In 2024, the Canon EOS M5 will be a 7 year old mirrorless camera body. As a mid-range model aimed at enthusiasts, it’s likely to still be in use by many photographers.
But with age comes wear and tear, so checking the shutter count is important to determine the condition and longevity of a used M5.
What is Shutter Count?
The shutter count refers to the number of times the camera’s shutter has been activated and taken a photograph. Every time you press the shutter button, the shutter opens and closes to expose the camera’s image sensor to light.
Like other mechanical parts, the shutter mechanism wears down over time and usage. Camera manufacturers provide a shutter durability rating, usually between 100,000 to 300,000 cycles, to indicate the minimum lifespan for the shutter. However, many shutters continue working well beyond the rated limit.
For Canon EOS M5 cameras, the rated shutter durability is 100,000 cycles. Knowing the current count helps assess the camera’s condition, especially if you are looking to buy a used model.
The Importance of Monitoring Shutter Cycles
The number of cycles a shutter completes is referred to as the shutter count or shutter actuations. This count provides insight into the use and condition of a camera.
How Shutters Work
DSLR and mirrorless cameras use a focal plane shutter design. This consists of curtain blades that move with precision to open and close the sensor opening.
- At rest, the shutter curtains block light from reaching the sensor.
- When activated, the first curtain slides to uncover the sensor.
- The second curtain then follows to re-cover the sensor.
This movement happens extremely fast:
|Camera Type||Max Shutter Speed|
|Entry-level DSLR||1/4000 sec|
|High-end DSLR||1/8000 sec|
For perspective, 1/8000 sec is completed in just 0.000125 seconds! All this fast action takes a mechanical toll. After thousands of cycles, shutters accumulate wear and tear:
- Curtain rubber dampeners deteriorate
- Curtain blades bend microscopically
- Precision timing components degrade
Eventual failure leads to issues like:
- Inconsistent shutter speeds
- Light leaks
- Total jamming
This frequent use adds up over time, eventually causing shutters to malfunction or fail.
Why Check Shutter Count on the EOS M5?
Since shutters have a finite lifespan, monitoring the shutter count is recommended. Here are some key reasons to check shutter count on a Canon EOS M5 camera:
- It helps determine the level of wear on a used camera.
- Owners can anticipate maintenance like shutter replacement.
- Photographers can make informed decisions on camera care and replacement. This helps avoid surprises from premature shutter failure.
- Help calculate resale value for selling an EOS M5 based on use
- Provide information on usage and care if lending or renting out your EOS M5
For used cameras, the shutter count offers valuable insight into its level of use and condition. A lower count signals the shutter has less wear, while a very high count indicates it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. Checking helps determine:
- If the camera is truly “lightly used” as claimed in ads for used gear.
- How much usable life potentially remains for the shutter.
- If the camera had exceptionally high use (like by a professional) that caused extra wear.
- If the shutter count seems suspicious, possibly indicating fraud.
This data allows buyers to make informed decisions about used camera prices and condition. It’s also useful for owners to anticipate maintenance needs before failures occur.
How to Check EOS M5 Shutter Count
Checking the shutter count on an EOS M5 is easy with the right tools. Here are some reliable options to get the shutter actuations count in 2024:
Things to Keep in Mind
When checking shutter count on an EOS M5, keep a few pointers in mind:
- New EOS M5 cameras often start with 300-500 actuations from factory testing. Don’t be alarmed by an initial count.
- Shutter count via EXIF data may be approximate based on algorithms. Use official tools for most accuracy.
- Count the number of image files only as a rough estimate. Multiple shots get one actuation.
- Shutter replacement does not reset the actuation counter. It continues counting from the previous total.
- Higher actuations on an older used EOS M5 is expected. Evaluate based on overall condition.
Method 1: Free
There are also a few free shutter count programs, with some caveats:
1. ExifTool by Phil Harvey (Windows)
This free command line utility can read shutter count from the metadata of images captured with the EOS M5. Useful when direct camera connectivity is unavailable.
