Shutter count madness when selling cameras

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
Ok, I admit that this might be mostly just a rant, but I had to get it off my chest...

I've been trying to sell a 5D MkIV recently. Based on the shutter count I bought it at, I knew it was probably around 80,000. Cosmetically it's in great shape, and all the buttons and dials work perfectly. I didn't have the one (paid) program that seems to read the shutter count on the MkIV, so I started off just listing it for sale as is with no shutter count mentioned. Just about every person asking about the camera has asked about the shutter count, which is understandable and I somewhat predicted. At first I told them I estimated it was around 80,000, but then as the inquires piled up, I broke down and spent the few bucks to get the program to actually read it.

Sure enough, shutter count is 80,081. It is ridiculous to me how many people are taken aback at how many clicks are on the shutter. People treat it like the camera is on its last legs and should be steeply discounted just because it has somewhat more clicks than a lot of cameras. I had one lady tell me that a shop quoted her $450 to replace the shutter, and she didn't want a camera where she would have to "put another $500 in it this summer in case things start to go downhill." (Somehow the supposed $450 cost to replace the shutter suddenly became $500.) This was after she already stated that her use of the camera would be relatively low compared to most people.

I informed her that the camera is rated to 150,000, so it's unlikely with low use she would hit that for many years. Even so, I offered to come down a little less than half the cost of a shutter replacement ($200) since the shutter still had half its life left, and even on a used camera with light use, you would still have some wear on the shutter.

Ultimately I know this is just the camera equivalent of kicking tires on a car, but it's ridiculous how fixated people are on shutter count, how unreasonable people seem to be when it's really just a $400 service to take it back to zero, and how shocked they are that a pro level camera would reach into the tens of thousands of clicks. All from people who I'm willing to bet have never actually used a camera enough to experience a shutter failure themselves. :cautious:
 
P

Pookie

Guest
Caveat emptor -
/ˌkavēˌät ˈem(p)ˌtôr/
noun

  1. the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made

You're selling a used "pro" camera that you bought used and are complaining about people asking about its use/condition ?!?!? HOW DARE THEY !!!! You ever sell on eBay? You know the "no return" clause and how it means nothing? Anyone, and I do mean anyone can complain up to 45 days and still return the item you sold as "no returns"(at your loss). Whats your return policy?

The shutter count is a good estimate of a cameras use, its possible abuse and its possible remaining life. The mark 4 was out on 25 August 2016. You've had yours for since (?) as the second owner and have 80k shutter actuations, that's not abnormal but it's isn't an open box item or a lightly used camera by any stretch of the imagination. You're not offering a return policy of 30 or 45 days are you? You're selling an expensive item that could easily turn into an expensive brick. The buyer should take on that risk and just dump another 500$ into it if it needs it? (it's just 500 right? no biggie). And, NO, replacing the shutter doesn't take the camera back to zero... you get a new shutter in a heavily used body.

If these types of question bother you so much you shouldn't be selling used gear. If I was a buyer and got a hint you were annoyed by these types of questions I'd be seeing a huge red flag and move on :unsure:
 
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Reactions: Keith_Reeder

Keith_Reeder

No apologies for not suffering fools gladly...
Feb 8, 2014
749
211
58
Blyth, NE England
It's one of the first questions I ask when buying used - and indeed was the specific basis for me choosing the 1D X I did buy from Warehouse Express (at c. 30k shutter activations), as opposed to the ones I didn't...

Why do you think that websites like that - and MPB - make a specific point of providing shutter count information, OP?

Stupid not to show an interest in shutter count when buying used, in my view...
 
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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,950
1,336
Canada
When I buy I used car, all I care about is if the upholstery is in pristine condition. I don’t care if it is low or high mileage or how it was driven....

Sounds silly, doesn’t it..... why would buying a used camera be any different?

I want to know how much use it has seen and what that use was like. Does the body have 5000 actuations and was it used inside, or is it 100,000 and it saw a rough life in the field?

