R3 Electronic Shutter Cycles Counted

R1-7D

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This thread is just an FYI for R3 users.

I discovered that the Shutter Count app (available for MacOS) counts the R3’s electronic shutter “actuations/release cycles”. I’ve not used the mechanical shutter once on the camera, but I’ve taken approximately 7,200 Electronic Shutter images. The Shutter Count app reports the shutter count as less than or equal to (<) 8,000.

Interestingly, the R3 itself doesn’t show Electronic Shutter actuations. Going into the R3’s menu (wrench icon, tab 5) and to “System Status Display”, the shutter actuations are shown on my camera as less than or equal to (<) 1,000. This is consistent with my non-use of the mechanical shutter, as actuations are only shown in 1,000-shot increments. In other words, I believe the R3, through its own menu and logging system, is only showing mechanical shutter actuations/release cycles.

This is interesting for two reasons:

1. It shows that Canon’s software is actually recording BOTH Electronic Shutter and Mechanical Shutter actuations, even though you, as the user, are really only meant to know the Mechanical Shutter actuation number (in 1,000-shot increments).

2. Don’t go by Shutter Count’s actuation estimate when reselling the camera and a prospective buyer asks about the camera’s shutter count.


I also found a post on DPReview where an owner of two R5’s encountered this issue while using the Shutter Count app. One of his R5’s was showing both his Electronic Shutter and Mechanical Shutter usage combined, and the other R5 was solely showing his Mechanical Shutter usage.

This individual wrote to the developers of Shutter Count, and the developers responded with the following:

"Unfortunately we can't correct what Canon screwed up. Also, corrupted counters will stay this way even if Canon fixes the bug (which seems to be done in firmware 1.4.0), and future actuations are tracked properly. Please note that if you haven't used the fully electronic shutter, then the counter you get will naturally represent the mechanical one."

You can see the thread here:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4616410#forum-post-65717905

I checked my R5, as well, having read the above thread. The Shutter Count app reported my Mechanical Shutter usage accurately (< 3,000); I know it’s accurate because I’ve taken tens of thousands of Electronic Shutter images with my R5, and relatively few Mechanical Shutter images.

Curiously, the R5 does not have the “System Display Status” menu that the R3 has. The only shutter count available through the camera is within the Battery Status menu, and that only shows how many shots have been taken since the last full battery charge.

From what I’ve found online, the “System Display Status” menu is reserved for Pro Bodies; the 1DX, 1DX Mark II, and 1DX Mark III all have the “System Display Status”, too. According to the 1DX and R3 manuals, the “System Display Status” menu’s purpose is to check the camera’s serial number, firmware version, shutter release cycles, and the Error and Caution Log:

https://cam.start.canon/en/C010/manual/html/UG-07_Set-up_0350.html


It’s possible that the same bug in the R5’s firmware (as reported/alleged by the developers of Shutter Count) is present in the R3’s firmware. It’s also possible that Shutter Count has not been updated to properly register the R3 yet, and its current way of reading the shutter count is to combine both Mechanical and Electronic Shutter actuations. Regardless, I thought this information was interesting and decided to pass it along.
 

mkamelg

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Reading the shutter course with an accuracy to a single click is possible only at an authorized Canon service center. Authorized Canon service center on the receipt for the receipt of equipment from repair does not specify the shutter release mode used. How do I know that? I once sent mine R to an authorized Canon service center to check its correct operation, and asked to read the shutter course.

"2875 ZDJĘĆ." equals "2875 PHOTOS."

 
I discovered that the Shutter Count app (available for MacOS) counts the R3’s electronic shutter “actuations/release cycles”. [...] I’ve not used the mechanical shutter once on the camera, but I’ve taken approximately 7,200 Electronic Shutter images. [...] Interestingly, the R3 itself doesn’t show Electronic Shutter actuations. Going into the R3’s menu (wrench icon, tab 5) and to “System Status Display”, the shutter actuations are shown on my camera as less than or equal to (<) 1,000.

Thank you for sharing your discovery and the FYI.
I was equally curious about these details, yet mostly from a warranty coverage perspective.

Preface:
I presume that knowing the statistics behind our camera's operations and "release cycles" is both important (for warranty coverage) and informative (for second-hand buyers seeking to make informed choices, and sellers seeking to differentiate the value of their used camera relative to another). So, with that in mind I had a few community questions to share after reading your post.

