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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Chromatic Aberration Removal in Lightroom

Chromatic aberration (CA) or “color fringing” is a color shift or distortion usually along high contrast edges in a photo. The wider the lens, the more likely it is that you’ll find color fringing in the picture. Old or inadequate lenses can also contribute to color aberration, so does shooting at a wide aperture.

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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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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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Sharpness and the D850

Recently I switched from a 12 MP Nikon D700 to the 46 MP Nikon D850. Along with the 4 times increase in resolution come new challenges. An obvious one is lens sharpness – you’ll be surprised how many “sharp” lenses aren’t that sharp on the D850.

Yet, soft lenses are the least of the problems. If you want to have reasonably sharp photos, you will have to hone your technical photography skills. For any kind of landscape work, the tripod will become your best friend. But often enough you may just want to grab your camera and take photos. Continue reading “Sharpness and the D850”

Nikon D850 – First Impressions

I recently purchased a Nikon D850 to replace my aging D700. I’ve been very happy with my D700 – see Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview). But the 12 megapixel D700 sensor showed its limits, for example when I wanted to crop a photo, or when I was looking for more detail in landscape photos.

In this post I like to share my first impressions of the Nikon D850. I must admit that I didn’t get much use of the D850, so my experience is still that of a newcomer to this camera model (but not to Nikon). The observations I share here are in no particular order of importance, just a list.

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Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview)

Don’t worry – I won’t bore you with yet another camera review with all the nits and bits. This is more a personal farewell, an epigraph if you wish, to a trusted companion that has been on my side on many travels and hikes.

Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco - Nikon D700
Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco (Nikon D700)

In 2010 I bought my third digital camera, the Nikon D700. It was my first camera with a full-frame sensor. Before this, I had the Nikon D70 for six years.

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Photos from Jordan

Photos from a trip to Petra, Jordan. Including the “Siq”, the “Treasury”, the “Street of Facades” and the “Monastery” (A-Deir).

Recently a friend and I traveled to Petra, Jordan, for a 3 day photography trip. Weather in winter (January) can be hit or miss. We were lucky to have a full day of clear sunshine, an evening with partly cloudy to clear sky, and an hour in the morning before the sand storm reached us.

Petra is a fantastic place. I’m sure that with more time we could have explored more of it. Jordan has much more to offer than just Petra, and I’m confident that I will visit again in the not so distant future.

Hope you enjoy the gallery.

Petra
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