Is Shutter Count important when buying equipment?

Evaluating the condition of a camera is very subjective and an art, rather than a science. There are many factors to consider, among them the shutter count, which gives us a fairly objective idea of how long a camera has been in use, which can be a good starting point before considering other more subjective aspects.

Previous owner is an important factor when buying a camera.

Imagine you have a camera with a somewhat high shutter count, but the equipment has always been used indoors and you know first hand that its owner is very careful with the equipment. Now imagine that your other purchase option is an owner who is an animal photographer, you can imagine the conditions that camera will be exposed to: rain, high temperatures, dust, vibrations, etc. In this dichotomy, I would go for the first case, even though the shutter count might be a bit higher.

Also consider that the fewer owners a camera has had the better, not because it necessarily means more wear and tear, but because there is more uncertainty, we can usually find out what the previous owner used it for, but what about the one before that? is there a third owner perhaps? We don't know.

The physical appearance of a camera is an excellent indicator.

The treatment on a camera can be seen with the naked eye and this can give you an idea of how well cared for the equipment is, be skeptical of equipment that has a lot of scratches or dings. If the owner claims that it is an unused equipment but you can see wear on the buttons, or in the rubber, distrust his word, yes, even if it is your neighbor.

What to look for when buying an equipment?

Check the camera meticulously looking for:

  • Dead pixels on the screen
  • Inflated batteries
  • Excessive wear on buttons, threads, handles, etc.
  • Make sure that if the camera has a built-in flash, it is working properly.
  • Make sure it does not make strange noises when shooting.