Question #1:
Could our "System status display" menu be made less ambiguous by displaying "release cycle" numbers for both mechanical shutter releases and electronic shutter releases?
1642966881245.png
  • Is that something Canon users would value seeing?
  • Pardon my ignorance on the inner workings of a mirrorless camera, or the methodology definition behind counting "releases", but if everything we are doing is being counted (but not necessarily displayed) then perhaps we could collectively reach out to Canon to request that one number be displayed for our mechanical shutter releases, and another number be displayed for our electronic shutter releases. Perhaps they could add that level of detail in a firmware update?

  • As an aside, I suppose we could also flag the nuance that any numbers shown pertain to the camera's usage in photo mode, and not video mode. With that perspective added, perhaps it would also be worthwhile knowing (somehow) the amount of time the camera has continuously operated since its first activation.
    • For example, at present, I rarely use my R3 for video and I like using the mechanical shutter. Yet, I just met someone in my community who told me they seldom use their R3 for still pictures. They noted that upwards of 70% of their business model (and R3 use) is video first and video oriented (and then mostly taking still photos while first filming video). In addition, R1-7D noted that they almost exclusively use the electronic shutter. So, if knowing camera use statistics matters (for different reasons like warranty coverage and resale values), then perhaps all possibilities of camera usage should be accounted for? This distinction between three R3 users leads me to my next question:

Question #2:
If you were seeking to buy a used R3, would you be more interested in knowing how many times the seller used the mechanical shutter, or the whole enchilada with electronic shutter and video included?

  • Does such as question even matter? Perhaps not, but I'm curious because a few years from now my camera will likely show a huge run-up in counts relative to someone who mostly used the electronic shutter (which is not easily visible). Yet, the R3 is less mechanical relative to past cameras.
  • Here's a few snippets from the R3 Manual.
1642964758111.png
1642967235378.png

Question #3:
How should we interpret the shutter release values we see?
Said another way, at what point would our shutter release values become no longer covered by our one-year Canon R3 warranty?

  • While I plan to ask Canon this question, I thought I'd ask it globally as well to see if anyone had some insights to share.
  • All I could find in the "Canon Imaging Products Warranty" fine print was the following note:
1642964365293.png
  • What "normal use and service" may mean, however, was not clear to me.
    • I've read that Canon designed the R3 with electronic use predominately in mind, but I suppose any combination of use between mechanical shutter and electronic shutter would be normal? Yet, I do not know, and I'm left curious as to what our R3 warranties actually cover.
  • While I was unable to find any official numbers, I came across the following idea when googling, "warranty coverage, shutter life expectancy for R3"
1642965951871.png
Yet, I do not know if the above reference is true, as I was unable to find the alleged claim made by Canon, but I suppose it gives us a ball park idea on what to consider when looking at a "release cycles" values.

Cheers, Jeff
 

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neuroanatomist

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Thank you for sharing your discovery and the FYI.
I was equally curious about these details, yet mostly from a warranty coverage perspective.
The warranty is based on a fixed time period after purchase, one year in the US. The shutter count is irrelevant as far as the warranty is concerned, so if that’s your perspective just ignore it.

Mechanical shutters have a rating, an ‘expected life’. That’s a guideline and a hint as to the shutter’s robustness, but that’s it. The R3 shutter is rated for 500K cycles, which is very high. But if the shutter fails after 30K cycles 13 months after you bought it in the US, you’ll be paying for the repair, not Canon.

Full electronic shutter is solid state, there are no moving parts to fail. I suspect that’s why Canon doesn’t count such actuations. I don’t know if Canon counts electronic first curtain shots as shutter actuations, but I would guess they do because the shutter closes to end the exposure.

Since shutter count is irrelevant for warranty purposes, that leaves selling/buying as the main reason to care (a secondary reason might be some foreknowledge about when to expect a problem, i.e. if you have 550K actuations on your R3 as reported in the camera menu you might reasonably expect you’re shooting on borrowed time).

I haven’t ever bought a used camera body (several used lenses, though), but I imagine if I did I’d prefer one with fewer actuations to one with more. If a camera was close to its shutter rating I’d expect to pay less than one with few actuations. But that matters less with a camera like the R3 – I haven’t used the mechanical shutter at all and perhaps I never will. Also, when selling to a reseller like MPB or Keh, they base their quote on the condition of the camera, shutter actuations aren’t asked for when requesting a quote.

Bottom line, shutter count is something you really shouldn’t be concerned about.
 
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The warranty is based on a fixed time period after purchase, one year in the US. The shutter count is irrelevant as far as the warranty is concerned, so if that’s your perspective just ignore it.
Thanks, and great to know. For some odd reason I thought it worked like a car warranty - like perhaps the warranty on the transmission being valid for one year, or the first 100,000 km/miles (or which ever came first). Glad that's not the case.

