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How to find actuations on the 20d/30d
Since my camera committed suicide I've had the nagging feeling that I had nowhere near approached the 100,000 rated actuations that the shutter should have held up to. I realize this is the bell curve but I still was curious to see where on the curve my poor 30D ended up on.
The 30D unfortunately gives you no native way to figure out the actuations. Some cameras will show you the number on the EXIF which, if you don't have a viewer that will show it for you, might come out in the Flickr "more properties" page for that image once it is uploaded.
EDIT: The method below doesn't seem to work. It gives you back the same number regardless of the RAW file you analyze. Oh well, back to the mystery:
Using a Hex editor to analyze RAW data for actuations
With a bit of web searching I found this thread by Bail on Digital Photography School showing you how to analyze the RAW file using a free Hex editor (Free Hex Editor XV32) on Windows.
With that editor you load up the final RAW file that your camera took, following Bail's instructions and search out the piece of hex code that can then be converted into an actual number.
If this method is correct, my actuations = 64,520.
A little over half the rated actuations. Not good.
You can read the thread with instructions here.
The Hex editor is available for download here.
WARNING: I am only providing third party links here and make no guarantees on what the information contained therein does
Shutter expectancy database
I also found this page where Canon 30D users can self-report their shutter life expectancy using a form. Your data is then added to a table and chart. Of course, there is no way of verifying what people say about their shutters but I can't think of a reason why they would lie about it either.
From the chart it seems that I am above the reported average which, at 36,463 as of the time of this post, is quite a bit below the 100,000 rating Canon claims.
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