2. Opanda (Windows)
Similar to ExifTool, this free app extracts shutter count from image EXIF data. But support for the M5 is hit or miss.
3. Canon EOS Digital Info (Windows)
Retrieves shutter info via USB for many Canon DSLRs. However, this older program has not been updated with support for newer models like the EOS M5.
- Download and install EOS Info from the developer’s website.
- Connect your EOS M5 to your computer via USB cable.
- Launch EOS Info. If prompts, allow access when camera asks on LCD screen.
- Click “Camera Info” > “Shutter Counter”. The shutter count will be displayed.
- Disconnect camera when finished.
4. FreeShutterCounter (Mac)
FreeShutterCounter is a free Mac-only application that can check shutter counts for some Canon DSLR cameras.
To use it:
- Download and install FreeShutterCounter. Note that MacOS may warn that it cannot validate the app as malware-free since it is not an official signed program. Use at your own discretion.
- Connect your compatible Canon DSLR to your Mac via USB and turn the camera on. FreeShutterCounter claims to support models like the M5, 5D Mark II, 7D, 60D, 600D, and 1100D.
- Open the FreeShutterCounter app. It should automatically detect the connected camera model.
- The shutter count will now be displayed on screen for the connected camera.
- You can click “Get Shutter Count” again to refresh and recheck the number.
- When finished, click “Quit” to close the app and safely disconnect your camera.
Method 2: Paid
For a small fee, there are some convenient paid apps that can read the live shutter count directly from your EOS M5:
1. ShutterCount (Mac/iOS)
This app costs $8.99 and is one of the most popular choices. It works by connecting to the camera via USB or WiFi and displays the current shutter count. ShutterCount is certified to work with over 100 Canon models, including the EOS M5. With over 220,000 users worldwide, it’s become an industry standard shutter count reading tool.
2. EOSMsg (Windows)
Another option is EOSMsg for Windows, priced at $5. It connects via USB and retrieves key data like shutter count and mirror lockup count. EOSMsg works with all Canon EOS cameras.
Method 3: Camera Service Centers
Official camera service centers can also check the shutter count for you on any EOS model, including the M5. Expect to pay a small fee for the readout service. This may be the most convenient route if you do not want to install any software or lack computer skills.
Reset Shutter Count?
Resetting the shutter count on the EOS M5 through unofficial means is not realistically possible. The shutter mechanism itself would need to be replaced to truly reset to zero. Any app claiming to reset the count should be avoided.
The shutter count always provides helpful information on a camera’s use. In 2024, knowing how to check it on the Canon EOS M5 remains important for both buyers and owners to fully assess condition and longevity.
Replacing the Shutter Mechanism
If the shutter on your EOS M5 does eventually fail or develop accuracy issues, replacement of the entire shutter mechanism will be required. Expect a shutter replacement from Canon to cost between $200-400 including labor.
Some independent repair shops may offer lower cost shutter swaps if you are comfortable with a third-party service. DIY shutter replacement is not recommended unless you have professional experience and tools.
After shutter replacement, the counter will reset to zero and start fresh. So you cannot rely on a low count alone to assess a camera; always consider the production date and overall condition as well.
Selling an EOS M5? Disclose the Count
If selling a used EOS M5 camera, make sure to disclose the current shutter count to any potential buyers. Providing an honest actuation count builds trust and demonstrates your transparency as a seller.
Most buyers expect a count under 50,000 for a camera still considered in “good” used condition. If the count is higher but the camera works perfectly, provide sample images and detail any maintenance or upgrades to reassure buyers.
While manufacturers have rated life expectancies for shutters, real-world usage shows significant variation. Do not let the actuation count alone determine when to retire your EOS M5. Instead, regularly inspect shutter performance through test shots and pay attention for any changes in sound, speed or accuracy.
By learning How to Check EOS M5 Shutter Count, you gain valuable insight into the camera’s history and condition. Seek accurate counts using tested software utilities or Canon-authorized services for best results. With this knowledge, you can feel confident about your EOS M5 providing many more years of service.