Mechanical shutters have a rating, an ‘expected life’. That’s a guideline and a hint as to the shutter’s robustness, but that’s it. The R3 shutter is rated for 500K cycles, which is very high. But if the shutter fails after 30K cycles 13 months after you bought it in the US, you’ll be paying for the repair, not Canon.

Awesome: 500K is better than 300K! I was unable to find that detail in the spec sheet, but either value sounds very high and good to me. Over a ten year period, I put roughly 250K cycles on my 1Dx, but I seldom burst in the photography I mostly do. As I get more accustomed to the electronic shutter option, I too will probably use less mechanical.

Bottom line, shutter count is something you really shouldn’t be concerned about.
Perfect, I can now scratch this concern off the list.
 

R1-7D

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Thank you for sharing your discovery and the FYI.
I was equally curious about these details, yet mostly from a warranty coverage perspective.

Responses to:

Question 1:

Canon’s software seems to be recording both the number of Mechanical and Electronic Shutter actuations; that’s why the Shutter Count app is able to provide an estimate of how many “releases” there has been, regardless of whether one is using Mechanical or Electronic Shutter. However, the only number that really matters, as far as wear and tear is concerned, is the mechanical shutter.

Why does Canon record the number Electronic Shutter actuations/releases? I don’t know, and that’s what I finding interesting about this.

Since the System Status Display menu within the camera does not show the Electronic Shutter releases, I can only surmise this is because Electronic Shutter releases do not really matter. The only reason to know the shutter count of a camera is to gauge/estimate its remaining mechanical shutter life based on what the manufacturer’s shutter actuation rating is for that model.

Many photographers that buy pro-level bodies shoot tremendous amounts of photos in relatively short periods of time; sports photographers, for example, produce thousands of shots per event. It’s often important for them to have an idea of how worn their equipment is before the start of a busy season. I know of some photographers that will send their equipment in for things like shutter replacements even before they experience a failure.

There is no real value for a user to know what the electronic shutter release count is on their camera, other than for maybe gauging just how “shutter-happy” he/she is.


Question 2:

If I were to buy a used R3, I would not care about how many Electronic Shutter actuations there are on the body. I would, however, still like to know the number of Mechanical Shutter actuations. As Neuroanatomist already pointed out above, this is to gauge/estimate how many more actuations to likely expect before a potential problem.

Just as an aside, I have a friend that had to replace their original 1DX’s shutter after only 60,000 actuations; I believe the camera was rated for 400,000 actuations. So, a manufacturer’s shutter actuation rating is not a guarantee by any means.

As far a video usage is concerned, there is no way of knowing how much a camera has been used for video.

Would it be useful knowing how much a camera has been used for video? I really don’t know. I’ve seen some discussion on the web that suggests that long-term video usage may lead to eventual component failure due to excess heat generation. I suppose that’s plausible. However, there’s still no way to know how much a camera has been used for video recording; the only option a prospective buyer of a used camera has is to ask the seller and hope he/she is honest.


Question 3:

I believe the shutter actuation rating provided by Canon is solely for the Mechanical Shutter. It would not make sense to include Electronic Shutter actuations in that rating.

I suspect that if your Mechanical Shutter fails under “normal” usage within the one-year Canon warranty, Canon would cover the repair. Canon has a reputation of being quite fair and lenient with warranty repair work. Would Canon still cover the repair if you exceeded 500,000 Mechanical Shutter actuations within the year? I’m not sure; as you have pointed out, Canon does not specify what “normal use and service” means.

Additionally, if your Electronic Shutter stopped working within the first year of ownership (regardless of the number of images taken), then that would be indicative of an electronic component failure and be warrantable.

If your one-year warranty has expired, however, you will be responsible for the cost of repair, regardless of whether you have 100 or 500,000 actuations, or you have some other component failure that affects using the Electronic Shutter.

For some reason, Canon has not been as vocal about the R3’s shutter actuation rating as they were for previous models. For example, in various press releases for the 1DX Mark III, R5, and R6, Canon overtly stated the 500,000 shutter rating. I had some trouble finding where Canon officially gave the R3 a 500,000 shutter rating; I searched Google, and the majority of the promotional materials didn’t provide a rating. Eventually I turned up Canon Asia’s R3 promotional brochure, which states the R3 has a shutter durability of up to 500,000 cycles:

https://asia.canon/en/consumer/eos-r3-body/brochure


The purpose of this thread isn’t to make people worry about the shutter count. With Electronic Shutter, shutter count is by and large irrelevant. I simply discovered through my messing about that the camera is recording electronic shutter actuations, and I decided to post my findings.

What I would like to know (but probably never will) is why Canon is recording the number of Electronic Shutter images taken. Perhaps it still has something to do with tracking camera usage and electronic component failure rates? Who knows.