I have friends who have yet to take enough pictures with their DSLR to fill a memory card. My 7D2 is at 90,000 shots, with a lot of them in winter. It has spent 5 days on a hike continuously below freezing, been out at +40 and -40, used in the rain, been in salt spray on the Atlantic Ocean, and bounced around far more than I care to mention. Which of those two bodies would you prefer to buy? I wouldn’t buy mine.......
 
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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,468
501
119
Well it can be a number with some meaning, but only when used in the context of other information. I have seen mint cameras with very high shutter counts that have been used primarily for time lapses where internal mechanical wear could be a legitimate concern, not just shutter but mirror box as well. Conversely I have seen beaters with very low shutter counts, I have a 1VHS with 36 rolls through it that sat in a bag as a backup for years and whilst not abused it doesn't look like a 36 roll camera.

I just bought a Toyota Tundra with 360,000 miles on it, but it is a one owner vehicle that was serviced every 5,000 miles, put that history and the fact it has never seen a salty road makes me confident it has a lot of life left in it yet.

As always, people learn of a metric but don't get the relevance of applying that information in a useful way.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
425
390
Sometimes, a very low shutter "mileage" sounds suspicious too.
Has the camera perhaps been used extensively for video? This could (I presume...) mean wear to the sensor which is quite expensive to replace. Anyway, the shutter- count remains, with the external visible condition, the main reason for buying or not buying a camera! And 80000 actuations are no peanuts.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,468
501
119
I don't see how video 'wears' a sensor.

As for 80,000 shutter actuations, I consider that fair use, if you are buying secondhand then you are buying secondhand! You are paying a fraction of the price of new because the item is not new, if you want zero counts then sign up at B&H!
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
For everyone criticizing me, please re-read my original post carefully. It's not that I think it's unreasonable to ask about the shutter count, it's unreasonable to ask for the shutter count, hear that it's 80,000 on a 5D, and act like the camera is on its last legs and about to fail. The general population looking to buy cameras seems to have been informed enough to ask about shutter count, but not informed enough to realize that a 5D with 80,000 still has about half its expected life left in the shutter. It's a professional level camera, some of them actually get used as a professional tool as opposed to just setting on the shelf because they were bought by someone who has too much money and just wants a 5D because they think it will let them take better photos.

I was especially annoyed with the person who suggested she might need to "put another $500 into it this summer" and also stated in the same message that she would only use it lightly. Someone who only uses a camera lightly could probably buy a camera with 80,000 on the shutter and absolutely never need to service it for the entire time they own the camera.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,950
1,336
Canada
For everyone criticizing me, please re-read my original post carefully. It's not that I think it's unreasonable to ask about the shutter count, it's unreasonable to ask for the shutter count, hear that it's 80,000 on a 5D, and act like the camera is on its last legs and about to fail. The general population looking to buy cameras seems to have been informed enough to ask about shutter count, but not informed enough to realize that a 5D with 80,000 still has about half its expected life left in the shutter. It's a professional level camera, some of them actually get used as a professional tool as opposed to just setting on the shelf because they were bought by someone who has too much money and just wants a 5D because they think it will let them take better photos.

I was especially annoyed with the person who suggested she might need to "put another $500 into it this summer" and also stated in the same message that she would only use it lightly. Someone who only uses a camera lightly could probably buy a camera with 80,000 on the shutter and absolutely never need to service it for the entire time they own the camera.
I don’t think they were criticizing you (I certainly was not), but were criticizing the people who look at that one metric and forget everything else.
 
Mar 14, 2012
251
6
I've been asked the age of "L" lenses. Condition was irrelevant. I''ve been asked to look at the date code. Do lenses have an expiration date?
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
I don’t think they were criticizing you (I certainly was not), but were criticizing the people who look at that one metric and forget everything else.
Ok, maybe I took it the wrong way. I thought people were saying that I was acting as if I thought it was unreasonable that people wanted to know the shutter count.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,184
1,462
I've been asked the age of "L" lenses. Condition was irrelevant. I''ve been asked to look at the date code. Do lenses have an expiration date?
No, but they are subject to wear and tear, so knowing the age of a lens can certainly factor into a buying decision
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,169
375
Why do you think that websites like that - and MPB - make a specific point of providing shutter count information, OP?
IMO that is a circular argument. in most cases they put it in their adverts because they know people will ask. I think the OPs point is that even people to whom they shutter count makes no difference (as for his potential buyer) they think it is a question they should adk, and when they have the info do not understand how it affects them.
 

