : 30
    Global Altitude : 30
    Copyright Flag : True
    Photoshop Thumbnail : (Binary data 4927 bytes, use -b option to extract)
    Photoshop Quality : 12
    Photoshop Format : Standard
    Progressive Scans : 3 Scans
    XMP Toolkit : Adobe XMP Core 4.2.2-c063 53.352624, 2008/07/30-18:05:41
    Native Digest : 256,257,258,259,262,274,277,284,530,531,282,283,296,301,318,319,529,532,306,270,271,272,305,315,33432;9E9C04CC15B6E4F9CDF6D55DD175DE57
    Date/Time Digitized : 2009:04:19 14:21:33.01+01:00
    Rating : 0
    Metadata Date : 2009:04:21 09:06:36+01:00
    Serial Number : 330112969
    Lens Info : 14/1 14/1 0/0 0/0
    Lens : EF14mm f/2.8L II USM
    Image Number : 0
    Flash Compensation : 0
    Owner Name : Andrew Macpherson
    Firmware : 1.0.6
    Source : Andrew Macpherson
    Color Mode : 3
    ICC Profile Name : sRGB IEC61966-2.1
    Format : image/jpeg
    Marked : True
    Raw File Name : Henry_Moore_20090419_0011.dng
    Version : 5.3
    White Balance : As Shot
    Temperature : 5350
    Tint : +13
    Exposure : +0.05
    Shadows : 2
    Brightness : +74
    Contrast : +32
    Saturation : 0
    Sharpness : 25
    Luminance Smoothing : 0
    Color Noise Reduction : 25
    Chromatic Aberration R : 0
    Chromatic Aberration B : 0
    Vignette Amount : 0
    Shadow Tint : 0
    Red Hue : 0
    Red Saturation : 0
    Green Hue : 0
    Green Saturation : 0
    Blue Hue : 0
    Blue Saturation : 0
    Fill Light : 0
    Vibrance : 0
    Highlight Recovery : 0
    Clarity : 0
    Defringe : 0
    Hue Adjustment Red : 0
    Hue Adjustment Orange : 0
    Hue Adjustment Yellow : 0
    Hue Adjustment Green : 0
    Hue Adjustment Aqua : 0
    Hue Adjustment Blue : 0
    Hue Adjustment Purple : 0
    Hue Adjustment Magenta : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Red : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Orange : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Yellow : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Green : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Aqua : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Blue : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Purple : 0
    Saturation Adjustment Magenta : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Red : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Orange : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Yellow : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Green : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Aqua : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Blue : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Purple : 0
    Luminance Adjustment Magenta : 0
    Split Toning Shadow Hue : 0
    Split Toning Shadow Saturation : 0
    Split Toning Highlight Hue : 0
    Split Toning Highlight Saturation: 0
    Split Toning Balance : 0
    Parametric Shadows : 0
    Parametric Darks : 0
    Parametric Lights : 0
    Parametric Highlights : 0
    Parametric Shadow Split : 25
    Parametric Midtone Split : 50
    Parametric Highlight Split : 75
    Sharpen Radius : +1.0
    Sharpen Detail : 25
    Sharpen Edge Masking : 0
    Post Crop Vignette Amount : 0
    Convert To Grayscale : False
    Tone Curve Name : Medium Contrast
    Camera Profile : Adobe Standard
    Camera Profile Digest : 3DA8CE4A626CE36A1D0C55BF157793C9
    Has Settings : True
    Has Crop : False
    Already Applied : True
    Instance ID : xmp.iid:43E06C116120681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Document ID : xmp.did:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Original Document ID : xmp.did:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Flash Fired : False
    Flash Return : No return detection
    Flash Mode : Off
    Flash Function : False
    Flash Red Eye Mode : False
    Creator : Photographer: Andrew Macpherson, Andrew Macpherson
    Rights : Copyright (c) 2009 Andrew Macpherson, all rights reserved