Also, I’ve sold two cameras in the last year and a half. Both purchasers specifically asked me to use the Shutter Count app and report the number of shutter actuations on those cameras. As it currently stands with the R3 and the Shutter Count app, the Electronic Shutter releases are counted as actuations, which grossly inflates the actuations; the only reliable way of knowing just the Mechanical Shutter actuations is through the camera’s System Status Display menu.
 
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R1-7D

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I received the following response from the Shutter Count app developer this morning:

Your finding is accurate: until a camera is fully supported, we'll report the "generic" combined mechanical + electronic value (less or equal to 7000 in your case). When we add support for a camera that is able to report separate mechanical actuations, then we'll display that. It seems that the R3 is like the 1D X Mark III in this regard, having a mechanical counter display in the menu (the per-charge battery counter is pretty much useless for this purpose).

Once Canon CPS will be able to deliver our rental R3, we'll of course add full support for the camera and the app will display the mechanical counter.
 

privatebydesign

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….However, the only number that really matters, as far as wear and tear is concerned, is the mechanical shutter……


Also, I’ve sold two cameras in the last year and a half. Both purchasers specifically asked me to use the Shutter Count app and report the number of shutter actuations on those cameras. As it currently stands with the R3 and the Shutter Count app, the Electronic Shutter releases are counted as actuations, which grossly inflates the actuations; the only reliable way of knowing just the Mechanical Shutter actuations is through the camera’s System Status Display menu.
I’m not sure I agree. To me it depends on your understanding of what ‘shutter count’ really represents. Are we thinking of purely shutter wear or are we really trying to determine the cameras ‘mileage’. For a vehicle the mileage represents not only the engine miles but also the general condition and expectations on everything else from driver seat wear to suspension bushes.

I’d suggest an ‘image count’ to be more accurately representative of a cameras overall condition and be a better indicator of use that a mere mechanical shutter actuation number. An image count would suggest things like grip wear, button spring condition, battery compartment and contact wear, card storage slot condition and wear etc etc.
 

neuroanatomist

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It seems that the R3 is like the 1D X Mark III in this regard, having a mechanical counter display in the menu (the per-charge battery counter is pretty much useless for this purpose).
I think that's wrong. Although the system status display reports the number of mechanical shutter actuations in 1000-shot increments, the battery display reports total shutter actuations since the last battery change (at least, I know it reports electronic shutter captures, since mine is showing 113 shots right now and I have never used mechanical shutter)..
 

R1-7D

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I think that's wrong. Although the system status display reports the number of mechanical shutter actuations in 1000-shot increments, the battery display reports total shutter actuations since the last battery change (at least, I know it reports electronic shutter captures, since mine is showing 113 shots right now and I have never used mechanical shutter)..

Yes, I believe you're correct. I think the developer is conflating the per-charge battery counter with the System Status Display menu; in other words, I'm not sure he realizes there is a difference -- ie: the System Status Display menu shows Mechanical Shutter Actuations only and the pre-charge battery count shows actuations (ES and MS) since the battery was last fully charged. Perhaps I'm interpreting his comment incorrectly, though.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

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I'd expect that the biggest potential for degradation of a camera like the R5 is repeated overheating from users who do high bit rate video like 8K. Its a well known fact that heat is a big factor in decreasing the life of almost every product there is.

Apparently, there is no reporting mechanism as to the number of camera shutdown cycles or hours of video usage.
 

R1-7D

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I’m not sure I agree. To me it depends on your understanding of what ‘shutter count’ really represents. Are we thinking of purely shutter wear or are we really trying to determine the cameras ‘mileage’. For a vehicle the mileage represents not only the engine miles but also the general condition and expectations on everything else from driver seat wear to suspension bushes.

I’d suggest an ‘image count’ to be more accurately representative of a cameras overall condition and be a better indicator of use that a mere mechanical shutter actuation number. An image count would suggest things like grip wear, button spring condition, battery compartment and contact wear, card storage slot condition and wear etc etc.

I'm not sure how image count, when factoring in Electronic Shutter releases, can realistically inform an individual of something like overall usage, especially when it comes to overall wear and tear mileage. For example, I was out for an hour yesterday shooting the R3 and took over 3,000 images during that time. The proliferation of Electronic Shutter and high FPS has made taking enormous quantities of photos in a relatively short period of time very possible. Other than the internal electronics being used to take the images, I was essentially only holding the camera for an hour; no mechanical parts were active (including IBIS, which I had turned off).

