Canon: Why Make Shutter Count Inaccessible?

Yesterday I finally decided to part with my Canon gear. I tried everything to make it work but it doesn’t work for me. See my Canon EOS R5 Disappointment post.

So, the first thing I thought a potential buyer of a camera might want to know is the shutter count. It is kind of the milage of the camera. Mechanical shutters have a maximum life expectancy that is published by the camera manufacturer. My Canon EOS R5 has an impressive shutter life of 500,000 actuations. That is a lot even for a professional camera body. Compare that to the shutter rating of the Nikon D850 with a mere 200,000 shutter actuations.

I knew my Canon EOS R5 had a low shutter count. After all, I wasn’t using it that often. In most cases I took it for city and landscape photography. You don’t usually shoot a burst of photos to capture the perfect instance of a landscape or a street view. So I was looking for a way to display the shutter count.

This tiny weeny little detail turned into a major issue. Not only is there now way to display the total shutter count via the menu or via the “Info” button. There is also no simple way to extract that information from EXIF information of photos shot with the camera. Canon somehow managed to obfuscate that information and neither Windows nor Linux EXIF utilities could display the shutter count.

Searching the Internet showed that others had similar issues. One solution was to purchase the ShutterCount application for Mac OS, which I did. I had tried some online shutter count sites but none worked. Nor did some free apps I tried. I paid somewhere around $8 for the app.

Canon EOS R5 shutter count in the Shuttercount application (serial no. truncated)

Connecting my Canon R5 camera via USB to my MacBook Air and switching the camera on and off and on again would finally reveal some information. But the best I could get was “<10,000” actuations. Not exactly a precise shutter count. I hope the buyer will swallow that. Of course there is the issue of “electronic” and “mechanical” shutter count. Electronic shutter doesn’t produce any wear and tear as no mechanical parts are moved. Whereas the mechanical shutter is – you guessed right – a mechanical device that is exposed to wear when used. That’s why there is a shutter life expectancy.

I really don’t get the mindset of Canon executives. What is wrong with their heads? Why don’t you make that information available like all other manufacturers? One way or another you can get the shutter count of a Nikon, an Olympus (or whatever they call that company now), etc. In fact, I bet the information is there in the first place, just obfuscated. My Linux EXIF viewer finds tons of information but many parts are undocumented or somehow encrypted. I had no luck with Adobe Lightroom or the Canon DPP software.

The more details I discover about my Canon products, the less I want to own them. Canon is making my photography life miserable and I can’t let that happen. I hope I find a buyer who can make better use of that equipment. I’ve lost all confidence in it.

Perhaps you have had better experiences with it. Please share in your comments.

Camera Manufacturers: Please Use Accurate Time Stamps for Image Files

My Canon and Nikon cameras use either the exFAT file system or the (older) FAT file system for image storage on their SD, SDxx, CF, CFexpress or XQD cards. In theory, the exFAT file system supports accurate time stamps up to a precision of 10 milliseconds. The FAT32 file system, in contrast, just offers 2 second accuracy for the modification time, or 10 millisecond for the creation time.

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Nikon D850 Review

Last edited: February 21, 2022

Two and half years ago I wrote a Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview) that – for most potential buyers – came a little late. The D700 was long taken off the shelves, replaced by newer models. This time I try to be a little faster and post my Nikon D850 review when this camera is still sold.

Klausenpass, Switzerland – Nikon D850 with Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 G2 @ 18mm, 1/100s, f10
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Canon EOS R5 Disappointment

Updated on January 21, 2022

In March 2021 I did it: I bought a new camera, and it wasn’t a Nikon! Not that I never owned other cameras. I’m loyal to my wife, not to my camera gear.

I was looking for a way to reduce weight when hiking. At first I bought a Nikon Z6 II and lenses but wasn’t happy with the focus system and switching between rear display and EVF. While on a hike I missed a good opportunity to shoot low flying eagles because of these two issues. To be fair, I had the “cheap” 24-200mm lens mounted, not some top glass. And I had practically no hands-on experience with that camera. Within a few days I returned the equipment and – after all the recommendations, positive reviews as well as out of curiosity – I jumped to the “other” side: I bought the Canon EOS R5 and an assortment of lenses.

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Why Long Tutorials?

Anyone who follows this website will notice that the tutorials are rather long. In these long tutorials I usually give reference specs, explain basic terms or processes, and expand on the how and why.

I wish I could write short, easy, step by step tutorials titled “GPU passthrough made easy” or the “Quick guide to VFIO bliss”. In fact, there are plenty of those out there in the great Internet. Some of the most popular ones are on Youtube, showing you how to get your Windows gaming VM up and running in no time.

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Nvidia And The “hidden state”

No more need to hide the hypervisor

Ever since I started to run a Microsoft Windows VM with GPU passthrough, Nvidia graphics drivers would only support their professional Quadro line of graphics cards in a virtual machine. Ten years ago I bit the bullet and bought an outrageously expensive Nvidia Quadro 2000 GPU. Truth be told – it’s been and still is a great GPU and I currently use it for my Linux host. Back then the Quadro was passed through to a Windows 7 VM running on Xen. It worked great.

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Manjaro Linux

A look at Manjaro Linux from a VFIO passthrough user perspective – the benefits and downsides of using Manjaro as a Linux host

Last year in April I switched from Linux Mint via a short detour to Pop_OS to Manjaro Linux as my host OS. The reasons I chose Manjaro Linux were its up-to-date kernel and software and its well-rounded selection of software packages. However, the latest and greatest kernel and software can come at a price of being less stable. In this post I like to weigh in the pros and cons for Manjaro Linux and what you might want to consider before jumping on the wagon.

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LVM and the Ease of Migrating to a New Drive

Online data relocation to other drives using LVM and pvmove

These days my disks are filling up fast. My current PC holds 7 drives, including 2 NVMe drives. Actually 8 drives as I installed a new HDD today. All of my disks and partitions – with the notable exception of the FAT16 EFI partition for UEFI boot – are using LVM, the Logical Volume Manager.

With the availability of larger drives at reasonable costs, I decided to move some logical volumes (LV) spanning several drives onto one single drive, thus consolidating disks. This one drive will then be mirrored in a RAID-1 configuration for redundancy.

Note: In a multi-drive LVM Logical Volume each drive represents a potential point of failure. Moving the data from multiple drives onto one drive reduces that risk.

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Wildlife in the City

Wildlife in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel – birds in flight and other birds and wildlife photos

Tel Aviv’s Yarkon park is an excellent place to photograph animal wildlife in the city, especially birds. The Yarkon park stretches along the Yarkon river, from the Mediterranean Sea to the neighboring city of Ramat Gan.

Birds shown are egrets, gulls, cormorants, Egyptian geese, moorhens, parakeets and more. Finally there is the hoopoe, Israels national bird.

Click the thumbnail for larger view, then click the “i” (show info) button on the bottom of the image for more information as well as the name of the bird.

The photos were taken with the Nikon D850 or the Nikon D7200 DSLRs using a Nikon 70-200/f4 or a Nikon 200-500/f5.6 lens. Enjoy and come back for updates and more photos.

birds

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Photos from Acre, Israel

This is a selection of photos from Acre, a town in Northern Israel. UNESCO declared Acre, also known as Akko, a “World Heritage Site”. The old city preserves substantial remains of its medieval Crusader buildings beneath the existing Ottoman period town.

Many citizens of Acre, especially those in the old city, live from tourism. Acre has been a popular destination for tourists arriving from abroad, but also Israelis going on a weekend trip. The current CoVID pandemic has practically shut down the old city.

Acre

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