24,673 shots in a year

When Nikon announced its new flagship D4 camera last week, they advertised that its carbon fiber shutter was rated to 400,000 actuations.

The web community is not clear on what exactly this means, but one does not need to worry that after 400,000 pictures the D4 breaks down. The camera however may start to show signs of age, and a speed of 1/250th second may then be 1/257th or 1/242th of a second. Does it matter? A little.

Fact is, our car breaks down after hundreds of thousands of miles, or less, every product has a life-span, light bulbs, washing machines, and SLR cameras.

The next question is: are 400,000 shutter releases a lot, or not. And if this is the number for the brand new top of the line D4, what is the expected life for a Nikon D700 shutter, my somewhat older camera model first announced in July 2008. Searching the web, the number most often mentioned is 150,000 actuations for the D700, less then half as for a D4, but then the D4 is nearly 3x the price. Should I worry?

First I have to find out how many pictures I take during the year.

My D700 is now exactly 1 year old, and with the help of a RAW file and Apple’s Preview Inspector I found out that in the last year I pressed the shutter button 24,673 times. Wow! That is about 475 pictures every week, or 65 pictures every single day. It sounds even worse when you realise that in 2011 I took about one picture every 20 minutes.

If I continue like this, the shutter of my D700 could start to deteriorite in 6 years, by then in todays fast moving digital world the D700 can be considered a antique and ripe for the museum anyway.

So my very personal conclusion is: Skrew it, lets shot the ride!


5 Responses to “24,673 shots in a year”

  1. […] is the time of the year to do some housekeeping. Some of you may remember my post of 2 years ago: 24,673 shots in a year, reviewing my then 1 year old D700, comparing it to the D4, and coming to the conclusion: Screw it, […]

  2. Wow that is a lot of photos. Is your clicking finger stronger than the others 🙂

  3. Gary France Says:

    That is a good estimate Axel. I just checked it and 20,000+ pictures took up 58.8 GB of storage. I created a new folder each day on the laptop I was carrying with me and saved the pictures there every night. As a back up, I then saved each of those folders to an external hard drive every night as well. Each week, I then copied all the files again onto a second external drive overnight. In this way, I had 3 copies of all of my photos and I stored them in different places on the bike.

    As it happens, after I got back I needed the space on my laptop so I made a third external drive copy. About a month ago, when working on the pictures for my book, one of the external hard drives failed completely, so the extra insurance was worth it.

    I am going to Cuba in February and as the internet is so bad there, there is no pint in taking a laptop as I usually do, so I will only be taking a camera, plus a few large memory cards.

  4. Gary France Says:

    Nearly 25 thousand shots in one year is impressive. I imagine this would be very unusual indeed.

    I know it was not anything like a normal type of photography, but I took 20,896 shots on my four and a half month tour of the USA.

    However, I have only hit the shutter maybe 1000 times in the last 12 months.

    • Gary, 20.000+ photos during a trip away from home, that is impressive, as it also raises interesting logistical questions of storage. This amount of pics in jpeg fine can yield above 50GB of data, to store safely how did you organise your workflow? I have for longer trips, like HOG rallies over 2 weeks, six 4GB CF cards with me to compartmentalise the potential loss and damage.

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