In my opinion, the only sure way of knowing grip wear, button spring condition, etc., is to do an actual physical inspection of a camera. Shutter actuations/image count just doesn't have the same meaning anymore in determining a camera's overall usage. Trying to impute more meaning to image count with combined ES and MS actuations just creates an additional hurdle for prospective sellers. As stated above, there's no way of gauging how much a camera has been used for video, which essentially does just as much wear (if not more because of excess heat) on a camera as using Electronic Shutter for stills.
 
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R1-7D

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I'd expect that the biggest potential for degradation of a camera like the R5 is repeated overheating from users who do high bit rate video like 8K. Its a well known fact that heat is a big factor in decreasing the life of almost every product there is.

Apparently, there is no reporting mechanism as to the number of camera shutdown cycles or hours of video usage.

Exactly. There is not counter I'm aware for video-usage. Arguably, video recording does more wear and tear to a camera than shooting stills. That's why I'm not sure there's much to be gained in reporting electronic shutter actuations for stills.
 

neuroanatomist

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In my opinion, the only sure way of knowing grip wear, button spring condition, etc., is to do an actual physical inspection of a camera.
Agreed. I'm pretty sure that's why MPB and KEH ask you to self-evaluate the physical condition, then they check it themselves and adjust the value if needed. I highly doubt they check the shutter count.
 
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privatebydesign

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I'm not sure how image count, when factoring in Electronic Shutter releases, can realistically inform an individual of something like overall usage, especially when it comes to overall wear and tear mileage. For example, I was out for an hour yesterday shooting the R3 and took over 3,000 images during that time. The proliferation of Electronic Shutter and high FPS has made taking enormous quantities of photos in a relatively short period of time very possible. Other than the internal electronics being used to take the images, I was essentially only holding the camera for an hour; no mechanical parts were active (including IBIS, which I had turned off).

In my opinion, the only sure way of knowing grip wear, button spring condition, etc., is to do an actual physical inspection of a camera. Shutter actuations/image count just doesn't have the same meaning anymore in determining a camera's overall usage. Trying to impute more meaning to image count with combined ES and MS actuations just creates an additional hurdle for prospective sellers. As stated above, there's no way of gauging how much a camera has been used for video, which essentially does just as much wear (if not more because of excess heat) on a camera as using Electronic Shutter for stills.
I agree to an extent, amnd maybe with electronic shutters people looking at used gear need to reset any expectation of what a ‘low mileage’ camera is. But I never took shutter count to be an isolated number on wear and tear on a complete body anyway. Then again my personal vehicle is a near 400,000 mile Toyota so mileage obviously doesn’t scare me.

But surely we must agree that a camera with a lower actuation count must, in general, be ‘better’ condition than one with a higher count? Sure some users bash their gear about unmercifully, but if we agree wear and tear is more generally linear then actuation count (though it should be expected to be higher than shutter count) is an indicator of use. And if people want to buy a low use camera (for whatever reason) actuation count can help them decide.
 

Joules

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I agree to an extent, amnd maybe with electronic shutters people looking at used gear need to reset any expectation of what a ‘low mileage’ camera is. But I never took shutter count to be an isolated number on wear and tear on a complete body anyway. Then again my personal vehicle is a near 400,000 mile Toyota so mileage obviously doesn’t scare me.

But surely we must agree that a camera with a lower actuation count must, in general, be ‘better’ condition than one with a higher count? Sure some users bash their gear about unmercifully, but if we agree wear and tear is more generally linear then actuation count (though it should be expected to be higher than shutter count) is an indicator of use. And if people want to buy a low use camera (for whatever reason) actuation count can help them decide.
I think it is hard to say at this ppint. A lot if the actual wear in ILC is not tied to actuations anymore. But the Canon RF system in particular is too new to have much experience of failures.

I personally don't think 'overheating' in video will degrade the life time of the actual camera meaningfully. Mainly because for one, a lot of the heat is generated in the CF cards and also because the forced record limits exist so that damage to the camera (And the users hands) is prevented.

There are other factors in ILC that degrade with time even if no actuations occur at all. Battery is the obvious one, especially as this is drained just for operating the camera and not actually by taking the shots anymore (Making shot count per charge a wildly varying number depending on use case).

But there is also the IBIS, which we don't know anything about yet in terms of expected life time I believe. I doubt it is much of a concern given how long Canon have developed it in order for it to meet their needs. But it is a factor.

And then there is the OLED screen in the EVF, and for the R3 now there are also the infrared LEDs that illuminate the users eye. All of which has a lifetime totally independent of actuations, and in the case of the OLED screen, burn in is another concern.

So total time operated would be a good indicator for these, and as you say, it should be possible to roughly estimate that from the shot count if you know the shooting style of the previous owner.