    Usage Terms : No Tobacco, No Organised Religion
    Tone Curve : 0, 0, 32, 22, 64, 56, 128, 128, 192, 196, 255, 255
    History Action : saved, converted, derived, saved, saved, saved
    History Instance ID : xmp.iid:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5, xmp.iid:921AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5, xmp.iid:42E06C116120681195FE9A3C749BEEE5, xmp.iid:43E06C116120681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    History When : 2009:04:21 07:36:00+01:00, 2009:04:21 07:36:00+01:00, 2009:04:21 09:06:36+01:00, 2009:04:21 09:06:36+01:00
    History Software Agent : Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
    History Changed : /, /, /, /
    History Parameters : from image/tiff to image/jpeg, converted from image/tiff to image/jpeg
    Derived From Instance ID : xmp.iid:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Derived From Document ID : xmp.did:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Derived From Original Document ID: xmp.did:911AEB635420681195FE9A3C749BEEE5
    Creator Address : 5 The Red Lion
    Creator City : Much Hadham
    Creator Region : Hertfordshire
    Creator Postal Code : SG10 6DD
    Creator Country : Great Britain
    Creator Work Telephone : +44 1279 843147
    Creator Work Email : WITHELD IN THIS LISTING
    Creator Work URL :
    Profile CMM Type : Lino
    Profile Version : 2.1.0
    Profile Class : Display Device Profile
    Color Space Data : RGB
    Profile Connection Space : XYZ
    Profile Date Time : 1998:02:09 06:49:00
    Profile File Signature : acsp
    Primary Platform : Microsoft Corporation
    CMM Flags : Not Embedded, Independent
    Device Manufacturer : IEC
    Device Model : sRGB
    Device Attributes : Reflective, Glossy, Positive, Color
    Rendering Intent : Media-Relative Colorimetric
    Connection Space Illuminant : 0.9642 1 0.82491
    Profile Creator : HP
    Profile ID : 0
    Profile Copyright : Copyright (c) 1998 Hewlett-Packard Company
    Profile Description : sRGB IEC61966-2.1
    Media White Point : 0.95045 1 1.08905
    Media Black Point : 0 0 0
    Red Matrix Column : 0.43607 0.22249 0.01392
    Green Matrix Column : 0.38515 0.71687 0.09708
    Blue Matrix Column : 0.14307 0.06061 0.7141
    Device Mfg Desc : IEC
    Device Model Desc : IEC 61966-2.1 Default RGB colour space – sRGB
    Viewing Cond Desc : Reference Viewing Condition in IEC61966-2.1
    Viewing Cond Illuminant : 19.6445 20.3718 16.8089
    Viewing Cond Surround : 3.92889 4.07439 3.36179
    Viewing Cond Illuminant Type : D50
    Luminance : 76.03647 80 87.12462
    Measurement Observer : CIE 1931
    Measurement Backing : 0 0 0
    Measurement Geometry : Unknown (0)
    Measurement Flare : 0.999%
    Measurement Illuminant : D65
    Technology : Cathode Ray Tube Display
    Red Tone Reproduction Curve : (Binary data 2060 bytes, use -b option to extract)
    Green Tone Reproduction Curve : (Binary data 2060 bytes, use -b option to extract)
    Blue Tone Reproduction Curve : (Binary data 2060 bytes, use -b option to extract)
    DCT Encode Version : 100
    APP14 Flags 0 : [14]
    APP14 Flags 1 : (none)
    Color Transform : YCbCr
    Image Width : 1620
    Image Height : 1080
    Encoding Process : Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
    Bits Per Sample : 8
    Color Components : 3
    Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling : YCbCr4:4:4 (1 1)
    Aperture : 6.3
    Image Size : 1620×1080
    Scale Factor To 35 mm Equivalent: 3.4
    Shutter Speed : 1/250
    Create Date : 2009:04:19 14:21:33.01
    Date/Time Original : 2009:04:19 14:21:33.01
    Modify Date : 2009:04:21 09:06:36.01
    Thumbnail Image : (Binary data 4927 bytes, use -b option to extract)
    Circle Of Confusion : 0.009 mm
    Field Of View : 41.6 deg
    Focal Length : 14.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 47.4 mm)
    Hyperfocal Distance : 3.50 m
    Light Value : 12.0

