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Shutter Shock!

Content image: Shutter Shock!

Having recently changed over from bridge photography to DSLR and discovered the joys of stacking and rotational presentations, photography here has changed a lot in the last few months.

Previously seeing other people's macro photos has always left me thinking - "I wish I could do that" - now we are getting there.

The ability to stack - taking several photographs, with tiny differences in focus, then using software to create one sharp image is now quite universal.

You will often read comments live....."FOV 3mm 32 stacked" - a lot of shots to generate one image. Similarly with spin presentations for example with 40 images takes 40 shutter actuations plus 40 times the amount of storage.

This led me to thinking about the economics of all this and life span of the camera.

Below is a table of Canon cameras and their estimated shutter life span shown with cost and some calculations per photo with stacking and spin presentation.

Camera Shutter Life (Actuations) Cost (£)

Cost/Life Span

15 Image Stack

Cost/Life Span

40 Image Spin

EOS 600D

100,000 250


6,667 images


2,500 spins





10,000 images


3,750 spins

EOS 1DX 400,000 3250


26,666 images


10,000 spins

Of course the shutter life figures are estimations and the shutters can be replaced by manufacturer maybe even under warranty, but this gives an idea about the depreciation/cost as you rattle away in the ambition of making something outstanding!

The other consideration is buying equipment secondhand - make sure you obtain/check the actuation count on a prospective DSLR purchase.