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When buying a new camera, it’s not uncommon to wonder just how many years a digital camera lasts in addition to other factors, such as how much you should spend on a digital camera. Generally, hobbyists or casual photographers can expect their digital cameras to last approximately five years, while a professional photographer may get a longer run from a high-end model.
The only major mechanical component of the device that can shorten its lifespan is the electronic shutter. Shutter count is a number that estimates how many digital images a camera can take before the shutter stops working. You can then use this number to estimate how many years the camera may last. For example, if the shutter count is 200,000 photos and you take 100 photos per day, divide 200,000 by 100 and you get 2,000. This means that your camera will wear out in 2,000 days or 5.47 years. You may also be interested in learning more about other interesting camera details like how many still shots will a digital camera take in one second.
Most cameras are built to provide a high number of shutter actuation, although high-end camera bodies tend to have higher shutter counts compared to mirrorless and beginner-level digital SLR cameras. Check out the list below for the shutter ratings of popular camera bodies:
Without an official release of Sony’s shutter count, it’s rumored that the Sony a9 has a 500,000-shutter count estimation.
The most common mishap in digital photography that threatens the lifespan of a camera is water. Cameras that are dropped in water, especially saltwater, are likely to corrode and suffer damage to internal components.
When your camera falls onto a hard surface, its lifespan can be drastically reduced. Minor accidents, however, like cracking the LCD screen can be repaired at a service center, and even broken lenses can be fixed or replaced.
The least likely way to damage your camera is through an electrical pulse. While a high static charge could blow out the sensitive circuits in your camera, it’s a rare occurrence.
Amateur photographers and casual photographers should expect their cameras to last for about 5-10 years.
What happens when your shutter actuation passes the recommended shutter count?
Your camera can still serve you even after it surpasses its expected shutter life. If the shutter begins to fail, you will notice it before the camera completely dies out. For example, your camera might malfunction at certain shutter speeds or in continuous shooting mode.
Is there a way to future-proof my digital photos?
What is the cost of replacing a DSLR shutter?
The general cost of a shutter replacement on a digital SLR is approximately $400. The price is worth it for higher-end cameras. But if you are using a low-end DSLR, then purchasing a new camera may be a better option.
STAT: Regarding CMOS image sensor manufacturing, Sony Semiconductor Solutions leads with a 48.6% market share. Samsung Electronics and Omni vision follow suit in the second and third position with 20.1% and 12.4% market share, respectively. (source)