    • Jeff,

      Sorry about the wrong salutation, I had just been reading Stuck in Customs writing about an upcoming Photowalk, and
      got confused.

      You will already have exiftool installed on your Mac if you’ve installed GPSPhotoLinker.

  3. FYI, for checking shutter counts of Canon DSLR cameras, check out (Windows and Mac versions available).

  4. It is in Photoshop >> File Info >> Advanced >>Schema >> ImageNumber

    Verified using the tool you mentioned.

  5. You can use the application Preview (installed with Mac OSX). Select “Show Inspector” under Tools in the menu bar. Then the Info tab, then the EXIF tab and scroll down to Image Number.

  6. Olympus has a fairly convoluted way of finding out the info. But it can be done with added software. Here is the link,

  7. PhotoMe : read and edit exif, free, works with raw…

    PS : I’m kind of shocked to find out that you wrote a book about a camera after only 120 shutter releases…

    • Well, considering I had already written books on the D5000 and the D3000, it didn’t take too many frames to wrap my head around the D3100.

  8. There is a free exif viewer called Kuso Exif Viewer. You can access an images’ Exif data by simply right clicking on the actual file. You can then able to scroll through other images in the same folder without having to open each individual file. You can also customise the viewer with only the exif information you want. Check it out, it’s free!

  9. None of the comments work if you converted to .dng upon import to Lightroom. All of the image number places say 0.

  10. This is an interesting article. I like the analogy between the shutter actuation and miles on a used car. I hope to upgrade to a DSLR camera one day.

  11. Kathy Nairn says:

    May 2010, I purchased the Canon T2i to make my main camera while keeping my Nikon D40x as my backup. Having a Flickr account for a number of years, I noticed that Flickr is reporting the exif data of uploaded images (on a separate page for the image) and makes it available to the public unless you turn it off (or make it private). For the Nikon D40x images on my Flickr account, I can see the number of actuations on the Exif data page of the image(s). However, I do not see that particular data for the Canon. There is a little bit of a difference in the exif data reporting between the Canon and the Nikon that Flickr shows. Someone else might know why but I haven’t a clue. The only way I currently know the number of actuations is that my IMG numbers do not reset. So I think it’s safe to assume that IMG_3450 means my shutter has clicked 3,450 times.

    • Kathy, for some reason Canon changed the Exif data on the T2i to NOT include shutter actuations. I’m not sure why but it is nowhere to be found for this particular model. Also, you can use the image file name if you have never reset it in the menu. Also, I believe it will roll over after 9999 images. Also, if you are shooting tethered to a computer, there is no file name generated since the image goes directly to the computer. However I think it’s safe to say that it will still be in the general ballpark in terms of number of images shot.

  12. If you use Photo Mechanic, it can read the actuations as well

  13. Thank you for taking time to write about your trouble to find out about your shutter count. I just bought a Nikon D5000. The onwer said he took about 1500 pictures. I had no way of verifying and am really interested in know how many clicked there was on the camera.

  14. You can see the shutter counter in photoshop, only that is is not in the first tab that you opened, it appears in the tab “Advanced”.

  15. JS Photography says:

    You are able to find the clicks in photo shop. Just go to file and then click file info and go to the advanced tape. Then click on the file called Schema and look for the image number.


  1. Do You Know How Many Times Your Shutter Has Gone Click? Photography.alltop

  2. Ingrid Owens says:

    Do You Know How Many Times Your Shutter Has Gone Click? [esp useful if your selling your gear]

  3. Aloha Lavina says:

    Do you know how many times your shutter has clicked? #togs

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