Keith_Reeder

No apologies for not suffering fools gladly...
Feb 8, 2014
749
211
58
Blyth, NE England
IMO that is a circular argument. in most cases they put it in their adverts because they know people will ask.
Why do you think that is?
I think the OPs point is that even people to whom they shutter count makes no difference (as for his potential buyer) they think it is a question they should ask, and when they have the info do not understand how it affects them.
I think you're reading far more into the OP's post than is actually there. He seems (in fact he admits) to be ranting about the simple fact of people asking - and positioning himself as someone who "knows" better:
All from people who I'm willing to bet have never actually used a camera enough to experience a shutter failure themselves.
I've been around long enough to have had several shutter failures - and I ask...
 

Keith_Reeder

No apologies for not suffering fools gladly...
Feb 8, 2014
749
211
58
Blyth, NE England
For everyone criticizing me, please re-read my original post carefully. It's not that I think it's unreasonable to ask about the shutter count, it's unreasonable to ask for the shutter count, hear that it's 80,000 on a 5D, and act like the camera is on its last legs and about to fail.
Then maybe you shouldn't have started with:
Ok, I admit that this might be mostly just a rant
Included:
It is ridiculous to me how many people are taken aback at how many clicks are on the shutter.
And ended with:
All from people who I'm willing to bet have never actually used a camera enough to experience a shutter failure themselves.
Because in my reading you sure seem to be condescendingly dismissive of (in your opinion) uninformed people who you think you know better than...
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,184
1,462
I think the OPs point is that even people to whom they shutter count makes no difference (as for his potential buyer) they think it is a question they should adk, and when they have the info do not understand how it affects them.
It’s a number, like mileage on a used car. Certainly, it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know (like a ‘low’ 1000 miles but all in first gear at 6000 rpm). But it doesn’t take a lot of understanding to conclude that the lower the number, the better. As a seller, it’s unlikely you will be the only one offering a given item and if other offers have a lower shutter count (or a later lens date code), most buyers would prefer that.

I suspect the real reason for the OP’s rant is that he’s having trouble selling a camera with 80,000 clicks for top dollar.
 
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Pookie

Guest
I suspect the real reason for the OP’s rant is that he’s having trouble selling a camera with 80,000 clicks for top dollar.
Exactly... If at a decent price this camera would sell easily. It's the one thing the OP left out of his rant... his asking price. Camera bodies are consumables, more so than most anything else in photography. It's the reason for a shutter count.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
$1900, even offered $1800 to someone, no one will take it. Most on ebay seem to be around $2000-$2200 at this point.

I didn't want to post the price because I didn't want this post to be seen as me trying to sneak a classified ad onto this forum.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,184
1,462
$1900, even offered $1800 to someone, no one will take it. Most on ebay seem to be around $2000-$2200 at this point.

I didn't want to post the price because I didn't want this post to be seen as me trying to sneak a classified ad onto this forum.
A gray market 5DIV can be bought for $2200...that’s a brand new camera. What the market is telling you is that your camera is not worth what you think it’s worth. Sorry.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
Well if you're bringing grey market into this, that's an entirely other variable.

Here is one with 60k that just sold for $1850:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-IV-30-4MP-Digital-SLR-Camera-Black-Body-Only/293031042155?epid=230154655&hash=item443a02dc6b:g:LDsAAOSwUnJciSL-

And one with 107k that just sold for $1900:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-IV-30-4MP-Digital-SLR-Camera-Black-Body-Only/293031042155?epid=230154655&hash=item443a02dc6b:g:LDsAAOSwUnJciSL-

I don't feel that I'm off base here.

Also, full disclosure, on ebay I do have it listed for more because of ebay's selling fees. I do not expect to sell it on ebay. I just have it up there because if someone wants to pay a higher price that offsets the fees, I'm certainly not going to say no. But I'm trying to sell it locally without fees. And yes you could argue that maybe the price would even be less for a local sale, so I admit that. But I still don't feel that $1800-$1900 is out of line.