How Long Do Cameras Last

How Long Do Cameras Last? & How To Increase Camera Life

A person who usually clicks pictures with his favorite camera for a long time may wonder how long cameras last. Unfortunately, though it is a logical question, there are no accurate answers to this question, but according to users’ reviews, a camera may last at least 5–10 years, and in a few cases, it lasts 3-5 years. But, of course, this depends on the usage period. 

Knowing about a camera’s lifespan before buying is nothing wrong because if someone is planning to buy an entry-level camera, he has to pay a pretty good amount. So, buying a camera without knowing the lifespan is a bad idea.

If your concern is how long do DSLR cameras last, then keep in mind that camera performance will depend on the camera brand. And then, they raised the issue of shutter count and quality. A camera’s shutter mechanism and quality vary between brands, such as Nikon’s, which has a preset number of clicks, but Canon’s has fewer than that.

A shutter’s usual life can range from 50,000 to 350,000 shutter actuation, depending on the camera. As a result, some photographers may be out of luck and fall short of those numbers, while others may discover that their cameras are still working after 500,000 shots.

On the other hand, in the case of camera quality, Pentax cameras will give the same service if you drop them on the ground, but in the case of sony, if you drop them, it will stop working. 

A camera generally gives good service until the camera becomes fully damaged. Still, a camera can usually last more than five years, and if you are a hobbyist photographer, then the camera can last longer. So instead of searching about the camera lifespan, you better take care of your camera and upgrade if the camera is a lot older, as you can not reset the shutter count.

Why Is Shutter Count Important?

The shutter count of a medium-level camera is 150,000, so a user can click approximately 90,000 pictures in 5 years. Of course, knowing about your camera’s shutter count is better, but it does not mean you have to be worried about it and need to count every single click. 

To get a huge number of shutter clicks, choose a DSLR camera rather than an SLR, digital, disposal, or a polaroid one because low-end cameras contain chips and cracks, which can also reduce your camera’s lifespan. If you buy a DSLR with a good shutter count, that camera could go for more than 5 to 10 years. But for an everyday user, it can span 3 to 4 years.

Why Does The Camera Life Wear Out?

For different reasons, a camera could get worn out. But, in general, a camera does not wear out so easily. The main reasons for draining camera life are shutter count, gear condition, external damage, water, and electric impact.

Shutter Life Expectancy

In an alternative meaning, shutter life means shutter count in the case of a camera. The shutter count mainly refers to the number of photos taken by a camera. It’s important because it determines how many years the camera will last.

Every time the button gets pressed, the camera shutter life is triggered. At that time, the sensor becomes exposed and records a picture. Next, creators put their cameras through extensive testing and assigned shutter ratings based on the outcome. The shutter rating is the maximum number of times a shutter can be opened and closed before failing.

It is important to know, many entry-level DSLRs or mirrorless cameras have a shutter actuation rating of 100,000, whereas high-end cameras may have a 400,000 actuation rating. So the life expectancy of the shutter depends on the brand. Because the Nikon shutter life and the Canon shutter life will not be the same. Moreover, Sony and Pentax are well-known brands because of their shutter rating.

Shutter Life of Canon & Nikon

Shutter Life of Canon & Nikon

Shutter Life of Pentax & Sony

Shutter Life of Pentax & Sony

Backdated Gear

an updated camera is always preferable to click top-notch pictures. An updated camera contains reformed gear. An entry-level camera includes updated gear such as a lens, flash, a stable body, and the camera itself. 

But if your camera does not have all of these features and you are planning to buy a new camera, it’s probably not the right moment. But truly, when you feel confined by the current gear of your camera, which is not providing you with better service because the camera is getting older, then it’s an excellent time to upgrade your camera before it dies. 

However, if someone is concerned about how long DSLR camera bodies last, they should focus on gear acquisition syndrome.

External Damage

A camera will not damage easily, and the maximum damage is repairable. But a few times, a camera may meet with serious damage such as sensor damage, chemical damage, dust, sand, or dirt. Too much hot or cold temperature can also damage a camera externally.


Do not just wet your camera body in water. It is the biggest mistake and the worst thing anyone can do with its camera. Water can damage the inner mechanism of the camera. Even rain can damage a camera. 

If the camera becomes wet and becomes turned off, let it be and wait until the camera becomes dry. Then, to get more safety, remove the SD card and batteries. Avoid using compressed air because this can force water further into the camera by that time.

Electrical impact

Though the ratio is very low, sometimes a camera can be damaged while charging or any kind of battery damage. To avoid these types of incidents, keep your camera’s durability and cable protected and use a high-quality sync cord and charger.

How To Increase Camera Life

In the meantime, you already know how long a camera will last, and now it is important to explore how to increase camera life with a few simple attempts. There are a few steps to expanding your camera life. Of course, you cannot do anything with the shutter count as a user, but you can take extra precautions to make your camera life span the longest.

Minimize The Impact

Protect your camera from the impact by using a tripod and bag for extra safety. Before using the tripod, check the tripod’s leg, and while traveling, use extra duct protection for the camera. Protect the camera from rain by following a few simple steps, such as turning off your camera, covering the camera with a cloth, and drying the camera if, in any case, it becomes sloppy.

Shutter Replacement

When the shutter stops working, a replacement is a good option. However, shutter replacement depends on the brand of the camera. To replace a shutter, a user may pay approximately $250 to $400. In this case, a three or 5-year-old shutter will face difficulty getting used to the new technology shutter.

Few Basic Repairing Step

Keeping the camera dust-free is the basic step. Others include protecting the camera sensor from damage, replacing the LCD screen, etc. The users themselves can take a maximum of these steps. However, if you are using a polaroid or a disposable camera, you may need to take extra care. 

So before doing huge damage, just take care of the camera. Because as a user, only saving shutter count should not be your concern.

How many years does a camera last?

Ans: Generally, A camera can last 3 to 5 years with normal use. In special cases, it can last 5 to 10 years.

Do cameras wear out from normal use?

Ans: Every camera has a limited shutter speed, so overusing a camera can cause wear and tear, but as a hobbyist user of a camera, it will take time to become worn out. So normal camera usage will never drain the camera’s life quickly. 

What does "shutter count" mean?

Ans: A camera’s shutter count is the number of times the shutter. The shutter count increases with each shutter cycle, and this is typically equal to the total number of photographs taken by the camera.

What is the DSLR camera's shutter life?

Ans: The shutter life is important for the minimum number of shutters that should withstand a camera before failing. And this Shutter life policy applies to all cameras; it could be a DSLR, SLR, disposable, polaroid, or mirrorless camera. Only the amount of the shutter could differ.

How important is the Shutter Count?

Ans: A camera’s life span mainly depends on shutter count, but it does not mean a user will click a picture with the worry of the shutter count. A mid-level camera contains a shutter count that will allow a user to use the camera for almost 3-5 years, and in special cases, it could be 5 to 10 years.

What other things can cause a DSLR to stop working besides the shutter count?

Ans: Dirt, scratches, liquid, smudges, and electrical and mechanical issues can also cause the stoppage of the working of a DSLR besides shutter count.

To conclude, The shutter life of a camera will not decide how long cameras last. The brand, quality, and care of your camera also vary. But if shutter count is your concern, drop the tension because a high-quality camera contains a good amount of shutter count.

Emma Rivett

Emma Rivett


“Emma Rivett is a brand photographer and copywriter who has a strong tendency to prepare, change and teach. Her photographic works were published in Uppercase, Travel + Leisure, Gayot Guide, Paula Deen Cooking, Design Guide, the NHOME Magazine, Urban Home, etc. Helping creative businesspeople create an online brand and PS”

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